Press "Enter" to skip to content

myUMBC changes face skepticism from organizations

Changes being made to myUMBC this summer and in Fall 2015 will add and remove numerous features

On Monday April 27, Wednesday April 29 and Friday May 1, open houses were held to outline what the future will hold for myUMBC. Collier Jones, project lead for myUMBC,  hosted the events, answering questions and concerns throughout the presentation.

The presentation started off with, “The State of myUMBC,” summarized by Jones as “okay, but it is getting a bit old.” This set the stage for announcements of major updates to the myUMBC experience.

Jones then moved on to the main focus of the event, Fall 2015’s changes to myUMBC. According to Jones, the focus of many of these changes is to put the “my” back into myUMBC. “We want to focus a lot more on user preferences, and expand the individual’s toolkit,” said Jones.

A major component of myUMBC changes will be to “Groups.” One change is abolishing the ability of individuals to join any group they want, and making admins the one to add new members. This is replaced with the ability of individuals to now “follow” certain groups.

He then led in to discussion about admin settings and where the admin of the group can edit. This included what type of information people, admins, members, followers or anyone can post to the group. Jones also noted that admins will have the ability to promote or demote followers or members, respectively.

Another change that was announced was the elimination of the very popular “Spotlights” feature on myUMBC, and replacing it with “Promotions.” “Promotions” works in a similar way to promoted posts on Twitter. It will be shown in the activity feed of any myUMBC user, regardless of their affiliation with the group.

Other attendees that were present at the meeting were not thrilled with this decision. “Promotions” is not unlimited, and they believed that this change would hurt the way they promote their many events.

Jones replied by explaining that it would be unfair to give one group more opportunities to promote events. He also explained that the social nature of the activity feed creates an environment where student organizations and groups should share with others to promote their events. The larger their network is, the less need they would have for promotions and tickets, as followers and members are able to spread the word about activities.

The move to promoted posts is an obvious choice with the announcement of moving myUMBC to an activity feed layout. This is where a lot of the new potential for myUMBC lies, as many of the features planned for “myUMBC: The Next Generation” were centered on this activity feed layout.

myUMBC is at a crossroads with many changes coming, some of which may not be accepted at first, or ever. Jones emphasized during his presentation that he wants to incorporate feedback from everyone, and that there will be some case by case situations for certain organizations.