FollowEDU Launch Announcement

followedu-twitter

I am very pleased to announce the launch of FollowEDU, the searchable directory of Twitter users in Higher Ed. FollowEDU allows users to sign in with Twitter and create an account, list their profile under Interests within higher ed, schools, companies, and more.

I invite you to add your Twitter profile today! It’s very easy to create your account. Just visit FollowEDU.com and click the Join button, then follow the steps to connect your Twitter account.

Join FollowEDU »

During registration, you can add Interests to your profile. FollowEDU organizes users under Interest lists, making it easy to find others in specific areas of higher ed. Or, find Twitter users to follow by browsing some Interests that may be new to you.

You can also read more about FollowEDU and find information about our Terms of Service and Privacy information.

I welcome your feedback on the site. Please tweet @WhoToFollow with questions or comments. If you find any bugs or errors in the site, please include #FollowEDUbug in your tweet. If you have a suggestion for a new Interest to add into FollowEDU, please use #FollowEDUinterest.

I hope you find FollowEDU to be a resource for connecting, networking and sharing!

Colleges Join In For Google+ Pages Launch

emerson-google-plus

This post was originally published on .eduGuru on November 8, 2011.

Yesterday, Google announced that they are rolling out Google+ Pages. According to Google, “this means we can now hang out live with the local bike shop, or discuss our wardrobe with a favorite clothing line, or follow a band on tour. Google+ pages give life to everything we find in the real world.”

At launch, only a few Google+ Pages were available but more will be coming soon. You can check out the the Google+ Page create page if you plan to create one for your school. Access is somewhat limited but the Page creation option should be open to all users soon. Quick tip: Only ONE admin per page is currently allowed, so it may be better to create a Google+ Page using a department Google account (and not a personal account). Multiple admins should be coming soon.

After one night of some searching and crowdsourcing, I found about 20 schools that have already created Google+ Pages. If you’re a Google+ user, you can view a Shared Circle I’ve created to collect and showcase colleges with Google+ Pages.

UPDATE: Huge thanks to Travis for sharing this Circle from  filled with over 180 schools on Google+.

Some of the first schools to join include:

Google+ Page Features

Even though Google+ Pages are still in the very early stages, they still include some interesting features for colleges looking to experiment on a new social platform.

Google+ Page for Emerson College (click for larger image)

Circles

Google+ delivers a few standard Circles for Pages, including Team Members (possibly employees of your school), VIPs, Customers and Following. The approach here is that you’ll segment your posts out to specific populations of Circles if that content is audience-specific.

In the future, colleges may want to create Circles for audiences like Prospective Students, Parents, Faculty, Alumni, etc. One downside is that Pages can’t add people to Circles until the page is added first or mentioned. So, you’ll have to do some marketing of your Page before you can segment your users into Circles.

Direct Connect

An interesting feature is Direct Connect, which simplify searching for and following colleges on Google+. After connecting your website to your Google+ Page, you are eligible for Direct Connect through Google searches. A user can then type in + then your Page’s name into a Google search and be sent directly to your Google+ Page. More information in this video:

Hangouts

Pages can interact with other Google+ profiles by starting Hangouts. This could be an easy way to create video chat with specific Circles from your Page. Let’s say, maybe, that you want to connect accepted students online before they move in. You could start a Google+ Hangout from your Page and invite students moving into a certain dorm on campus. Or, you could have your college’s president initiate a Google+ Hangout to talk to select members of the college community.

Your Thoughts?

Google+ Pages have just arrived, but because of the possibilites with Google search and Adwords integration along with Direct Connect, we’ll be seeing brand Pages pop up more in our search results. It’s really just a question of “will your audience actually visit their Google+ stream to see the information you share?”. That seems to be biggest hurdle for Google+ to overcome.

Have you created a Google+ Page for your school? What are your initial thoughts of the platform and eventual growth? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Social Media Curation for Higher Ed Events

emerson-orientation

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?

Storify

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: http://storify.com/babsoncollegeug/babson-ugrad-orientation-2011

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 Emerson.edu: http://storify.com/emersoncollege/emerson-college-orientation-2011 

Ithaca College

Ithaca College asked their current students and alumni to give advice to new students using #ICMoveIn on Twitter: http://storify.com/ithacacollege/advice-for-the-class-of-2015

They also collected Twitter coverage of move-in events in this Storify: http://storify.com/ithacacollege/icmovein-2011

University of Michigan-Flint

Tweets and photos of their Welcome Back Picnic were shared in this Storify: http://storify.com/umflint/2011-welcome-back-picnic

Webster University

Webster University’s Patrick Powers published this Storify, covering the 2011 New Student Orientation: http://storify.com/patrickjpowers/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.

FutureM Digital Higher Ed Panel

futurem

MITX’s FutureM, a five day long offering of events and discussions throughout the Greater Boston area, begins next week. Starting on September 12, “marketing and technology practitioners from around the world will come together to discover what’s new and debate what’s next in marketing.”

FutureM includes a panel session on Septmeber 12 titled Beyond the University Website: The Future of Digital Marketing in Higher Education. The panel includes .eduGuru writers Mike Petroff and Jessica Krywosa, along with Gene Begin (Digital Marketing Director, Babson College), Tom Baird (Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement, University of Michigan-Dearborn), and Perry Hewitt (Chief Digital Officer, Harvard University).

Complete information about the conference event is available from ISITE Design, the FutureM event partner. ISITE is also offering a 20% discount code to FutureM.

If you would like to follow the conference on Twitter, follow @FutureMBoston for updates and participate using the #futureM hashtag.

eduTweetup Boston 2011 Event

edutweetup-mikepetroff

This post was originally published on .eduGuru on June 6, 2011.

Join us for eduTweetup Boston 2011 on July 29!

eduTweetup Boston 2011 is an event bringing together education professionals and technology leaders for a night of fun-filled dialogue around pressing issues facing the 21st century university. Higher Ed Live and .eduGuru are teaming up with some other great sponsors to put together this event.

Register Online Today »

Hosted by Mike Petroff and Seth Odell, the event will take place at McGreevy’s in Boston on July 29. Registration and location information is available online. The event only costs $10! By registering, you’ll receive free food, two drink tickets, and the opportunity to meet other innovators in the higher ed world.

eduTweetup Boston 2011 will also feature a series of short talks from thought-leaders in higher education, including .eduGuru’s very own Michael Fienen and Nick DeNardis. They’ll discuss innovation and technology in a variety of areas including student affairs, enrollment and marketing, management, education, and more. Each speaker will present for about five minutes, quickly describing a visionary idea in their area of expertise. A list of speakers will be posted later in June.

What are you waiting for? Register for eduTweetup Boston 2011 today! Don’t miss out.

Facebook Page Redesign: How It Impacts You

facebookmarkzuckerberg

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

Feedback

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.