Monday, 26 November 2007

Exploiting the potential for blogs etc part 3

The Hidden Dangers of Social Networks: You can log-on but you cannot hide
Stuart Lee, University of Oxford

Are Computing Services using Web 2.0 technologies? On OUCS web site - RSS, Blog, Podcasts, so some use. NB - are we using anything?
Quote from Gartner - "Web2.0 disrupts existing models. Web 2.0 communities connect people in ways that many companies hadn't anticipated when they began to develop their online strategies"
Is it really disruptive? Has been around a while. Has it changed what we do?
Gartner again: "Social environments are the wave of the future - companies need to provide interactive services such as blogs, wikis and tagging"'

Impact on central IT services:
Is an increased burden - need to provide education, training. Need staff skilled to do it.
14% of Oxford University email is generated from Facebook.
IT services have to keep up with increased user demands and expectations.
Outsourcing and demands for justifying central services. Academics see top slice as infrastructure tax - have to justify our costs. Questions could be asked - why are we paying computing services to provide something that we could get for free from Facebook, Google etc? This is a problem with Web2.0 we have to face. If it's offering a more cost effective service, should we use it? But, when considering solutions like Google apps have to consider hidden issues, political as well as technical.

JISC Great Expectations survey:
65% of prospective students regularly use social networking sites - only 5% never use them. 27% regularly use blogs, wikis etc.
Oxford have found that 96% of freshers use Facebook.

Legal institutional aspects - should we rewrite our rules/AUPs? Or just use exisiting ones. Oxford experience is that if students are asked to take offensive materail down, they usually do. Are problmes with sites like "ratemyprofessor" -c an get some very rude comments. Anonymous. No way of tracing.

Willingness of people to give away so much information about themselves, ie privacy concerns

Appvertising - (a word which makes you want to reach for your revolver according to Stuart) - commercial companies looking at data collected by apps and using it to target information and adverts

Facebook opens profiles to public.
Is no way to delete your personal data from Facebook. Servers are in US so not governed by UK data protection laws.

Concerns about corporate single sign on user name and passwords being used for social networking sites. University regulations say you can't hand user names and passwords over to any other person. But what about handing it to a third party service? Is this against the regulations? If it is, staff suing Blackberrys could be in trouble...C

Oxford has had some press coverage:
Oxford using Facebook to snoop.
Oxford trying to stop "trashing" ie pelting each other with eggs and flour at end of exams. Uni looked on Facebook for photos, and then fined students - 200 students caught and fined, mainly caught by photos their friends had posted and tagged them in. Best education ever about privacy settings on Facebook. This was their social site - VLE was where work was done. Students didn't realise that these were coming together. Private lives clashing with formal lives.
"Facebook is ephemeral - just a laugh"

Second Life
Oxford have bought an island to play about with. Design competition to build it. But then press got hold of it. "Going virtual"
Concern among academics:
It's a waste of money (but it's only £40 per month for unlimited access!!!)
Damages the Uni reputation - it's a game, it's full of porn. But the whole web is full of porn - do we stop publishing on it?
Who gave you the right to do this? Interesting question - who does decide these things?

Conclusion - Web2.0 is fantastic, but IT services have to step in occasionally and give advice.
Explore provision
Tread carefully - separate fad from future
Educate re privacy
Educate re libel
Educate re copyright
Use the tools yourselves

Above all, it's not disruptive and we should let these tools flourish.

Disruptive Technology and its Implications for University Information Services
David Harrison, University of Cardiff

Talkin about:
Things outside the "service offering"
User centric rather than organisation centric
Issues that transcend organisational boundariesIssues that break traditional security and privacy models

UCISA have produced a discussion document setting out the potential conflict between users who want to do new things and service providers who want to lock down and control everything.

Nothing a user can do with disruptive technologies that is different from their use of traditional technology. The primacy of AUP remains.
But, we need to be prepared to relinquish sole responsibility for IT regulations

Cardiff have developed Safe IT Guidelines in partnership with Student Union.

We work in different realms :
sometimes on our own
sometimes in a way that shields our true identity eg Second Life
sometimes as part of a group, as part of an organisation,
sometimes as a contributor to someone else's work
We work differently and use different language according to the realm we are working in.
Most of us haven't had any training in how to work in the virtual world
Cardiff partnering with IBM
IMB have taken a lead in encouraging employees to blog, and have produced guidelines for blogging, and engaging with the virtual world

Different types of blog:
Personal but not corporate - no need for this to be hosted on corporate systems
Personal or group, work related - collaborative - should be host on corporate intranet
Group internet presence - external collaboration with others - may or may not be hosted corporately. Eg UCISA on Facebook.
Corporate blog for marketing etc. - should be hosted on corporate systems

Adopt suitable language, style, and identity depending on where you are
Have guidelines on usage and on what type of collaboration tool is best for what purpose - IM, chat rooms, email, blogs, wikis, shared workspaces
Be supportive rather than prevent

Nothing new in web 2.0
Users need protecting from their own foolishness
Institutions should trust staff and students and use existing codes of practice
Embrace and engage
Partnership - be customer centric
Work life balance - some people want separation, some like the blurring.

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