30 November 2009

Developing individual and group Social Media presence

Maintaining individual intelligence in an Institutional identity
My advice to staff new to adopting social media is to focus on using it for their own research and professional development, and to put off ideas for teaching just for now. A focal point for this is the establishment of the UCNISS website (link soon). It is being designed to capture contributions made in each of our individual spaces by RSS feeds. The syndication of the postings by each of us appears on the UCNISS website in a sidebar box called "news just in". Once each post is captured by the website, it is a simple editorial step to reassign any of those posts to a new category in which it will appear as though it was an official post to the site itself, placed in the correct section of the site, with its own graphics and layout fitting to the site. At a first glance, it would appear as though all the content is local, but to a search engine and experienced user, they will see that the content is networked from individual presence.

In this way I expect to over come the pitfalls of group work, group think and multiple identities, leveraging the motivation each individual has to establish and maintain their own web presence. Through each person maintaining their own presence with new posting, they will be helping to establish and maintain the UCNISS website as well.

This approach also aids search engine optimisation through the linking between the distributed and networked content - for both the individual and the Institution, and it demonstrates to some degree, how information can be made to flow across multiple channels. Much like Wesch's video describes:

Our challenge now is hacking away at the UCNISS website so that the layout maintains integrity when feeds come in, and that linkbacks to the original author are working.


Mike Bogle said...

That's a really good idea - focusing on the immediate research or prof dev needs. I don't think you can truly appreciate the nature of what social media is - especially the significance of the human dynamics - before you've made meaning of things in your own context for your own personal reasons.

Otherwise if it's immediately thrown into the mix of a traditional course you end up seeing social media used as an add-on fashion (non-embedded), used to support traditional paradigms and incorporating traditional constraints, roles and relationships.

I think staff need to discover their own unique passions for social media as a medium or means of establishing relationships before they can fully appreciate its implications for learning.

mroczekmr said...

I agree that before educators can use social media they must first develop an understanding. It is also important to stick to the fundamentals and not overload social media in the classroom.