Finally reaching the end of my brain dump from eduWEB 2008. I know your probably tired of hearing me talk about this conference, so this is the last one… I promise! The excitement of being back at the office is setting in and I’m attempting to follow Brad’s Now What advice, but unfortunately I already do so much of that anyway. So let’s get through these final two lasting points so you can get back to work and on with your life.
Cloud computing IS going to change everything
Mike’s presentation on Cloud computing introduced a few new reasons why it is the future architecture of the web. I’m already a big advocate of cloud computing as we are in the middle of building a video streaming service based around it this summer, but it has so many uses and lots of services use it now that you probably don’t even think about. Gmail, Flickr, YouTube, and many more are great examples of Cloud computing at it’s finest. There are also lots of really good reasons to get on board with cloud computing from an institutional perspective:
- You only pay for what you use
- No hardware required
- System administration is minimal or nonexistent
- Streaming media optimization
- Secure Storage Back-up
- Emergency/Disaster Recovery
I’m sure I’m missing quite a few, but you can easily see the many benefits of living and thinking in the clouds.
The true social networking is in the actual physical meet up
Finally the true social network is in the physical networking. College students always have a huge number of individuals in their network because of the nature of being a college student, you are always meeting and hanging out with lots of other people your own age. This is mostly because the nature of technology runs so deep in individuals of that age. I’ve noticed that there are few individuals from my class and my advanced age, an ancient twenty-seven years old, who are on social networks, but for each year younger the number trends up exponentially until it quickly hits about 95% for twenty-two year olds. I’m specifically talking about Facebook use among college students, but this stretches across all networks.
I have noticed that more of my High School and College friends slowly are trickling onto Facebook, MySpace, and even LinkedIn, but they definitely aren’t the power users of the individuals even a few years my junior. I’ll be the first to admit it’s sometimes a little awkward to get a request from someone you knew in College or High School whom you weren’t necessarily great friends. You know you will never truly reconnect with them, but those few minutes that you accept their request and scan their profile to find out what’s changed… most of the time not much, is kind of nostalgic and comforting to know that if you were to need them again you would have a means to contact them.
Physically meeting so many people that I have been reading their blogs and twittering back and forth with for months was an amazing experience! I felt like we were able to connect immediately and although we had never meet before and in a lot of cases only seen a single picture of each other we were able to instantly break into conversation of our shared interest and unique quirks that we already knew about each other. I have no doubt that this physical connectedness will only serve to strengthen our online connectiveness and I’m actually afraid of how the twittering will affect my productivity at work.
For all the new people I meet for the first time and we spent time together and traded screennames or business cards welcome to the addition of the blogosphere and the social Higher Ed Web world! After the great experience the pressure is definitely on to make it to HighEdWeb and not miss out. I might not fly again, but the thirteen hour car ride looks equally dreadful.