Best Idea of the Month: Michigan's School Pride Pets

This blog has survived its first month! True, it was only by the hair of my chinny chin chin that I staggered through the last few weeks of April (picture a reeeeeeeeally long and drawn out “I think I can, I think I can”), but that fact that it’s May and this blog has yet to shutter its windows is no small victory, especially when you consider the source: a lazy son of a gun who would much rather come home and watch cat videos and listen to Technotronic than research what other colleges and universities are up to on social media and then write about it in lousy prose featuring bad jokes, dated music references, and overly long sentences (much like this one). But hey – I’m standing, you’re reading (thanks!), so let’s get to it!

One of the things I set out to do when I started this bad boy was to give out awards recognizing the great work of higher ed social media managers. I realize it's patently ridiculous for me - someone who is largely unworthy of calling these super talented people my peers - to be handing out the hardware, but hey... for the time being, I'm the only show in town, and even if it's a sad off-Broadway show in some fleabag dump of a theater, at least I genuinely admire the work being down out there enough to give props.

And the first of what I hope will be many Social Media For Colleges Best Idea of the Month Awards goes to... University of Michigan's School Pride Pets!!! (Click here to see the original source on Pinterest.) 

Cute animals FTW. It is the internet after all.

Cute animals FTW. It is the internet after all.

This is killer in all the ways that make social media great. It's a perfect use of the medium, it encourages authentic engagement and user-generated content that people are excited to share, it's fun, it fits the culture of the internet and social media, and it provides an opportunity for people to both show off school pride and get something in return - who doesn't love showing off pics of their pets and hearing people say how cute they think they are? Simply put, this is just a great big ball of win, and best of all, it doesn't even require a ton of work from the page manager's end beyond spreading the word and collating submissions. This is something every college can do, and as long as word is spread properly and the prime is pumped with a few examples, it can be universally successful.

Congratulations, Michigan! This is an absolutely awesome idea. 

But it wasn't the only awesome idea in April. Honorable mention goes to:

Taylor University's March Madness for Dorms

LSU's Instagram Photo Challenge

Drake University's Borrowing Buzzfeed

Morehouse and Williams Colleges Engaging Admitted Students

My sincere thanks to all the 1,650 unique visitors who stopped by this blog so far. I know that's not a very big number in the grand scheme of things, but it's a lot more than I ever would have imagined when I started this vanity project a few weeks ago.  Here's hoping this thing will be around on June 1. Oh, and sorry for the endless puns and 90s music references. I can't help myself.

Music at Midweek

Page Manager Q&A: Max Kubert and Evan Nisenson of New York University