#eduweb2008 Buzz, Brands, and Babes

Sexy title.

Sean Carton, CSO from idfive. sean.carton@idfive.com

6 trends of change

  1. The consumer is in the driver’s seat
  2. Everything is digital
  3. Real time now = when I wnat it
  4. Bye, bye centralization
  5. The future is always on (wireless)
  6. Peace out desktop

It should be standard practice to search around for what they’re sayng about you. I think we’ve lucked out here.

Memes – a unit of cultural information. Richard Dawkings The Selfish Gene

Malcolm Gladwell, the Tipping Point- You just need to reach the ten people who will be the ones to make it grow and then it will be viral.

Duncan Watts One-to-one – disagrees with Gladwell.


I was talking about this yesterday. I really think that this web 2.0 movement will force conversation from the marketing speak to honest conversations.

Keep it honest
Multiple channels
Frequent updates

This is more to the point that you can’t always control your message and sometimes you have to let it ride.
More passive Marketing.

Live from eduweb2008

So it’s begun.

I’m at the third annual eduweb conference in Atlantic City, NJ. I’m going to try to post here as much as I can through out the week.

Right now, I’m in the opening speaker’s presentation: Mark Greenfield from the University of Buffalo. This is the second time I’ve heard him speak. The man loves his Slingbox and his Sabres.

Mark’s top 10 Web Trends:

10. The end of print – see Kindle

9. World network (web3.0) Loopt – a social compass that the new iphone has. There’s not much that Vermont is missing, but the fact that Vermont doesn’t have the iphone is ridiculous.

8. Virtual Reality – Club penguin, webkins, second life, second life teen. Not sure about this one.

7. Email is dead. I totally by into this. Email is ridiculous. Completely annoying and people don’t know how to use it appropriately. Facebook is becoming this way too.

6. Read/write web. I like his idea of striking out the word “audience” and using “community” when talking about for whom content is directed.

5. Information overload. Too many people out there and it hard to separate the chafe from shaft. (I think that’s the saying)

4. Redefining Time. Stuff has to happen much quicker than before. Qik.com going to have to check that site out. Live video streaming through your cell phone.

3. The end of the walled garden. The conversation has left the blogosphere. I was talking about this in my final presentation last Friday. Blogs have become one-way conversations. This is why we need to use all of the different social networking media out there. (Flickr, YoutTube, etc.) Ping.fm (need to check this out as well)

2. Cluetrain Manifesto! Must read according to Mark. Chris Andersen (wrote The Long Tail) says that social networking sites should be a component not a destination. In otherwords, he’s an advocate for niche social networking. I this has some value. We certainly use it with accepted students. I wonder about this though. I wonder though…. Who has the time? (cuwebd.ning.com)

1. Mobile. This is where we get killed in Vermont!!!!! Push the damn AT&T deal through!!!!!

Strategies to deadl with these trends:

Focus on the relationships, not the technology. Yes, exactly!!! What is our goal? Why do we want to have a presence in a place like Facebook?

Read Groundswell, The Revolution Will not be Televised

1. Be first.
2. Refresh. Keep it moving. Update daily.
3. Be authentic.
4. Be honest. Love the marketing jargon.
5. Community!!! Build it.
6. You can’t control it. You must cede control. Understand that if you let them in, they’ll poke around in places you don’t want them. (see what happened when I got off of the Facebook group)
7. The world is flat. Connections can be made that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. There’s a lot of wonder that can happen, but there’s a lot to be skeptic.

Chief Marketing Officer. Now we need a Chief Community Officer. Someone to advocate for the Community first and the Organization second. This is a tough one for educational institutions I’m sure. It goes back to #6. I’ve been thinking about this the last couple of weeks. It’s almost like passive marketing. I want to explore this more in the future. I think there’s a lot there.

Choose Responsibility

I got going on the beer topic and kinda left it hangin’ (thanks Rob for reminding me).

A day or so after writing that post, I received a mailing from ChooseResponsibility.org

It’s an organization founded by former Middlebury College President, John McCardell. Their mission is to lower the drinking age from 21 to 18. They have some unique ideas like a “learner’s permit” for consuming alcohol.

I really believe in this cause and think our entire approach to alcohol is misguided. I really recommend checking out their site. www.chooseresponsibility.org

Old enough to serve (go to war), but not enough to get served (a beer).

