Weekly Roundup: Week ending 8/27/2010

Image courtesy wallyg on Flickr

Image courtesy wallyg on Flickr

Below are some articles that caught our interest this past week:

The Burden of Information (New Marketing Labs, 8/24)
The State of the GeoSocial Universe (Mashable, 8/24)
Make Shareability a Priority (Chris Brogan, 8/25)
Are You Using Social Media as Social Proof? (Social Media Examiner, 8/27)
Choosing Goals for Social Media (Brass Tack Thinking, 8/26)
Who Elected Me Mayor on Foursquare? I Did (New York Times, 8/18)
Hunch Now Helps You Discover What’s Best in Your Area (Mashable, 8/23)
AT&T Pilots In-Store Rewards Using SCVNGR (Mashable, 8/24)

Upcoming Events:

SPLASH will be held this Sunday, August 29th at 2:00 pm on Nickerson Field. (#BUsplash)

– BU 2010 alumni Eric Leist and Alison Morris are hosting Tweach Out, a tweetup and networking event, at the Lansdowne Pub on Tuesday, August 31st. (#TweachOut)

– The Comm Ave Fair is this Tuesday, August 31st from 1 – 4 pm (#commavefair)

More to add? Something to share? Post it in the comments or e-mail jemack@bu.edu to add it to next week’s roundup.

Higher Ed/Social Media webinar this Friday, 8/27

Radian6 is organizing a webinar for 2 pm EDT tomorrow. The topic is Social Media in the Higher Ed Classroom. Registration is free, and a couple of us here in the PR office will be listening in. Read the description on the landing page to see if it sounds interesting to you.

Social Media Communicators Meeting 08/24/2010: Foursquare, BU Today’s new editor, upcoming campus events

The Social Media Communicators group met on Tuesday, August 24th to discuss Foursquare, introduce John O’Rourke as BU Today’s new editor, and share upcoming campus events.

Foursquare and geolocation services

FoursquareMary Tunney and Jenny Mackintosh of Public Relations introduced their plan to roll out Foursquare campus-wide in the next few weeks. In their own words:

Foursquare is a mobile application that makes cities easier to use and more interesting to explore. It is a friend-finder, a social city guide and a game that challenges users to experience new things, and rewards them for doing so. Foursquare lets users “check in” to a place when they’re there, tell friends where they are and track the history of where they’ve been and who they’ve been there with.

They have been working to compile a list of venues related to Boston University in preparation for Foursquare to launch a Boston University Foursquare page (similar to the Syracuse University Foursquare page, for example). Currently, BU has a profile page, which will be converted into the newer university landing page in the next week or so. Once BU “owns” those venues on Foursquare, we will be able to access analytics on who is visiting, as well as manage specials and discounts at particular locations around campus.

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Social Media Communicators Meeting 07/29/2010: QR Codes, WordPress, Facebook and Success Stories

On Thursday, July 29th, the Social Media Communicators met to share success stories, as well as to discuss developments in WordPress, use of video content, and QR codes.

Video Content, Flip Cameras & Video Editing

Image courtesy Damon Duncan on Flickr

Lauren Davalla and Kira Jastive of Public Relations presented a handful of videos, produced by the department using Flip video cameras and shared using BUniverse and the BU Now blog. Public Relations is now using Flip video to respond to breaking news and build a library of content around evergreen topics. One video interview with Cutler Cleveland on the oil spill was later repurposed in a BU Today story. Kira and Lauren emphasized one of the main benefits of creating your own video content: it can be repurposed across many social channels (blogs, Facebook, BUniverse, Twitter) and help to promote experts outside of the university.

Jean Connaughton (CFA) explained that she had been playing with an HD Flip video camera at the Tanglewood Institute, and said that Flip video is a good way to share an event without having to rely on an external crew — a new way to showcase events that would otherwise go uncovered. The group also discussed the quality and options available when comparing Flip-type quickcams to more expensive digital video cameras (optical versus digital zoom, software for editing, etc.)

