I Haven't Forsaken Thee!

Hi everyone,

Just a quick update - just returned from a vacation to lovely Central Oregon (seriously - pretty much everywhere looks like this), and I'm planning on returning to the blog very soon.

I'll likely be dialing down the post volume over the next few weeks - I've got some fun things cooking and I'll still post at least once or twice a week, but I'm swinging into a very busy season at work (we start very early at UP - new students move in August 21... yikes) and it's definitely the summer doldrums in terms of higher ed social media, so I hope you all will forgive me if I give myself a bit of a break from the blog.

Thanks everyone! Catch ya'll on the flipside.

Great Social Media Idea: Course Trailers

I'm back from an impromptu weekend with my brothers in the Bay Area, which means it's time to feature more great ideas that have come to me via the suggestion box!

Today, I'm highlighting these really neat and unique course trailers from Southwestern University (I can't embed the videos, so just click on the link!). 

I love the idea of creating something like this to highlight a course. Not only is it - I'm sure - a great way to promote particular courses to current students and very much appreciated by faculty, it's also a cool way to highlight what classes are like at your particular university to prospective students and their parents.

These trailers are accurate and straight-forward, but I could also see experimenting with some over-the-top drama/music/voiceover as well. This idea has a lot of potential and versatility.

Many thanks to Danielle Stapleton from Southwestern for sending this idea along... pasted below is her email to me sharing this idea. Take it away, Danielle!

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Thanks for being willing to hear this possible blog post out. Southwestern (at the urging of our new president, Ed Burger) recently started filming course trailers. Several faculty members have jumped on this opportunity to showcase some of the more unique classes offered. While we are by no means done producing these (I'm sure this will be a continuous effort), you can see the finished trailers here: southwestern.edu/academics/trailers.php 

We are also creating playlist on our YouTube channel with the same information and will link each one to the course description pages within each academic department website. 

In addition to promoting our regular courses, we are also filming trailers for our Paideia clusters. Paideia is at the root of SU's curriculum and encourages students to make connections between their classes/disciplines over their four years on campus. During their final years they take a Paideia seminar, which is the capstone of this experience. As we roll this program out to all students (formerly Paideia was an option), we hope to highlight the ways these cluster themes will work and the connections students can make. 

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Have a cool higher ed social media idea to share? Submit it via the suggestion box (upper-right-corner of the site)!


Gone Fishin'

Sorry for the lack of posts lately everyone... last week was crazy busy for me, and then I high-tailed it to the coast. Now July 4 is looming, and... well... I'm giving myself a break for a few days.

But can you really blame me? Look at this picture I took earlier this week:

Regularly posting will commence next week. Happy holiday weekend!

Great Social Media Idea: Golf Cart Memories with Alumni

Big, big ups to Georgetown's alumni office (@GUAlumni) for 1) making this great video and 2) passing it along to me on Twitter!

Reunion weekend is this weekend at UP, so my mind is geared toward all things reunion-related right now. I particularly am attracted to anything that gets alumni talking about their own experiences in a fun, conversational, informal way. (I recently posted another example of this from Elon University.)

Of course there's a time and a place for a more traditional sit-down interview with a backdrop and all that, but don't overlook the power in capturing things on the fly, when people's guards are a bit lower and they are at their most authentic.

Good stuff, Georgetown! Thanks for passing along the link.

The Week in Links

Another Friday, another links round-up. Wait, what's that you say? It's Monday? Silly me...

• Tony Dobies of West Virginia University has a tremendous article on the CASE blog about creating a plan to help centralize social media efforts on campus. It's a terrific read, plus it has links to some great examples from other schools. 

• If you haven't checked out the great Andy Pawlowski's great Digital Hoops Blast blog, you're missing out. It highlights countless great examples from the world of college athletics. And I'm not just saying that because he gave me a very kind (and much needed - I'm inspired to challenge myself to come up with something truly great for next year) pep talk over breakfast a week or so ago. 

• I enjoyed this post by Robin Dricker of Southern Oregon University on her blog Mass Social about a graduation selfie project she recently implemented. I love reading post-mortems on social media projects that lay out what steps were taken, what worked, what didn't, etc. 

• Lots to ponder after reading this thoughtful essay about how social media can threaten open discourse between students and administration by Wheaton College dean Lee Burnedette Williams on InsideHigherEd. Thankfully I've never even come close to dealing with the things that she has, but I definitely feel like over the years I've seen the shrillness of the "internet outrage" machine - even at a sleepy little school like UP - sometimes reach a point where it's not even worth attempting to communicate with people, which is so disheartening when it happens.

