In Common this Week: Where to Find out about What’s New on The Commons

Welcome back fellow Commoners!

The Commons is a digital network which, at it’s core, is a network of people. During weeks like this one, when people are gearing up for a holiday, there’s a natural ebb to the activity on the Commons. Most people will be blissfully away from there serious work for a day or two, long enough to enjoy time with their family and friends. I know I’m hoping to be!

I’ve been taking a German reading class all semester to satisfy a language requirement and recently the instructor talked about how German allows new words to be created easily. One of her examples was vergoogelt, which means “to Google too much.” I’ve definitely fallen into the Google pit, when you start looking up one topic and stand up from your lap top two hours later researching something complete different. So this week, instead of highlighting a few new sites, I’ve decided to share some of the best ways to find out about what people are doing on the Commons and you can do your own vergoogelt-ing. All of these are ways I follow activity daily as part of the work to put together this blog. Each week I try to highlight some of the most interesting sites, or sites activity based on a theme, but the truth is there much more that doesn’t make it into these weekly posts. The only way to find out about what people are doing is to jump into the streams. . .

The Commons Home Page – Putting this on my list might seem like cheating, but it’s genuinely the only place that brings together most of the separate streams. You can see recent site posts but also group activity. WordPress sites get all the glory but Commons Groups are where much of the real collaborative activity happens. Some groups, like the Events Group, are open to the public and allow any Commons user to post information on upcoming events that might be of interest to fellow Commoners. Some groups require permission to join, but you can’t learn about them until you take a look!

Site Directory – Accessible from the main navigation menu (Sites), this list sorted by date shows you not only recent posts to sites around the Commons but also sites that have just been started. If you see a site about something your interested in, you can contact the authors and see how to get involved. Taking a look at this list every once in a while also helps you get a handle on what organizations are producing the most content.

Recent Activity – This list is the hardest to find (from the main navigation menu click News but not the drop down menu item), but is one of the best. Like the other two streams, this is ordered with the most recent activity first. This list is similar to the Commons Home Page in that it brings together several streams, but unlike the Home Page it integrates everything into one list. You can see who has joined the Commons most recently, who have recently become “friends,” who has joined groups, which groups or sites are new, and recent posts, comments, or group activity. This is probably the most comprehensive stream on the Commons.

So go get vergoogelting!

 

All the best,

Paul

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