Some may consider me an avid social media user. I enjoy using social media and mobile devices for personal and professional use. When Google+ was introduced a couple of weeks ago, I was very intrigued by its features including the following:
Circles provide a way of categorizing Google+ contacts into groups. This feature also borrows from twitter in that there’s no mutual approval needed to be connected.
Huddle is a group messaging system via your mobile phone.
Hang out is a group video chat up to 10 people.
Sparks is a personalized content feed based on your interests
Instant Upload provides users ability to upload images/videos to their private album from their mobile phones.
Checkin which provides user ability to “checkin” like foursquare and facebook Places.
I was particularly impressed with the concepts of Circles because it seems to be so much more straightforward than facebook in managing lists and thereby easier to target the recipients of your posts.
I read a blog post recently advocating end-users to have full admin rights to their work computers and have the ability to install softwares for efficiency and productivity. I agree that end-users (of which I am also) need to be provided the tools required to do our jobs, which includes researching new technologies. These tools include the software we need installed on our desktop that may not be provided by IT. I hear and read frustrations from end-users who seem to constantly hear “no” from IT when a request for a software or service is requested. I feel the same way sometimes. However,those software on the desktop are useless when the network or some other critical services used by the entire organization (e.g. email, student information systems) are not available as a result of disruptions caused by malicious software. I will admit that there have been a couple of times when I have had to re-image my personal machine because of a virus that I had unknowingly downloaded from an infected site. My point in sharing my experience is that even the most careful end-user with the best intention can still introduce malicious code to the network. Continue reading →
Institutional support is necessary for social media to thrive in higher education. Individuals and grassroots efforts have opened the door for social media to be accepted at universities and have proven the values of it. To further the use of social media, institutional support is required for it to be embraced, to be sustained and to explore further uses. While the mention of policies and guidelines and even having committees that represent the different factions of the university including marketing, IT, legal, business unit reps could be seen as overly bureaucratic, it is my opinion, based on experience, that it is necessary for social media to be embraced as part of official university business. If a group, representing the different functions of your organization, does not clearly define the use and boundaries of social media, some individual(s) will improperly define it for the organization based on limited and biased perspectives.