New Media Made Easy: Wikis, RSS, & Twitter Defined

common-craft-logo.jpgBack up the train. When I started Shaping Youth, I’d been writing in very basic form for the now dormant Common Sense Media blog, using easy explanations to discuss how commercialism and digital ads were influencing kids at undetected levels far off parental radar.

Since then, Shaping Youth has evolved to a deeper level of analysis of media messaging, and I realize I have to slap myself out of the myopia of Silicon Valley “Web 2.0 early adopter” digital chatter, because it IS true the rest of the country does NOT tweet, bleep, poke, feed or chirp in quite the same cacophony of mediaspeak.

Loyal readers e-mail me a ‘whoa nelly!’ when I need to ‘back up’ a bit, and my own nonprofit board keeps me in check by saying, “um, so what IS machinima film-making in virtual worlds really mean? And what’s all this about kids creating cool avatars?”

Thanks to the Common Craft Show, short video clips that make sense for the masses, you can now have a quick snapshot of each of these new media formats. (e.g. here’s their latest one explaining Twitter) Now a quick click can answer burning questions like…

“What does it do? Why should I care? How are kids using this media?”

Why would I want to?


How are the tools being used by marketers? Nonprofits? Peer groups reaching kids in new media forms?”

So with that, I present to you my favorite primers to get up to speed on new media forms with full acknowledgment that our YOUTH advisors (much less mainstream moms) often could care less about some of these formats.

Now, you can cherry-pick them on a ‘need to know’ basis and apply them in ways that may be relevant to your life. Or not.

Here ya go…enjoy!!

Twitter in Plain English

Related Shaping Youth posts on Twitter:

Media’s Positive Impact on Kids: Twitter Sends An Orphan to College

(related: Flickr screenshot showing instant mobilization/use of the media)

Teen Heroes: Twitter Journalism & Media Transparency

Teen Twitter: Mobile Social Media Minutiae

Shaping Youth’s Favorite Common Craft Show Primers

Online Photo Sharing in Plain English (Flickr, PhotoBucket, Webshots & more)

Wikis in Plain English

RSS in Plain English

Social Networking in Plain English

Social Bookmarking in Plain English (even though I still default ‘the old way,’ I NEED to transition to this…and of course, I could add their Blogs in Plain English show, but if you’re reading this, chances are, you’ve already got that one down!)

Common Craft also has a blog…so I’ll toss in my favorite (unrelated to education/media literacy) humor piece called ‘Having an Old Dog’ which strikes a chord with me in my animal kingdom here of beasties, rescue dogs and assorted critter companions. (see Shaping Youth’s kids, grieving/pet loss)

Common Craft is right up there with Free Range Studios in the Shaping Youth “I heart so & so” realm of simple media deconstruction and positive picks. Brava!


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