• A social media survey of 7,000 high school graduates of the Class of 2014? I suppose I'm interested in such things. Thanks to Niche for putting this together. Also: You know how people say Facebook is dying among teens? Not so fast. I will say this though - from my (admittedly anecdotal) experience, Facebook is typically a passive platform for teens... they may log in every day, but it's highly unlikely that they post things with any sort of regularity.

• Great stuff, as always, from Ma'ayan Plaut on the Oberlin College web team blog about blogging strategy with her student blogging team. I particularly take note of what she says about the importance of listening... that's something I definitely need to work on when it comes to student-generated social media content. 

• My most popular post of the week: University of Kansas' great Instagram video ad campaign.

OK... that's it for today. And, sadly, it could be it for the week depending on how things go. I'm stuck putting together some videos for reunion this week (I am NOT a videographer or editor, but we're short-staffed at the moment and it has fallen on me), and since I don't know what the heck I'm doing, it's been slow going. Also, I've got company staying with me later this week, a ton of old college friends in town for the weekend, and then a trip to the coast with them planned for early next week.... might not be much time for blogging on the horizon. We'll see.

Anyway, it's officially summer and it's a Sunday, which means the perfect occasion to post Summertime by The Sundays!

Great Social Media Idea: Instagram Video Ad Campaign

Happy Monday, dear readers!

You all are smart people, so I'm not going to preface this with some big long thing about how to successfully advertise (without paying for it!) on social media. People are masters of ignoring ads and you run the risk of seriously annoying people if you do it wrong, so anything that even smacks of an ad needs to be entertaining and provide value in some way - be it with humor, beautiful imagery, strong emotion, wit, etc. It's no easy task, but if you can pull it off, you can do some really neat things.

And this fun series of Instagram video ads from the University of Kansas does some neat things. They are funny and they do a great job promoting summer courses, and as someone who works a lot in video production - it is really tough to make something this short have both a good sense of humor and promote the message you want it to.

I would definitely encourage you to spend some time on Kansas' Instagram page - they do some really great stuff with video that, I think, a lot of us #hesm folks can learn a lot from.

Enjoy, and well done Jayhawks!

The Week in Links

It's Friday link-o-rama time!!!!!!!!!!!!!

• Be sure to check out this enlightening infographic from the great Jason Boucher of University of New Hampshire showing how UNH students use social media. Amazing how much time students these days are on SM, and how large of a percentage use Twitter. Sigh... I suppose one day I'll actually come around to spending more time on there.

• I succeeded in making myself feel absolutely miserable, insignificant, and bad at my job when I stumbled across the incredible University of Michigan social media team blog earlier today. Way too many good things to pick just one to link to. F'ing impressive.

• I missed this one, alas, but be sure to check out the recap from this week's #casesmc chat on social media strategies for accepted students.

• I was very excited to see this great article on the ever-present #hesm issue of proliferating Facebook pages by Kate Post of Chico State University on her new blog #ThePost! I've always been a proponent of keeping the number of "official" pages to a minimum as much as possible, but with FB's recent crackdown on organic reach, I'm starting to come around to the usefulness of smaller niche affinity pages. For example, last year I created a page specific to a popular study abroad program at UP (which I took part in as a student, thankyouverymuch!), and even though it only has 800 or so followers, occasionally its reach number exceeds what I get with the nearly 16K-follower UP page. Salzburgers LOVE pictures of Salzburg, and they love sharing them too.

• Something to keep an eye on... Chapman University has just launched a "100 Chappy Days" initiative, as a relative to the #100HappyDays phenomenon that has taken social media by storm. I'll definitely be checking in on it to see how it's going.

• Here's a helpful guide to Instagram's new editing tools by Evan LePage on Social Media Today. I'm sure I'll figure them all out at some point, but for now, I'll just stick with my general strategy of Rise/Valencia or Bust.

My most popular post of the week: Loyola Marymount's incoming student advice pictures.

That's all, folks. Have a lovely weekend and, as always, thank you so much for stopping by the blog.

Since the World Cup started today, I figured it's the perfect time to post the Best. World Cup Song. EVER. And which song might that be? New Order's 1990 Team England anthem World in Motion, of course! Such a jam.

Music at Midweek: Annie

I tend to wallow in twee indie pop and 80's post-punk, but I do have another side of me... delicious, poppy, fluffy Euro Pop. I love it. LOVE IT.

And there's probably no better practitioner than Annie, who I once saw in Portland by complete accident (she was opening for Royksopp) and who absolutely blew my mind. It was a tiny club, I was at the very, very front row, and I stood (well, danced!) there with my jaw agape at the brilliant pop that was coming from a gorgeous Norwegian. That was a good night.