In a recent post in which I gave my predictions for 2012 I predicted that “Social networking services will continue to grow in importance across the higher education sector“. But how will we be able to assess the accuracy of that prediction? One approach is to see if there are significant changes in the number of links to social media services from institutional home pages. The following survey provides a summary of links to social media services which are hosted on the institutional entry point for the 20 Russell Group universities.
The 20 universities are listed with their links to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc. I’m surprised that Oxford doesn’t have anything listed, given the success of its Mobile Oxford project.
As Brian says, it will be interesting to see how this develops over the year, whether more join in or whether the way these institutions use these media channels change. We have links to the main three on our homepage, but there’s no indication of how we’re using these services. Feels to me that universities are expected to be on Facebook and the rest; that’s the norm, the lowest baseline. Saying we’re on Facebook, and making a big deal out of it, feels a little like us shouting out, “Hey kids! Check us out – our library has computers in it!” It’s not what we have but what we do with it that might make a difference, perhaps?
Maybe that’s why Oxford doesn’t have anything on its homepage. It doesn’t need to.