Qualitative Study of Twitter Use in a Canadian University

This video is based on my presentation I gave to the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education in May 2014. This study was part of a larger, mixed methods research project. Future videos will delve into the quantitative study.

Video music “Funkorama” written and performed by Kevin MacLeod

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Controlling Your Digital Tattoo

social networksThe term “digital footprint” is misleading. A footprint in the sand can be washed away by the waves. It isn’t that simple in the digital world. A newer term, “digital tattoo” is more apt because a tattoo cannot be easily and completely removed without leaving signs it was once there.

While you cannot control what other say about you on the Internet, you can control how you represent yourself. I use several social networks, and all of them are geared towards a slightly different audience. I am highly aware that no matter what my privacy settings are, and that as soon as I put anything on the Internet, I am no longer in control of how it will be used, copied, and distributed. There is no magical erase once something is posted. It’s there forever.

The following are my personal guidelines for usiing Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, and Facebook

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The Pros and Cons of using Social Networks in Education

I’ve always been an advocate of taking whatever is happening in the mainstream and discovering if it can be used as a learning tool. The use of social networks is an excellent example of taking a ubiquitous tool and discovering how it fits into all levels of education.

This isn’t another blog post that staunchly advocates one side or the other of the social networking debate. Instead this post presents some considerations that illustrate both the strengths and weakness that educators will face if they decided to use social sites in the classroom.

Here is a quick list that I hope will help educators, policymakers, and learners understand the opportunities and challenges of adding social networks to the curriculum. Continue reading

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All Social Media Sites are not Created Equal

Communicators can make the mistake attempting to use all available social networks. With new social networks created almost weekly, it becoming more difficult to know which ones to use and how to use them to achieve maximum impact. But each network offers its users a different experience and a different type of audience.

Here are three tips that can help you save time, energy and help you reach your target audience.

Audience analysis – Look at the different social networks and find out which networks your target audience is using. It’s much easier to go to them than it is for them to look for you. Continue reading

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Are Luddite Professors still Effective Educators?

I was recently having a conversation with a college professor about the use of social networks in the higher education classroom. I mentioned that Twitter is an excellent tool for learning, but she disagreed, saying that is a waste of time. Instead of attempting to enlighten her, I heard her out because I wanted to understand how she perceives social networking as a teaching and learning tool.

Her main argument against using social networks, both in education, and in her life, is the invasion of privacy, or lack of privacy, and that very little useful information is actually shared on social networks. Continue reading

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PR Adds Value to Social Networking Efforts

No matter which social networks you or your company uses, to be effective it important to go beyond selling your products or services. If customers want to buy your products or services, they’ll visit your company website, not your Facebook, GooglePlus, or Twitter pages. Social networks are an added value to the customer experience and a resource to stakeholders.

The added value includes building and maintaining loyalty to your brand or company. Social networks seem to be made for creative public relations initiatives and not necessarily for marketing activities.

Creating loyalty is easy: Put the stakeholder first. Can your company provide timely and in-depth information to stakeholders in your industry? Don’t forget that customers will also be interested, but usually they do not look for “business” information. Social networks are effective for posting helpful tips about the company’s offerings, or simply as a additional point of contact for customer service. Continue reading

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Personal Branding for Educators

I’m a huge advocate of teachers and professors using social media to connect with students, but one of the many benefits that many educators don’t realize is that every time they post something online, they are helping to flesh out their personal brand.

Source: Microsoft images

While most people know that branding is used for organizations, professionals, including educators, can easily overlook branding. Simply put, personal branding is the public perception of a person, and, in the age of social media and search engines, everyone has a brand even if they are not aware of it.

In education, personal branding is important to both the educator and the university. Building an online brand is important for career advance, recognition by peers, prospective and current students, and, if the professor has an excellent online reputation, helps the university market its programs.

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