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Moral Mondays: Duke University Professors Hold a Google+ Hangout to Discuss Arrests and Protests

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.



Higher Education and Google+

Have you tried this? Bring up Google+ in a room of marketers and communicators. Just mention the social network and see what happens.

You will hear mixed reactions. Some will sing the praises of search engine optimization  and network influence, while others will look at you like you’re a cat speaking Latin on TV.

Our social media team at Duke University is among the Google+ believers.

Duke’s main Google+ Page has grown to over 65,000 followers (as of Aprili 2013) and we’re continuing to see value in our presence on Google+. For one, the more people who follow Duke on Google+, the more we positively influence search results for people in the Duke community. Secondly, we see Hangouts On Air as a huge benefit for student-to-student connectivity and a great tool in our media relations toolkit. Finally, it’s a quirky and fun place where we can share content that is attached to Google trends and a niche science community that is super active on the network.

I’m working on a full blog post on all of the benefits and joys Duke sees in Google+. For now, check out this Hangout On Air I did last week with the Higher Education Google team discussing the power of highered on Google+. Enjoy!


Upcoming Google+ Hangout with Steven Churchill

Duke is doing a science-themed Google+ Hangout!

Churchill & MH1_72


At 2 p.m. ET on Thursday, April 11, Duke University is offering a live Google+ Hangout with paleo-anthropologist Steven Churchill, who led the analysis of the remarkably complete arm of MH1 and participated in most of the other papers as well. Churchill will have casts of several pieces of MH1 and MH2 and can discuss their features.

Please RSVP to the event here. We hope to see you then!

Social Media 2013: Internet users who use social networking tools

The folks over at Pew Research Centre recently compiled their annual research on the demographics behind social media users on different platforms.

The infographic below (courtesy of Adweek) takes Pew’s data and displays it in a nice visual, including these key takeaways:

  • Women are five times more than men to use Pinterest
  • City dwellers are significantly more likely to use Twitter than rural residents
  • Black people and hispanics are more likely to use Instagram than white people
  • The 18-29 year-old demographic is more likely to use Instagram than Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr


A Big Week of Hangouts for Duke

Did you know Google has an office in Chapel Hill, North Carolina? It’s located in Southern Village, just a short drive down 15-501 from Duke University.

Because of their proximity, I’ve had the chance to meet with Google Higher Ed reps a number of times over the past year. Some of these conversations resulted in Duke participating in Google’s recent College Admissions Week programming with six other universities.

The goal of College Admissions Week is to allow prospective students around the world to connect with and learn about top universities, regardless of financial or geographic barriers. Over the course of College Admissions Week, Duke and the other participating universities used Google+ Hangouts On Air (HOA), which are multi-person video chats, to present information to prospective students about academics, student life and the admissions process.

Duke participated in the following Hangouts as part of College Admissions Week this past week:

Christoph Guttentag, Duke’s Dean of Undergraduate Admissions, joined the kick-off panel hosted by The Princeton Review.


I hosted two current Duke students, Nadine Goldberg and Connor Cotton, who talked about student life and responded to questions from prospective students.


A Duke admissions officer, Sam Carpenter, held an information session about admissions and responded to applicant questions.


We were able to reach hundreds of prospective students through these video chats in a new and interactive way. Special thanks to Google for inviting us to participate and The Princeton Review for anchoring the program!

As an added Google+ HOA bonus, Duke Lemur Center postdoctoral fellow Erik Patel was featured in an hour-long special on Animal Planet, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012 at 8 p.m. Eastern, talking about his work in Madagascar with the rare and elusive (and gorgeous) silky sifaka lemur. We held two Google+ Hangouts with Erik and Charlie Welch, lemur center conservation coordinator, before and after this BBC-produced documentary aired to learn more about their efforts to prevent illegal logging, to educate Malagasy schoolchildren about conservation and to establish protected areas around the last remaining lemur habitat.



Join a Hangout with Duke

April is here, and as this is a very important month for undergraduate admissions, Duke is trying out new ways to connect prospective and current students using social media.

One of the new ways our admissions office is connecting students is through a new Google technology, Google+ Hangouts On Air. We are using Hangouts On Air to host eight student video chats during the month of April about different themes that prospective students are interested in learning more about. These themes include academics, spirit and the first-year experience on East Campus – all important considerations for students making the difficult decision about where to attend college.

We’re excited to try out this new platform and partner with Google on beta testing this new technology. So far, we’ve had two very successful chats with dozens of questions asked by prospective students. We feel like it’s really important to utilize new technologies to let Duke students talk about their real-life stories and build relationships with incoming students.

In addition to streaming all of the video chats live on our Duke Undergraduate Admissions Google+ Page, we’ll be archiving the videos on our YouTube channel and Duke’s video site, Duke On Demand.

How else could we be using this technology for events and conversations across campus?