[CSG Spring 2006] Paul Hill on social software

Paul Hill from MIT starts off by stating that, since universities are in the business of nurturing lifetime and multi-generational relationships, then we need to be in the social software space. He then asks why we would encourage (or allow) faculty to do course interactions in commercial services, and what the relationship to FERPA and … Continue reading “[CSG Spring 2006] Paul Hill on social software”

Paul Hill from MIT starts off by stating that, since universities are in the business of nurturing lifetime and multi-generational relationships, then we need to be in the social software space.

He then asks why we would encourage (or allow) faculty to do course interactions in commercial services, and what the relationship to FERPA and other regulations are. This will drive us to create many parallel services of our own.

we encourage students to collaborate and work in teams. There are pedagogical styles that support engagement and reinforce learning objectives. We want to increase interaction between students and faculty. IM helps facilitate that at MIT. Zephyr, MIT’s messaging system, has seen a decrease in use, and there’s anecdotal evidence that faculty are asking students for their IM handles on commercial systems.

Policy issues – are you going to provide logging of IM? Will these systems have implications for ID management? How will you respond to requests for logs, etc.?

Will you create a closed community or an open community?

What are the long term implications for your namespace?
Convergence – shared whiteboard and IM

Paul shows scripts.mit.edu – allows anyone on campus to run pretty much any script through a web server.

Standards in this space – SIP

Jabber/XMPP is gaining critical mass. There’s now 26 people in the back channel chat room – last CSG the max was 8.

SVG will be of interest – not coming as fast as hoped, but there are plugins for most browsers.

Blog standards? There are lots of posting APIs, but no formal standards.

Also in wikis there are de-facto standards, but not formal ones. RL Bob notes that divergence of markup makes it hard to make content portable.

Ken asks what the implications of Infocards will be in this space for access control. Paul says that the focus of Infocard is the phishing problem, not total identity control. RL Bob – “Just a new way to log in.”

Bob notes that there are a number of people working on Shibboleth-enabling Confluence – Internet2 among them. At MIT IS&T is introducing support for campus for both Media Wiki and Confluence.

Paul shows an ink enabled wiki. Unfortunately, the ink standard is a Microsoft “open standard”. But at least the information is published.

Yale supports Jive for chat, integrated with their auth systems.

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