A couple months ago I wrote about my top 5 universities using new media. I’m always on the look out for innovative ideas, programs, campaigns, events and even stunts. There are so many platforms and technologies out there we can all use, and none is more important than the other. So following are a few examples (in no particular order) of really creative uses of the different platforms that I’ve found.
1. That’s Why I Chose Yale – Yale University’s “introduction to undergraduate life” is as creative as they come. While a bit lengthy, it’s a fantastically creative way to keep people engaged in learning about the university in what has traditionally been, in their words “dull admissions videos.” It’s at once corny and hilarious – and effective. It’s a great example of the new mindset we all have to have in this new media world – step outside your comfort zone and go for it. Well done.
2. College Rivalries on Facebook – Texas A&M University and Louisiana State engaged in an all out battle for just who has the most Facebook fans. Apparentlly A&M won, and even put out a press release to gloat about it. Great way to create buzz among your alumni. Now this has been duplicated over and over again by schools across the country. And while imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, we’ve got to give credit to the two who started it.
3. Google Maps Mashup + Colgate University = Yearbook 2.0 -As explained in this Mashable article, Colgate has created a map for its graduating class of 2010 “to show each graduating senior’s new location as she or he heads off to pursue post-collegiate plans and opportunities.” Google has so much to offer and I think many people struggle with creative ways to utilize the tools that are out there. This is a fun way to keep tabs on friends you are graduating with, and a great example of how to personalize Google Maps.
4. Online Communities page – Most of us have a Twitter account, Facebook page, Youtube channel, etc. And most have links on our websites somewhere that direct people to those sites. But the University of Phoenix took a unique approach by giving visitors a sneak peak at each of those online communities in one place. It’s a simple page with widgets for each, displaying the latest tweets, Facebook updates and a few videos. Goes to show that something can be simple yet still be effective.
5. I would be remiss if I didn’t show off some of the things we’re doing here at SDSU. Most notable is SDSU NewsCenter, which is where we provide news and information about the university. But our news site is unique in that we use social media philosophies and tactics in its execution. Like a traditional news site, we’re looking for interaction and engagement with our audience and the news that we publish.
Each story allows for unfiltered, uncensored comments (That’s right, we review, but do not censor). We’ve delved into social graphing by including the Facebook “Like” button on all of our stories. And each is sharable using the Add This tool. We’ve also begun experimenting with QR Codes within our stories, as well as providing opportunities for online giving.
There are dozens of examples of universities being creative with new media. It’s what we all have to do to separate ourselves, make our universities stand out in a world where information comes at our audiences like a flood. At SDSU we’re always ready to try new things. What are you doing?