Tag Archives: Featured

Checking in with foursquare at Duke

Explore. Connect. Discover.

The Class of 2015 are doing many of the same things as Duke students before them. Dropping and adding classes online. Getting to know their roommates. Making new friends. Exploring their community. But this year, new students are using a new resource to help them learn about the campus, a location-based mobile application called foursquare.

Foursquare allows users to “check in” at venues all around campus and to post reviews, images and tips. Users can also see which of their friends are nearby and find new friends who might be using foursquare as well.

It’s the perfect tool for a campus environment.

Duke is doing some fun things with foursquare this year. Student Affairs has added archived black and white images to “venue pages” for places such as Perkins LIbrary and the Bryan Center to show what they looked like more than 50 years ago. It is also working with Duke Dining and Durham eateries to continue to add coupons and specials for their establishments. Also, e-printers across campus are included in Duke’s list of locations, allowing new students to easily find the closest place to print out a paper or homework assignment.

So, as you walk across campus and see “check in here” stickers in building windows, I encourage you to do just that…or, if you don’t see a venue listed, add your location to our DukeU foursquare account!

The Anatomy of a Tweet

Lots of people are figuring out how to use Twitter across campus. Some communicators, students and faculty could write the book on tweeting. But, if you’re like the majority, you’re still figuring out what Twitter is and what in the world to do with a hashtag (#).

Getting started on Twitter is a little like learning a new language in a new country. The first thing you should do is simply create a Twitter account and listen. You get bonus points for uploading an image (and getting rid of the easter egg default photo) and creating a profile of yourself.

Next up, find some interesting people and news outlets to listen TO. A great place to get started is at the All Duke Tweeters list @DukeNews maintains. Simply click on the profile name of anyone tweeting something of interest and click “follow” to have their tweets show up in your homepage stream.

Now that you’re listening, you’ll probably be curious about all of the acronyms and symbols you’re seeing. Here’s a little Twitter glossary to help you understand what these terms mean:

After you’ve listened enough to comfortable with the new world of Twitter, try crafting your own tweet, perhaps by sharing links and content that interest you. One of the best uses of Twitter is swapping content.

Now that you’re part of the conversation, consider using a special desktop and mobile tool to help you organize your tweets and to filter searches for content. Two popular options are Tweetdeck and Hootsuite. Both allow you to create streams of customized content and searches so you can view what’s important to you and sort out the noise.

I’m happy to answer questions and provide more details to help you. Stay tuned on this blog for posts on how you can create your own effective Twitter strategy.

***Updated on May 22, 2012

My colleague Anton Zuiker wrote a fabulous Twitter 101 blog post about getting started with Twitter in bite-sized pieces. Please read it here.

Hello Duke!

Since I arrived at Duke as the new social media manager, I’ve had so many interesting conversations with people on campus about digital technologies, content and strategy. It’s obvious there is a huge amount of interest and creativity from the Duke community on social networking and how Duke is using new tools and technology to communicate with its audiences. I’ve also heard many of you express a desire for an online resource to share your adventures in social media and learn from others. So here it is!

Because we are going to have lots of conversations on this blog, I’ll start by introducing myself. I am a North Carolina native and have a huge amount of love for the local area. I spent the past six years at the Research Triangle Foundation of North Carolina, a nonprofit economic development group responsible managing and developing the Research Triangle Park. I just finished my MBA at the “other” school down 15-501 and decided it was time for a new challenge. The opportunity to manage social media initiatives at Duke intrigued me, so I decided to pursue my passion for community building, and applied for the role. And here I am.

My time on campus is split between the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, the Office of News and Communications and acting as a consultant in social media to the entire Duke community. As such, this blog is meant to act as a way for me to make “virtual housecalls” with the faculty, students and staff across the university.

I invite readers to submit comments and let me know what you’d like to learn about here. I’m all ears, so talk to me…and with each other!