Gathering #SocialMedia Guidelines from Higher Education #SoMe #edusomedia #highered

To support Laura’s research, we are cross-posting this from her blog. For more information about Laura and her blog, visit TechKnowTools

by Laura Pasquini

Social Media Icons

When discussing social media guidance in higher education, there seems to be a lot of grey areas. Social media use is a relevant topic on many college and university campuses. Over the course of the next few months, my plan is to review social media guidelines to sort out the grey, and identify more black and white ideas about social media guidance.

To pursue my dissertation research, I am currently gathering ANY and ALL Social Media Guidelines from Higher Education Institutions from ANY and ALL COUNTRIES. If you currently attend, work, teach, or know of any a post-secondary institution who provides guidance for social media, then I need your help! Please search your institutional website for “social media” guidelines. Keep in mind, your institutional “guidance” for social media may also be be labelled as: guidelines, policy, tips, rules, beliefs, regulations, strategy, or take on another name. If you are aware of any websites, documents, or artifacts that guide social media at a university or college campus, please COMPLETE THIS FORM.

 Please consider contributing to help advance social media guidance and use at our institutions: 

Submit a Social Media Guideline

The following website was created to gather and build a social media guideline database and share information about this research:

If you have questions, concerns, or want to get more involved in this social media guideline project, please feel free to CONTACT ME. Thank you!

Gathering #SocialMedia Guidelines from Higher Education #SoMe #edusomedia #highered

Blogger’s Choice: How Often Do You Upgrade?

By Brenda Bethman

If you’re an Apple lover (or even not), you might have noticed that they had a little event today at which they unveiled a new “iPad Air” and an iPad Mini retina. Prior to the event, I had sworn that nothing would tempt me to upgrade as I just purchased my iPad Mini last December and it sill works just fine (a little laggy on iOS 7, but otherwise fine).

Of course, I said the same thing prior to the event in September, when the new iPhones were announced, but nonetheless found myself getting up in the middle of the night to order a new iPhone 5S. Normally, I upgrade every two years, but in this case, I was able to sell my old phone for enough to cover the new one — and I had such horrible battery problems with the 5 that I wanted to get on the S-upgrade cycle. I’m glad I did it, but don’t see myself doing an upgrade after only one year again.

Nonetheless, the lure of the retina iPad Mini is strong considering that I use it almost exclusively for reading. The state of my bank account, however, says that I will probably end up waiting for a while on this one.

What about you? How often do you upgrade your technology?

Blogger’s Choice: How Often Do You Upgrade?

The New Professional Life – Finding Balance (And Keeping It)

By Lauren Creamer

Not a single one of my graduate classes or experiences truly prepared me for life as a new professional.

… Okay. That’s only partially true. You just don’t know what it’s like until you live it.

This past July I began a my job in Residence Life at an elite institution that is approximately 13 hours away from my home in Rhode Island and 15 hours away from my graduate life in Boston.  I’m down here with a very limited support system and in full swing with my new job. As you can imagine (or potentially remember from your own experience), I’ve been a tad bit overwhelmed. And it wasn’t until this month began, that I finally started to get myself grounded.

Let me start by saying, that I have some of the world’s greatest frolleagues (you know, friend-colleagues). They have been incredibly supportive and great mentors throughout my transition. Without them, I would be completely lost.  

While I once would have liked to believe that I was the captain of my own ship, I’ve recently learned the following: you cannot do it alone. You cannot do it all. And you cannot forget that.

I typically work a 50+ hour work-week. It’s never less and sometimes it’s more. I answer emails all day, every day. I let my staff members text me with questions. I live where I work. I work where I live.  I continue to talk about work with anyone who will listen at any point in any day. And I’ve recently discovered just how stupid I am being. That is a great way to burn myself out in year one. So, what have I done (and what can you do) to bring back the balance?

  • Leave the office at dinner time. Yes, we all stay later. And that’s fine. But not at the expense of your own health. For the love of Pete, there will always be more work to do. Leave it and eat a sandwich.
  • Stop checking your email all night. Oh, hello iPhone, you devil, you. While it truly is wonderful to check email on-the-go, those nights where I let it charge and ignore the buzz are the ones where I am the least anxious and most relaxed. If there is an emergency, someone will call you.
  • Go off the grid on the weekends. It isn’t until I leave town that I truly feel free. No laptop. No “homework”. No nothin’.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  I think I spent eight straight weeks avoiding asking more questions than I thought were appropriate. That was dumb. It’s better to know than to assume.  Plus, everyone wants you to do a good job anyway.
  • Call your friends and family. Do you remember that wonderful invention called the telephone? Use it. Friends and family keep us sane. At the end of a long, hard day, it helps to hear the voice of someone you love.

