Note to readers

This is a blog that I'm required to keep that's full of unedited, near stream-of-consciousness reactions to similarly required and related readings in a graduate course in N.C. State University's Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media program. The way these posts are written help me interrogate and understand what's going on in our readings. I'm identifying what's troublesome so that I can give it more thought, but the posts aren't written in a style that's productive for audiences outside of our class to read. That's by design. I start with contestation, then spend heavens only knows how long researching, recutting, and reevaluating so that I can try and see what potentially productive readings I can extract from these source for use in my own work's contributions back to the field. Comments encouraged, but please, you'll likely need a thick skin if your work is quoted here.

Monday, August 25, 2008

I'm an old fogey. University should keep its own email.

From UNC's student newspaper:

Google has created a new program specifically designed for college students. The education edition of Google Apps includes e-mail service in addition to applications like Google Calendar and Google Talk, an instant messaging service.
Unlike a campus e-mail service, Google Apps comes at no charge. Arizona State University, which switched to Google Apps two years ago, paid $400,000 a year to maintain their old system, Keltner said.

Well, why Google is interested in providing the service for the university makes perfect sense -- most will likely use Google's own web application to interface with email, and that means lots of ad revenue. And I suppose as long as you can use POP3 or IMAP to view your Google-hosted mail, I shouldn't complain.

Still, what are the chances that Google stands to net more than $400k a year from your students? That is, could the university not invest in making its own, ad supported online interface and come out ahead in the long run? I would prefer that capitalism kept its sorry grubby hands away from academia, even if the university made the cash -- as if a capitalistic state institution of higher learning were still an option.

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