Quick thoughts on different yik yak herds


I’ve blogged before about my largely positive experiences experiences on yik yak, and how it might even be a useful tool for engaging with students on various topics. I’ve been chatting with another Yik Yak lecturer and even thinking about some kind of Yik Yak workshop for staff to discuss approaches to it.

I’m in London on a short trip and there’s a noticable difference in the ‘herd’ here, which got me wondering if Durham is a bit of an anomoly.

Firstly becuase London is obviously so big there isn’t really a ‘herd’ as such, whereas at Durham there is a fairly clearly defined single group. I live 2 miles outside the city and can’t quite access it  without using the basecamp feature. I guess a future post could explore the edges of the herd.

Perhaps because of this yik yak where I am now is active, but nowhere near as active as Durham, and offensive posts stick around for longer (there’s some fairly shocking stuff up, even to me!). I think this affects the overall tone.

The content itself is the usual mix of uni stuff (there are a couple of unis close by), rude and recycled jokes and nonsense. I posted something up about a uni topic and was surprised to get the following response:

image

You can see that in a few minutes it got a some net positive votes, the next morning it was on +7, which in the context of this herd is quite a lot.

I reponded and there was a limited debate. It had never really occurred to me that students might feel this way, I have no idea how common this might be.

It is a timely reminder not to assume that technology is used in uniform ways, and the importance of external factors on culture (density, frequency of posts, mix of users etc.).

The thread did end with a more supportive comment 😆

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About digitalscholar

I am a sociologist with an interest in new technology. Previously I’ve worked on a number of projects at Lancaster University and the Open University looking at the use of new technologies and social media by researchers. I was also a social sciences teaching fellow at the foundation centre at Durham University teaching sociology and anthropology. I am now a senior lecturer at the University of West London's Institute for Teaching, Innovation and Learning where I oversee the foundation provision and support retention. I'm sure I'll still be interested in, and occasionally blog about, tech related things. I use this blog to post thoughts about using new technologies in my professional academic life and wider thoughts and links relating to technology more generally.
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