If you build it… will we use it?

I will be 100% honest.  If we moved some UWT communications functions to a blog today, we would have a lot of people who would not read it.

That’s my opinion.

I’ve seen so much radically change in my career.  From my days in the military where communication was whatever the First Sargent said was treated as if it was the word of God to now as the owner of two blogs and literally dozens of listservs, online profiles, and so on. I’ve seen the memo come and go, bulletin boards go from cork and pin to PHP, and computers go from mainframe to hand held.  In my mind, communication is more important and more open now than it has ever been.

But what I’m seeing is a bit of an old way of doing things here.  We’ve had UWTLine for as long as I can remember, I’d bet it’s getting close to 10 years old now.  It’s been a workhorse for us and kudos to Steve for making it and maintaining it and putting up with people like me questioning it all the time.  I think it’s time to explore some other options.  Slowly at first, of course.

I like to push things a bit (here I am on this blog) but I’m also realistic enough to recognize that if you make radical change here you’ll have a revolution.  So, slowly, you do a few things: experiment, measure, then build and support.

I think we’re ready for the experiment stage.  This doesn’t mean throwing away UWTLine but just adding some new communications tools to the toolbox and seeing how they are received.

Along with this experimentation, It’s important that we clean up UWTLine and clarify some of the rules.  I’m not sure how we could do that, maybe have a moderator, maybe do a daily digest of information (that’s how the Libraries handle it in Seattle).

I lean toward the “digest” idea simply because it prepares people for what the information will look like when or if the data ever gets put in Web 2.0 format.

But whatever happens at this point, I think it needs to be a campus-wide discussion.  Maybe a committee (no groaning) to look at ways we can change communication?  They present ideas to the Chancellor and she signs off and we start changing things.

Count me in if you all want help with that.  For now, I’ve got to get back to other work: this isn’t the only boundary I’m pushing, I’m trying to unleash hand held internet devices on UWT also.

Cheers

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1 Comment

Filed under Technology Pulse

One response to “If you build it… will we use it?

  1. I am drinking your kool-aid.

    EWU advertised their version (www.ewu.edu/gme) with an email sent to the entire campus every Tuesday morning. The email would include highlights and teasers about the information on their blog/newsletter.

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