Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community


There is a school of thought out there somewhere to the effect that it's all a competition and that we need to be scoring ourselves and comparing that result with that of others. Just so we count things like (putative) authority, influence or klout. The Facebook Edgerank index is one of this type. Beth Kanter summarizes: "Edgerank is algorithm that determines if content on Facebook shows up on your fans or friends newsfeeds... Edgerank Checker makes it easy to check your score and provides a scale - it also gives you information about the best day of week for acquiring new fans and generating engagement."

One the one hand, some sort of metric probably makes sense as an assessment of integration and effectiveness within a network. On the other hand, the idea of counting things and comparing them seems to me to be missing the point. What is important, it seems to me, is not the number of connections, reblogs, retweets, etc., but rather, the organization of them. Being cited (say) by the other 30 people in your grade 8 classroom is one thing, being cited by 30 grade 8 students around the world something else, and being cited by 30 eminent scientists worldwide something else again. Numbers elevate the mundane into prominence by remaining silent on context.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Mar 30, 2021 11:39 a.m.