I talked not long ago of Networks of Practice and Learning Formations. I talked about learning effectiveness as a function of individual and network strength and possible optimizations of access to information and connections to people. And Twine is the perfect example of this. A networking site that incorporates evolutionary personalization of content and networking to meet your interest areas, Twine allows you create your own sub-networks and join and participate in related sub-networks of your choice.
A few interesting things that struck me about Twine which also echoed some of my thoughts. Firstly, when you create your Twine or sub-network, you can identify yourself as the administrator/originator. Secondly, you can set down (!) Rules for your Twine and take control of what others can publish to it. This second one is interesting because it defines the framework or funnel for all activities and resources in the group. Once you read the rules and decide to join, you are automatically “normed” to the group (exceptions being managed by the administrator). As a result, you would find a lot of focus and “seriousness” in the Twine. Consequently, the network would grow by including like-minded individuals with a specific aim of learning and sharing from each other, sort of like a community of practice. It would, of course, depend on the administrator’s individual strength and capacity to take this to a next step of concerted activities (to a more actively “performing” stage).
Thirdly, what interests me is their use of an evolutionary framework for personalization. They state that the more we ue Twine the better it would understand our interests and the more useful it would become. I echo that philosophy. It’s what Amazon started and countless other sites incorporated and enhanced.
The fourth interesting aspect, that of being able to collaboratively share social media, is semantically built into Twine using semantics around people, locations, organizations and tags. This specifies a particular epistemology for the Networks created through Twine that is intriguing to study and analyze. Perhaps it could be extended by aggregators like Yahoo! Pipes that could make it connected with the “outside the sub-network”, global network.
If we look at a sub-network as an “ingot of metal”, unified, coherent, possibly segregated, focused and perhaps fostering emergent and complex knowledge (the last is probably not true of Twine at the moment), then would it really be indicative of Learning 2.0? Isn’t it a very traditional 1.0 “style” (although “2.0” technology) learning platform?