Thoughts on teaching, technology, learning and life in an era of change.
Seesmic versus Twitter versus Blogging
May 18th, 2008

This afternoon I thumbed through the old feed reader and a post by Kevin Lim caught my eye. He was exhorting one and all to take up Seesmic. I had seen it raised in blog posts before yet put it on the digital backburner. Then, a few weeks ago, Sarah Teo of U21Global mentioned how they had been using Seesmic as part of the delivery process of their various online MBA programmes.

What is Seesmic? Well if Twitter married YouTube you will get Seesmic.

Well, Kevin’s post stirred me into action and I sought out the old email invitation, copied the key and signed up. I sought out Kevin’s Seesmic profile and responded. I made a lame first post and then another tongue in check post in response to Kevin. I thought on that and wondered how would my employer and students react. I immediately posted another video about public versus private identity. That garnered an immediate reply from Mark Taylor. I have embedded the thread here if you wish to view it. Basically, be professional and apply some commonsense.

The exchanges are quite exhilarating and, in my humble opinion, leave Twitter for dead. Perhaps I am a visual learner. I began a thread on Seesmic versus Twitter versus Blogging. Quite a few picked up on that, including Christy Dena, Dean Terry, Andrew Brackin, Kevin Lim, Freida Wolden and Kamel Daoudi. The demographics and the geographical location of the respondents was diverse. The respondents included a young student from England, researchers from the USA and a retiree. A number of the conversations can be viewed on this page.

The discussion covered such topics as mockumentaries, ARGs, Second Life, avatars, World of Warcraft, historical recreations and collaborations. Useful, very useful.

I was surprised when Andrew Brackin joined the conversation from England. He was incredibly articulate. He may be 12 or so. You can see him pictured above. I have no idea how old he was. I was actually quite reluctant to respond to his observations given the paranoia here regarding online safety and the like. Would appreciate any input on that thought. I wonder how the books on Andrew’s shelves compare with Kevin’s? Addendum: Andrew is in the process of setting up This is Andrew’s blog.

The conversations obviously all exceeded 140 characters and the visual aspect is wonderful. I noticed that at one stage a number of participants were wearing sunglasses. I thought that was weird so I grabbed some wigs and some puppets and utilised those in the discussions. That caused others to wear hats. You can see some examples in the images above and below. It was a visual meme. Weird. Fun. Connectedness.

Well, what can I say? Give Seesmic a try. I feel it is quite useful. I found it quite liberating. Twitter feels like a closed shop. If you feel Twitter is not for you then give Seesmic a burl.

Postscript: Seesmic Wishlist

1. Could the Seesmic developers set up an education entry point for Seesmic so that some of the more controversial posts on the public timeline can be avoided?
2. Would love a tool that allows the downloading of a thread or selected posts in a thread as a combined single .flv, .mp4 or .m4v file.
3. A search engine for threads would be neat too…


Wikipedia: Seesmic
My Seesmic page

Seesmic ~ captured thread on public identity
Seesmic ~ thread of Seesmic versus Twitter versus Blogging

7 Responses to “Seesmic versus Twitter versus Blogging”

  1. Kevin Says:

    Well documented John! I’ve informed our fellow media socialists to try it, and as with any new media, met with some resistance. I’ll take a while for these newer media to become second nature. :)

  2. Seesmic: If you’re not convinced, here’s a story… at theory.isthereason Says:

    [...] night’s Seesmic conversation was a blast! With forty video replies, here’s an excerpt of John Larkin’s detailed account of what happened… Well, Kevin’s post stirred me into action and I sought out the old [...]

  3. Javed Alam Says:

    That is a very informative experiment about the use of different media. I was teaching a course titled “infotechtools for engineers” and I tried using different media. Student liked the video medium once they get a hang of it. It is more engaging and more natural when it comes to informal or semi informal conversations.

    Here are the web addresses:

    and some student responses

    It is very interesting. Also, I tried voicethread that allows text/audio/video comments here

  4. John Larkin Says:

    Thanks for the feedback Kevin and for your post that set the ball rolling. There was quite an impressive flow-on effect from that blog post and your seesmic videos. I guess one can say that your use of seesmic was seismic. Or, perhaps, your dropped a pebble into a pond and the ripples reached far and wide.
    Now, as for the other media-socialists… That is an enigma. It is interesting how such a progressive group extrinsically can perhaps become conservative intrinsically ~ perhaps the by-product of group formation.
    Cheers, John.

  5. John Larkin Says:

    Javed, I would like to thank you for your response and the links as well. I shall investigate each and repond in depth later. Regards, John.

  6. Seesmic creates waves ~ will you take the plunge? Says:

    [...] felt a little reluctant blogging about Kevin’s latest post because he blogs on about my Seesmic observations but he provides additional and valuable insights that are well worth your [...]

  7. Andrew Brackin Says:

    This is Andrew Brackin,
    Few things lol one i was 13 then i’m 14 now and my main blog is its a lot nice kwiddo is the content sharing site im making