In several of my blog posts (1, 2, 3) I’ve explored the idea that online social learning can be supported by giving participants at social networking websites better options and tools for learning. Encouraging people to ask questions is a simple improvement that can be made to all social networking software tools.
Even Wikipedia, which has largely been anti-social networking, has a reference desk where questions are asked and answered by volunteers. One of the nice features of most blogs is that readers can use “comments” to ask questions.
Formspring made a social networking site that encourages participants to ask questions and Tumblr added a feature for asking questions. Is the addition of tools for asking questions a good start towards moving social networking sites past the “like” button towards meaningful learning opportunities?