Going to California

Next week I will be in sunny California attending my fourth consecutive OmniUpdate User Conference in Universal City.  This conference is always a highlight of my speaking calendar and I’m looking forward to connecting with many old friends and making new ones. I will be unveiling a completely revised talk on web governance in higher education. Over the past few months I have been researching organization and governance in higher education and its impact on web governance and management. I love the concept of college campuses being “organized anarchies”.  In addition to exploring why web governance is needed and providing practical tips on getting started, I’ll be sharing my thought on how campus culture, campus decision making methodologies, organizational structures and governance structures all influence web governance. I will also be participating on a panel discussion on Social Media and Mobile with @NathanGerber, @kylejames and @lightjump, moderated by @j_rex.  This will be taking place on Tuesday, March 6 at 11:15 am (Pacific Time). We welcome people to participate virtually in the discussion. We are using the live question tool from Harvard to add and vote on discussion topics. Please visit http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/questions/SocialMediaPanel before and during the event to help shape our agenda. The hashtag for the conference is #omniupdate12. If you are attending make sure you stop by and say hello.  And yes, the musical reference in this post is to the Zeppelin...

The Simple Truth About QR Codes

Yesterday I sent out the following tweet after seeing yet another QR code done wrong: <rant> If I see one more QR code that goes to a site built in Flash I’m going to lose it. </rant> QR codes are not rocket science. In fact, they are quite simple. They exist to make it easier for people using a mobile device to enter a URL. That’s it. No need to over think this. It is about the user experience.  If  taking your phone out, opening a QR reader app, taking a picture, then waiting for a web page to open takes longer than just typing in the URL, the QR code is not providing value.  And if the QR code goes to a site that is not optimized for a mobile device, you are doing it all wrong. The following video from Scott Stratten (@unmarketing) is the best rant I’ve seen about QR codes gone wrong. Please share this with anyone who doesn’t understand the simple truth about QR...

The 3rd Annual Higher Ed Social Media Summit

Tuesday, June 14, 2011 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm (eastern) Originating from the 2011 Penn State Web Conference HashTag  #hesms Come join me for the 3rd annual Higher Education Social Media Summit where we will be discussing the challenges and opportunities of utilizing social media in higher education. The format will be much different than a typical workshop. Following the principles of an unconference, we will leverage the wisdom of the crowd in an open environment where everyone’s participation is encouraged. In addition to those attending in person at Penn State,  we will be using ustream to stream the event live and allow our virtual attendees to participate in the proceedings.  The URL for the summit is http://www.ustream.tv/user/PSUWebConf. For those of you who want to participate on Twitter, delicious, Flickr, etc., the hashtag for the event is #hesms Discussion topics will be chosen by participants.  To facilitate conversation both before, during  and after the summit, I have added an instance for the Social Media Summit at the Harvard’s Live Question Tool: http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/questions/hesms Some ideas I have for discussion include: How mature is social media in higher ed Who owns social media How do you measure social media How will social media scale What does the future hold Please submit your questions and vote and reply to existing questions. I plan on using the information gathered to drive our live discussion on June 14. I would like to extend a special thanks to Patti Fantaske and the other conference organizers at Penn State for allowing me to continue to push the envelope. The first two summits were a huge success...
Altimeter and the Value of Open Research

Altimeter and the Value of Open Research

One of the many things that has been fundamentally changed by the Internet is how we treat information.  I grew up in an era when information represented power. Those who had information had power and withholding information was a key to maintaining power. There was a natural tendency to hoard information and not freely share what you knew. Enter the Internet and the Gift Economy. For a variety of reasons the information/power equation has changed.  There is now more power in sharing information than keeping it to yourself.  It took me a long time to recognize this.  I was an economics major back in the 1970’s and we focused exclusively on the monetary economy and the idea of scarcity.  Everything was a zero-sum game, including sharing information and knowledge.  The Internet has changed all this and the gift economy, reputation economy and attention economy are again relevant.  There is now real power in sharing. Which brings me to the Altimeter Group. As anyone knows who has seen me speak, I regularly reference the great people at Altimeter.  There are many familiar names including Charlene Li (author of Groundswell and Open Leadership), Jeremiah Owyang (whose blog Web Strategy is simply the most important resource I have), and most recently Brian Solis (author of  Engage). Their experience, analysis and expertise are all first-rate. But what separates Altimeter from others is their willingness to share. Altimeter operates under the the principles of Open Research which Wikipedia defines as “research conducted in the spirit of free and open source software.  Much like open source schemes that are built around a source code that...
The #MBTeamS Poster Project

The #MBTeamS Poster Project

As anyone who follows me on Twitter knows, last week I participated in the MBTweetRace as a member of #MBTeamS. (If you are not familiar with the MBTweetRace, read this post from Andrew Careaga.) With Todd Sanders (@tsand) and John Pederson (@ijohnpederson) at the wheel, the higher ed web community stepped up big time.  The level of involvement and enthusiam was truly amazing. By Friday night, I was hunkered down in my command center tweeting so fast that my hands actually started to hurt. I’m happy to report that #MBTeamS won the race going away and in the process raised over $50,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Kids and cancer should never be used in the same sentence and I’m proud we made a small step towards reaching that that goal. I am still processing my thoughts on the larger lessons learned about social media and will share these thoughts at a later date.  My guess is that even Mercedes Benz learned a thing or two about social media.  In the meantime, check out these post-race thoughts from Michael Stoner, Karine Joly, Patrick Powers, Lori Packer and Robin Smail. I think the best way to capture the spirit of #MBTeamS is to create a photo mosaic poster made up of the Twitter avatars of the team members to give to St. Jude.  I have been very involved with the Ride For Roswell, the major fundraising event for the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, NY. Last year was the 15th anniversary of the Ride and to commemorate the occasion this photo mosaic poster of the hospital was created. ...

Who Owns Social Media?

As social media matures, campuses are now moving beyond the hobbyist stage to thinking about social media as a strategic asset.  The days of the social media playground are over. Social media is now squarely on the radar of senior administrators who are looking for a more formal approach and the conversation about who should be responsible for social media on campus has begun. In the past when I’ve been asked  who should own social media, my answer has been “no one”.  But the more I’ve thought about this, the correct answer is actually “everyone”.  One of my favorite quotes is “Social Media is the dialtone of the 21st century” (I’m not sure who originally said it.)  Having someone in charge of social media makes as much sense as having someone in charge of the telephone.  Social media needs to become part of the campus DNA. Social media can’t be one person’s job. It needs to be a part of everyone’s job. And the campuses that become social are the ones that will thrive. Last November, Jeremiah Owyang from the Altimeter Group published the excellent white paper  “The Two Career Paths of the Corporate Social Strategist. Be Proactive or Become ‘Social Media Help Desk”.  While focused on business, this report is still a must read for anyone involved with social media in higher education. One thing  I was particularly interested in was what people thought about the future of  social media programs and the role of the social media strategist. Most of the people interviewed felt that moving forward, social media would span the “entire customer journey”, or in...