Academic Institutions on Facebook

Melissa Cheater at the Academica blog compiled a survey of institutions of higher education with a presence Facebook and published a post titled “How higher ed is using Facebook Pages.”
She found more than 420 IHE-related Facebook Pages. It is interesting to note that Facebook does not provide a standard way to identify authorship — so she was unable to determine who published the page: the school, a staff or faculty member, or someone who thought there should be one? This poses an interesting question of “authority” — how reliable are Facebook Pages as sites of valid and trusted information?
The full post is worth a read.

2 thoughts on “Academic Institutions on Facebook”

  1. Thanks so much for reading, and for the referral!
    I was in touch with Facebook back in November regarding this whole author/ownership issue. As far as someone else impersonating you, or your school/company – they respond that at any time you can hit the “report” link at the bottom of the page, to request a review of who should own the page etc. So if a customer starts a page, you can bump them off so to speak and take over the page.
    My recommendation is to just keep an eye on your facebook visibility (regular keyword searches of groups, pages etc) and contact any new pages or groups related to you or your content, and just check who it is and then decide whether you are ok with them representing you etc. MTV actually had huge success by forming partnerships with unofficial groups and now routinely includes it in its marketing efforts.
    Keep in touch!

  2. Melissa,
    Good points — it’s good to be reminded there are ways to “take back” your identity, at least, through Facebook. Your recommendation about tracking yourself in social media is an excellent one. I blogged about something similar several years ago (see Blogs as Patron Intelligence) — it’s a great idea to set up searches in common search engines and social networking sites for your organization, name, etc., so that you know when people are talking about you. Most of the time you’ll get good feedback for tweaking internal processes — and occasionally something you’ll want to react to in a more explicit way.
    It’s important to keep an eye on the conversation.

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