The University of Montana

Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

Community Hub goes live

In Communication, Innovation, Media, Projects, Web on January 9, 2012 at 10:00 am

Social media creates a paradox for college campuses. While Facebook, Twitter and other networks help build campus communities, those communities have been disconnected from the University’s web pages.

Now there’s a tool that facilitates a connection between the two. It’s called Community Hub.

Community Hub is a searchable directory of UM-related social media channels developed by the IT web team. You can use Community Hub to find UM content in Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube. It also catalogs UM blogs and email listservs. Sites are searchable by keywords and categorized by subject and social media platform.

“For incoming students it’s a great way to get involved,” says Jamie Robertson, a Community Hub developer.  “You might not know that there’s a backcountry ski club, but you can find out that there’s a group and they have a blog. Or you can search by type, so if you want your Facebook page to have all of the cool stuff going on at UM, you can just look at who has Facebook pages.”

Robertson points out that Community Hub is not a tool to consume content from social media sites. Rather, it’s a way to find communities and feeds and subscribe to them with one click.

UM departments and clubs that would like to have their social media sites listed in the directory can submit a request from the Community Hub homepage. Only University-sponsored activities and interests will be included in the Hub.

“The burden is on people who have something to put in the Community Hub to let us know,” says Tom Battaglia, assistant CIO for Technology Support Services in IT. “We can’t do that for them, but we’ve provided the tool.”

“The hope is that some of these communities that are languishing because of no exposure will benefit from this,” Robertson says.  We think Community Hub will encourage campus collaboration and community, which is something that any university wants.”

The first release of Community Hub will be a beta release that includes about 40 campus social media communities.


Your online reputation

In Communication, Media, People, Security, Web on April 29, 2010 at 3:40 pm

Graduates looking for their first professional jobs and students applying for summer employment may find that their reputation precedes them.

According to a recent survey commissioned by Microsoft (PDF), 84 percent of recruiters and HR professionals said they thought it was proper to consider personal data posted online as part of the hiring process, and 70 percent said they have rejected candidates based on information they found online.

Job seekers appear to underestimate the impact that their online activity can have on their prospects. Only seven percent of job seekers said they thought online data affected their job search.

Hiring professionals report that concerns about a candidate’s lifestyle, inappropriate comments or text written by the candidate and unsuitable photos or videos are the most common reasons for rejecting candidates. Criticism of former employers online doesn’t help your cause either.

How do you protect your online reputation?

Many survey respondents said they have taken steps to separate their professional and personal identities online. By separating identities, they can keep some profiles anonymous and restrict access to personal information. And it’s always good think about your future before you post . . . anything.

How cell phones, Twitter, Facebook can make history

In Communication, Innovation, Media, Network, People, Strategy, Web on June 18, 2009 at 9:41 am

As the world watches (and participates in) the election in Iran, Clay Shirkey helps us understand the transformation of media and communication.

Having trouble viewing the video? View at

Mapping without boundaries

In Innovation, Media, Projects, Web on January 26, 2009 at 10:17 am

In IT we have been working to create a mapping application for The University of Montana.  And today we’ve released it to the public. will take you to the new interactive campus map. It should act a lot like google maps but in addition you can toggle on different themes which you can find just to the right of the map.

Map Image

We started with very few requirements.

  • Make it better than the black and white PDF that is the current map.
  • You can’t buy any software to make the map.
  • And you’ve got some AutoCad files and some imagery from 2006

My partner in crime, Jamie, had read an article about creating interactive maps on the web. And having just graduated with a degree in Geographical Information Systems he was intrigued.  We started working on an old development server we had and installed Ubuntu Server on it and started hacking away attempting to get all of the pieces in place. It took a lot of tinkering with different products, and arguing over the best way to implement and set up this application, but finally after trying out several different rendering engines, trying it with and without caching the tiles and tweeking the JavaScript we had something we could show to the people signing our paychecks. Since then it seems it’s been non stop development and feature implementations and UI meetings and reworks and polishes and on and on. The limitations of this tool seem to be non-existent.

This kind of application has so many uses for Higher Ed institution or even for a non-profit. It gives you so much flexibility, by allowing you to give your users spatial representations. Small scale representations of campuses or large scale representations of states or countries. Show your users exactly What you want to, and How you want to. Choose your own features show overlays to depict coverage areas in relation to different points or routes. The map we produced was taken from Auto-Cad data and pulled into arcGIS and stretched over ortho-photography. In our case we (and by we I mean Jamie) had to create and clean up the shape files that were needed to produce the map. We did a little test and were able to take files from the states web site and create a new map file, so we were running multiple maps going at once. Of course the unstyled map wasn’t much to look at it but it proves that it can be done, and with a little work those maps could be brought to life.

