Hi! My name is Luke and I want to give you a little bit of background on me so you have some idea about the person behind the text. I’m a junior at Stanford studying Science, Technology, and Society, which will hopefully help put me in a position to be in the sports marketing or online music industry after graduation. I’ve been studying media and technology since high school and have always tried to pay close attention to the industry trends in order to better prepare myself the world outside of school, and because I’m genuinely curious as to how they affect us personally and societally.

In addition to my interest in media and tech, I’m a hip-hop producer and lyricist, adept panini maker, craft beer enthusiast, and lifelong baseball fan. I look forward to writing more about COMM 182 and hope you enjoy reading about it!

Comment on Second Life by Sabrina

Hi Fang!

I was wondering if you ever ran into anyone else when you were playing? It seems like you were by yourself the whole time, do many people use Second Life anymore? Also wondering if you have ever played any big MMORPGs before?

I’ve tried playing WoW and Everquest before and I always thought it was weird to be running around in a world with so many people that I have no idea where they are from. You could choose your server in the beginning such as North America but other than that you have no information on anyone else. Does Second Life offer anything similar to server selection?

Comment on My personal Learning Network! by Allison

Hey Gabe!

It is really interesting to see how you use so many types of collaborative tools. I had a hard time coming up with other collaborative tools other than Google Docs (I eventually remembered Asana, and since Howard’s discussion, I really want to try Evernote!)

I also really like that you included Skype and FaceTime. That didn’t occur to me to include, but seeing this now I realize how hugely important they are. In class, for example, it was great to see the teacher of the class that visited. Talking over Skype, even with the technical difficulties, really added to the value I got out of the conversation.

Social Capital

I plan to cultivate my personal learning network by staying in contact with a few of the people I met through my college sports career. Although I am not playing this year, I am planning to send thank you letters to a few of my coaches from the past years in case of a playing/job opportunity. This has worked well for me. I have received over 10 offers just since I have been back in school. I plan to enrich my personal learning network through keeping in contact with a few of the bigger names that were intimidating to contact. I plan to contact them directly and through other sources that introduced me to them. I plan to first send emails to them directly and to our mutual contact in order to create easier means of communicating. I also have passed along tips and tools from my athletic career to other members of my network. By volunteering to help, my contacts recommended me to coach at local middle school during this school year. This opportunity was offered solely by who recommended me. This recommendation also fueled my personal training clientele because of the people I have met through my career.

I am also going to take better advantage of LinkedIn and build my network through that social media platform. I think this would make it even easier to reach out and cultivate my personal learning network. I think it would be beneficial to explore expanding LinkedIn with some of my other daily online activities in order to reach all of my other networks. Figuring out what I want to do with my degree is a difficult task when you do not know where to start. LinkedIn gives me a source to start see what my resources doing and what they are interested in. It allows for you to draw connections between your resources and connect your personal resources. I plan to do this before the New Year and input all of my contacts new and old into one place. I plan to reach out to my contacts personal through holiday cards and emails. I was hoping to see a few of my scholarship donors for my past years over the holidays. Hoping I can plan a few dinners and coffees dates over the holidays. I also want to reach out to a couple people from my hometown that followed me from my high school career. I have great resources at home because of the high school I attended and through my mother’s business network.





My personal Learning Network!

I really enjoyed seeing everyone Personal Learning Networks. Its interesting to see what tools and communities everyone uses and which one constantly overlap with one another. I NovaMind manpping tool from the windows store. It was made to use for touch screen tablets like the surface I’m using. It was hard to use at first, but is a clear mindmapping tool that is easy to use and export. Take a look if you’re interested. Its free in the Windows Store.

Things I learned about myself by making this personal learning mind map. I did not realize the number of tools I utilize on a daily basis. Also, I learned how I have progressed from some of my past tools I used when I was in high school or even at the beginning of undergrad. I can see the progression for the purpose that I was using online apps and tools. Earlier, I was using online tools to primarily communicate or research a topic. But not that purpose has spread to many more aspects of my life such as using social media for my news outlet and depending on sports apps of for daily updates. I learned that my working style has changed because of the accessible collaboration tools and apps. Google Docs and Quip make digital collaboration so easy that I often prefer to work there than in person. I also learned from comparing my mind map that there are tools that I still need learn and explore. I become familiar with a lot of new online tools because of this class, but after looking through everyone networks, I still need to keep trying new apps and continue to progress in my social media literacy.



