Blog Post

HASTAC's Potential - Intellectual Platform?

Intellectual Engagement

For the last decade, the constructs of society have been based around social involvement, communication and accessibility to information. The well known leaders and game changers have been large companies. These companies have effectively used technology to impact the ways in which people integrate themselves into an evolving society. Well know players have been Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Quora, Pinterest, and Stack Overflow.

These companies have all developed platforms which have allowed people to share and collaborate with each other on different levels. Hastac is not as large of a company, but its platform can be used in endless ways.

Thousands of users and institutions turn to Hastac for a means of intellectual collaboration, research, and access to new information across levels of higher education. Being a Hastac member gives you access to a huge database of information and knowledge. Not only are you free to blog on the ideas that matter to you, but you can also collaborate with those who have posted blogs as well.

The ability to share thoughts with other bloggers and question the ideas that some pose expresses the type of community that Hastac develops. The community encourages thoughtful collaboration and the blogs that people write are content rich which for the most part engage intellectual curiosity.

Hastac wins over an intellectually stimulated community though the ways in which it categorizes its information. All of the posts are organized into sectors such as tech, politics, humanities, and culture. These sectors thus allow both writers and readers alike to find information most relevant to their interests and potentially communicate directly with those in that topic.

While going through blogs in the tech sector, I seem to find myself overwhelmed with information because although many of these blogs relate to my field of study, the perspective and outside knowledge of these writers are formulated in a way that I never acknowledged before and for that reason I view Hastac as a powerful source of information and collaboration in today’s social climate.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/suren-ramasubbu/influence-of-social-media-...

https://www.fosi.org/good-digital-parenting/why-social-media-behavior-ma...!

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3 comments

I really like your post and wonder if you have personal experience with other blogging/micro blogging communities and can make a future comparison between your experience there and Hastac. You mentioned the more exclusive nature of Hastac where you need to be reviewed for approval to sign up. Do you think this effects the quality and genre of discussions? Professor Leuner mentioned that people on Hastac are nice! This does not sound very much like the internet. What could be the reason behind this different communitiy culture? Size, use of names, review?... 

Also what artciles did you find particularly interesting? You mention the technology section. 

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Thanks for your post, Deven. I agree that social media platforms provide a vast array of opportunities for intellectual exchange. But have you noticed how few serious posts have any comments or readership response? I often feel as if I'm shouting into an empty desert with my blogs and comments. Do you have any ideas about how we might make the population any denser so like minded people can find each other in cyberspace? Once an interesting post is found, how can we encourage interchange rather than lurking?

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From my experience on Hastac, I have noticed that there are many solid reads and posts that do not have any comments on them. It seems that the ones who post blogs regularly are the most likely to engage with other writers. I have looked at many different posts on Hastac and can say that on average, for about every 80 page views there is a corresponding comment. This ratio is what needs to be addressed.

 

Many people are reading these blogs in an effort to seek new intellectual curiosity, but not enough of these users find the need to engage with the text. One way to address this issue would be to enhance the website's user interface. While reading a post, users would be presented with a short question posed by the blog's writer. The user would have less than 100 words to address the question.

Over time there should be a growing list of responses to this question and due to the fact that a new reader can see how other readers have addressed the question, it encourages intellectual growth and some degree of shared collaboration. Taking this approach to blogging is definitely different than the established norms on most microblogging platforms, but I can see Hastac's potential in changing the ways in which people collaborate.

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