And why this is a good thing
Miio is a new social network site to explore. Alright, I can already hear you groan, “Another one?” However, even if you feel you have social network fatigue, this platform’s one to watch. Many of the features that distinguish miio from Twitter and Facebook are described in the miio blog, but I’ll list a few of the ones that appeal to me, as someone interested in instructional design and training.
Easily find and create communities of interests
With miio, you can quickly identify communities of interests by searching for member characteristics (you add tags to your profile), by Groups, or by Categories where messages are posted. This makes the process of finding members to follow based on your inclinations (who you want to learn from, network with, find solutions for, or just chat with) easy. You can also view the Public stream because randomness is often quite interesting and affords a different perspective.
A view of current miio Group headings is shown below.
Groups are just starting and if you can’t find one you’re looking for you can easily create it to provide a virtual gathering place for folks.
The groups I started include:
4learning: Discuss learning approaches that don’t necessarily fit into the elearning or mobile learning categories. Bring your ideas, theories, best practices, and experiments, and share them here.
mlearning: Share best practices for creating mobile learning solutions.
elearning: Share information about elearning, educational technology, and best practices for education and training.
In Health & Wellness
hcsm: Support efforts to create more effective partnerships between patients and health care professionals, increase health literacy, and use communications and technology to enhance patient empowerment and participation in medicine.
So come join and share!
More opportunities for discussion
The lack of a 140 character limit is one of miio’s pluses and may appeal to those who perceive this aspect of Twitter as a deal-breaker when considering tools for education and training (though I submit that you can say quite a lot in 140 characters).
The feature I particularly like is the ability to see discussion threads. People are more likely to enter into discussions if they have some belief their miims (a miio equivalent of Tweets) aren’t lost in the stream of conversations going on. So unlike Twitter conversations, which are often the equivalent of shouting in a very crowded room, you can dive into particular conversations in some depth.
As noted in the miio blog:
- You can get a real-time notice each time a new message or reply is directed specifically to you
- Miio tracks conversations and notifies you when someone replies on a thread after you replied
- You can send, read and ‘reply all’ to messages via SMS when on the go.
The miio dashboard in more detail:
Miio allows you to send messages or miims which can include text, urls to images (which are posted as hyperlinked thumbnails), and videos that appear and can be played in your post.
If you’re trying to create a social network to support corporate training, but are concerned about privacy issues, miio makes it easy to toggle between public, semi-private, and private conversations. It’s also easy to create a private group. In this way, learners can avail themselves of a wider social network, yet enter into private chat mode if the context is appropriate.
Control over metatags
As you’ll note from the image of the message screen above, you can add metatags of your own choosing to help users find your post and identify a category that fits your post (for example, education). You don’t have to enter any metatags if you don’t want to. The default message state is public.
As noted above, you can perform searches for members, groups, and message categories. Miio also can track keywords and alert you when a conversation is happening that interests you. You can control what types of content you’re notified about and how you’re notified. (You won’t be notified about your own posts.)
You also can filter the miips that you see to view only:
- rss miims
- non-rss miims
- location updates
More features of miio are described in this short video
Other miio videos are being added here.
This is a new platform and if you use Twitter think back to your early experiences, because miio may take a while to grow on you. But now’s an exciting time to join because your input will be taken seriously by those managing and working on the site design/interface. You can also help shape community dynamics.
Twitter has a vibrant community and I’m not going to abandon it, since it has many uses I appreciate (as noted in this blog posting). However, as miio achieves critical mass, I can see it becoming a very valuable piece of an instructional design toolkit.