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2013-9-30 Office décor. Edited with G+ Edit & ipiccy, CC BY Tiina M Niskanen)

Photo: Office décor. Leppävaara, Espoo, Finland 30.9.2013
(Edited with G+ Edit & ipiccy,
CC BY Tiina M Niskanen)

First hand experience

I can’t say about what other people would do, but here’s some first hand experience from few months ago.

My contract at the Career Services was terminated last October after 15 years of service as the result of general co-operation negotiations in the Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences.

Openness: theory and practice

I had been pondering a good deal about privacy issues when entering the social media sphere – both on personal and professional level.

I had also got familiar with the idea of openness as a part of work processes, as a way to achieve enriching encounters with colleagues and beyond.

I had fallen in love with concepts like serendipity, iterative processes and agile development.

The only way I could think of handling the pink slip, was to tell openly about the situation and hope it leads to new openings.

Walk the talk – online and in real life

Pretty soon after I got the news that I won’t be needed at the workplace anymore, I started to inform all relevant parties both online and in real life. Below is quite a long list – I wonder if I’ve still forgotten something.

On duty

  • social media
    • Facebook
    • Google+
    • Twitter
    • xTune
    • Yammer: Metropolia, Finnish Universities and a project network
  • other
    • colleagues on phone and face to face
    • automatic replies to email: personal & team 
    • emails to network connections: Finnish Career Services Network, steering group of the nationwide Jobstep.net 
    • removing eg my name and contact info from the company website – sort of negative informing

Off duty

Results

I got a heart warming amount of kindness, support and job tips after I came out with my situation.

Can’t say it’s all due to my openness, but in less than two months I was back at work.

Funnily enough, I got a 10 months fixed term contract from my former employer as a Programme Coordinator for the Faculty of Welfare and Human Functioning.

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Related:

Metropolia: Career Services
Metropolia: Faculty of Welfare & Human Functioning

xTune
Yammer

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Statistics on Google url shortener http://goo.gl/lbvejA+

Happy crowd. Ehrenströmintie, Kaivopuisto, Helsinki, Finland 13.7.2013 (Edited with Picasa's Creative Kit: Cropping, Holga-ish & watermark, CC BY Tiina M Niskanen)

Happy crowd. Ehrenströmintie, Kaivopuisto, Helsinki, Finland 13.7.2013
(Edited with Picasa’s Creative Kit: Cropping, Holga-ish & watermark, CC BY Tiina M Niskanen)

Idea and will take a long way

It’s great to see, how social media makes various things so easy to do. You just need one person, who’s got an idea and willingness to make things happen. Good network of contacts helps, of course.

Photowalk Helsinki – international crowd

I attended a photowalk in Helsinki on 13.7.2013. It was advertised mainly in Facebook and Google+ (events feature). The idea had come from Thomas Paris and taken up by Heli Vilmi, who acted as a host. Anyone was welcomed: no matter if you were a hobby, amateur semi-professional or professional photographer. Among us hobbyists there were eg Jussi Aalto and Mikko Lagerstedt (more names in the end).

Almost 30 people signed up for the photowalk. Since not everybody showed up, about 20 photo enthusiasts gathered by the Helsinki railway station at 1 pm on the sunny Saturday. We were a multicultural crowd, participants had roots in at least following countries:

  • Finland (15 persons)
  • France
  • Peru
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • UK
  • USA

We walked, talked, took photos and stopped for refreshments. By every stop one or more left because of other obligations, but at least one joined on the way. The last ones had the chance to enjoye the hospitality of Octavian Balea at his studio late in the evening.

Future photo events

The organizer can steer the nature of the photowalk by the wording of the invitation and where the event is promoted. Ultimately the event gets formed by the participants.

One idea that came up in Photowalk Helsinki was, that some future event might be more focused on discussing photographs, than taking them. A group could go to an exhibition together or arrange a session to screen each others’ photos. Online there have been various photocritique sessions using the “hangout” feature in Google+.

