Tuesday, July 05, 2005

There are no secrets

Another Cluetrain thesis applied to education:

There are no secrets. The networked market knows more than companies do about their own products. And whether the news is good or bad, they tell everyone.

Have you seen Rate-my-professor.com? Note, this is also a great example of another Cluetrain Thesis:

Hyperlinks subvert hierarchy

At this site, and on an ongoing basis, people assumed to be students are grading our faculty members. Some of their remarks are scathing. There is nothing we can do or say about it. This conversation is going on outside the walls of the university, beyond university control. It is a great example of the global conversation that is the Internet and how it has the potential to be, as Cluetrain says, "the end of business as usual." As folks become more connected, as small smart portable devices become more ubiquitous, and as folks learn the power we all have the conversation is going to spread virally. This is so important to understand to understand the impact of emerging technology, I feel.

In my opinion, we can no longer tolerate mediocre faculty, staff, administrators, facilities or customer service. There are no secrets the Internet cannot and will not reveal. We have to assume that every one of our students, faculty or staff members has the potential to tell the world about his or her experiences as a customer/member of the campus community and that everybody has the potential to hear and link to what that person has to say. I believe we have to embrace this assumption as if our future as an institution depends on awareness of it and respect for it. Because, I believe it does.

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