Over the past two-plus years, we’ve all noticed the growth in the personal and professional use of social networking sites. Many of us who work in communications, marketing, or electronic publishing fields have set up our own personal accounts on a number of sites. Some University communications professionals have even developed sites for their units, events, or special interest groups.
As University Relations works to create a new branding policy and update the existing WWW Publishing Policy, we are asking some hard questions.
What role does social networking play for any individual unit on the U campus?
How does the use of these sites – the way they look and what they say - portray our image or brand?
When and where do our policies conflict with the terms of service on various social networking sites?
How does social networking fit into a unit’s overall marketing plan and staffing resources?
University Relations is actively researching the terms of service on the most popular social networking sites and will be meeting with a representative from the Office of the General Council to help us interpret these terms along with our policies.
We are asking communications professionals at other universities how they’ve handled social networking on their campus.
We hope to engage our U of M colleagues in our exploring the purposes and goals of social networking sites.
I know that we’re already behind in this realm and that answers probably won’t come as quickly as we’d all like. Keep checking this blog for updates. Also, follow me on Twitter @goldiegopher, where I hope to tweet about things I find along the way in my research. And most certainly, please post your comments on the blog.