Martin Hamilton, head of Internet Services at Loughborough University, has written a great blog post on the subject of “Crowdsourcing Experiment – Institutional Web 2.0 Guidelines“.  The post, which was used to support an Open Mic session at the CETIS 2010 conference, begins “I’d like use this blog post to do a bit of crowdsourcing around perspectives on institutional Web 2.0 guidelines and policies“. Martin is looking to develop guidelines along the lines of those listed in the Policy Database provided on the Social Media Governance Web site.

But rather than comment on the specifics of the content of the post (which is well-worth reading) I’d like to makes some observations on the approaches Martin has taken in producing his comprehensive multimedia post covering a variety of aspects related to institutional use of Web 2.0.

Blog post supporting a talk: When talks are given at events the norm is use of PowerPoint (or Open Office in some cases).   Increasingly you’ll find that the slides are made available, often on a slidesharing service such as Slideshare. If the talk is about a peer-reviewed paper the paper itself is the significant resource but at events such as the CETIS 2010 conference there aren’t accompanying papers.  It’s therefore pleasing to see this example of a blog post which complements the talk given at an event.  Indeed, in some respects, the blog post can be more valuable than a peer-reviewed paper as the blog post can make it easier for others to give comments and feedback.

Multi-media document: A document on guidelines for institutional use of Web 2.0 services would often be written using MS Word (or Open Office), perhaps containing images. Martin has written a multi-media document which contains embedded video clips, timelines and slide presentations.  Although we may encourage students to create multimedia essays, how often do IT professionals themselves do this?

Crowd-sourcing feedback: Martin has created an accompanying Google Doc which anyone can contribute to.  I think this is an interesting experiment in providing a mechanism whereby an audience for a talk can be more active participants by contributing to a document  which is based on the contents of the talk.

Embracing openness: Martin’s approach to the development of institutional guidelines for Web 2.0 services is taking place in public with contributions being actively sought.  This is in contrast with in-house developments of institutional policies and guidelines which might be shared with others after they are finalised.

I’d like to see greater use of the approaches which have been taken by Martin. What do you think?