The Duke Communicator’s group gathered on Friday, Jan. 24 for our first meeting of 2014 to hold a “Social Media Mash-up.” This was our second meeting held in this format – see this earlier post for information on the inaugural event.
Our speakers were a number of colleagues who shared their own experiences and “lessons learned” working in social media, following a format similar to an Ignite session. The program included:
Tom Dominick and Audra Ang from university development on how Duke Forward has used social media on the road at fundraising events
I recently had the opportunity to speak to the Duke Communicators at one of their monthly meetings. That group is comprised of staff who are, in some capacity, responsible for getting news about Duke University and the Health System out to the masses. Their work spaces were wide-ranging: from Duke Libraries, where the event was held, to the Office of Alumni Affairs to the Nasher Art Museum to Duke Medicine to the Lemur Center.
Mine was one of 6 presentations made, and each used the Ingite format: 5 minutes and 20 slides, which auto-advance every 15 seconds. The format is a bit of a challenge, and in preparing I think I now better understand what Olympic athletes go through: years of preparation for 10 second dash. Ok, I didn’t really prepare for 4 years, only a month, but you get the picture.
I talked about stumbling across an online course on mobile photography while searching for a work-related tutorial on lynda.com and how, as a Duke employee, I had access to that resource, free of charge. I mentioned the influence Richard Koci Hernandez had one me and how photography changed me and my path in life.
At the end of the meeting I received many compliments. One person called it“inspiring.” Another told me he liked the way I “framed the story.” Coming from a professional “communicator” that was high praise. But the one comment that stick out the most came from the event’s organizer. She said, “I just love your story.”
I’d never really considered myself as “having a story.” I’d always thought that I, like everyone else, was just going through life, experiencing the highs and lows and the mundane, going to work, coming home and trying my best to fulfill the responsibilities of a husband, father, friend and citizen and along the way trying to learn more about myself and the world. But those words really resonated with me, and I realized on my way home that we ALL have “a story.” Not one of us has traveled the same path. We all have a distinct set of experiences that make up a history that no one else has. The events of life, no matter where they have led you, are what make up your unique story.
I was fortunate to be presented with an opportunity to reflect on the events and people who have influenced me in the past year and a half, but I’m now going to look back further on my timeline and examine the larger story. I want to encourage you to do the same thing and challenge you to be prepared to tell YOUR story. Where did you start? Who did you meet along the way? What did you learn? What did you see? How did you get here?
Prepare to tell it, then tell it. Tell it to yourself, your significant other, your kids, strangers. I guarantee that you’ll be surprised by what a compelling tale it is and know that you will find people who say “I just love your story.”
And don’t forget, you write your story every day. The exciting part of that is that while you are the author, you don’t know how the story will end. There are plot twists and surprises ahead and that’s what make the story compelling.
So, what’s YOUR story?
This is a guest blog post by Michael Palko, an instructional designer with the Duke University Health System and a digital storyteller.
This story was originally posted in Duke Today by David Jarmul.
The nearly 210,000 people who follow Duke on Facebook comprise the university’s biggest community on social media. At least they did in 2013.
As 2014 began, however, Duke’s Google+page claimed the top spot, climbing above 217,000 followers.
The statistics are only for Duke’s main presence on the two sites and do not include other Duke social media sites whose “likes” and “followers” total more than 1 million people.
Duke remains an active user of Facebook but expanded its presence on Google+ during the past year because of the social network’s large impact on Google search results, according to Cara Rousseau, the university’s social media manager. “We focused on Google+ initially to boost the university’s presence in search results, but we’ve found a lot of other good uses for it.”
Rousseau and others in the Office of News and Communications (ONC) organized Duke “Hangouts on Air” during the year to enable viewers to interact with campus faculty and students. In one Hangout, professors discussed why they participated in “Moral Monday” protests in Raleigh. In another, Duke’s Steven Churchill and a colleague at Boston University described their findings about recently discovered African fossils. Duke’s undergraduate admissions office held a series of video chats where applicants asked questions of current students.
