University of York - Strategic web networking urged

April 10, 2008

Universities should appoint "Facebook strategists" according to a paper on social networking websites being considered by the University of York. The "strategists" would keep up to date with changes to Facebook and other sites such as Flickr and YouTube, the paper suggests. Its author, Marianne Hardy, a researcher in York's department of sociology, also recommends that the university draw up guidelines for staff and students on contact between them via the sites. "Profile contact on Facebook with current students may not send the right message for (a) professional working environment," she says. Departments should also be given advice on how to represent themselves on Facebook, she adds. She told Times Higher Education: "Universities struggle to deal with the concept of their identity across social networking sites, and students do not have a clear understanding of what is acceptable."

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