Monday, September 25, 2006

Spartan Blogs

Looks like after a little time, the Spartan Blog is up and going now. Ironically, they took a different take on the Associated Students. Good stuff though.

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A Little Micro Genius

Steve Rubel said it best in his post today on Newspapers and Web 2.0:

Blogging has been wonderful for newspapers. It unshackles reporters from just delivering facts. They can now show who they are as people through the expression of opinions. However, blogging is the first in a series of dominoes that have to fall for the newspaper to thrive in a world where the reader rules - and tells everyone so.

For newspapers to survive, they need to turn themselves into an online and offline platform for local readers. I don't mean a platform for contributing to the reporting process. They're doing that already (and nicely). What I am saying is that local newspapers need to use their brands and their big web sites to help local readers profit emotionally and monetarily by: selling goods peer-to-peer, expressing themselves, developing new kinds of technologies, connecting through online and offline local social networking and more. Think Google or Yahoo, not USA Today.

In short, they need to become destinations where almost all value is created by the "readers," not by the publisher or journalists. This means tearing pages right out of the Wikipedia/Second Life playbook. In both of these communities, the greatest value is created by the crowd, not the online destination itself. The community is merely the operating system that enables value creation. Newspapers need to do the same - both online and off.


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Posting on Skype from "Down Under"

SJSU photojournalism and international student, Jason Fithian, posted this article on the proposed ban of Skype today from Brisbane, Australia.

In the letter he sent to Bob Neal, Jason wrote:

As an exchange student abroad, I rely heavily on Skype daily. Skype is my main source of contact with my friends and family back home, along with colleagues at San José State University.

As I have taken the plunge and made myself vulnerable to gain another perspective of the world, I do have a greater global awareness. I understand the importance of communicating with others outside the United States; Skype makes that possible.

It just goes to show you how connecting Web 2.0 technologies can be, and how foolish it would be to deny such valuable services to students.

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Where's Campus Leadership?

The proposed ban on Skype has brought to my attention the lack of Associated Student involvement on this issue.

As stated before, the banning of Skype without student input is as much a student's rights issue as any other. So why hasn't the Associated Students Board of Directors come out in protest?

Here's another concern. How are Government officals supposed to know what the fears and concerns of students are when they, themselves, do not even have updated information on the student government.

Whole segments of the AS government website haven't been updated since the 2003-2004 school year.

And this is Silicon Valley?!

This seems especially critical considering a large portion of the student base doesn't live on campus. A means of communication with AS, outside of attending board meetings, must be established so the Government can act on student needs and concerns.

Why not create a Digg style "Question Box" site for the Associated Students? That way officers can't use the excuse that they don't know about issues like the banning of Skype (although this story is hard to miss).

The AS Government writes in its mission statement:

Our mission is to represent the students of San José State University and continually improve the quality of their educational opportunities and experiences.
The use of Skype and such emerging technologies would clearly further this end, yet I haven't seen and heard anything from AS in support of the students and teachers protesting the University's move.

Where is AS?

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