getting introduced: a description for group of patterns

January 13, 2007

This article aims to be give an overview of “getting introduced” patterns description attempt written down with actions and operations.

To introduce one possibility of “getting introduced” patterns, some example cases are presented.

Example from the iCamp project trial:

The learning activity started simultaneously at four separate universities: Tallinn University (Estonia), University of Science and Technology (Poland), Kaunas University of Technology (Lithuania), Isik University (Turkey). During the first week the activity took place in distributed spaces tagged together by the centralised demand from the trial facilitators. Learners at each site were instructed to create blog accounts in WordPress.com to present themselves to the international participants. All the participants of the trial were supposed to create accounts in del.icio.us social bookmarking service by using the common tag „iCamp“ for all the links related to the trial. Additional tag „blog“ was to be used for indicating the blogs of participants and collecting them in the common virtual space. They tagged their blogs with deli.icio.us, thus creating the common workingspace from where the participants from four countries could get in touch with each others. The Skype accounts and the emails were published by tagging as well. Students were encouraged to visit each others’ blogs and comment them for establishing the international teams with four members. This was realised as the learner-centered initiative. By the end of week several teams were formed and announced in individual blog spaces. From this point on, after one of the team members had created the shared blog for the team, the activity was shifted from the individual to the collaborative spaces.

Another example from Christopher D. Sessum:

Weblog community created in an Elgg environment
This site is designed to support a face-to-face course wherein I created a “motherblog” that serves as an announcement space and coordination hub connecting participants and their weblogs. Each week students use their weblogs to reflect on weekly class readings and discussions as well as turn in all written assignments and projects. We also use the community space as a document distribution site for class readings and lecture notes/powerpoints.

Examples from Donna Cameron and Terry Anderson.
Collaborative Learning Activities Using Social Software Tools

Register for an account. Log on to the web site and read 3 examples of completed profiles. Create and save your own profile. Read recent blog postings to see how others are using the site. Create your first blog posting. Use this posting to introduce yourself to other students on the web site. Give a brief personal history, list the courses you are taking, explain why you are using the site, etc.
Use the search component or the Random tags link to find another undergrad student who has listed an interest, like or dislike that you share.Read the student’s profile and email the student with a question about your similar interest, like or dislike. Make sure to provide a brief introduction and to tell the student that you connected with them through website. Ask the student to email you with one detail about their life related to their family, work, or pastimes that they did not include in their website profile.This activity could be done with more than one partner or by all of the students in a course.
Go to the Your Network area and either join or create a community. Use the search function to find other learners on website that have similar interests. Invite others to join and participate in your new community. This activity could be lead by a course instructor to create a community for their course or could be completed by individual students who are interested in joining or creating communities.
Use the search function in website to find another student in your course and read their profile. Email the student with an invitation to make a connection in real time using instant messaging software or an Internet calling program. Arrange a time to connect. Interview the student about his or her experience in the course so far.Try the file transfer or text messaging options that are part of the instant messaging system by sending a picture or a web site link.
The instructor creates a community for the course. The instructor responds to questions and posts course information on their website blog. All students in the course become members of the course community and have the opportunity to interact with the instructor and other students in the course. New course participants can read through old postings to get help on a variety of course topics.

It would be nice to add a pattern of getting introduced in systems like Flickr etc..
Flickr information gives some hints how to..

You can give your photos a “tag”, which is like a keyword. Tags help you find photos which have something in common. Feedback is immediate. As soon as you assign a tag to an item, you see the cluster of items carrying the same tag. If that’s not what you expected, you’re given incentive to change the tag or add another. You can assign as many tags as you wish to each photo. If your friends add Notes and Tags it helps make your photos that much easier to find, since all this info is searchable later. In Flickr, you can invite people, which automatically creates an account for them, so only they can see your photos or comment on them. You can also form Private Groups or Public Groups for interest groups. And you can all chat and share pictures in FlickrLive. Using Flickr Organizr, you can sort all your photos into Sets, which are sort of like albums. You can also add a whole big batch of photos to a group photo pool using Organizr. You can form groups for events. Then all the members can put their photos together in one spot.
Individuals have attempted to make use of the site’s free service and simple tagging feature to express a collective point; for example the writer Rob Walker has spawned a haunting series of photos that are all tagged Mlkblvd to bring together photos of the many streets and boulevards across America that have been named for Martin Luther King Jr.

Group formation in different communities
Nancy White

The Single Blog/Blogger Centric Community…readers begin returning to early bloggers’ sites, commenting and getting to know not only the blogger, but the community of commentors. The one blog is owned by one owner or organisation. There may be more than one blogger writing in a blog, but this is not an aggregation of blogs.
There is little opportunity for members to change, add to or adapt the environment.
The central identities of these communities are the blog owners. Their identities are the best known in the community. The commentors’ identities might emerge over time, but more likely, as commentors get to know each other, they share their personal details via private email, instant messaging and other forms of ‘backchannel’.

