Nov 012011
 
Authors: Colleen Canty

Social media is trending at CSU.

With the introduction of the new social media tab on the today.colostate.edu website, the university is attempting to breach any possible communication gaps with students. A multitude of venues for disseminating information provides students with a “platform for active engagement” with the goings-on at the university, according to CSU’s social media specialist Kimberly Sorensen.

“The school has always had some Internet presence,” Sorensen said. “But we’ve really kicked it into high gear and taken social media as the official platform for the university’s communication.”

The website’s tab, launched last week, provides a live feed of the school’s official Facebook page and Twitter and links to the CSU YouTube channel and Flickr. Through this page students can navigate to other Facebook, YouTube and Twitter accounts, including those of individual departments, athletics and even CAM the Ram.

“His identity is a mystery, but CAM’s tweets actually come from within the president’s office,” Sorensen said. “He always seems to have something insightful to say.”

While the tab is only a small sampling of the social media options on campus, socialmedia.colostate.edu allows web users to plug themselves into nearly every department, sports team, club or event on campus for official and reliable information, according to Sorensen.

Can’t make the football game? Keep up with the team’s play-by-play tweets. What’s happening at the LSC tonight? Follow it on Twitter. Curious what CAM has to say about the weather, football or wool coats? There are answers for that, too.

“Everyone’s on Facebook and Twitter; it’s easy to go on and get your questions answered there rather than waiting on hold,” said Shelby Roberts, a sophomore English education major.

As a student, Roberts understands the power of social media in communicating with an audience that is nearly always plugged into something.

Along with three other students, all of varying fields of study, Roberts writes a blog twice a week for MyCSU, which can be accessed through the social media tab. MyCSU consists of student-run blogs about life on campus.

According to Roberts, these blogs target perspective and current students and strive to portray “the unique situation every CSU student” finds themselves in.

“We all have different majors and different lives; we’re trying to describe what each of those are like,” Roberts said. “I wish I could have read blogs like mine when I was a perspective student.”

With the recently increasing use of social media venues like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, the academic world of the university is stepping into a territory, which it finds relatively new. According to Ph.D. public communication and technology student S. Cory Robinson, just because a university can use social media, doesn’t mean that it should.

“People will either love it –– and the fact they can interact with the university –– or hate it because it infringes on their privacy,” Robinson said. “Just because it (social media) is popular doesn’t mean it necessarily works.”

He does, however, acknowledge the significance of a large entity, like a university, harnessing the power of social media.

Robinson believes social media, particularly YouTube, has become a vital game changer in education as a whole, making something once tailored to “only the wealthy and privileged” now universal.

“It’s opened up education and made it an available commodity to every demographic,” he said. “If it (social media) is implemented properly, it has potential benefits.”

Sorensen recognizes the learning curve for new media, and has created tips, how tos and tutorials to remedy usability deficiencies within accounts recognized on CSU’s official social media page.

She encourages any school-affiliated group to join “the dynamic dialogue between CSU and its many audiences,” regardless of how familiar with social media they may be.

“And it’s not just a blank face behind the account; it’s not even just the university,” Roberts said. “It’s other CSU students just like the users.”

Collegian reporter Colleen Canty can be reached at news@collegian.com.

For instant news, updates, pictures, follow these accounts on Twitter:

@CSUFootball: play-by-play tweets

@CSURamtheRam: always something entertaining and sarcastic to say

@ColostateToday: find out what’s going on today at the university

@CSUEquine: polo games, riding competition and more

@CSUParking: tips and tricks to avoid tix

Like these Facebook pages for general information and event updates:

CSU Athletics

Alumni Association

Lory Student Center

CSU Events

CSU Marching Band

Rams Horn Dining Center

Greek Life

Off-Campus Life

Study Abroad

For full directory of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr and LinkedIn accounts visit socialmedia.colostate.edu

 Posted by at 5:19 pm

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.