Monday, November 26th, 2007
Again, very stream of consciousness. Apologies for typos and lack of coherent grammar.
Dr Stuart D Lee, Oxford University. Facebook for IT staff gathering. Gartner as the Bible… Disruptive technology. Interact where we have to as “advisors and guardians of IT”. Competitive, if it’s free, why are we paying internally? Burden on services. 1/7th of email from Facebook. Changing user expectations. Question of “Why are we paying IT?” Thema (master students usage survey). Possession of networks issues “Facebook and IM, it’s our network”. Use existing rules. Rate my professor. If you bring up issues, students are generally fine about it. Interesting problem: people using university id and password for 3rd party apps, high security risk. “Snooping on students” with facebook, fines, education on privacy in public way. The social/formal clash. Corporate identity with Web 2 issues, second life “waste of money”, misinformation, “who gave you the right to…” Who is accountable? Explore provision. Use the tools! Good point, if you don’t use them, how can you know how to manage them?
David Harrison, University of Cardiff. Disclaimer-tastic! User-centric vs organisation-centric, transcending boundaries. Users who want new things vs central services who want to control/support/secure. Primacy of the Acceptable Use Policy… Learning to relinquish sole responsibility. Practising safe IT, advice on usage. Safe IT event at student’s union. Identity control, lack of training in how to behave. IBM guidelines for blogging and so on. Roo Reynolds. Realms, a good breakdown of types and approaches to using blogs: Personal (but not corporate). Personal or group (work related). Group internet Presence (external collaboration in independent space). People are good at adapting to situation. Be supportive, not preventative. If you get in the way, you lose employees. Embracing work-life balance.
Monday, November 26th, 2007
A day of talks on the use of blogging in education, with live Second Life feed, web-cam and blog chatter… How very trans-literate! What follows is stream of consciousness:
Starting with some nice general overview from Brian Kelly, covering intro and general issues.
Next, Stephen Clarke, University of Birmingham. Managed blogging environments. Looking at risks. IT department risk aversion. Some blog comparisons: a poor institutional blog, erasmus blog and facebook abuse. Conclusions: good blog: safe, secure, reliable, controlled, acceptable use. Claims universities best places to hold these… Not something I’m convinced of, assumed university has technical quality, knowhow to provide quality web facility and that they have a right to control the student’s content. Why use a managed blog I cannot control, when I can join wordpress and have control? Plus copyright issues, who owns my content on a university blog? Overall negative view and lack of engagement with community.
Following on, Melissa Highton, University of Leeds. Using Elgg. Leeds University Values and how they marry up with Web 2. Wonderful Facebook community concept of “Lecturers should have their own entrance music”. Engagement with user groups. User research on management of information! “I know who knows”. Networking is already present, communities of practice, strong feeling of delineated zones, “student’s know the difference”. Feeling part of something an important aspect of the work. No promotion of the “better” content as promotional tool.
Alison Wildish, Edge Hill University. Aim to establish reputation online and off by word of mouth. No publicity is bad publicity? People will always talk, better you know what they’re saying… Blurring boundaries. Making it easy to contribute to social tools. “Use the tools that will compliment your teaching”, open approach. WordPress blogs, support environment, managing expectations, use for publicity, assistance. Use of external blogs, linked in to central site. Facebook integration of VLE and applications. Seen as just another channel. Appropriate use of technology. Not all good. Problems with false allegations made on Facebook. Used reporting tools. Quick response. Educate students! (and staff!) on managing an internet identity. Positive feedback: “bring back maturity … break down barriers between staff and students” Adopt use of APIs/aggregation, use tools to spread word. Netvibes-like university portal, though they do use lots of AJAX, which obviously will have implications for accessibility. Overall a very positive sounding approach with strong engagement with the real stakeholders.
Tom Milburn, The Student View. Behavior on Facebook is “leaving it on in the background”. 1400 freshers of 2000 in a Facebook group before at the University. Peer support, manage worries about appearing stupid to staff. 24hr, direct, informal contact, mentoring schemes. Usage for gaining survey responses for final year research. Problems with closed communication channels “not related to university”, difficult to deal with consequences of online actions. Used Facebook flyers to promote advice on security and identity management. 7000 flyers 160 clicks… Blogs less important, harder to find, lack of updates, harder “recruitment”.
Unsurprisingly, put in effort, get results. Don’t barge into other people’s social spaces.
Monday, October 1st, 2007
Part of my job is working for Evidence Base, who do research and information gathering for libraries and the public sector. Mostly it involves building online surveys and an exicting new community of practice site.
However, next week they’re running a conference on Web 2.0, Libraries and Teenagers called Inspiring the iGeneration. I’ll be speaking about the perils and possibilities of modern web applications, which’ll be a bit about my own experiences with online communities and a bit about web best practices. Ideally it’ll show that you can’t just slap a gradient on something, call it a blog or wiki and expect people to engage, or at least that’s the plan. I’ll let you know when I finish the slides… Hopefully it won’t involve too much buzzword bingo.
So anyway, as I plan my slides, it occured to me to ask you folks out in blog land what you consider to be the archetypal perils and pitfalls in the modern web world? Not so much in a development way, but in a process and social dynamics way. I have my own ideas from a few years of supporting staff in e-learning and how we encourage freshers to use that system, but I’d be interested to hear other tales.
So, if you were going to give people a map of web 2.0, which areas would you mark with “Danger!”