Topic centric communities have no single technological platform, with each blogger selecting their own tool. What links them is hyperlinks, in the form of blogrolls, links to other blogs within blog posts, tagging, aggregated feeds (using RSS), trackbacks and comments.
Having a shared tag, a key word that bloggers can attach to their individual posts, can mark a post as relevant to a community.
Tools that aggregate posts from blogs or even tagged posts can blur the boundaries of each individual blog, creating what appears to be a unified collection of posts, assembled on the fly as individual bloggers add posts.

Boundaried communities are collections of blogs and blog readers hosted on a single site or platform.
Typically members register and ‘join’ the community and are offered the chance to create a blog. This boundary makes them the closest form to traditional forum based communities.
Often these communities have other tools such as discussion boards, social networking features, wikis and instant messaging built in. The blogs are part of the overall ecosystem. There is less emphasis on RSS and cross linking because those features are built into the technology in other ways. Because they are within a defined boundary, bloggers can see and easily access other blogs. They can, if they wish, link but mostly within this closed system and they seem to link less often outside of the community.

Group formation around artifact
Flat classroom

In this two-week project, students will be grouped with one student from each high school classroom to explain, explore, and discuss topics from the Thomas Friedman book The World is Flat. This page serves as the central hub for project management and topics concerning this project students should go to the Notify Me tab to subscribe to the RSS feed via their RSS reader. (Westwood uses Netvibes, ISD uses Bloglines and Protopage)
Students are to create a short audio introduction to themselves and either embed it on this page or create a hyperlink to an external player. In the introduction consider sharing this information:
Who you are, how to pronounce your name, a common or nickname you prefer to use
A brief overview of your position in your family and at school (grade, classes etc)
Your interest and thoughts about the project so far
Actions like: Recording, uploading audio, sharing audio messages are suggested.

“Getting introduced” patterns involve at least 3 activities.
ACTIVITY: Establishing connections
ACTIVITY: Getting to know
ACTIVITY: Grouping

Each of these activities can be carried out by selecting the following actions:
Assess, evaluate
any other?

Each of the actions can be performed by parallel, sequential or parallel-sequential flow of operations.

Define, describe, explain
Justify, argument, reason
Search (by hyperlinks, by search, by tagging)
Aggregate (=assemble RSS, etc.)
Publish, release, send
Compose, construct
Illustrate, visualize
Direct order
Indirect order, intention, guideline
Request for repair, prompting, hinting
Request for confirmation
Follow, attend, (listen, watch, view), Observe
Partial accept, pumping information
Reject, negative feedback, conform, defend
Displace, splicing
Hypothesis, guess
Classify, categorize
Infer, explain
any other?


Intention 1. “Getting to know” for establishing the community

Goal1: Introducing oneself to the other subjects by making public statements with ones’ representations in the areas of behaviours, competences, knowledge, imaginations, and community belonging

ACTIVITY: Establishing connections
Subgoal: Entering into the dialogue with the others in the community (in forums, chat, audio, video, blogs, tags)

*ACTION: Searching for community activity-space by keywords
Guess community keywords
Search community keywords (by hyperlinks, by search)
Analyse/infer community identity (meaningspace and action space) by keywords
Connect with the community activity-space (blogs, forums, chat etc.)

*ACTION: Searching for community activity space by tags
Guess community tags
Search community tags (by folksonomies, by tags e.g. del.icio.us, by tagsurf, by search)
Analyse/infer community identity (meaningspace and action space) by tags, tagclouds etc.
Aggregate with the community activity-space (RSS aggregators, tagging, web 2.0 software etc.)

*ACTION: Creating the community
Aggregate the community area (with blogs or aggregators)
Search (by hyperlinks, by search, by tagging) for interested potential members
Connect with members (email, forum, comments on their blogs)
Demonstrate the community area
Ask to join
Create user access to the community area (shared blog, wiki, google.docs.com) or aggregate their private areas (RSS) or give automatic membership by initial login to the community area (LMS systems)

*ACTION: Presenting information in asynchronous format
Create username and password (email, forum, shared blog)
Log in (email, forum, shared blog)
Compose, construct a contribution (email, forum, shared blog)
Publish, release, send a contribution (email, forum, shared blog), or use a central desktop software for publishing
Receive others’ contributions, (email, forum, shared blog) or use a central desktop software for receiving
Record important contributions if necessary (email, list) or bookmark (blog) and tag (blog)
Observe, follow the community thread (email, list, forum, shared blog)
Request for confirmation of any contributions (comments to blog entries, continue thread in forum, reply email)
Accept contributions (same as previous)
Partial accept of contributions, pumping information about contributions (…)
Adopting the meaning of contributions (…)
Rejecting contributions, negative feedback to the contributions (…)
Displace contribution meaning with your meaning in thread by publishing new contribution (forums, blogs)
Request for repair, prompting, hinting (…)
Direct order (…)
Indirect order, intention, guideline (…)

*ACTION: Regulating appointment-time and -tools for synchronous appointment (forum, shared blog, email)
same operation types as in previous

*ACTION: Regulating technical requirements for synchronous appointment (chat, audio, video)
same operation types as in previous