One last note. All of the photos we’ve used on the map we’ve found on flickr and gotten permission from their owners. So this is truly a community effort

Technology is the “new” butane

In Communication, Innovation, Media, People, Wireless on May 12, 2008 at 1:32 pm

No, this is not another post about technology saving fuels; this is a look at how technology is becoming common place in our society to the point of replacing butane lighters…

…in the glory days of rock ‘n roll musicians would gaze upon the warm glow of happy faces softly silhouetted by the light from a butane lighter. Crowds swayed to heart-felt ballads, displaying joy by igniting a flame, held at arm’s length above their head. Sure it sounds dangerous, but the prefect mood was set by millions of concert goes during the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Enter into the mid-2000s, the dawning of the mobile technology epoch. No longer do we scorch our fingers on HOT lighters, but we illuminate and capture with cell phones.

Last week I attended the Swell Season concert at the Wilma Theater in downtown Missoula. Not a lighter in sight, probably due to the fire code, but the glow of LCD displays lit the night as pictures and videos were recorded on a multitude of mobile devices. No longer do the words “cameras or recording devices not allowed” mean a thing! Most of the audience has this device attached to their belt, in their purse, or held to their ear. And they are not afraid to use it!

While I have yet to find video from the Missoula concert on YouTube, I did spend a portion of last evening watching clips from other Swell Season concerts. Quickly I was transported back to the magic of the evening while watching Glen and Marketa sing the songs they performed here.

Butane sales may be down, I have no data to verify this, but I can assure you the usage of mobile devices extends beyond the realm of placing phone calls. Rockers unite! Light the night! Pixel by pixel!

An update on UM’s iTunesU

In Academic, Communication, Innovation, Media, Projects, Web on March 19, 2008 at 1:07 pm

Yesterday I responded to a Tech Partners email request for information concerning the implementation of iTunesU at the University of Montana. I would like to share this information with the larger University community via this blog.

I also would like to thank the Montana Kaimin for their recent article on iTunesU. I appreciate their coverage of our efforts to serve the students and professors.

Please feel free to call or email me with any questions you have on iTunesU.

Who is managing the iTunesU for campus?

Presentation & Technology Services is administering the implementation of iTunesU on campus.

Have professors/others been properly educated on the requirements for students to view/listen to postings?

Yes, P&TS provides instructions to professors who are having the lectures distributed through iTunesU. Currently lectures are also being co-hosted on the Mansfield’s Library eRes service. This provides access to students who do not have the iTunes application installed on their computer or are using lab computer.

Are students restricted to certain content based on their netID?

Yes, when a student logs-in to OneStop he/she is authenticated by their netID. When the student accesses iTunes (through the link within OneStop) they will see only courses in which they are enrolled, plus the UM section. The UM section contains postings of the President’s Lecture Series lectures, the State of the University address, and other content available to any member of the UM community. Please feel free to access the UM section on iTunesU to get a feel for how the service works.

To access the UM section on iTunesU start by going to, and then select the link to iTunesU from the Quick Links. If you do not have the iTunes application installed on your computer you will be prompted to install it.

Can students download and/or stream the casts?

The students can stream the content, and/or download the podcast.

How are those of you around campus, who manage labs, allowing access to the posted podcasts, or are you?

The students can get the files off eRes without any special software. eRes works same as downloading a file from a web page.

Currently the IT managed computer labs do not have iTunesU as part of their set-up. If the requests are made for it to be installed, we may include it on the machines in the future.

Was there a seminar or memo about this on campus that I missed?

I have presented several brown bag sessions on podcasting and iTunesU, the latest one was just a few weeks ago.

iTunesU, off to a swell start

In Academic, Innovation, Media, Systems, Web on February 4, 2008 at 4:21 pm

With the start of the the Spring 2008 semester the University of Montana began offering course podcasts to students via the iTunesU interface. iTunesU is a free service provided by Apple to universities across the US. Universities can create class sections and post related podcasts into each section. Students subscribe to their course sections, and then receive the latest podcasts when they become available. Podcasts can be played through the iTunes application on either a MAC or a PC computer, downloaded to an iPod, or transfered to a MP3 player.

So far this semester Presentation and Technology Services is supporting twelve courses on iTunesU, plus a general section for University of Montana content. The general content includes lectures from the President’s Lecture Series, President Dennison’s State of the University Address, and other lectures of community-wide appeal. This area of iTunesU is open to any member of the UM community, and can be accessed through the iTunesU link on OneStop (

The courses can be accessed only by students enrolled in the respective course. If a student is not enrolled within a course they will not be able to download the course podcasts. So far this semester we are averaging 110 students logging into iTunesU per week, with all log-ins totaling 450 per week. Students have downloaded nearly 300 podcasts in the first two weeks of the semester. I expect these numbers will be on the rise as the time for exams and mid-terms nears closer.

