Social Media

How Schools Could Use Social Media

Posted on Updated on

This topic idea is taken from Chris Brogan’s 100 Blog Topics I Hope YOU Write About (No.12).

When I was in university, social media wasn’t being really used that much. I mean, yes, students use them for personal use, like Friendster, Multiply, YouTube and instant messaging, but for the school itself, they didn’t really utilize it that much. That was in 2002 to 2007.

Students and TeacherRight now, social media is everywhere. Businesses, organizations, academic institutions, and just about everyone else uses social media. If you don’t use it, I’d say you are way behind with the times. The community and the world constantly changes. Lots of new things are being developed and it is always good to know what these are so you will be able to know if you could use it as you continuously try to improve yourself and your organization.

Let me talk about how I think schools could use social media. Firstly, I think the most important thing is that a school should have a website. With a website, its students, alumni, faculty will have easy access to general information including student registration, events and important announcements.

However, just having a website is not enough. I have noticed that there are those who are satisfied with having the same content on their website for months, maybe even years. It is important that the school’s website content be regularly updated. Setting a regular schedule weekly or monthly, if not daily, would probably be sufficient. At least one event does happen every month after all, right?

NetworkA Wikipedia page would be helpful as well. In addition to a website, I’d say an online forum will be a great addition. This will be a great venue for students to speak out their concerns to the administration, the student government, the student clubs, or any other relevant groups or purpose.

Speaking of a venue for students, faculty, and administration to connect and interact, a Facebook group would be great, too. Many students are already on it; all it needs is a common place in it where they could all gather.

Another idea is the use of video-streaming or even just regular online video. According to Mary O’Malley, executive producer of University of New South Wales’ YouTube channel, “YouTube iconThis is a vehicle for communicating research and selected teaching material and is part of an overall strategy of publishing content where it can be most easily accessed.”

Richard Buckland, a computer science lecturer at UNSW, has used YouTube as his classroom allowing students to earn college credit. This strategy may work for some schools, while some it may not. It all depends on every situation the school faces.

One last thing, email is also important. Sending out newsletters or regular communications through email would also be a good idea for schools to implement. With this, students will be informed directly even if they do not use all the other social media.

I’m definitely not an expert in social media, but I just wanted to share my thoughts on this and I am always open to more ideas.


Tweet Tweet…Are You on Twitter?

Posted on Updated on

Twitter iconTwitter is fast gaining popularity on the internet now. It’s being used by a lot of people ranging from politicians to actors to musicians to business people to IT people to just regular everyday people.

What makes Twitter so popular? I think it’s because it is a very simple application that is easily accessible and easy to use to get and share information.

So what exactly is Twitter? Here is a definition from Wikipedia:

Twitter is a social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read other users’ updates known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 bytes in length. Updates are displayed on the user’s profile page and delivered to other users who have signed up to receive them.

“What are you doing?” is the question being asked by Twitter. If you have information you want to share, you can share it in 140 characters or less without needing to elaborate on it so much. If you need to elaborate, you could always use a blog for that.

Users follow other users, usually referred to as tweeple or tweeps, whom they share similar interests. You can follow people without needing them to follow you back. The reason that others may not follow you back may vary from one person to another. For celebrities, I’d probably say their reason is they don’t really need to know updates from thousands of people’s lives every second of the day.

You could still interact with anyone even if they don’t follow you (as long as they don’t block you) by simply sending them a message or what is known as an @ reply. Twitter has made it possible to connect and get to know people in whole new different way.

Twitter on iPod TouchPersonally, I use Twitter to learn information from people in the IT industry. I learn new things everyday through reading their tweets. Usually their tweets would include links to very useful and helpful articles. If I like what they tweet, I retweet them to my followers. And if anyone likes what I tweet or retweet, they would do the same, and it goes on and on.

To make my Twitter experience more productive, I use the Tweet Deck application. It allows me to organize the updates I receive into separate columns so I could easily scan through them to find the information I could use, and retweet or reply to messages easily.

Even if you’re not in front of a computer, you could still use Twitter through your phone by SMS or mobile internet.

There’s a lot more to the Twitter community, or Twitterverse as some would call it. If you’re still not on it, go sign up now. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

Add me up if you like: @AnnaSaldivar.

Facebook Responds to Users’ Feedback

Posted on Updated on

Facebook iconFacebook has been through several redesigns since it first came out. The old design was very clean and simple, which made me attracted to join the social network when I first found out about it.

When Facebook revamped its website with a new design, many users complained about it. They didn’t like this, they didn’t like that. On the other hand, many users did like it. Then after some time, Twitter, another social networking plus micro-blogging site, became popular. Facebook, again, decided to redesign their homepage resembling their micro-blogging design.

Again, many users disliked it while other users liked it. You simply can never satisfy everyone.