Comment on Keeping in Touch by Ruth Bram

Fang, thank you for this post. It is quite refreshing to hear this. There’s not too many people who let their hair down and talk about this issue. I hope you continue on this thoughtful path and never lose yourself.

Your post has also made me reflect on my past. I came to Stanford, only knowing a few people, and I was focused on maintaining my relationship with them and performing well in my classes. But as time went by, my friends made new friends, and I was still trying to hold onto the ones I had come to know so well. I realized then that having more friends, even if they are weak ties, can be more fruitful than only having a close group. I soon realized that I would need to reach out if I was going to have any friends. When I did, I made more friends, and some of them were friends with my close friends. I soon had more close friends, and a bunch of others that weren’t as close. I could share my deepest thoughts with my close friends, and then gain new ideas from my new friends. It was great!

As I began to do more internships and search for a full time job, I came to cherish the not as close friends even more. Overall, they have been very beneficial to me and have made me see things from a different perspective. I wouldn’t have this perspective if I only relied on my closer friends.

I’m not saying one way is more right than the other, I’m just pointing out that we are all different, and it’s important to choose according to you, not what the norm is or what your friends do. Always stay true to you! :)

I’m sorry to make this post so long, but I do have a few points I’d like to touch on:

1) Regarding your mention of the Bay Area start-up that turned down a relationship with a big-name Japanese company, I’m really surprised to hear that this startup acted this way. Did they really turn down the relationship because of time and maintenance? Even if they didn’t work with that Japanese company, at least saying yes to the relationship (just being friendly and sending a card, wine, etc.) would have been a better answer from the start-up, right? What are your thoughts? Were you surprised by the decision?

2) I’m not sure I agree with the idea that for someone to become a close tie it takes years. I think it’s important to prove trustworthiness, which can take some time, but in my experience and others that I know, developing close ties can take as little time as a few months.

3) To add a bit to your talk on social media, managing social media needs to be done right. It’s important to post regularly, but if it’s too much, you’ll lose followers. I know you commented on my blog about successful social media strategies, and thank you!! I just wanted to point others to my blog titled Audience Engagement & Presence in Online Media in case they haven’t read these strategies. :) I think they’re pretty helpful.

Again, thank you for this blog post, Fang. It was very insightful, and I enjoyed reading what you wrote.

Comment on Keeping in Touch by Betty

I agree that the concept of Dunbar’s Number is really frightening, especially as a graduating senior. It’s so sad to know that we’ll all be scattering in just a few months, and many of the relationships that we’ve spent the last 4 years cultivating will likely change/wither/fall to pieces altogether. The thought of having to cultivate a new social circle wherever I end up is so terrifying!

I too have been wondering about Dunbar’s Number… in how it effects me, and how it effects older professionals. It seems like some of the top CEOs, corporate leaders, and major game changers MUST feel connected to more than 150 people. How can they possible have such a wide sphere of influence with only 150 close connections?

I wonder if, used effectively, social media can help fight off the limiting factors of Dunbar’s number. Blogs make it easier for friends to stay connected/updated on each other’s lives, Snapchat makes it easy to see someone’s face and feel close on a day to day based, etc. etc. What are some of the ways in which you guys think technology has changed Dunbar’s number and our ability to connect with each other… either for better or for worse.

Comment on Keeping in Touch by Manuela

I appreciated such a thoughtful and honest post. In regards to your thoughts about quality versus quantity among close friends, I agree with you that I kept thinking about the truthfulness of the Dunbar number, mainly whether it is true that by interacting more with some friends I distance myself from others. Like you, I value friendships immensely; I still call my childhood best friends my best friends because they really are; something can be said about the value of people who know you and your family the most. What I struggled to accept the most was the idea that the friendships is diminished if there is no personal contact in 6 months, particularly because technology today allows us to communicate daily and constantly with people who are not physically in the same place.
As for your comments about building a network, I agree that many times we are told to just network network network as in meet as many people as you can, but few people acknowledge the importance of fostering those relationships. It should not be a matter of just adding those people in your LinkedIn account. I found that your insights based on your experience working for a Japanese company are important. While cultural differences need to be taken into account, I am certain their customers appreciate the New Years cards. It makes the experience more personalized.

