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Social Media

Just a few short years ago, Brad J. Ward was finishing up his BA at the University of Illinois-Springfield and working in Residential Life. He was playing around with the web, and as an internal communications tool, started a website that featured photos, videos, events, and ongoings of the dorm wing he supervised. When admissions marketing saw it, they tested it as a tool to give prospective students an authentic lens into campus life. Prospects ate it up, and Ward landed himself a job in admissions marketing at UIS.


Tim Caption


ANY COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY THAT ISN'T WEB 2.0 to its fullest is falling behind. We all know that. Colleges need to be RSSing, Digging, tweeting, blogging, social networking, virtual worlding, podcasting, Flickring, YouTubing, and wikiing. (My apologies for creating new and possibly horrific verbs.)


With all the Web 2.0 hype these days, it’s no surprise that student expectations of the web continue to swell. Is your institutional website living up to these expectations? Today higher education websites are more than just static pages. They are strategic assets for admissions and enrollment, advancement and fundraising, brand awareness, disseminating information such as news and safety alerts, and, now more than ever, they are strategic assets for social networking. Research shows that social networking is the most popular online activity among today’s internet users.

We are entering the age of collaboration. Web 2.0 has gone mainstream. An entire generation of students is arriving in our schools and universities, for whom Facebook is their most important source of information and communications.