If you would like more information on iTunesU please feel free to contact me at, or 406-243-2857.

OneStop makes the Kaimin

In Communication, Media, Systems, Web on January 31, 2008 at 8:57 am

Kaimin reporter Trevon Milliard did a nice job explaining OneStop in today’s Kaimin.

A new face for UM Web sites, all in OneStop

Easy (and cheap) video conferencing

In Communication, Innovation, Media, People on January 17, 2008 at 10:46 am

Video conferencing has come a long way since my first class via a live two-way distance education system in the Fall Quarter of 1988. This was before the Internet, and before most institutions had access to high speed data lines for video transmission. In this case the mode of transmission was an expensive microwave system with many “hops” across southeastern Ohio. Connections had to be scheduled in advance, and a complex routing system was employed to connect the various sites. It was a closed system, with connections limited to 7 locations.

Yesterday morning I facilitated a connection between the University of Montana and a group in Brescia, Italy. This connection was made in a matter of seconds by using the video call feature of Windows Live Messenger. For this session I had the luxury of using our video conferencing room with multiple cameras and an audio system of microphones and room speakers, along with imagine projection onto a wall screen, but none of this fancy expensive equipment is necessary for a video basic conference.

Today’s desktop or laptop computer with a broadband Internet connection can preform this task with ease. With the addition of a web cam and a chat headset one can video conference with another with a similar set up. Most of the popular free IM services now offer an easy to use video and audio conferencing component to their services.

Meebo ( not only provides a web interface for multiple IM clients, but also adds video conferencing and many other applications to the interactive experience. I suggest a trail of meebo for anyone who wants an easy way to consolidate your IM clients and to do a video conference that “just works”, and one can’t beat the price!

The world is a much smaller place than it was in 1988, and our connection possibilities are ever increasing. Seek out the easiest avenue, and make the connection!

Social Media- Connections via the Net

In Communication, Media, Network, People, Web on January 9, 2008 at 10:41 am

In the last six months of 2007 I became part of a group of Social Media gurus. While at times I am not exactly certain what Social Media encompasses, I find being part of this group very interesting and informative to many aspects of my professional and personal life. Social Media, to me, means being part of a group of individuals who use various applications on the Internet for sharing, collaboration, discussions, and friendships.

I had been on FaceBook and MySpace for some time, but it wasn’t until I started Twittering in July that my Social Media group took shape. Twitter is a website where all you do is post “What are you doing?”. At first I did not think much good could come out of simply posting to the ether my travels, daily tasks, and other ramblings. These posts can be interesting to friends at times, but do little to expand one’s network. The true jewel of Twitter is the connections made. Once I realized this I quickly expanded my network to follow (a Twitter term for adding people to one’s network) to a very diverse group. My group includes a NBC cameraman from Washington DC, a college webmaster from Ohio, new technology designers from several countries, and friends from the UM campus, some of whom I know only by our connection on Twitter.

The key component to these connections is sharing! By posting what we are working on, our projects, interests, and our stumbling blocks we find others whom are willing to offer suggestions to solve or improve our work. In a time when it is impossible to keep up with all the new technology on and off the net, this group shares it’s findings and ideas to all. Feedback is given in a positive manner, new technologies are tested and reviewed, and friendships are formed.

My Twitter connections have lead me to websites for on-line video streaming, provided me with podcasts on multimedia applications, shared in conferences and training, and been a listening board when I needed to rant about a challenging situation.

Twitter has been an great asset to me. I have been exposed to many ideas and applications I would not have found alone. The power of being connected to a group of individuals who constantly share and collaborate via the web is an unlimited resource which grows daily.

Twitter is not the only site which I have used to expand my Social Media Network. LinkedIn is another useful site for connection with professionals and colleagues. The contrast between Twitter and LinkedIn is the connection process. While Twitter seeks to expand one’s network by new connections, LinkedIn focuses on one’s existing contacts. LinkedIn asks that you know the person before adding them to your network. While this seems limiting at first, I have found it useful in connecting to individuals from my past. Former coworkers and college classmates have been found and connected with via LinkedIn, many of whom I have not communicated with in several years. By reconnecting with this group I have rekindled friendships, while gaining information on their work and interests. Another valuable tool for expanding my knowledge in many areas.

Other interesting finds in this realm include Utterz and Seesmic, which take communication from text to audio and video feeds from either a cell phone or computer.

I look forward to 2008 as I know these connections will grow, new contacts will be made, and new technologies will be added for communication. I ask of all to join in, share your ideas, seek new solutions, and expand your network.

As we say on Twitter… tweat ya later, and Happy New Year!