A Year of SB You

It was about this time last year that we rolled out SB You on campus. I have tried to keep a bit of a pulse on the service and overall utilization. While I have been a little disappointed in how broadly the service has been adopted to support teaching and learning, I am very excited by both the numbers I do see and the potential I think a platform like this affords. I have been trying to track the number of sites and users throughout the year each month (admittedly I have missed a couple). The growth is impressive — especially since we have not focused a lot of energy on blogging at the course level or for broader portfolio use. And yes, some of the sites are demo spaces or have been abandoned, but the growth has been solid. Check it out … in a year we’ve gone from zero sites and users to 726 sites and 2,634 users! We always see a spike at the start of new semesters, so I expect these numbers to really grow in the next few weeks.

Screen Shot 2015-01-11 at 2.07.36 PM

I have found some really good examples of SB You sites by lots of people and it would be cool for us to expose those on a regular basis. I think bringing various examples to life would show how diverse a platform it really is. I love how Campus Recreation and Healthier U have really embraced SB You as a platform, for example. I also really enjoy search the whole service for various terms and see waht people all across Stony Brook think about a specific topic … here is a linked search for the word, “technology.” That is pretty cool and there are lots of ways terms and tag searches can be used to discover what people are talking about across the Stony Brook blogosphere on SB You.

I’d love to hear from users of SB You about what we could do to make the platform more useful and for ideas on how to better promote it. At the end of the day, I think platforms like this can and should power easy digital expression, broader acceptance of public scholarship, sites for clubs, organizations, and groups, and so much more.

6 thoughts on “A Year of SB You

  • January 13, 2015 at 6:54 pm
    Permalink

    Even looking at the pageviews/visits traffic patterns from September 1st to now, you see spikes around midterms/finals weeks and dropoffs during breaks indicating that while courses might not be having their students make their own sites, atleast a few courses may be using a site to provide content.

    Reply
  • January 14, 2015 at 8:26 am
    Permalink

    I noticed that as well. I didn’t mean to say that no one is using it for teaching, because I have seen evidence of students and faculty blogging. What I really mean is that we haven’t yet made the use of SB You as an academic platform a big part of our story quite yet. I think we will get there and I do think more faculty will start using it in their teaching.

    Reply
  • January 15, 2015 at 10:50 pm
    Permalink

    For me, the ease of use of SB You makes the whole service worthwhile. There is enough to tinker under the hood for those with knowledge to customize but out of the box it is simple enough for anyone to jump in and build a website.

    The import and export features are nice, too.

    In a few cases I might have hit a wall where I find I can’t duplicate a feature from an existing website, but changing tactics to implement an alternative solution actually provides a better experience, I think.

    From an educational experience, I prefer a platform like this for digital expression, versus the Digication ePortfolio platform. Digication’s offering seems too…forced…for lack of a better word. The freedom of a blog with the themes and options of SB You allows for more creative portfolios.

    The only outstanding question I have is how the service can interact with contributors from outside SBU. This is something to consider for grants that require websites and other projects for those working at a different University.

    Thank you again for implementing SB You!

    Reply
    • January 22, 2015 at 9:55 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Mark … thanks for the comment. I agree with the use of a platform like this for digital expression. I like it that it is integrated into my workflow in a way that other applications aren’t. I also use the “Press This” bookmarklet to capture quotes and links quote a bit. The idea of letting people from the outside contribute is one we’ve been discussing — and have actually had requests for. I am of the mind that we should allow trusted people from the outside to be contributors on blogs in the owner of that blog adds and manages that person’s contributions. What do you think about that?

      Reply
      • January 22, 2015 at 10:19 pm
        Permalink

        I would definitely love to see trusted users having access, granted and maintained by the blog owner. It would be great if Edublogs had a way to link access across multiple domains they host for authentication, but that assumes the outside users have Edublogs hosting at their campus.

        I will be following this closely–I think I might be one of the people with a request in!

        Thanks!

        Reply
        • January 22, 2015 at 10:38 pm
          Permalink

          I think we can make this happen — in a lot of ways it is a policy decision. What would be ideal is if we could leverage InCommon and this whole conversation has me wondering is we could. But, for now I think we could talk to The Baron and see how we could move it forward. I would ask that blog owners would accept the risk of managing contributors from outside the SBU domain.

          Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *