At the Ref Desk (3/25/17): Happy 1st Day of Spring Quarter! [more...]

Follow Your Users (Because They Sure as Hell Aren't Going to Follow You)

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 1/13/07 (8:43pm)

Jon Alper, the Director of Technology at WGBH Interactive was asked at a conference by a j-school teacher (of all things) how to coax students away from MySpace.com and towards the school's own blog instead.

Alper's answer, as reported by Carleen Hawn from PaidContent, was essentially that posting on MySpace.com was bad because it abetted free content to the detriment of traditional (legitimate) content like newspapers and broadcast media.

It's hard to know where to start with such an approach. As Hawn herself points out, "...Isn't the idea of New New Media to leverage as many entities as possible?"

At a more basic level, the students are no dupes. They're simply following the crowd -- the market, the popular choice. Myspace.com is where they perceive their postings will have the widest and most significant audience.

And who's to argue with them? Instead of trying to rope them back in, the teacher should be working on how to get out there himself -- how to use their tools to his instructional advantage.

This stuff isn't rocket science.

Institution: