Be less polite

I’m reading a piece in which Aliza Sherman recaps a ‘golden rule’ of online discussions – Listen before jumping in. Of course this is fine for joining ongoing discussions, but it is no good when you want a group of students to –start– talking!

The full quote, from a piece called 10 Golden Rules of Social Media, is

In the ’90s, the Golden Rule of posting to a Usenet Newsgroup or other online community was to listen first before speaking. Listening thoughtfully gives you a better sense of not only what people are saying but also how they are feeling.

Now this is indeed great advice in ongoing discussions, and I do wish people would pay attention to it in some places. However, whenever I try to get students talking about anything online (unless it is for grades and under a deadline!) they mostly sit back politely and wait for others to say something. So I guess I need to encourage them to be less polite and a more pushy. How do I ‘carrot’ this – extra marks for early posting in the first three weeks to get them in the habit?

Hat tip to Zen Habits who flagged the item on Twitter

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