The Academic Impressions conference on tech-savvy communications wrapped up this afternoon. As higher ed conferences go, this was a small and intensive meeting in which we tried to compress a lot of information about the social web into a short amount of time and also give participants a practical plan to take away from the event. I think we met our objectives.
The two-day program was actually an “institute,” and more interactive than many larger conferences I’ve attended. And even though the group was small, it was also one of the most diverse I’ve seen in terms of the types of institutions the people represented. There was a head of school from a private high school and his assistant, a couple of folks from the IT department of a public research university, marketing and PR folks from community colleges, public and private schools, and a pre-college school district in Canada. We even had someone who works in the real estate development business in attendance. This made for a broad array of perspectives on how best to incorporate online methods into various institutions’ overall communications strategies. Some left the conference with plans to better monitor their online reputation. Others plan to incorporate RSS, podcasting, online video and blogging. A few participants plan examine whether a social networking site might help them reach younger alumni or prospective students. I’m pretty sure all of them will start surfing Technorati regularly to see who’s saying what about their organizations.
All in all, I believe each of us (including me) left the meeting with ideas that will help us become more tech savvy in how we use social networking/web 2.0 tools. That’s what we hoped to accomplish, so good for us.
But can you believe I forgot to share these book recommendations? D’oh! But that’s OK. Now I have an excuse to follow up with participants. I’ll send them a link to that post.