*ACTION: Presenting information in synchronous dialogue (chat, audio, video)
same operation types as in previous
Splice to the thread
Model, illustrate or visualise on synchronous whiteboard tool

ACTIVITY: Getting to know
Subgoal:Exchanging statements about each other in the areas of behaviours, competences, knowledge, imaginations, and community belonging

ACTION: Presenting oneself to the public by dialogue acts:
*me as a social being (behaviours I follow and accept),
*me as a knowledgeable being („knowing that“, „knowing how“ I follow and recognise),
*me as a creative being e.g. imaginations i create and have affinity to,
*my alignment and to some communities (engagenment in communities practicing certain „that and how“ of knowledge, with general affinity to certain others’ creations and imaginations, and alignment to certain forms of membership and ownership)

Will be carried out with the actions: Presenting information in a/synchronous dialogue
Define, describe, explain
Justify, argument, reason

ACTION: Presenting oneself to the public by artifacts
*one’s objective representations (collections of photos, films, CV about myself): *characteristics of myself (how I look like) and me in activities („knowing how“), and with whome I am acting together in represented activities (general representation who are my peers and my active role in the community)
*One’s knowledge artifacts (theories, writings, blogs, models, collection of links I have created or selected)
*One’s subjective representations (photos, art, music, films etc. I have created or selected to represent me)
*Tools, programs i use

Aggregating (RSS feeds of social image accounts; group-tags in social image accounts, form groups in social image accounts etc.)
Publishing (blogs, wikis, portfolios)
Sending (email)
Transferring (instant messaging tools)

Subgoal: Feedback for showing understanding who are the other subjects in respect to oneself, and positioning oneself in respect to the others by interpreting publicly others’ represenations of themselves in respect of one’s own representations in the areas of behaviours, competences, knowledge, imaginations, and community belonging

ACTION: Reflecting one’s interpretation of the others and positioning oneself by dialogue acts
*Stating to the others what is one’s interpretation of the others’ behaviours and how one is positioning itself in respect of the others’ behaviours
*Stating to the others what is one’s interpretation of the others’„knowing how/what“ compared with ones’s own
*Stating to the others what is one’s interpretation of the others’ imaginations and creations, and indicating one’s affinity to these
*Stating to the others what is one’s interpretation of the others’ alignment to some communities, and indicating one’s wish to be inclined to those communities

Will be carried out with the actions: Presenting information in a/synchronous dialogue
Define, describe, explain
Justify, argument, reason
Hypothesis, guess
Infer, explain

ACTION: Feedback for reflecting one’s interpretation of the others’ public objects and positioning oneself
*Interpreting others’ knowledge artifacts and positioning oneself publicly in respect to this knowledge (favouring „that and how“ in others’ knowledge artifacts) (in blogs, by tagging)
*Interpreting others’ subjective representations (photos, art, music, films etc.) and indicating one’s affinity to these (by rating, in blogs)

Subgoal: Establishing that other subjects have understood, who I am and state publicly in the dialogue acts that they have interpreted the representations of myself correctly, also if necessary, being ready for elaborating the statements of oneself in order to be understood.

ACTION: Presenting and feedback with dialogue acts for grounding unclear matters of the statements about ones’ behaviours, competences and knowledge, imaginations and belonging, and the others’ interpretations of these
*Showing agreement when the others have understood me as a person correctly
*Adopting ones’ public statements according to the other subjects when there is a misunderstanding about who i am.
*Requesting for information more information what else would the other subjects want to know about myself
*Showing disagreement only if someone has got a wrong impression of myself. Disagreement should be followed by requesting for more information and adopting one’s statements.

ACTIVITY: Grouping
Subgoal: Forming groups for performing tasks and keeping the group identity

ACTION: Grouping – Single user centric group
*Aggregate (community blogs with owner, RSS feeds from motherblog to students blogs) can be facilitator-centered or one-student centered
Send (email)
Define, describe (blog comments)
Compose, construct (…)
Publish release send (…)
Connect (RSS feed)
All the communicative operations (…)

ACTION: Grouping – Central connecting topic group
*Aggregate (RSS feed, shared tags, blog comments, tracebacks)
Connect (hyperlinks)
Define, describe (blog comments)
Compose, construct (…)
Publish release send (…)
Connect (RSS feed)
All the communicative operations (…)

ACTION: Grouping – Boundaried groups (LMS systems and hosted platforms)
less emphasis on RSS and cross linking
Define, describe (blog comments)
Compose, construct (…)
Publish release send (…)
All the communicative operations (…)

ACTION: Grouping – Dynamically changing groups
needs to be developed how
Some ideas come out in Memmi’s article about flexible membership groups that need less awareness of each other and the identity of members, but need a shared goal and cultural context for working on shared outcome.



  1. It seems a group of patterns related to community management and monitoring could be of interest as well.

    ACTION: Monitoring one’s community
    This may take place through dashboards

    Some of my own examples how the person interested in community building might use the dashboard are here:

  2. interesting site.hope to comes back again.

  3. To make this kind of patterns a lot of experiences from different learning situations must be collected. So i am happy to all the contributions as the raw material for seeing some trends.

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