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North Park University and Social Media: A Question for you

SM.jpgThe good folks at North Park University are drafting a list of values behind our @npu social-media presence and I’m hoping those who have experienced North Park (and the Covenant) can weigh in for us.

What attributes do you think are best to put into higher education social media?

What terms best depict what North Park has to offer?

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posted June 3, 2009 at 4:03 pm

Is there any way to get a larger, higher resolution image so we can actually see it? By what I can tell so far, the only word I would use to describe it might be: overkill, plentiful, busy, or extended. Of course, with being able to actually read it my opinion might change.

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posted June 3, 2009 at 4:13 pm

Can you link to, make the picture bigger?

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Scot McKnight

posted June 3, 2009 at 4:21 pm

Funny … the image is just a scattering of all kinds of social media and has nothing to do with North Park. So, we’re looking for terms that would have value as we work on a social media presence. How should we present ourselves?
And, I’ll see if I can create an image that can be popped up…

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Jon Boyd

posted June 3, 2009 at 6:01 pm

Yeah, let me clarify along the lines of Scot’s comment: we’re brainstorming a set of qualities or values that can serve as something of a “center of gravity” for our participation in social-media settings like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, etc. What are the qualities that you think we can and should exhibit online as a university?

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Jon Boyd

posted June 3, 2009 at 6:07 pm

It occurs to me that the sort of thing we’re asking about is sort of like the “Scout Law” (of the Boy Scouts), which says that “A scout is: Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.” We could do a lot worse than to adopt that list of 12 attributes wholesale! :) But if we were to revise that list any, what qualities should characterize us online?

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Kaleb Nyquist

posted June 3, 2009 at 8:40 pm

As a NPU student who has had the opportunity to work with multiple organizations establishing a web presence, here are my two cents.
I think the healthiest forms of social media stay within size and value their audience.
Take, for example, the comments following each post of this blog. They are often thought-out, positive, intelligible. Compare the comments following a front-page YouTube video. They look like someone barfed a text-message. Even on The New York Times’ more sophisticated website, they hide their comments on a separate page and furthermore use an editor + reader recommendation system to bury a plethora of comments that look more like graffiti than conversation.
What’s the difference? I think one is scale: this blog is no bigger than the community that supports it. Two, if someone is going to comment on a post, they know their words will be taken seriously, perhaps even by the post’s author.
What type of audience participation should a higher ed institution encourage? The kind witnessed on this blog, or the kind seen elsewhere?
North Park is relatively small and, save for a seizure of NEIU’s campus, will stay that way for a while. In a social-media context, this can be spun to our advantage. We can interact with our audience on an individual basis, make them feel involved and important to our institution, if need be. Instead of blog posts and social networking profiles that feel more like advertisements, NPU can truly put the “social” in social-media.
In a list-friendly word, “Engaged.”

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Nathan Cheuvront

posted June 3, 2009 at 8:44 pm

Working in media at Christ Church of Oak Brook I have learned it really is more about quality and not quantity when putting your company, church, or ideas out into this world of social media. You gauge your quality through response that is what makes it so legitimate. Its hard to receive responses from someone watching something on TV all you get is a rating and how many people had it on. With social media you get a true response from people if it has that quality they are looking for. Granted there is some really bad media out there that receives a ton of responses but if its quality people keep coming back and anticipating the output of your media.

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Nathan Cheuvront

posted June 3, 2009 at 8:46 pm

Totally agree with the comment above mine as well. Take advantage of your network small or big

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Susan Smith

posted June 4, 2009 at 8:02 am

My husband, Greg, forwarded a link to your post so I could read the comments. I am NOT very familiar with NPU, but have done lots of reading on social media and also how it applies to libraries and universities. I suppose engaged is the word I would use as well. Still relevant I think is The Cluetrain Manifesto and the idea of the hyperlinked organization. Also of course, the idea of digital immigrants and digital natives.
This site is very library focused, but the presentations on the hyperlinked library might be of interest, as Michael Stephens talks about different values and how to embrace them:
But for me, the main points that I often make to people are 1) the importance of transparency and 2) matching the social media to your organization’s (university’s, class’s,) goals and objectives. An example is someone who hears about twitter and wants to use it in their class but it turns out that what they want to do would be better accomplished through a blog. Another example (of NOT being transparent) is a university that only allows blogs on their intranet because of fear of spamming or negative comments.

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posted June 4, 2009 at 9:06 am

Just wanted to chime in to say kudos to NPU for involving the community! Great work.

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