The fraternity of bloggers is here. They are the young, well dressed, fresh outta college, with business marketing degrees, or whatever working in admissions, this is what they do. Fluent in social media taking social networking to a new level. Using ustream to stream the presentations to the web for free, and broadcasting the url’s via twitter. It’s a machine, the twitter storm, creating a buzz that moves faster than anything before. Push ideas, thoughts, and presentation reviews directly to the phones, computers, rss feeds, websites with minimal effort. The instant gratification of twitter is where it’s most powerful.

Email is dead. You’ve heard it. I’ve heard it six times already today. Next: business cards don’t exist. We carry them around as a formality, In case we meet someone over 35. It took me seconds to realize I wouldn’t be handing out the business cards I ordered for this conference, but would be networking and making contacts via Twitter. Yeah, behold the power of twitter. So one of the first things I did was redesign my twitter page (http://twitter.com/nshontz).

PowerPoints here don’t have have phone numbers or websites, some don’t even have email addresses. But they all have their twitter account. The keynote speaker says “if you want to keep up on my reading list just follow my twitter.” I’ve been here for 2 days, and I’ve been followed on twitter 15 times and handed out 1 business card.

I’m sitting in Head in the Cloud. About using “the cloud” in higher ed to maximize your cost/exposure ratio by using the infrastructures that exist. Using the Amazon API, Using the Elastic Computing Cloud. Using Amazon you can get 8 processors 16Gb of ram for $0.80 an hour and manage it all from your location by using *nix commands.

Using S3 to store and serve videos, they were able to give users an better experience without worry of bandwidth issues, and they did some IP address filtering so folks on campus pulled the video from the local copy and off campus users got the video from Amazon, faster smoother, and with no change in the user interface.

Another use of the cloud they discuss is the ability to manage data archives. A comparison of backup systems: to buy a Dell system with 9Tb of space stored in a storage array, it would cost 14,000, for the same space in the cloud using S3 it costs $392 a month. Using S3 you loose the headaches of server management, uptime, admin support. The cost breakdown comes down to using S3 for 3 years is about the same as buying the same storage in a Dell Server. But you will save even more by not having to provide bandwidth to the server, not having to pay someone to administer, and manage a server with that kind of responsibility.

A personal solution they mention is Mozy. I think i’ll give it a try.