SMUG Extension Classes


Social Media University, Global (SMUG) is built on the distance-learning paradigm. And unlike traditional universities with on-line programs, we don’t have a requirement that some of the credits be taken on campus in a group setting.

Frankly, we don’t have room for all y’all. (I understand that’s the plural for the singular Texas “y’all.”)

Don’t get me wrong, we’d love to have you visit… one at a time. While you’re here in Austin, Minn. you can also see the world-famous SPAM museum. People have been known to come from as far as Hawaii and Guam to visit the birthplace of the canned meat that saved Western civilization during WW II.

So if they’ll travel that far for SPAM, maybe you’d want to do it for SMUG, right?

If not, and if you’d like to organize a group to have SMUG’s Extension Service bring an intensive session of classes to your community or company, let’s talk. Face-to-face dialogue is still the most effective way to learn.

We can do a Blogging Bootcamp. A Facebook Forum. A Wiki Workshop. A Twitter Tutorial. A Podcasting Program. Or we could tie it all together into a Social Media Summit.

Then you can continue your SMUG education through our on-line courses.

The map above, which is from my Facebook Cities I’ve Visited application, is useful in three respects:

  1. If you see a pin on the map for your city, I’ve been there before. Not for SMUG classes, but I know how to get there. I’d be glad to visit again.
  2. If you don’t see a pin for your city (or if your continent isn’t even shown!), it would be a new adventure for me. That would be fun, too.
  3. All blog posts should have a graphic or video of some kind to make them more interesting. Having the map accomplished that for this post.

If you’re interested in SMUG Extension, see the “Contact the Chancellor” box on this page.

Facebook Fights False Newsfeeds

Nick at AllFacebook highlights an extremely important Facebook newsfeed change. Here’s an excerpt:

Facebook has announced significant changes to the newsfeed. This is part of their ongoing battle against spammy applications. As Ari Steinberg has posted on the Facebook developer blog, application must now only post active newsfeed stories. Stories such as “Nick has just been superpoked” will now longer be accepted. Instead, only actions taken by the user can be posted. This is going to have a significant impact on the numerous applications that have been taking advantage of the newsfeed for application promotions.

This hits close to home for me, because a colleague at work had noticed an item in his newsfeed that said something like “Lee Aase has a new top photo.” When he clicked the link, here’s the photo he saw:


My Facebook friend Walter Jennings (an American expatriate in Australia, whom I met through the Arthur W. Page Society meeting in September), had posted this on his FunWall. I had never seen it before. Yet it was published in a feed to many of my friends as my top photo.

I believe Facebook is uniquely positioned to be the all-purpose networking tool for both personal and professional purposes. For that to happen, though, it can’t afford to have applications that publish false newsfeed articles about a person.

I see this as just as big an issue as the Beacon controversy was. In fact, it’s one step worse. At least in the pre-reformed Beacon, updates were being sent to friends based on users’ actions. To send an update to my friends, claiming that this was my new Top Photo even though I had never seen it, is completely unacceptable.

The good news is that with Facebook’s recent newsfeed changes this shouldn’t happen again. Nick asks whether Facebook has “turned the ‘viral dial’ down too much.” I say definitely not. This is a crucial change Facebook needed to make. It’s one thing to pass along my actions virally. It’s quite another to label someone else’s actions as mine.

What do you think?