MOOC pinterest board – final pin

I have made a final pin (and updated the anchor image) on my board explaining the activity would no longer be monitored (thanks to Jen for the advice on this). Having been set up for a particular purpose which had now more or less expired, I felt I could no longer give the board my  full attention.

As I was surveying all the comments made, it struck me that due to the board’s layout of having the first pins appearing at the bottom of the screen, and the newest ones appearing at the top of the screen, the image that was most appropriate for this activity is that of a loom.

Indeed, I feel Pinterest can be compared to a digital loom with patterns appearing, spread around the selected photos, reflecting the discussions and interactions.

I think this is a metaphor that works very well, reflecting the smooth/striated analogy that Sian Bayne’s refers to in her paper, when discussing Deleuze & Guattari:

The technological model Deleuze & Guattari provide as illustrative of these two types of space is one of textiles. Here, woven fabric is necessarily a striated space, with its gridlike form consisting of intersecting warp and weft. It is a space of closure: ‘the fabric can be infinite in length but not in width, which is determined by the frame of the warp; the necessity of a back and forth motion implies a closed space’ (p. 475).

I think this is such a beautiful metaphor, it totally appeals to my imagination!

With regards to Pinterest itself: although it is a creatively engaging platform, getting any analytics from it, is actually not that easy. Pins are listed individually and monitored against re-pins and likes. To get figures for the MOOC board, I know there are 71 followers and 24 pins. But for the comments for  each, I need to do a visual check, i.e. no graphs nor anything like getting the statistics. Perhaps the business model let’s you sign up for this…. (?)  It is something I would need to check in the FAQ (I had a quick look but like anything in this area takes hours to unravel…another nice fabric metaphor!)

So, taking final stock, here are my analytics (as per 16/2/2013):

Top for comments the pin on ‘sustainable learning’: 2 likes, 19 comments and 2 re-pins:






Top for re-pinned and likes:  the pin on Feedback with 6 likes, 9 comments, 5 re-pins






The pin on ‘why posts (on the discussion board) get rated’  interestingly receives 6 comments, but no likes, nor re-pins itself.






Finally, pins that have received no comments, nor repins at all:







I was quite surprised for the grasshopper metaphor: I thought that was such a visually engaging pin, yet nobody  seemed taken by it….

This has been an exciting activity, useful for evaluating an online platform which is both visually stimulating and participatory.

I believe it can be a great tool for classroom and MOOC engagement, but one must consider that, not surprisingly, the element of ‘feedback’ (itself a discussed pin) is a highly demanding activity and part of the opinion that supporting dialogue is such an important aspect of learning.



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Authorship (follow up)

In one of my previous posts, I questioned the position of the ‘author’ in the context of academic discourse, extended to the visual authorship in case of images.

On checking the FAQ page of Pinterest, below is their policy, and having signed up for this through usage, would of course cover all material:  user content would include images and comments, both mine and the MOOC participants.

A sobering thought…. where lies intellectual property?

b. How Pinterest and other users can use your content

You grant Pinterest and its users a non-exclusive, royalty-free, transferable, sublicensable, worldwide license to use, store, display, reproduce, re-pin, modify, create derivative works, perform, and distribute your User Content on Pinterest solely for the purposes of operating, developing, providing, and using the Pinterest Products. Nothing in these Terms shall restrict other legal rights Pinterest may have to User Content, for example under other licenses. We reserve the right to remove or modify User Content for any reason, including User Content that we believe violates these Terms or our policies.

c. How long we keep your content

Following termination or deactivation of your account, or if you remove any User Content from Pinterest, we may retain your User Content for a commercially reasonable period of time for backup, archival, or audit purposes. Furthermore, Pinterest and its users may retain and continue to use, store, display, reproduce, re-pin, modify, create derivative works, perform, and distribute any of your User Content that other users have stored or shared through Pinterest.

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Like even more

The act of liking on Facebook is now firmly embedded in our culture.

the statistics show:

  • 2.5 billion content items shared
  • 2.7 billion Likes
  • 300 million photos uploaded
  • 500+ terabyte data ingested

Although it is not always what it seems as far as the likes are concerned, the 300 million photos do not lie.

Uploading images is now a way of sharing our lives, not just via Facebook, but a vast array of social media. We invite our friends, we make public our digital uploads.

The act of aestheticising the daily life we live is becoming ubiquitous.



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in my reflection on the MOOC, I questioned the position of the ‘author’ in the context of academic discourse, extended to the visual authorship in case of images.

Commenting on Steph’s post regarding the Scottish Clan, I quoted Roland Barthes, whose article THE DEATH OF THE AUTHOR  offers an interesting perspective.

‘We know that a text does not consist of a line of words, releasing a single “theological” meaning (the “message” of the Author-God), but is a space of many dimensions, in which are wedded and contested various kinds of writing, no one of which is original: the text is a tissue of citations, resulting from the thousand sources of culture’

The diffuse nature of the internet offers a challenge and opportunities for authenticity and originality.

For the Pinterest board I did not feel particularly strongly  associated with the contents, both visual and textual. However, some good metaphors appeared. For instance the metaphor of digital agora or the idea of grasshopping are very strong ones. If I were to use this metaphor in any further writing, how could I refer to it? How would I refer to the original forum entry?

Could I use the Pinboard reference? Is this academically stable? is this of a scholarly content? Does it matter?

(to follow)

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