Duke also tracked the “What’s Hot” and trending features on Google+ and highlighted faculty active on the network, such as Robby Bowles, a Duke medical researcher and photographer who posts regularly to #ScienceSunday. ONC also posted its own stream of colorful content to Google+, as it does on Facebook and, increasingly, on Instagram. Duke is also active onTwitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn.
“Social media keeps growing in importance but it changes so fast that we need to constantly experiment and adjust to where our audiences are going,” Rousseau said. “We’re like most universities in devoting a lot of attention to Facebook and Twitter, which remain central to our strategy, but we’re a bit unusual in seeing our numbers skyrocket with Google+. Google has regional offices in Durham and Chapel Hill and we’ve made the most of their proximity, collaborating closely with the Google higher education team.”
Rousseau and Amanda Peralta, ONC’s social media fellow, maintain the content on all of the university’s main social media sites. Their blog on Duke’s central social media site highlights recent developments and topics such as which hashtags to use and how to create viral videos for YouTube.
This week, Amanda Peralta and I led a training workshop for Duke faculty interested in using social media to build a public presence.
The Office of News and Communications organized this session. We opened by introducing three Duke faculty members — Laurent Dubois, Robin Kirk and Peter Ubel — who are regular users of social media tools such as blogs, Twitter and Facebook. They described their experiences with social media, including what has and hasn’t worked for them and how they’ve incorporated social media into their classes.
In the second half of the program, Amanda and I led a discussion about how to be strategic in your use of social media, review accepted best practices and related topics.
Here are some resources for Duke faculty following the discussion:
Last week, StudentAdvisor.com announced the top 100 colleges and universities that are best leveraging social media. “These innovative schools use social media to give students insight into their culture, personality and DNA,” said Dean Tsouvalas Editor-in-Chief of StudentAdvisor, “This is so beneficial for students to determine the right fit beyond college rankings and marketing speak.”
Duke is happy to join some elite company in the top 10. Congratulations to the Duke social media community!
1. Harvard University (No Change)
2. Stanford University (Up 3)
3. Johns Hopkins (down 1)
4. Yale University (Up 11)
5. Duke University (Up 39)
6. Princeton University (Up 10)
7. Full Sail University (Up 12)
8. University of Oregon (Up 3)
9. Ohio State (down 3)
10. LSU (down 2)
Here is a Google+ Hangout revealing the ranking I was invited to participate in to discuss how Duke has upped our social media game over the past 18 months. Enjoy!
Ashley (Hennigan) Budd hosts Admissions Live with guest Cara Rousseau, Manager of Digital and Social Media Strategy for Duke University. Tune in as they discuss the Google+ platform and its uses in college admissions.
Taken from the live broadcast, October 15, 2013.
Topics discussed during the LIVE broadcast include:
This article originally appeared in Duke Today. Story by David Jarmul.
Move quickly. Be entertaining. Pay attention to what actually works online.
Those were some of the suggestions Thursday morning from two Duke students whose videos have “gone viral” on YouTube. They shared their experiences with campus communicators who manage some of the university’s busiest social media sites.
Rachael Nedrow, a first-year student from Oregon, has produced videos viewed more than 24 million times on YouTube showing her stacking cups at record speed. Jacob Tobia, a senior from North Carolina, has produced several popular videos on political and social issues, most recently in support of Nina Davuluri, the Indian-American woman whose victory in the Miss America pageant elicited racist comments online.
“People find me more intriguing when I’m really hyper and excited,” said Nedrow, who tries to keep her public identity as “speedstackinggirl” separate from her personal life. Her videos have been featured on numerous websites and TV shows, including Tosh.0 and America’s Got Talent. She has her own channel on YouTube.
Students, faculty and others who want to succeed online need to meet the medium on its own terms, she said, arguing that “it’s just a matter of getting comfortable with a camera.” Nedrow views herself as an old-timer in the world of sport stacking, saying “most of the really good stackers are 11 years old and I’m 18, so …”
Tobia said he produced and uploaded his video in support of Miss America with several other Duke students in just a few hours. It has now been viewed thousands of times online and sparked a Twitter campaign called #standwithnina. Davuluri welcomed the campaign and thanked the Duke students when she appeared on CNN, Bloomberg and other news outlets.
