How We Communicate With You About M+Google

posted Nov 7, 2013, 6:28 AM by Ryan Vis   [ updated Dec 9, 2013, 1:43 AM by Rita Girardi ]

Google has a lot going on and with over 40 apps available on your M+Google account, new features are released frequently. Some changes are wide-ranging and impactful. Many are minor and are implemented with little effect to users. With all that activity, it’s not realistic (or necessary) to communicate every change in Google Apps to campus. So, how and when do we communicate with you? We’ll outline our current efforts in this post, but we welcome your comments and suggestions as well.

Outages and Service Disruptions

As with all ITS services, we will post notices of outages and service disruptions to as soon as we know about them. Notices that are posted there are also sent to the Front Line Notify (fln) email list. Google posts outage information for their products at the Google Apps Status Dashboard, where you can also subscribe via RSS or email to get alerts directly from Google.

Once notice has been posted to the ITS Status Page, we also post to the M+Google site Updates and Announcements page, the M+Google Google+ page, and to the U-M Collaboration Forum. We’ll also coordinate with other ITS communication channels such as Facebook and Twitter when appropriate. We encourage you to subscribe to one or more of these sources to get notified of outages and disruptions.

New Features, Enhancements, and Known Issues

When new features, enhancements, or known issues are discovered here on campus or announced by Google, we’ll post to many of the same places. If the change is large enough (such as when the Mail interface changed) we’ll post a notice to However, most changes aren’t quite that significant, so in those cases we’ll post to all the same locations except for
In addition, if we know about significant changes far enough in advance, we’ll publish articles in the NextGen Michigan Newsletter and other social media sources such as Twitter, Facebook, Yammer, and Google+. We also review new and upcoming features during the bi-monthly U-M Collaboration Forum Live events.

What We've Chosen Not To Do

Communications have to be timely, but they also need to be measured. To keep the volume of notifications, emails, and posts down, we’ve chosen not to do some things.
  • Mass emails to campus
  • Emails to Special Interest Groups (SIGs) on campus - SIGs are intended for their area of interest, not as a general announcements list
  • New social media accounts - ITS maintains established Twitter and FaceBook accounts already and adding ones dedicated to M+Google would be redundant.