Social networking tools beat email

It seems that Australians are using Facebook for one in every 10 minutes. Email is passe. This is not surprising but it makes me wonder why it takes so long for institutions to come on board.

Instead of waiting until an emerging application takes hold (which is often clear in the early stages), surely it would be possible to encourage the use of new technologies?

At least an innovative culture (one interested in experimentation) would enable benefits of new technologies to be identified sooner rather than later. But this takes leadership and a willingness to expose oneself to risk.

At a discussion about a Charter of Human Rights yesterday, we heard the usual opposition: people will abuse the privilege, it will increase litigation, etc, etc. Similar views hinder the adoption of social networking tools - what about my privacy, too many students will contact me via Facebook etc etc.

I have found that these issues are all quite irrelevant and none of the warnings on either issue materialise. I am told that litigation did not increase under the UK, Canadian and NZ Charters, and I know for a fact that my privacy etc has not been affected by the use of Facebook.