Comment on Give and Take: Personal Learning Networks by Annie

I, too, am guilty of being more of a Taker than a Giver, and I’d think that many people would fall into that same category. As you’ve mentioned, it’s much easier to be a Taker than a Giver, given the time and effort it takes to be a Giver. I think that you’ve found a good balance, though, with staff writing at a media outlet and remaining a frequent blogger by way of your personal blog. There are relatively few Givers that no matter how “little” a Giver contributes, it’s bound to add up and make an impact. If every Giver considered their efforts to be too insignificant, they’d stop and we’d be far more wanting of content as a result of it.

Keeping in Touch

After Julie’s Learner Lecture on Dunbar’s number, the subject has been on my mind for quite a bit. In particular the part about how people are replaced by others when ties are weakened. As a person who takes friendship very seriously and prefers small, extremely tight friend groups to meeting a lot of acquaintances, it pains me to think that every time I talk to a friend, I am possibly compromising the time and relationship I have with another person. As a graduating senior, I have heard from friends that have graduated about the loneliness of being an introvert working adult fresh out of school. It’s true – when you don’t see your friends every day like you do in school, ties weaken and relationships change.

Unconsciously, I have been reacting to Dunbar’s number all this while. At the end of summer, I told myself that for the next year, I will only keep relationships that count. I will only meet new people and make new friends if they are introduced by close friends and have the potential to develop into long lasting relationships, knowing subconsciously that I do not have the social capacity to ‘deal with that many people’. So far, I believe my techniques have been fairly successful. I see the friends I truly care about at school nearly everyday, and have made a handful of new friends whom I consider to have entered my ‘close circle’ (probably in the process displacing some others). Even though as someone who has been working for years and who will be entering the workforce full time soon, I am always told that I need to network, but I think my time in a Japanese company has taught me one very important thing about relationships: it takes time.

Whether it’s a professional relationship or friendship, in order for it to become a close tie, it takes time. And we are talking about years. I once worked for a Bay Area start-up that wanted me to liason with an ancient big-name Japanese company for them. I spoke to the Japanese company which was amicable and told the start-up that if we continued the friendly relationship between the two companies and in time prove that the start-up is trustworthy and profitable, we would be able to move towards the next step. The start-up refused because ‘start-ups have no time for such things’. I eventually left the start-up and found out that their deal with the Japanese company fell through and now they have retracted completely from the Japanese market despite a hopeful start.

It also takes regular maintenance, as Dunbar’s number has pointed out (although not in the sense of a physical interaction). That’s the reason why all Japanese companies send out New Year cards to their partners, VIP customers and investors annually – not to appeal to them in case they come in useful in the future, but to thank them for keeping a relationship and in some cases, to show that ‘they care’. (This is probably also the case with Christmas cards here/in UK, even though I don’t know how many people still religiously keep up the practice)

In a very similar sense, I believe that managing social media is the same thing. Everyone has a ‘Dunbar’s number’ for how many social media sources or how much online information they can consume. This is why successful social media accounts not only post regularly, but also post good content, because you have to maintain the relationship with your followers, or you will eventually get replaced by another source.

I digress. As I gear up to leave school, I will always remind myself of the kind of friend and person that I want to be. I want to value quality over quantity, and I want to be a person that truly treasures each of my relationships, instead of having many that can ‘advance my career’. I don’t believe in aggressively seeking forging relationships for the sake of moving upwards. This is perhaps a difference in mindset with many people, but I think of it as analogical to a newbie blogger – if you keep at what you do, and value that people that follow you and read your blog, eventually something good will come out of it. So far, this has proven to be a good mantra for me, and I think I will bookmark this post so that I can always go back to it if I ever do lose myself.