Friday, February 18, 2011

Community College Blogging: A Conversation with Dr Troy Swanson

On Thursday I had the pleasure of talking with Dr Troy Swanson, an Associate Professor / Teaching and Learning Librarian at Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills, IL. In December Troy completed his PhD in Community College Leadership at Old Dominion University. His dissertation is titled The Administration of Community College Blogs: Considering Control and Adaptability in Loosely Coupled Systems. In the podcast, Troy discusses some of his findings.

Here’s some dissertation background from Troy:
Web 2.0 technologies present an unlimited potential for outreach to the public by college employees. This presents a conundrum for community college administrators that David Weinberger calls "the conundrum of control." This conundrum is that organizations need to find a way to organize people around technology to ensure that it is used to further the organization’s mission. Yet, in terms of 2.0 technologies, the more controls that are put in place, the less useful the tools become.

There is also a second conundrum around technology that challenges mangers. This is that the more controls that are in place around a technology, the easier it is to communicate and transfer that technology across the organization. But, the more difficult it is for organization members to adapt the technology to meet new needs.

As one of oldest form of 2.0 technology, the management of blogs presents lessons that we can use for other, newer, 2.0 technologies.

I interviewed administrators and blog authors at community colleges across the US to see how colleges were managing their blogs. The focus was on administrative blogs as opposed to course-related or faculty blogs that discussed their research.  The larger purpose of the study was to see how easily the technology could adapt to new needs and whether campuses were restricting the use of blogs. What kinds of guidance were campus leaders giving to bloggers who were representing the college?
The study’s findings offer a peak into how the administrative structures of community colleges impact technology and Web 2.0. Listen to the 30 minute and 40 second podcast in your browser by clicking the play button below.

Here's how to contact Troy:

Troy’s Email:
Troy on Twitter:

Moraine Valley Library Link (includes blogs, podcasts, Facebook, etc):

If you have iTunes installed you can listen to and subscribe to our podcasts by clicking here.

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