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Social Media Communicators meeting 06/29/2010: Facebook Social Plugins and Radian6

On Tuesday, June 29th, the Social Media Communicators group met to learn more about Facebook’s social plugins from Ryan Bersani of Alumni Relations, and Radian6 from Jacki DeAngelo and Adriane Dean of SMG.


Ryan started by presenting some of his experiments with Facebook’s social plugin tools. He has incorporated them on his own into alumni event registration pages (managed with the help of Harris Connect). He has a test site and has set up redirects for the Facebook components with the format bu.edu/alumni/like/xxxx (where xxxx is the event and date indicator). Ryan explained that the redirects are necessary because WordPress (on which the alumni site is built) does not support the alteration of meta tags, which is required for some Facebook social plugins to be functional.

Radian6Jacki DeAngelo and Adriane Dean shared their experience in using Radian6. Though they have been using it for a short time, they are already understanding the depth of what Radian6, a web conversation monitoring tool, can provide. They emphasized the “river of news” portion of the tool as being most useful, and the ability to gauge sentiment around a particular professor or program is useful. They noted that much of Radian6‘s features are more catered to corporate clients, rather than higher ed (for example, brand sentiment comparisons), but they have been tweaking the system to cater to the information they’re interested in. Jacki and Adriane would be glad to set up a tutorial one-on-one with anyone in the SMC group who is interested in test driving Radian6.

Quality vs. quantity on Twitter: In defense of a smaller community


After reading Beth Schillaci’s post this morning on the significance of followers, likers and subscribers, I was reminded of a discussion I had last week. I was consulting with a team on setting up a Twitter account for their program, and someone asked me, “How many followers should we aim for?” This is not a unique question — I hear it all the time. As a numbers girl, I LOVE to be able to provide concrete numbers that indicate success, and I wish I could say that “followers” is a solid measure of success, but it’s not. Here’s why.

Let’s break this down a bit. Grab a pen and paper (or a blank document), and answer these questions:

In one sentence, what is the goal of your Twitter account? (e.g., I want to drive more traffic to our application form; I want to generate more interaction between our Dean of Students and the freshman class; I want to react to comments and answer questions from the campus community)

Based on this goal, who is your target audience? (prospective students in their junior and senior year of high school; the class of 2014; undergrads and grad students, faculty, staff and influential neighbors)

What are they most interested in hearing about? (admissions guidelines and SAT test prep; summer jobs for college students; free events around campus and the surrounding city)

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Getting started on Twitter for your school, department or on-campus organization

Recently, I met with International Programs to discuss their plans this summer to roll out a presence on Twitter and other social networks in a way that benefits their enrollment efforts. Afterward, I sent them some useful links to articles and videos that have helped me over the past couple of years to wrap my head around Twitter success and management, and I thought it might be useful to others as well.

Twitter in Plain English: Common Craft’s video is a perfect companion starting point to understanding the basics of Twitter. It explains the way Twitter works in “plain English”, and is a quick way to indoctrinate your team members if they ask you what Twitter’s all about.

Kevin Rose: 10 Ways To Increase Your Twitter Followers: Though I’m always cautious when someone asks me how to grow their followers the fastest (as we discussed yesterday, it’s about quality, not quantity) Kevin Rose, the founder of Digg, has some great suggestions. I think the title should be “How to be more interesting on Twitter”. The article is over a year old but every point still holds true.

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Social Media Communicators meeting 05/25/2010: BUniverse and the Daily News Digest

The social media communicators group met on May 25th to discuss latest developments in the BU community related to social media.



Ben Agoes (of the Creative Services group) presented on BUniverse, a video portal for the BU community (students, faculty, staff, alumni and our editorial team at BU Today) to share content. The BUniverse project is headed up by himself and Scott Dasse (New Media), and is currently in the beta phase. While full-scale promotions will launch in the fall, BUniverse has been integrated in many locations including the Dean of Students site, BU Today content and the BU homepage, and has been quietly gaining a following on Twitter and Facebook.

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