Bloggers are loyal employees
I wrote a blog post [Link] that led to a story in our campus newspaper and also was run in a union newspaper called the University Employee. That story was about the authentication mechanism that will be used to authenticate users of the new Comcast wireless network that we hope to have in use at SJSU next month. That wireless network will be connected to the Internet, not our campus network. Users of the new Comcast network from on campus will be treated as off campus users. They will only be able to get into the campus network through our normal firewall to the Internet.
Even with the authentication mechanism in place, this new network will be a huge improvement to Internet access for members of the campus community over the existing network which only covers parts of the campus. The questions I had, and still have, is why not go all the way and make this network open and easy to get to by anybody without authentication? We are spending a lot of money on SJSUOne authentication to the wireless network. I believe complexity is the enemy of utility. Any layer of complexity we add will keep people we want to use our network off our network. Every layer of complexity we add had better, in my opinion, have value. Since all these users will have to go through the campus firewall anyway, what are we protecting, the Internet? Where is the value? I also questioned the surrendering our digital dialtone to an off campus provider.
I have received negative comments from peers to my posts, my story and the posts and stories that came from them. Some folks have been questioning my loyalty. In my opinion my questioning the wisdom of doing something I think is a mistake is a positive not a negative for the university. If it makes folks think about what we are doing, even if it does not bring about a change I think that is a value to SJSU. In my opinion, that is the power of cluetrain. It is the power to stimulate conversation and in my opinion that is good.