The moral of my story? Unplug when you need to and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Since I’ve recognized the need to change in me, my mood has improved, my overall happiness has increased, and I feel more confident in my position. (And it’s a good thing I didn’t agree to write more blog posts this season, otherwise there would have been more on my plate and less in my outbox).

The New Professional Life – Finding Balance (And Keeping It)

Highlight an App: Groupme

By Niki Messmore

These are strange times for communication. We live in a period that has dozens of available platforms to communicate with others (phone, Skype, Facetime, Facebook, Twitter, etc) yet it can still be difficult to touch base with those we care about. While 3-way phone calls were a hip thing back when I was a teen, society’s methods for group communication have evolved. Yet besides Facebook and email, what are the best ways to communicate with a group?

If you say texting, you’re only partially correct – while many of the smart phones will create a group text that allows everyone to see all responses, if a person has a different brand phone or a ‘dumb’ phone, then it appears as randomized texting gibberish that gets confusing to understand.

Groupme is the alternative that brings together a group conversation over text regardless of phone type. This app is available for download over phones, tablets, and computers. You register using your phone number and then, upon granting access to your phone, groupme will bring up all your contacts who use groupme. Have a contact who does not? No problem! As long as you have their phone number you can add someone to a group conversation – even if they haven’t downloaded the app.

The app is simple to use and allows images to be sent along with texts as well. All images sent within the group are saved, providing you with a private photo album.

I enjoy groupme for keeping in touch with groups of friends. It allows us all to communicate and send updates on lives at once, hereby making it easier to keep in touch and have ‘real talk’ about life updates. It can also be great for special event planning and other work opportunities when having quick contact with one another can be crucial.

I’m not a heavy user of groupme just yet – mostly because a)I’m a grad student, b)it is October; ergo c)I have less time for social fun – but I think it is a simple and creative way to communicate with groups of people. Special shout out to Courtney Rousseau for introducing me to the app!

So what do you think – is groupme an efficient and fun way to keep in touch with people? Or are there better alternatives out there? Let me know in the comments or hit me up via Twitter @NikiMessmore


Highlight an App: Groupme

Making your life easier: The Digital Purge

By Valerie Heruska

I don’t know about you, but I love a good purge of things.  About twice a year, I get the itch to purge items in my life: clothes, books, appliances, and things that I have no idea how they came into my possession. It’s easy to get rid of things that are laying around are homes and offices, but how often do you think of the digital purge?

Here are some ways that I like to make my life easier by doing a digital purge:

1.  Start with the email.  This article, The Digital Purger: How to Nuke your Email Inbox, explains several things you can do to make your email life easier.  Here are a few Highlights:

  • Plenty of sites and services that are no doubt bombarding your inbox right now. They need to be zapped. Is Facebook telling you every time somebody likes your vacation photos? Does Twitter fill you in every time anyone does anything anywhere near one of your tweets? Don’t you constantly check these services anyway? Wait, a random high school acquaintance joined Pinterest?? I wonder what kind of cupcakes they’re pinning. Yep… take the 15 minutes to unsubscribe from those emails. I find myself deleting them anyway and I’m too broke to buy any Living Social Escape.
  • Limit your email intake. If you’re habitually checking your email dozens of times per day, stop it.  For most of us, the amount of attention we pay our inboxes each day vastly outweighs the value we realistically derive from it.

2.  Social Media Purge

  • Facebook: I’ve purged a lot of people off my friends list because they add no value to my life. Yep, that’s the harsh truth, but really, why do I need someone in my life who adds nothing? That’s just silly. I think a good way (and I know many people who do this) to purge FB “friends” is to look at who has a birthday – if you write “Happy Birthday” on their wall – keep them. If you’re like “meh…” unfriend them. Simple.
  • Twitter: I know a lot of people who I’ve cut from my followers list because they simply don’t add value and clog up my feed.  I also get tired of people retweeting and preaching the same stuff. So, adios twitter user, I’m just not that into you.

3. Documents and pictures

  • I have two external harddrives filled with stuff from 2001 – today. Why am I keeping all of this nonsense: drafts of old papers, pictures of people who I unfriended awhile ago,so on and so forth. Purge the things you don’t use.

I use the same mantra when purging things in my apartment: if I haven’t used/worn it in a year… out it goes. What advice do you have for the digital purge?

Making your life easier: The Digital Purge

The Importance of Authenticity Online

by Kristen Abell

Recently, I’ve been struggling with this idea of being authentic online – not because I think I’m not authentic, but because I know for a fact that there is someone who isn’t. Every time this person tweets or blogs about being professional, I have the strong urge to punch something because I know it’s completely inaccurate. I know that in person, this individual has demonstrated a number of unprofessional behaviors, and the fact that this same individual is touted for their professionalism online just burns a little bit – okay, a lot.

But what can I do? I can’t control this person’s online behavior any more than I can control their offline behavior. Nor is it my job or responsibility to do so. So why does this bug me so much?

