Higher Ed CIO Social Networking Collaboration

CIO Social Networking MapQuestions on CIO social networking is addressed by one of the Four Questions on CIO’s answered by the analysis of the 2011 CIO Listserv on “Are CIO’s Collaborating as a Community?” With the recent upgrades to the EDUCAUSE website and the announcement by one of the more prominent CIO Listserv contributors of his departure from higher education, I thought I might share some of the findings from the Four Questions on CIO’s report on CIO social networking.

CIO Social Networking

The EDUCAUSE CIO Listserv functions as a CIO social networking site with roughly 3000 subscribers shown above in the actual social networking map of the 2011 CIO Listserv. But keep in mind the potential universe for higher education CIO’s or the equivalent top IT leader starts at 7486 based on the number of institutions in IPEDS for the US. Even if you use the generally accepted number of 4500, the CIO Listserv at best is only 67% representative. From there some discounting is needed for non-CIO subscribers including vendors.

But the real story of the EDUCAUSE CIO Listserv is the low degree of member affiliation and collaboration. Affiliation and collaboration are measures of the CIO social networking strength based the amount of conversation occurring and the level of participation. Thsi is found in part by only 366 (~12%) unique individuals initiating posts in 2011. Similarly there were only 645 (~12%) individuals who responded to at least one of the CIO Listserv posts.

CIO Social Networking InfluenceWhen these two groups are combined it reveals that only 26% of the CIO Listserv subscribers are participating in the conversation and the 35 Top Influencers account for 28% of all post Initiations and 21% of the Respondents. Since the person announcing their departure is among the Top Influencers having a large number of responses, the CIO Listserv will feel his absence.

Perhaps the most startling finding was that only 56% of the posts received responses in 2011. So if you are a CIO in need of some assistance you have slightly better than a 50/50 chance of getting help from the EDUCAUSE CIO Listserv.  With the average number of responses per post at 2.5 (4.6 excluding posts with no response) there is often little help for CIO’s seeking assistance especially on certain topics.

Social Network Top 200

Another interesting finding from analyzing the CIO social networking map of the CIO Listserv was the degree of concentration in the social network around a few Top Influencers and their relationships within that group shown here by the top 200 participants. Meaning, the majority of CIO Listserv subscribers are not inspired to become engaged and that the collaboration is confined to a small group of subscribers

Recommendations

The implications of the Four Questions on CIO’s findings including those related to CIO social networking are important to CIO’s and institutions alike. So just as I am sharing some of the findings here I wanted to include some of the recommendations too.

CIO’s should develop a range of resources and social networks to turn to for ideas, inspiration and answers including a balance of higher education and non-higher education resources and not rely too heavily on the CIO Listserv.

CIO’s should be cautious when seeking advice from any open forum, and to the extent possible, should perform an appropriate degree of due diligence on any source (re: person) of advice in order to avoid the pitfalls of over generalizing the advice.

Institutions should ensure their CIO is not overly reliant on the EDUCAUSE CIO Listserv or any other forum for answers to current issues or strategies including short cycling appropriate due diligence efforts using only the CIO Listserv.

Institutions should employ social media monitoring tools to track the engagement and participation of their CIO and other leadership team members in all social networks to ensure their participation falls within the guidelines of the institution’s social media policies and that their participation is in line with other priorities.

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