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Tony Hirst

"Logistically handling queries across multiple platforms will soon become unmanageable."

I'm not sure...it depends on whether the queries are posted in a public, search engine indexable space.

When we were chatting about the OU and slideshare services going down ( http://blogs.open.ac.uk/Maths/ajh59/011632.html and http://sclater.com/blog/?p=45 ) Slideshare picked up on the fact through monitoring the blogosphere with saved alerts and posted back comments to various bloggers who mentioned the outage.

Needless to say, I didn't get any comment back from OU sysops, though there were a couple of internal emails that stopped just short of the 'bringing the university into disrepute' phrase (oops - there i go again...)

Similarly - i never even got an acknowledgement back for pointing out the not quite porn hack on the OU corous website - http://blogs.open.ac.uk/Maths/ajh59/010498.html (that post went up 24 hours after emailing the sys admin and finding no action had been taking...)

With the fb app, we could look for obvious techsupport keywords that could be used to flag and forward messages appropriately, but this goes away from our desire to keep the space a student space.



Yes, I suspect you're right Tony - we could harvest a lot of stuff in. But it would still be complex - for a start lots of queries are often couched in non tech terms (a query about not understanding a topic may actually be a tech query when you get to the bottom of it). Then it becomes more difficult to know who to respond to and if that person will pick it up. When you have a centralised system you simply say 'ALL queries must go here'.

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