From Islands To Ecosystem: Connecting Social, Digital + Mobile
Jun 27, 2012
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The distinction between owned, paid and earned media is a good one and will have particular application in the field of online learning (perhaps unexpectedly). An open online course, for example, may be offered by an institution (and hence, have 'owned' content) and may depend on external content or distribution 'partners' (this would constitute the 'paid' portion of the course). But the really important part is the 'earned' media - that is, the creation of websites, blog and discussion posts, social media profiles, and the like, by participants in the course. It is the 'earned' media that has been most often ignored by some of the more recent online courses, proving that while you can buy size, it is a lot more difficult to earn it.

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