Listening Outside the Walls

Still not sure that the web has any influence on your organisation or how it does business? Even if you work behind a firewall and many external sites are blocked by your IT department (you know who you are), the outside world is still talking about you, so you should get involved in the conversation. I’m not saying that you should try to control the conversation, because you can’t, but hiding inside your Intranet won’t help either.
Look at these two cases. First, a few technology-savvy folks set up a web site called Rate My Professors, and over time this site becomes the place for students to check out profs as well as their universities. Conversations about your institution are happening all the time and no one can hide from them. Does this site have more influence than the famous Canadian MacLeans Magazine poll?
A more recent service is the UK’s National Health Service’s Patient Opinion that lets you see what patients are saying about local healthcare facilities and providers. Word of mouth (or word on the Net) can influence many people. Some of those people could be the politicians who approve healthcare budgets.
That’s why it’s important for those inside organisational walls to understand what’s happening outside and the technologies that enable these conversations.

One Response to “Listening Outside the Walls”

  1. Christopher Mackay

    Rate My ProfessorsInteresting. I hadn’t known about the RateMyProfessors site. Having reviewed some of the comments, I’d have to say that you can learn a lot there. Sure, there are some morons posting, but their comments often reveal them for what they are (“this prof sucks; she makes you do all the work”).

    I’d like to be able to take it one step further, and have the ability to mark said moron as such, and have their contribution removed from the ratings (just for my use of the site — everyone else gets to decide who the morons are for themselves).

    –Christopher Mackay

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