Long Tail & Social Music

While I was traveling last month, I spent some time reading the Berkman/Gartner report about how social activities will shape the future of online music purcahses got me thinking about how that is relevant to what is going on a couple of fronts … the first is obviously a discussion and lesson for IST 110 this semester. The second is how it could relate to the sharing of eLearning options. Let’s explore both … What follows come right out of my personal content management system I installed on my laptop — fancy words for local install of MovableType.

For class I could clearly have the teams read the report and respond … it might be interesting for them to use it as the basis for a team podcasting assignment. I think Odeo limits podcasts to 3 minutes, so it would require them to pull their ideas together. I really like the idea of having them get together, distill their thoughts, abd articualte them in a concise way.

As it relates to eLearning objects it goes back to something my wife, Kristin and I were really starting to look at when she was still with the Solutions Institute — community based reviews and recommendations of eLearning objects. I’m not going to spend a whole bunch of time reflecting on the merits of eLearning objects, but I will say that I just saw the results of the PSU FACAC survey for faculty and TAs and an overwhelming number of respondendents claimed that they would not only use objects built by other faculty (at PSU and beyond) in their own classrooms, but would be willing to share their own stuff. That is interesting to me and a major shift in the thinking here … but you would think that we as designers of these things we’d want to create environments that mimic the best of what industry is doing to really encourage this.

I have been saying for years that eLearning and eCommerce are so similar in so many ways. I used to think that it was limited to just the design, development, and storage of the objects … but, I am seeing now more than ever that the concepts of the iTunes Mix Store’s iMix and Amazon’s customer reviews (as well as the “this is what others bought” concept) are as relevenat and important to the adoption of eLearning objects as anything else.

The basics of adoption and diffusion of innovation theory talks about getting leaders of your target audience to become part of your diffusion efforts … these early adopters can do more for your cause than hours and hours of marketing. When we released Online IST we brought out our early faculty adopters — those who were respected among our target audiences and let them talk about why it was good … this lead to a huge jump in our adoption efforts. The same is true at the next level … as objects become more widely used and shared, the thought of faculty publishing “playlists” with teaching notes will create new adoption of the pieces … just my opinion, but I think as faculty figure it out and start to share their thoughts about what worked and didn’t work we’ll see more uptake of objects that are quality.

The quality part of this is the big piece. We have all sorts of repositories out there, but most of them ignore the notion of quality — obviously a few get it right … I think allowing the community to establish the quality metrics and share their thoughts about them is key. We shall see, but the notion of letting faculty share playlists of their selected objects in context could encourage uptake … just like the Berkman report discusses how community based playlists will drive 25% of online music sales by 2010, maybe community based eLeanring object playlists can help drive adoption in our space. Sorry for the stream of typing on that one.

One thought on “Long Tail & Social Music

  1. Pingback: iMixes for Education at Cole Camplese: Learning & Innovation

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