[wp-edu] Using WP to Integrate Social Media in Academia
enkerli at gmail.com
Sat Jul 9 03:47:11 UTC 2011
Impressed by and grateful for all the thoughtful responses to my query about
getting acceptance for a WordPress instance on campus. Very useful advice
and important cautionary tales.
More specifically, it helps me situate my university in that context. In
some ways, resistance is less rigid than in some of your cases. Key people
are trying to listen to all of these arguments, and they are open to some
initiatives. At the same time, there's a chilling effect related to fears
about potential legal issues which not only creates distortion in the
conversation but makes it difficult to integrate social media projects with
And social media is really what we're talking about, in our case. Not only
blogs, podcasts, and microblogging, but social networking, user-generated
content, and even “cloud computing”. WP can help with all of these but the
fears come from issues with commercial services.
And this where things take an interesting turn.
Many people at the university are using a variety of social media services.
At our institution, people are struggling with policies and guidelines to
adopt, in order to prevent all sorts of issues having to do with privacy,
copyright, branding, security, etc. While there are diverse initiatives to
use social media in relation to university work (including community
outreach, teaching, and research), the “official word” tends to be that
proper authorities should be notified. Obviously, nobody has a way to
monitor what members of the university community are doing on Twitter,
Facebook, or even WordPress.com…
And we happen to be a community-oriented institution. It‘d make so much
sense to connect with the local community through social media!
Now, the search for a university-wide CMS allegedly does include several
things about social media. But it‘ll be a long process and it‘s one which
doesn‘t really involve members of the community.
This is probably where I‘m not framing the issue properly. As diverse people
have explained, getting a WP instance on campus should probably start from a
modest initiative. With some technical support (I‘m not skilled or
credentialed enough to do much), individual initiatives could work well and
eventually spread more broadly.
We‘ll see how things go.
In the meantime, very sincere thanks for all your help. Further proof that
the WP community is friendly and helpful. Honestly, I‘m touched.
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