The reason it bugs me is that it tends to throw a pallor over everyone I’ve met online but have yet to meet face to face. How do I know they’re being authentic online? If it’s this easy for one person to convince those who follow him/her that they are the real deal, wouldn’t it be just as easy for someone else to do the same thing? And frankly, doesn’t this throw a shadow over my reputation online and off, as well?

But again, I can’t control this person’s online behavior. So here’s what I can do…

  • I can be the most authentic me online that I know how to be. This doesn’t mean sharing every detail about my life, but it does mean that I share my faults as well as my successes. It means I don’t have multiple Twitter or Facebook identities, and I’m both a person and a professional on whatever I do have.
  • I can choose to unfollow and not promote those who I know to be false online personalities – even if they’re popular or the flavor of the day.
  • I can trust people – if I choose to not trust anyone on the basis of this one person, I’m falling prey to their behavior just as much as if I believed and praised their online behavior. Truthfully, I believe that most of us are pretty authentic online, and there are a few people who choose not to be, who choose to use this medium to be someone else. I don’t need to base my trust on those few.
  • I can encourage and educate others on being authentic online in the hopes that the scales will continue to balance towards us instead of those few who aren’t.
  • I can quit letting this person get to me so much – fine, that’s easier said than done, but it’s something I can work on.

No, I can’t control this person’s online behavior, but I can continue to work on authenticity online.

How do you build trust and authenticity online?

The Importance of Authenticity Online

Follow Friday: Fitness Edition (Plus Bonus Link)

By Brenda Bethman

Credit: spykster, Flickr (via Fit Bottomed Girls)
Credit: spykster, Flickr (via Fit Bottomed Girls)

As you know (and may well be sick of hearing) from previous posts, I recently embarked on a quest to get more fit (or, well, fit at all if I’m going to be honest). Because I’m one of those people who likes to research everything, I’ve started following some fitness blogs and am sharing them for this edition of Follow Friday:

Women’s Health Magazine:The emphasis on weight loss and getting a “hot” body is annoying, but if you can get past that, there’s some good information on nutrition and fitness, as well as some good workouts, usually with video.

Fit Bottomed Girls: A more feminist and body-positive spin on women’s fitness (how can you not love a group who titles their book The Anti-Diet?), this site contains a wealth of information on fitness, nutrition and health. They’re also funny, which is a plus.

eat, live, runIf all this working out is making you hungry, here’s a blog with some fabulous (and healthy!) recipes

Happy reading and eating!

Oh, and that bonus link? Go check out Eric Stoller’s list of 20 (all-female) SA pros to follow on Twitter. It’s definitely a “must follow” list.

Follow Friday: Fitness Edition (Plus Bonus Link)

Be the Change, or Shut Up About it Already

By Kathryn Magura

Howdy everyone! Last time I posted, I lamented about how we always talk about being busy, but how that seems to not really mean anything anymore. Being busy is more like a Facebook status than actual tangible outcomes: A lot of words with no real meaning. Today I thought I’d rabble rouse a bit more and talk about whining.

That’s right, I said whining. I hear a lot of it at work, and I would be remiss in not owning up to my own culpability in hopping on the whiner train at times. So what’s the point? Why complain about something for the sake of complaining? What good does that actually do?

A few years ago, a mentor of mine encouraged me to put in a program proposal for a regional Housing conference. I had very little presentation experience at the time, and had not even thought about attending that particular conference that upcoming year. I had attended the conference the previous year, and found most of the programs to be bland and for entry level resident directors. I was not a resident director, and had a hard time finding transferable knowledge from the presented materials. I proceeded to whine to my mentor about how there were never any programs for my area of speciality in housing operations. My mentor, always wise beyond my years, nudged me with this little gem: “If you don’t like the options presented to you, offer an alternative.” To this day I still remember those words when I find myself falling down the whiner rabbit hole.

I didn’t like the program options available to me, yet hesitated to offer my own program ideas. How exactly was that going to change my situation? Similar to the myth of being busy, I think we take a lot of solace in our ability to complain about things without having to take ownership over them. That year I took my mentor’s advice, and presented at the conference. This was a true turning point for me in my career, because it gave me a different perspective about how I to could influence change in my professional organization by contributing to it.

To this day, I hold on to that piece of advice and use it with the staff I supervise. When my student staff complain about a policy or procedure, I ask them to offer an alternative. When a parent complains to me about something happening with their student’s experience in our residence halls, I usually ask them what a positive resolution would be. What do you need to feel better about this situation?

As I look around at the Student Affairs community I see on social media, I see some tendencies to complain about something, without offering alternative solutions. How different could our field be if we looked for ways to influence change instead of just complaining about the things we don’t like? Think of the example we could set for others – including the students with whom we work!

So what do you think? Are you in?

Be the Change, or Shut Up About it Already