When MySites first graced the uni's system it was like giving someone a tin of beans but without a can opener! The idea of MySites was for staff to have a personal site which they could claim was their own could upload and store data and access their emails, basically a desktop away from home. However like I say they did lack the small but significant tool i.e. the can opener or in MySites case some good underlying social media tools.
With Microsoft buying into Facebook (only a little bit but still significantly enough) it is obvious that they know a thing or two about social networking, and with Microsoft's main consumer base being corporate its only a matter of time before the two were to meet... (obviously they've never been mutually exclusive).
MySites overhaul reeks of influences from Facebook lets have a look at my home page:
www.stephenhodge.blogspot.com ". However please remember that although this is an informal means of communication it is still technically the work place, if you wouldn't mention it in the office don't mention it on the users wall, save that for facebook or down the pub!
You might also notice the means use of "status update" what better way for your line manager to keep track of your actions (again in an informal way), than to give updates... I know this sounds lame but it could come in useful.. possibly!
You have the standard optional information to fill out such as your roles within the university and your skills, I suggest you take some time out to fill this out as best as you can, as filling this out correctly could be quite benificial for future internal jobs and or research purposes etc and fits perfectly into this whole "enterprise" thing....
You get to do the whole friends thing:
Except its called "Collegues"... don't get to carried away with this, remember its not a popularity contest, however selecting and grouping your friends in correct groups, i.e. I've made a group of people with similar roles to myself etc, think how powerful this could be for when you have to either quickly find some colleagues of a set knowledge group, or likewise someone's browsing your profile and thinks ahh researchers, I'll contact one of them about this etc...
MySites most POWERFUL tool!
You get to comment and like things... ok yeah doesn't sound like much but this is AMAZING! ok you have 30 students all with their own profiles, they go through a list of documents on your module site, and your thinking was it really worth uploading those documents I think some of them might be useful but one or two might be a bit lame... you have your flock of students going through the documents if a student likes a file they can give it a like button and or leave a comment... after a term of students rating all your documents etc, you'll get a pritty accurate picture of which files are useful or not and hopefully some reasons as to why! And what with the same site being used year in year out think how accurate this can get with more and more students rating your files/work... please don't think of this as a negative thing if your getting bad comments from your students about your work then prehaps they have a point... however as owner of the said module/programme site you can remove any comments if needs be!
So basically it is Facebook why should I use anything else?
Good point... however do I have you as a friend on Facebook? To give a typical Ladish/British example if you were down the pub and a member of staff walked in would you ask them to sit next to you here have a drink etc... Well you might but you get the point, that this enables you to separate your personal lives and work lives. It also means you can add your fellow students without fear of being swamped, and or keep personal things personal etc. And one final thing every member of staff has a mysite (they might not use it but it still exists).