Tuesday, January 12, 2010

NCCU Adopts Facebook Connect For Campus Portal

The web team at North Carolina Central University has been working hard these past few years developing a foundation by which to offer more dynamic information with a hint of social networking.

Today, Web Services has successfully connected its MyEOL portal with Facebook through its Facebook Connect API.


What Does This Mean for the University?
The team recognizes that many students, alumni, and prospective students are already using Facebook on a daily basis. University departments are sprouting new groups and fan pages weekly and Web Services would like to help connect the social power of Facebook with the University's own portal.

The first step to achieve this connection is to allow the NCCU community to login to MyEOL with their Facebook account. The initial launch will make this feature available to prospective students and alumni.

Once logged in, the community will be able to update their Facebook status through NCCU's Twitter-like application, Eagle Status. Additionally, users will update their Facebook wall with notifications after receiving new badges and other campus achievements.

Other benefits of Facebook Connect on the NCCU campus is to help further the OpenID movement. With each new web site, users are continuously creating new usernames and passwords. This opens the door to security breaches and identify theft.

Web Services would like to offer the community alternatives to yet another account. If the United States Government is eager to adopt OpenID standards, the team also believes it should follow their lead.

What Took So Long?
There are some that may ask the question, "Why has it taken so long to connect Facebook with NCCU?" The challenge has been getting Facebook's API to work with our ColdFusion environment. Once the guys roll out the option to login to NCCU's MyEOL with Facebook credentials, the team will make this code available to all ColdFusion developers, universities, and Facebook Connect representatives.

Final Thoughts
I would like to personally thank Derek Brinson and Darin Tyler for their dedication and tireless efforts to make Facebook Connect work on campus.

The date for final release has yet to be set, but I am excited to hear the team has made it this far and curious to find what other colleges and universities are doing with Facebook Connect. Let's talk about the opportunities in the comment section below. If you have a link to a university or college that uses Facebook Connect, please share a URL.

Until next time...

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Damond L. Nollan, M.B.A.

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