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I picked up on #ucsoc12, an event on using social media in higher education on 18 January, via @briankelly. Added myself as tracking on Lanyrd and tweeted this. Downloaded the tweets via Searchhash and saved as a spreadsheet. Added RSS feed for later tweets. Ran through the 4oo+ tweets while cleaning a virus from my partner’s laptop. This is what came out the other end.
From the sessions
The Google+ session made the most ripples on Twitter. Few attendees had tried a hangout, but got the chance in the session with a co-presenter from Google in San Francisco. Slides and video are available, and a Google+ Scratchpad was set up for Q&A. See Martin Hamilton’s Making the most of Google+ post for the full package.
Several sessions presented institutional innovations:
- a speaker from the University of the Arts London gave details of their blog network (see the Prezi for details), with blogs highlighted as more user centric than course based VLEs/silos
- a second University of the Arts speaker presented the Showtime student gallery – again, see the Prezi
- Edge Hill’s successful Hi community, aimed at applicants, is to be replaced by WordPress, forums, Facebook and CRM
- lots of interesting things at Imperial – a social media dashboard used as a screensaver which also feeds into print via quotes in the prospectus, another (WordPress) student blog network and the use of Storify to bring together social content, quite possibly all wrapped up by the @imperialspark account
- CUNY Academic Commons was referenced as a further example of the use of WordPress/Buddypress (the University of Warwick, where I used to work, set up a proprietary blogging network several years ago – note to self to have another look at that)
Two sessions looked at communities, one on getting Twestival in Liverpool off the ground (see slides), which came up with the 3Ps to make social media work: purpose, passion and people.
The other (on community building, see slides) gave rise to the following Twitter conversation (slightly edited for readability):
- @iantilsed: Cory Doctorow quoted – ‘Conversation is king. Content is just something to talk about.’
- @chrisinwales: What DOES that mean?? Chatter better than information? Or more seriously, discussion better than what is discussed? Why?
- @iantilsed: Indeed! Within the context of social media, and use by IT, it perhaps has a message, but wider it does beg lots of questions.
- @chrisinwales: I suppose it is an elegant example of what it preaches: talk about me, I’m a soundbite – do not worry about what I mean
- @fstoner: but no content means no conversation – content fuels conversations
- @briankelly: We need a community to have the discussion…But content can also begin with a conversation.
Which might work better as a graphic…
After the event
15 items of coverage have been added to Lanyrd, including a useful blog report from @ijclark (part 1 | part 2) covering the less tweeted sessions on the use of social media by IT and information services departments. A further output is Brian Kelly’s IT service departmental Twitter list, a potentially useful aggregation.
This sort of detective work is fun but it’s still taken me hours, and I’ve yet to really read this stuff. It might be instructive to compare the time spent tracking an event with physical attendance – can amplifiying an event actually add to information overload?
I’ve deleted my Searchhash download as the backchannel is ‘short term low value’ and needs post-processing. Tony Hirst has fiddled about with the tweets using Martin Hawksey’s TAGSExplorer (see the full archive) and there’s also a Storify from Brian Kelly for starters. It will be interesting to see how these sort of outputs evolve over the next few months as the tools become more widely used.