How does that make sense?

We had a staff retreat today. Typically I dread these things, and i was certainly not looking forward to this meeting.

As we got into it though, I didn’t seem to mind it as much as I did past retreats. I think this is because it was the professional staff only.

It will sound elitist I’m sure, but it’s tough to bring the two groups together for one meeting. We have such different jobs that it is very difficult to get things done when the two groups are together.

Today, we had an agenda, stuck to it, and were able to get quite a bit accomplished in a relatively short amount of time. Everyone was involved with the conversation, and there was not a lot of excess opinion blabbering. Everyone was able to stay on task because they had a better understanding of what we were covering.

It was definitely a good meeting. I came out with the feeling that we had accomplished something. A rare feeling in higher education.

I’m so fed up with “change: right now. It’s not the idea of change or an actual change that’s bugging me, but it’s the talk of change. It’s talking about change, but not really changing. Here’s an example of what’s driving me batty right now.

We have a very labor intensive application review process. Each reader, when reviewing a file, transposes grades on the transcript onto a separate chart in the file. The reader then reviews the file and adds his or her vote along with comments. the chart is a major time consumer, and essentially is just a duplication of data already present in file. Frankly, most of the decisions are made based on a formula output that we call Predicted GPA which is based on a student’s overall weighted GPA, test scores, and class rank. In my opinion the chart is a total wast of time and consumes over 50% of the application read.

You’ve probably heard me say that we’re going to a paperless system next year where all paper is scanned and applications are stored in a database accessed via a web ap. This should speed up processing time.

The big conversation in my office right now is how we recreate the chart electronically or should we just use a paper chart!

To me, that’s not change. I think of change like a hierarchical organization chart. Real change moves vertically. This, to me, is a horizontal move. It’s making a move into something that is completely new and could have a real positive change in the way we do things, but then snuffing it out by holding onto an old comfortable process.

It makes me want to pull my hair out!!!!

“The trouble with you is the trouble with me,
Got two good eyes but we still can’t see”

-”Casey Jones” by the Grateful Dead

It’s funny how we can see what’s right in front of our faces sometimes. Seth Godin has a humorous video posted on his blog that makes the same point. Sometimes we get so distracted by the noise around us that we miss what really important.

Now playing: Grateful Dead – Casey Jones
via FoxyTunes

I interpreted a good portion of yesterday’s class as a discussion about control, and how to teach in a completely different environment than what we consider normal or perhaps traditional is a better word. I thought about this and remembered an experience that I had coaching little league one summer.

One summer my buddy asked me to help him coach a little league team in Burlington’s North End. I figured coaching’s coaching and I’ve coached swimming since I got out of college. What’s the difference? Have them run some drills, play some games, should be fun.

It was a nightmare.

Coaching swimming is a piece of cake compared to little league. In swimming, the kids are separated in lanes in groups of 6 or so and they swim back and forth. Occasionally you get the kid who keeps diving under the water, but you know he’s going to have to come up for air sometime. With little league, it’s like the field is infinite and there are no barriers. Just kids everywhere – running around, throwing the ball at each other, hitting each other with bats (yeah, there aren’t a lot of hard objects to throw at each other in swimming). It was complete chaos because the kids where running around everywhere and it’s difficult to keep them focused and on task.

Add to that my inexperience in coaching little league. I was an awful athlete as a kid and never made it past farm league. I love baseball and play softball now, but I never learned any drills or exercises. I had no idea what a little league practice looked like. These 5th graders had more experience playing on an organized baseball team that I did.

I think of new media and the new classroom as that little league practice. Students now have a huge little league field (www) and they know more about the game (technology) than the coach. It’s way easier for me to do what I know -coach swimming. It’s organized the kids are limited to what they can do (in a lane, back and forth) and I know it. What about those kids in the North End, many are poor and need that positive role model and positive experience? Am I, by not stepping out of my comfort zone, doing them a disservice?

That’s clearly big picture thinking and I know there’s a lot more to it when it comes to dealing with No Child, the administration and parents. You just can’t teach little leaguers how to play baseball in a pool.

Oh, and I learned that Jackie Robinson was once a VP for Chock Full o’ Nuts.