So my mom and sister are driving me to the airport because I was on my way to SMX Social Media in Long Beach, CA. On the way they were asking me what the conference was about that I was going to. I was explaining social media to them when my sister pulled out a piece of paper out of her backpack and handed it to me. It was a study guide for an exam in a communications class she was taking that was all about social networks.

I was dumbfounded they were teaching about social networking in college when most all schools aren’t even teaching search engine optimization and the ones that do teach it aren’t teaching the best practices. My undergraduate degree was in Digital Media where we learned a lot about web design, animation, and accessibility so SEO did come up during our discussions. One teacher took 45 minutes to go over search engine optimization on Websites. Some of his recommendations included hiding keywords with the same color text as background, stuffing meta tags, and the typical spam stuff you’ve heard before. According to him, meta tags were one of the biggest things search engines looked at. I kept my mouth shut with a big shit eating grin on my face the whole time.

Social Media on TV

It’s amazing to see social networking going so mainstream. The other night on The Office they were talking about how they were making their Website “2.0” and having a community on there to interact with each other. Unfortunately they faced the conundrum of pedophiles on the site…haha.

Social Networking Exam

Back to the exam…I am very impressed in the content of the exam. In addition to the exam, the teacher had assigned them to join, explore, and recap on 3 social networks over the weekend. My sister let me have a copy of the study guide so here it is:

COMM 1500

  1. A ______ is a social structure made of nodes (which are generally individuals or organizations that are tied by one or more specific types of interdependency, such as values, visions, idea, financial exchange, friends, kinship, dislike, conflict, trade, web links, sexual relations, disease transmission, (epidemiology), or airline routes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_network
  2. What is social networking trying to do? Most of the applications so far offer one or more of eight features or functionalities. http://blog.fastcompany.com/archives/2006/08/15/social_networking_a_status_report.html
  3. Lots of people have opinion about Twitter, ranging from a complete waste of time to the indispensable connector with your community. What is Twitter? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twitter or http://twitter.com/
  4. What is an RSS feed? http://www.fastcompany.com/about/rss.html and http://www.whatisrss.com/
  5. They use video and paper to make complex ideas easy to understand. They present subjects “in plain English” using short, unique and understandable videos in a format called Paperworks. http://www.commoncraft.com/
  6. Be familiar with the following Social Networks:

Final Thought:

As you can see the exam looks pretty rudimentary and brief but a great step in the right direction to open up the world to social networking and social media Websites.