Amazing to think that today was my final New Media Management Class. My classmates were from all over the world (Spain, India, South Korea, China, and Columbia). Hearing their perspectives on social media and how to implement strategies was simply fascinating. We are all going to stay in touch through our Facebook page and Twitter accounts. A few of my classmates have already started implementing social media programs in their respective organizations. I’m excited to hear about their progress!
Reflecting back on the course, my most memorable moment was a class activity that Prof Mergel arranged. The theme for the class was understanding the digital divide. Prof Mergel had us wear sunglasses smeared with vaseline. She then asked us to read our Facebook page displayed by the projector.
The lesson of the class really hit home for me. When social media applications are implemented into an organizations communication strategy, they cannot serves as supplements to a long standing communications strategy. Too often we consider all the ways that social media opens channels of communication and neglect to realize that we may also be closing channels as well. This builds on my last post about looking at social media as a way to continually audit your organizations practices.
The class also informed us that most social networking sites are not compliant with section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. This gives people with disabilities equal access to digital information that government is posting online. Our guest speaker for the class was named Alexandar Williams. Alex is currently a student at Syracuse University, attending Syracuse on the Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program. Alex is originally from Accra, Ghana. Williams has a fascinating story and is doing fantastic work in his home country. He currently is an assistant director with the Ghana Society for the Blind.
Alex’s work at the Ghana Society for the Blind is to help develop assistive technology for the blind. Alex helps develop and train the blind to use screen readers and other adaptive technology in Ghana. You can learn more about Alexander here, remarkable story and hopefully you will have the privilege to cross paths with him. My Professor also wrote a blog post on this class. The class seemed to really take a lot out from the activity and meeting Alex.
To give you an idea aboout the amount of content that we covered in the course, below is a list of class topics. We also had great conversations with numerous Gov 2.0 Rock-Stars, the guest speakers in the course are also noted.
- New media in the public, corporate and non-profit sector
- Access, digital divide, new media literacy
- Participation in Government (Guest speaker: Dustin Haisler, CIO City of Manor, TX Open Government)
- Transparency in Government (Guest speaker: David Fletcher, CIO State of Utah)
- Collaboration in government (Guest speaker: Nick Charney, Government of Canada)
- Open government: Practical implication (Guest speaker – Robert Freeman, Open Government Committee NY State, Albany)
- New media use in emergency management (Guest speaker – Mark Headd, Open311 and TweetMy311)
- New media management strategies & policies (Guest speaker – Bill Greeves, IT Director Roanoke County)
- Performance measurement: ROI of social media Qualitative and quantitative impact measure
- New Media pitfalls
- Privacy, Identity management, Location-based services