What I like about facebook is rather than students "commenting" on a given writing prompt, students have the option--through the facebook group page--to open a "document" and write. This document interface (complete with toolbar) is very similar to a Microsoft Word document page. Having students open a document in facebook and compose rather than "comment" on a writing prompt seems to trigger a more "formal" response. Students often format their response the same way they would if they were typing a Microsoft Word file (personal/assignment info in the top left corner, etc.). I'm finding this even in low-stakes assignments. I've never asked them to do this. They don't need personal information on the page--I can see exactly who posted what. And I can see exactly when it was posted.
Well, I'm now considering not only how I'm going to network with Michelle's class, but also how I might use 2.0 technology in my ENG099 classes next semester. One question I'm asking myself is Blogger vs. Facebook? One reason I'm interested in continuing with 2.0 technology is that I'm consistently pleased with the level of work produced in class. So pleased, in fact, that I'm considering having my students write more of their longer essay assignments in class. I like being able to counsel students during the composition process. They seem focused and aware and free of distractions in a way that I suspect is seldom true if merely set them free with an assignment to complete at home. I also found student in-class writing to be more focused last semester (in my ENG101 course) as well. With the ability to type (rather than scribble) essays during our two-hour sessions in the lab--why not have every essay (except the researched essay) an in-class assignment?