It should have been so easy to start blogging given all what I want to share about student affairs, technology, about my life but for some reason, it took me months to convince myself to take the leap and finally do it. I had so many reasons why I shouldn’t blog. What if I say something to offend my co-workers/boss? What if I get ridiculed for what I have to write? What if I sound stupid? Friends and co-workers think I know a lot about technology but I feel I know very little. I guess it’s all a matter of perspective. When you’re surrounded by techies who can recite the 7 layers of the OSI model or software design patterns like they’d known them since birth, it’s a little intimidating to share thoughts.
I guess it took some convincing to give me that extra push to go ahead and finally start blogging. I completed the Social Media Marketing class at UCSB Extension last night and the instructors, Emilia Doerr and Lorrie Thomas, definitely introduced me to a new way of looking at social media. They were talking in terms that I understand – that social media (and marketing) is in part about “connecting with others”. That concept, I understood! That’s what I do every day in my job. I provide connections between techies and non-techies, between students and staff, students with students, between my staff.
This morning, we had our annual fall UCSB Student Affairs Divisional Meeting attended by about 400 staff members. This is a meeting where budgets, changes in the organization, issues, accomplishments are discussed. As I was sitting at the meeting (relaying info to my telecommuting staff via my iphone), it dawned on me that every single item in the agenda had a technology component to it! Here are some of the items presented that use technology:
- The distressed students protocol – a defined process on how to handle students that maybe in distress. An informational website was created for this – http://www.sa.ucsb.edu/distressedstudentsguide/
- Gradpost – (http://www.gradpost.ucsb.edu) – a blog site described as a support site for graduate students at UCSB. To show how cool the site is, a staff took a picture of the speakers using iphone and immediately posted it to the site and it showed up on the screen as the speakers were talking about the site!
- Campus climate (hate crime incident reporting) – there’s been some racial incidents in the UC system and around the country. A website is available to report incidents. http://judicialaffairs.sa.ucsb.edu/Hate.aspx
- Admissions – the Admissions Director asked for application readers. In the last two years, our department developed an online system that provides the ability for readers to read and comment on application essays via web, which means they dont have to be seating in the same room at UCSB during certain hours. They can read them at home if they wish.
I was really astounded by the realization of how far our division has come along when it comes to technology since about 14 years ago when I started my career as the division’s webmaster.
I decided after the meeting, I finally have to start blogging! I need to share my ideas and connect with others who are just as passionate as I am about student affairs and technology. With the new found confidence from taking the Social Media Marketing class and because of my excitement about sharing how we have used technology at UCSB, here I am! I even went a step further! I created my linkedin profile (http://www.linkedin.com/in/joesabado), participated more in twitter (http://twitter.com/joesabado) and will establish a flickr account.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have developed and implemented tech solutions for every single departments in the Division of Student Affairs the last 14 years from simple websites to ones driven by content management system all the way to electronic medical record systems, student information system (registration), advising, etc that I think I should have enough to blog about the next few months or even years.
I will share my experience and the systems I’ve worked on in my upcoming posts – stay tuned! I definitely need all the advice I can get to get started and to maintain my blog so please feel free to make suggestions.