#CUNYSPS is a new weekly column running on the SPS Community blog that will delve into various ways social networking and other advances in online media can be used to foster and grow a dynamic environment that serves the diverse community at CUNY’s School of Professional Studies.

Today, I tagged friends in photos on Facebook after tweeting about a news item I read on a blog.  When I arrived at work, I checked in on Foursquare, pinging all of my friends to let them know where I was.

That was today.  Ten years ago though, that sentence would have made no sense at all.  But welcome one and all to 2011 and the second decade of the 21st century, a time that will be defined by the new levels of social interaction being pioneered through various new online platforms.

I’m a bit obsessive about some of these sites and platforms, but it’s the users that have more casual interactions with Facebook, Twitter and the like that are guaranteeing that this is nothing short of a fundamental shift in how we communicate and interact with each other.  From the sharing of content and ideas, to the ease in which we can stay in touch with one another, we’re living in a golden age of connectivity.

The ecosystem being cultivated through sites like Facebook is ideal for community building in a place as diverse as CUNY’s School of Professional Studies.  From our online only students, to students working full time jobs that make more traditional interaction less manageable because of an already packed schedule.  Through online interaction, our students can engage and interact on a schedule that works for them, and bolster a network that can be just as beneficial professionally as it is socially.

And this is the foundation from which our Virtual Campus will be built.  We will foster communication on platforms you are already invested in.  It’s already well underway.  You just didn’t notice it because it’s natural at this point.  The #CUNYSPS column will highlight ways that this is being done, and spotlight some new technologies you may not yet be aware of.

And if the idea of Facebook, and Twitter, and blogs scares you?  Well then you’ll get a lot out of this column as well.  You’ll see just why these sites aren’t scary, or the waste of time you may be concerned about.  And to get you warmed up, as I sign off, I’d like to share this video with you.  Some food for thought until next time.

Shawn Abraham is SPS’ Virtual Campus Manager, which means he gets to have a lot of fun building an online community for the school.  He also has a lot of fun reading books about zombies.  These two things rarely intersect.

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