In 2012, Tobia produced a video describing how he planned to run across the Brooklyn Bridge in stiletto heels to raise money for a homeless shelter for LGBT youth. More than 10,000 people watched “Run for Shelter 2012,” which led to both donations and news coverage. In an earlier video, Tobia and fellow student Dominique Beaudry urged opposition to Amendment One, the subsequently passed North Carolina law that bans same-sex marriages.
“One thing I’ve learned as an activist is how you get people’s attention and get them invested in what you’re doing,” Tobia told the Duke communicators, who oversee the university’s main Facebook and Twitter sites and social media activities in Admissions, Athletics and other campus offices. “I’m really interested in taking social justice issues and blowing them up online.”
Tobia said speed is critical when responding to breaking stories such as the controversy involving Miss America. “I knew she would only be in the news cycle for one more day, or two if we were lucky. You have to get things out really, really, really quickly.”
Tobia said he has drawn on his theater background in the videos and has learned video editing fairly easily. He hopes more Duke students will produce and upload their own videos, whether on social issues or other interests, and urged them to share their best work with campus communicators who can help them reach wider audiences.
Cara Rousseau, Duke’s social media manager, led the discussion. Duke’s social media siteprovides additional information about the university’s online activities.
Hundreds of people have been arrested at the North Carolina Legislative Building as part of the “Moral Mondays” protests against policies by the Republican-led legislature and Gov. Pat McCrory. Five of those people — Duke professors Willie Jennings, Robin Kirk, Bill Turner, Jed Purdy and Bill Chafe — participated in a live webcast interview about the protests Monday, July 1.
Also joining the conversation was Duke alumnus David Graham, who wrote a recent article for The Atlantic about the protests, which compared North Carolina’s politics with those of Wisconsin’s two year ago.
A few weeks ago, Duke University participated in the iMarch for Innovation, a call from across the tech, government, and higher education sectors for the Senate to pass comprehensive immigration reform. The virtual march brought out supporters from North Carolina to Idaho to California and connected individuals from the Republican, Democratic Parties – and even some Independents – to demonstrate the importance of immigration reform to our economy, our universities, and — as the name implies — our nation’s ability to remain on the frontline of innovation.
Today (ICYMI) @DukeFedRel hosted a Twitter Town Hall to talk more about how immigration impacts the students and faculty at Duke University. Here’s a recap:
Right now, international students who come to study at Duke don’t have a choice of staying in the country after finishing their degree. Their visas automatically expire, meaning they have to return to the home countries. The “Gang of Eight” immigration reform bill has a provision that would give graduates in many disciplines a choice to stay in America and contribute to our economy. According to studies by the Center for American Progress, immigration reform would help create 1.4 million jobs and add $329 billion dollars to the economy by 2030.
As Dick Brodhead said in a statement last June, ““Each year, bright, talented students from around the world come to Duke to pursue graduate degrees. Along with their academic training, they absorb an American approach to thinking, problem-solving, and innovating, and they graduate with skills that can lead directly to new companies and jobs for our country. It’s in our national interest to keep them here.”
The Gang of Eight bill also includes the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which offers a path to permanent residency for those individuals brought to the country illegally as children.
A recent study, conducted by Jiali Luo and David Jamieson-Drake, the assistant director and director of Duke’s institutional research office found that Americans who engaged with international students while on campus are more likely in later life to appreciate art and literature, place current problems in historical perspective and read or speak a foreign language. They also are more likely to reexamine their political and religious viewpoints and their beliefs about other races or ethnicities, according to the research. These findings apply to U.S. students who actively interacted with international students in classes, dorms or elsewhere, as opposed to just sharing the campus with them.
We were pleased to join the iMarch for Innovation in highlighting the support for immigration reform across North Carolina. Thanks to those who joined in the conversation, sent us questions, retweeted our remarks and helped us get the word out: don’t miss this chance! Duke University urges the Senate to pass comprehensive immigration reform.