As I was thinking about ways to wish my colleagues and online friends a happy holiday, I thought of how, at home, we traditionally send Christmas cards and a photo of the kids, and sometimes, a letter.
Most of the cards are mailed to people we don't see very often. We also love getting cards, letters, and photos of our friends. It simply is a way to stay in touch with people we see way too little.
I have often described relationships, partnerships, and the learning process in the online environment are much like those processes and relationships in the physical office and learning environments. The processes online mimic the processes we have in-person.
My question became how do I send holiday greetings to those I know mostly online? Most of my online friends, I have met at conferences and see once, maybe twice, a year. However, through twitter, blogging, and even social bookmarking, I know these acquaintances much better.
What is an appropriate online holiday wish "card"? Facebook offers ways to send holiday wishes through wall posts; I certainly enjoy getting holiday wishes on my wall in Facebook.
For my online holiday greetings, I wanted my contacts in Facebook, Twitter, as well as others, to receive the greeting. I also wanted to utilize online technologies that enable expressions in ways beyond text and a single photo graph.
Blending family, work, and online activities
While there is a clear distinction between my family and professional life, there are also many reasons and ways to blend the two. Discussions at home about work and discussions at work about home help build respect and understanding among those we work with and those we live with.
I began the process of creating a video when I tweeted I was looking for Christmas music to embed in a animoto video, but having trouble finding music I could distribute. Daniel Maher of Yorkshire, UK, responded by sending his version Silent Night and Dreaming of a White Christmas on a mp3 file. Many Thanks Danny!
Note: the lesson learned is that Twitter works! I have never personally met Danny, but because of a few previous Twitter conversations, he offered his help. He contacted me through Facebook and then sent me the file through email. These systems that generate weak ties help create products and ideas, I have no doubt.
Among the season's celebrations and worship, this time of the year is also a time of reflection--a time to think about events, accomplishments, contacts, and learning that occurred throughout the year. The video is a summary of events, including family, work, and online activities. Although most of the images will mean nothing to you, you will recognize a few from my phatic Twitter posts or from the conferences we attended.
May you have a joyous holiday season and best of year ever!
Photos, images, and ideas for the video were provided by: Anne Adrian, Kelly Adrian, Mark Bransby, Deb Coates, Floyd Davenport, Jonathan Davis, Kevin Gamble, Virginia Morgan, Greg Parmer, Ann Beth Presley, Rusty Presley, Scott Snyder, James Robinson, and Jason Young. In addition to family events, ACE / NETC and Red Imported Fire Ant conferences are highlighted.