Comments, complaints, requests and suggestions were aired out by users, so Facebook responded with a list of improvements they’re making as written by Chris Cox, Facebook’s Director of Product, on Facebook’s blog today:

  • Thumbs upLive updating: One of the most common requests is the ability to see your stream update automatically. We will be adding the ability to turn on auto updating in the near future so you no longer need to refresh the page.
  • Photo tags: In order to surface more photos you might like to see, we’ll be adding photos tagged of your friends to the stream. This will happen in the coming weeks.
  • More choices for applications: We’ve heard feedback that there is a lot of application content appearing in the stream. We will be giving you tools to control and reduce application content that your friends share into your stream.
  • More Highlights: Highlights will update more frequently and will show you more content throughout the day to mirror more closely the content that the earlier News Feed provided.
  • Find things more easily: Friend requests and event invites will be more prominent at the top of right column. Also, from the filters on the left, you will be able to create a new list of friends with which to filter the stream.

I’ve encountered quite a few friends of mine who didn’t like the latest Facebook design. Well, some of them I’ve told about how Facebook seemingly decided to pattern it to Twitter’s layout. Most of those who haven’t used Twitter, of course, cannot relate.

I understand that this makes them upset about the Facebook situation. Why fix what isn’t broken, right? Everyone is entitled to their own opinion on this matter. For me, I’m glad that Facebook listened to my suggestion, that is, to have the automatic stream updating. Thanks and I’ll be looking forward to that, Facebook.

Facebook and Me

Posted on Updated on

Facebook iconFacebook is a social networking website that allows you to connect with friends, co-workers, and other people whom you share common interests with. There are four types of networks that users can join: city, workplace, school, and region. Sending messages, posting on friends’ walls, and updating personal profiles are a few of the things users can do in order to let friends know about themselves.

I’ve been a member of Facebook since early 2007. It was an aunt of mine who mentioned that website to me and my sister. “You should get on Facebook,” she said when I was still new here in Canada in 2006. I initially didn’t know what it was, and then I found out that it was a website comparable to Friendster. I was more familiar with Friendster then since it was the popular networking site that was used in the Philippines, where I originally came from.

At first I was thinking: I don’t know if I want to join another social networking site. I also have MySpace but I don’t really use it. I only joined it at first because I think I got an invitation to join from a friend. That one is pretty much useless to me. I get a whole lot of invitations to join other social networking sites as well, so I usually just ignore them. I don’t think they’re all going to be very useful to me.

I decided to check out Facebook and it looked pretty decent to me. I liked the layout and features since it was very clean and simple; it was so different from Friendster and MySpace. And so I joined. I only had about ten or so friends on Facebook at that time (not including relatives) but I was okay with that.

Facebook: University of St. La Salle - Integrated SchoolI checked out the features and saw that there was this Groups. Hmm, I thought, maybe I should start a group for my school. Then and there I started the University of St. La Salle – Integrated School group. It was where I went to school during my grade school and high school years. I invited my friends who were already on Facebook and sent email invitations as well to those who weren’t on the site yet.

2002 was the year I graduated from high school, thus, I only knew the email addresses of those from my batch. I did a little research to find the group email addresses of other batches so I could send them an email invitation to join as well.

My high school classmate, who was on Facebook already, also started a University of St. La Salle group which is aimed to gather all those who went to our school from pre-school until college/university. I made him an admin on the group I created and vice versa.

Little by little, our groups started gathering more members. As of this writing, the USLS-IS group now has 800+ members and the USLS group has 1,000+ members. Compared to the actual number of students who studied in our school, I know we’re still far off, but well, at least we were able to create a venue for current students, alumni, and teachers to get and stay connected with each other.

This is the story of how my love for Facebook started.

Using Social Media

Posted on Updated on

Social media has been existing for quite some time now. It is very much different from the old school media that a lot of us have known before this “social media” existed. The media that we are familiar with, which is also known as industrial media, traditional media, broadcast media, or mass media, still continues to exist along with this new media. Newspapers, television, and film are still used to keep the community informed of the world around us. But along with this, using social media is very much important as this has also a lot more benefits than the traditional ones.

Using the internetWell, what is social media? In my own understanding, social media is a means of communication using highly accessible technologies typically done through the internet and mobile communications. This can take different forms including blogs, vlogs, email, instant messaging, music-sharing, picture-sharing, and video-sharing. YouTube, Wikipedia, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Flickr, and MySpace are some examples of the most popular social media being used. In the Philippines, where I grew up before coming to Canada, the most popular social media being used there are Friendster and Multiply.

Social networking isn’t the only purpose of using social media. With this, you can find out the information you need to know through more accessible means. Businesses also use them for marketing or for customer relationship management. If you have information that you want to get out to a broader audience, social media is definitely one way that can help you on that.

Let’s focus on the blog for example. With a blog, not only are you able to use text to get your message out, you can also use images, audio, and video. You can also make it interactive with the addition of an online forum or through a chat room on your blog or website. With a regular printed newspaper, can you do all of that? No. But with an online newspaper, you sure can.

Personally, I use social media to connect with my friends, to keep updated about their lives (since we can no longer do that in person since we’re in different continents), to complement my job search, and of course to learn more things everyday. There are just so many more ways that social media is useful to the world today. I’m simply thankful that such a thing exists.