I hope there will be more photowalks in Finland in future in one form or the other. Taking part in photowalks abroad is of course an option, too!

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Related:

Facebook, event: Photowalk Helsinki
Google+, event: Photowalk Helsinki

Heli Vilmi (website)
Thomas Paris (500px profile)

Jussi Aalto (blog)
Mikko Lagerstedt (website)
Octavian Balea (blog)

Bret Pulkka-Stone (RedBubble profile)
Henrietta Hassinen (Society6 profile)
Ilkka Roitto (Flickr profile)
Kimmo Vornanen (500px profile)
Louis Handley (website)
Pauli Araneva (website)
Päivi Kahila (website)
Tarmo Pekola (website)

Tiina M Niskanen Photography (also Picasa Web Album: Photowalk Helsinki

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Edit 23.7.2013: Statistics on Google url shortener http://goo.gl/yv3jc+

Since I work in a University of Applied Sciences and I’ve been interested in social media, I’ve wanted to get an overview of the social media usage on the Finnish university homepages. Inspired by the crowdsourced book by the activists around SomeTime2013 event about the state of social media in Finland, I finally decided to have it a go.

To get the data relatively quickly, I just checked the main pages, even though I knew that sometimes there would’ve been more examples deeper in the structure, eg on Library or Career Services pages.

Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS)

All but one UAS had some social media application on it’s homepage, the UAS that had most, had five.

The most popular social media applications used was Facebook: 25/26 UAS had it on their main page. Almost as popular was YouTube (19/26) – blogs (12/26) and Twitter (12/26) less so.

The range was quite wide: 11 different applications or formats (blogs, wiki). About half of the applications (Flickr, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Vimeo, VKontakte, wiki) were used only by one UAS.

2013-05-25 Social media on Finnish university homepages

UAS: Social media applications on the main page 24.5.2013 (Centria added 25.5.2013)

Universities

All universities had at least one social media application on it’s homepage, the one with most had six.

The most popular was Facebook (17/18 had), then came YouTube (13/18) and Twitter (12/18).

Universities had narrower range of applications than UAS: only seven. Flickr and Pinterest appeared only on one page each, LinkedIn on 3 pages and 4 had blogs.

Universities: Social media applications on the Finnish main page 24.5.2013

Universities: Social media applications on the main page 24.5.2013

Social media has come, but is it to stay?

I made a similar check in 2011 and there were much fewer mentions of social media then. I may have a closer look at the raise some time later.

It’s interesting to see, how the schools invest in the use of social media now that there are big funding cuts at least on the UAS sector. Even if the applications are free, the active content creation, curation and community management requires time and staff. Will the social media experiments melt away like spring ice, when the climate change?

Spring shore. Laaksolahti, Espoo, Finland 28.4.2013 (Edited with Picasa's Creative Kit: Rotation, exposure, colours, Reala 400, Lomo-ish & watermark, CC BY Tiina M Niskanen)

Spring shore. Laaksolahti, Espoo, Finland 28.4.2013
(Edited with Picasa’s Creative Kit: Rotation, exposure, colours, Reala 400, Lomo-ish & watermark,
CC BY Tiina M Niskanen)

Edit: Centria added to the UAS list afterwards on 25.5.2013, the numbers in the text corrected accordingly.

Edit 2: The University of the Arts Helsinki started 1.1.2013, the founding agreement was signed 15.11.2011.

Edit 3: Took out the word “Finnish” from few places, since the main page for Swedish schools is in Swedish.

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Related:

Metropolia UAS, News: Metropolia Initiates Information and Consultation Process

Ministry of Education and Culture, Finland: Polytechnics aka Universities of Applied Sciences

Ministry of Education and Culture, Finland: Universities

SomeTime2013

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Edit 23.7.2013: Statistics on Google url shortener http://goo.gl/QnVTW+

Content CC BY Tiina M Niskanen

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