Social Media Curation for Higher Ed Events


This post was originally published on .eduGuru on October 3, 2011.

If you’ve worked in higher ed for a few years, you have probably assisted with an on-campus event during orientation or move-in week. The excitement exuded by the new students is undeniable when they finally arrive. Many schools are now using social media to connect new students before these events, open up conversation between current students and alumni, and share coverage of orientation activities. If your audiences are social media savvy, they’ll surely follow your Twitter hashtags, find content on Facebook or check your YouTube playlists for updates. But, how do you curate that great social content and conversation from your events into a readable format for the masses?


So, you have some great tweets from students using your hashtag. You’re posting content to Flickr and YouTube. Facebook is really active with alumni sharing their memories of orientation.  If you’re looking for a tool that will help aggregate this content into a linear, readable and shareable format, check out Storify. From their FAQ:

Storify is a way to tell stories using social media such as Tweets, photos and videos. You search multiple social networks from one place, and then drag individual elements into your story. You can re-order the elements and also add text to give context to your readers.

Here are some examples of schools that used Storify to create recaps of their orientation events:

Babson College

Babson College combined content from their website, Twitter, YouTube and SCVNGR for this Storify of Undergraduate Orientation:

Emerson College

Emerson College covered two days of move-in and orientation activities combining Flickr photos, YouTube videos and tweets using the #ECWelcome hashtag. The Storify reached over 4,000 views through a combination of social sharing and an embed on 

Ithaca College

Ithaca College asked their current students and alumni to give advice to new students using #ICMoveIn on Twitter:

They also collected Twitter coverage of move-in events in this Storify:

University of Michigan-Flint

Tweets and photos of their Welcome Back Picnic were shared in this Storify:

Webster University

Webster University’s Patrick Powers published this Storify, covering the 2011 New Student Orientation:

Other Social Curation Examples

Storify isn’t the only option for social content curation, but in my experience it’s the most user-friendly and publishes the best output for sharing or embedding on your website. How are you collecting content for sharing after your school’s events? Please share your examples in the comments below.

Special thanks to Rob Engelsman, Patrick Powers, Georgy Cohen, Ashley Hennigan, Vanessa Theoharis and Alaina Wiens for sharing these examples with me.

Facebook is Killing Off FBML, Sort Of…


Facebook will be phasing out Facebook Markup Language (FBML). On March 11, 2011, you will “no longer be able to create new FBML apps and pages will no longer be able to add the static FBML app.” But, the good news is that if you’ve previously installed the static FBML app, it will continue to work after the March 11.

From Facebook:

We are in the process of deprecating FBML. If you are building a new application on, please implement your application using HTML, JavaScript and CSS. You can use our JavaScript SDK andSocial Plugins to embedded many of the same social features available in FBML. While there is still functionality that we have not ported over yet, we are no longer adding new features to FBML.

Facebook announced the change on their Developers section and explained their transition to using iframes in Page tabs.

Facebook Page Redesign: How It Impacts You


Facebook is at it again with redesigning features within Pages. New features were revealed accidentally in December, but now all Page administrators have the opportunity to tour the new features. Admins also have the ability to “upgrade” their Pages to the new design.

What changed in the new design? Here’s a quick summary:

  • Photos are now at the top of the Page in the new layout
  • Profile picture size of the Page adjusted from 200×600 to 180×540
  • Wall filters have updated
  • Notifications are available whenever a user posts or comments on a Page you administer
  • Tabs are replaced by a menu below your Page’s profile picture
  • Additional moderation features added that allow you to filter posts proactively
  • Using Facebook as a Page – admins can choose to interact with other Pages as their Page
  • Admins can comment and post to their Pages as either the Page or as their personal profile

Read about all the upgrades in Facebook’s Help section or their PDF manual. Waiting to upgrade? According to InformationWeek, all Pages will automatically be upgraded on March 10.

How does the upgrade impact your school’s Facebook Page?

The Wall

You still have the option to display posts by Everyone or just your Page’s posts. But, if you select to show posts by Everyone, Facebook’s algorithm determines the “most engaging posts” and pushes them to the top. What does that mean? It appears that more weight is given to posts by friends, posts with more interactions and comments, or posts by the Page. But, each fan of your Page may have a different experience with your wall, depending on their connections across Facebook.

Go to Edit Page -> Manage Permissions to change this option

So, if there’s a controversial post, or a thread that is getting a lot of attention, it may ‘stick’ at the top of your Wall. If you choose to show posts by Everyone, simply posting multiple items to push something down the Wall may not be effective PR anymore.

At Emerson College, we’re discussing changing the Wall to just show posts by Emerson College so that we’ll maintain the reverse-chronological listing on the Wall. We’ll still maintain a high level of customer service by checking the Everyone section and responding to questions if users post to our Page.

More information about the new option to moderate content posted on Pages is available from Facebook.

Photos at the Top

The most recent photos that you post to the Wall as an admin, or photos you tag your Page in, will display at photos at the top of your Page. I’ve also found that any photos added to Page albums will also appear in the photo strip at the top of your Page.

If you want to control this real estate on your Page, I would suggest creating an album dedicated to photos you want to appear at the top of your Page. If you post a photo to your wall and want to remove it from the top of your Page, simply hover over that photo and click the ‘x’ in the top-right corner.

Using Facebook as a Page

To switch to this option, go to the Account drop-down and select “Use Facebook as Page” and you can choose from any Page you administer.

The option to receive notifications (either by email or by switching to your Page) is a great addition for administrators that keep a careful eye on their Page interactions. You can also change those settings if you’d like. If you are using Facebook as a Page, you have the ability to:

  • Receive red on-site notifications about new people who like your Page.
  • Receive red on-site notifications and email notifications about people who comment and post on your Page.
  • View a News Feed for your Page. This News Feed will be populated with stories about your Page and stories about other Pages you like.
  • Like other Pages and comment on posts by these Pages.

So, be careful when switching back and forth between using Facebook as you, or Facebook as a Page. Just to note, if you would like to post or comment on your Page as yourself and not the Page, you can change that setting in Edit Page -> Your Settings


How are you adjusting to the new Facebook Page design? I’d love to hear your feedback and lessons you’ve learned after using the new design for your school.

This post was originally written for .eduGuru.