Culture Online: Contact Not Content is King

Is there something that can be described as the “online culture?”  I don’t think so, but I do think that technology is structuring the way we think and interact and I do think that there are cultural norms broadly perpetuated and upheld.  Online culture, although diverse, still maintains persistent themes. In describing how this first “internet generation” has grown up, Tapscott (2011) identified eight norms or “distinctive attitudinal and behavioral characteristics that differentiate this generation from their babyboom parents and other generations” (Kindle Locations 1957-1958). These themes included: freedom, customization, scrutiny, integrity,… Read More

Digital Identity Is NOT About (A Separate) Identity At All

My research passion is about college students and how social media and technology impacts the developmental process. Unfortunately, I’ve found a lot of the discourse in student affairs around this subject to be lacking. When you attend a conference session or read a thought piece centered around this topic, they often focus on marketing, technological tools, and their use, rather than what’s occurring at a more theoretical or fundamental level. If articles and sessions do focus on student development, it is often on the byproducts of a larger developmental process rather than on how technology may be changing the… Read More

The Social Media Mindset (Hint: ‘Yer Doin’ It Wrong)

Last week I had the privilege of being invited to speak to the amazing staff at Johnson & Wales University in Denver and also do a five-hour consultation on their social media efforts.  I have done a number of social media consults for departments, and other campus entities, and one of the questions that always arises is: “Can you show me a good example of a university doing social media?” I can understand why people ask this question.  Higher education and student affairs professionals are known for their free and open sharing… Read More

The Bacon Kitty George Takei Star Wars Experience 2: Now with Circus Clowns!

Approximately one month ago, I wrote a blog post entitled “The Bacon Kitty George Takei Star Wars Experience” about my definition of social media.  A few weeks prior, I had also titled a post, “Your Professional Network is Powered by Bacon.”  After doing this, an odd thing happened.  In the statistics for my website, “bacon” became the most frequent search term directing traffic to my site. The following are the search engine term statistics from my site for the past 30 days:

Cookies in the Lounge! What The College Dorm Can Teach Us About Building Community Online

“Door decs” with your name on it… Crafting in the lobby… An icebreaker where you rhyme your name with a vegetable… you might be surprised by how a college Resident Assistant (RA) goes about building and maintaining community.  Of course, the RA position is far more complex than the stereotype that often gets portrayed, or the hokey activities that are often the source of satire, but some of this “hokiness” is there because it works… and yes, some of it is just hokey. One of the current courses I am taking at… Read More