When many of us think social media we think Facebook and MySpace and YouTube. It also includes other tools and platforms that allow for interaction. It doesn't only have to be "social" conversation. It includes bookmarking adn content sharing tools such as Delicious and Digg.
Higher education hasn't made the most of this media yet. But here are a few good tips on how to optimize current Web pages for the social media.
I encourage you to read the entries, but here's the synopsis (really not that different from general optimization rules):
1) Increase your linkability
2) Make tagging and bookmarking easy
3) Reward inbound links
4) Help your content travel
5) Encourage the mashup
6) Be a user resource, even if it doesn’t help you
7) Reward helpful and valuable users
9) Know how to target your audience
10) Create content
11) Be real
12) Don’t forget your roots, be humble
13) Don’t be afraid to try new things, stay fresh
14) Develop a SMO strategy
15) Choose your SMO tactics wisely.
16) Make SMO part of your process and best practices
I have to confess that while I've used many social networking sites and visited many others, I rely only on a few. I subscribe to newsfeeds of a few blogs for work and pleasure and I've watched what others in higher education have been doing.
Right now I'm interested in making it easier to share and bookmark our college's research. But I have yet to add the widgets to make that possible from our Web site. Our blog site has the RSS feed and a simple script I found for adding the feed directly into iGoogle. Our internal audience isn't filled with early adopters and many have no idea what an RSS feed even is.