University Web Developers

University Web Developers

Discussion topics for the Social Media Summit will be chosen by participants. What are the relevant topics and issues for higher education? Here is a list of some of my ideas to get us started:

How do you measure the value of social media?

How do you make the case to senior management to utilize social media?

How do you coordinate social media efforts across a large campus? Is this possible or desirable?

What's the next big thing is social media?

Is social media just the latest buzzword for Web 2.0

Are the cultures of some insitutions simply not ready for social media?

Please add your comments and suggestions. I look forward to your participation.

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Replies to This Discussion

Several questions to add:

What are examples of higher education institutions that are currently using and endorsing the use of social media? For these examples, what forms of social media are being used and how?

When social media is being used in higher education, what are students saying about it? Do they think it's effective? Has its use enhanced their learning in classes? If so, how? If not, why not?
I was discussing your last question just yesterday with a recent MIT graduate. She had several examples of how Facebook allowed her to find alumni in some far-flung location and that greatly expedited projects she was working on. As Facebook has evolved over the years and its user base matured, it has grown into something that is converging on LinkedIn in some ways.
I am currently trying to pin down ideas as to how I can communicate to our campus community regarding:

Who on the campus does / should decide which technologies to adopt and which to avoid? (we have little consensus as to who should 'own' the decisions)

Where is the line between a student's 'personal' social world and the one within the university - where is the line between the all important free speech we have as individuals and the sometimes required 'restraint of message' demanded by top executives?

How do you control or wrangle or unify the inevitable 'rogue' behaviors to achieve quality controls when central administration is not possible?

What level of 'freedom' do you allow / police with regards to the students and faculty and their presence in the university's front facing networked environments?

What technologies are the most advantageous from an integration and 'automation' standpoint? Which have some benchmark

Has anyone got a model for a really effective was to integrate various social tools with one another - so you get the online presence to all the different corners using APIs and widgets to allow the social channels to interact so there is little replication of information - and reduce the overhead of the labor required to update different social sites?

Does anyone already have university-wide policies or university standards in place at their institution for this that could be used as a good model?
I've seen the following come out of my day-job's corporate communications group as guidance for blogging. Edited slightly for an academic setting.

As an owner or contributor to a [university]-sponsored blog, I agree to the following conditions and responsibilities:

To focus my postings on topics that are broadly related to work or studying at [institution] and to encourage the generation of new ideas and discourse related to these topics.
To abide by existing policies concerning the use of information technology, the protection of information (including the proprietary information of partners), and the protection of sensitive material.
To conduct myself professionally and treat other students/blog commenters with respect.
To respect copyright and fair use laws.
To assume personal responsibility for my posts.
To be authentic and transparent. Bloggers should write their own blog posts.
...and would we want someone on our campus making the decision to adopt/not adopt; i.e. based on what metrics; based on whose agenda.
Very interesting topics. To add my two cents; I'd like to see or discuss a case sample of successful use of social media to drive ROI.
How do we approach social media with a little healthy skepticism, remembering the tech industry's predisposition to "hype" for IPO's sake? How many of the social media tools really add value and not just workload. The industry is in dire need for aggregators to help marketing directors manage the many conversation streams we're promulgating. Until those mature, how much time and money should we really spend enriching the fortunes of today's 20-year-old tech flash-in-the-pan superstars whose tech solutions will soon be obsolete or absorbed.

What tools are absolutely essential, and which ones are just fun for the technorati to play with?



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