Happy New Media Year

Over the holidays I’ve tried to take a proper break from twitter. It’s becoming such an integral part of my work life, I wanted a break. However, twitter is one of those things that does cross work/life boundaries so it is hard to keep completely away and tonight (again) twitter and the BBC illustrated the power of the social web and data visualisation.

In case you weren’t aware tonight was the 60th anniversary of the equally loved and maligned radio soap “The Archers“. Tension has been building in the press over the past few weeks. Being Radio 4 it’s been in all the broadsheets!

Ultimately this extended half hour episode was a bit of a let down (no thud, not that much screaming). But the twitter stream using the #sattc (shake Ambridge to the core) hash tag more than made up for script deficits. And the live website, mashing up tweets and plot lines with some great visualisations really showed how real-time social data from an engaged and (mostly) articulate community can be used.

I’m hoping in 2011 we’ll be able to see some similar experiments within the educational community. What’s our equivalent sattc hash tag? What messages can we effectively visualise – innovation? impact? itcc (in the current climate)? And how can we ensure that the people making decisions about funding for HE can see the the collective thoughts of our equally engaged and articulate community?