Outlook

Spinning our social web

Monday, January 25, 2010

St. Cloud State is communicating, cooperating and celebrating the Web 2.0 way.
The university’s flagship social Web presence – http://facebook.com/stcloudstate – has more than 5,200 fans, thanks to daily content infusions, including news, photos and videos.

“Our social Web sites build a sense of community in ways our stcloudstate.edu
site can’t,” said Loren Boone, assistant vice president for marketing and communication. “Our Facebook site is an ongoing conversation with prospective students, current students, employees, the community and alumni.”

Unique content has been one of the keys to building the Facebook site, according to Jeff Wood ’81 ’87 ’93, director of Web communications.

“From the start we said the Facebook site would not be a rehash of our traditional Web site,” said Wood. “So, we debut content on Facebook and sometimes publish exclusively to Facebook.”

Case in point: The University’s new banners along Fifth Avenue and Minnesota Highway 23 are highlighted in two Facebook photo albums. One of the photos shows the Wells Fargo building in downtown St. Cloud. In the foreground, hanging from a street light, is a red banner with a St. Cloud State logo. Also in the foreground is a St. Cloud PROUD billboard celebrating Sven Sundgaard ’03,
a television meteorologist in the Twin Cities.

“That posting prompted a student to comment that she is joining the meteorology program at St. Cloud State. We responded with a note of congratulations. And, bam, just like that, we have a low-cost, high impact interaction with a student,” Wood said.

YouTube has given St. Cloud State a fast, easy-to-use platform for sharing video, according to Josh Fleming, graduate assistant for social media.

“Type St. Cloud State into the YouTube search field and you’ll see this amazing mix of Husky hockey, Greek life, study abroad, academic programs, St. Cloud State bands – you name it,” said Fleming.

The Music Department is a leading social Web user with robust presences on YouTube and Facebook. In addition, its traditional Web site uses Social Web tools such as a blog/news feed and an embedded YouTube video player. The youtube.com/scsumusic and youtube.com/scsuband sites have video clips of ensemble performances, recitals, master classes and more. One master class video has drawn more than 64,000 views.

Husky Athletics has also “tweeted” by using Twitter to update fans during athletic events.

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