Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Blogs and social networks

Yesterday there was a meeting on Exploting the potential of blogs and social networks, held in Birmingham, UK. Part of it was (sort of) streamed into Second Life (where I attended part of the time) - however the venue had technical issues, so this aspect petered out a bit despite the valiant efforts of Andy Powell (pictured in the foreground right in the guise of Art Fossett). As it usually seems at these events, the most interesting bit was possibly when the stream was failing altogether and the assesmbled avatars were discussing the issues amongst themselves.

However, I will pick out a presentation from a student at Bath University (Tom Milburn) which highlights pros and cons of academics using social networking tools like Facebook (basically when they have a clear purpose, the tools seen as useful). All the Powerpoints from the day are together in one giant ppt on Slideshare at http://www.slideshare.net/efsym/
. His starts at slide 77.

Because of the technical problems, and also the fact that I had teaching, I was dipping in and out, but a snippet I caught from another presentation was that a survey at Oxford Uni had shown that the vast majority of students used Facebook. When asked why they spurned MySpace, they apparently replied that MySpace was full of chavs. This seems to fit in with danah boyd's analysis of social networking tools, where she found that preferences were linked to ethnicity/ social group.

Another general observation is that people in charge of the IT side are realising that they have to engage with these "unmanaged" tools rather than just trying to stop people use them (though on this subject, the good blog/bad blog presentation which starts at slide 23 looked rather irritating, but to be fair that was one presentation that I didn't hear).

1 comment:

Brian said...

Hi Sheila
You can read my report on the (real-life) event.
Brian Kelly, UKOLN