Seth Godin, author, blogger and CEO of Squido.com, recently blogged about the “Coming Meltdown in Higher Education” (as Seen by a Marketer).” Some of his insights certainly provide food for thought:
- Most undergraduate college and university programs are organized to give an average education to average students
- Accreditation isn’t the solution, it’s the problem.
- One reason to go to college was to get access. Today, that access is worth a lot less.
His article has sparked lively conversation online and with those on both sides of the fence. The conversation has been, at the very least, interesting and entertaining to read.
OSU built a strategic social media presence on Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, LinkedIn and multiple Twitter accounts. What’s “Powered By Orange?” Here’s the answer from the PBO website:
“It’s you – the network of alumni, students, faculty, staff, friends and fans connected to Oregon State University. It’s the positive impact you make every day in Portland and beyond – on the economy, the environment and the community. Use this Web site to tell your story and connect with the other practical idealists who are Powered by Orange.”
Since the campaign’s launch, enrollments have soared, first-time donations by alumni are up and visits to the OSU website have grown exponentially. Luanne Lawrence, OSU’s vice president of university advancement said that they are letting social media drive their decision making,
“We stripped our budget and rebuilt it. It was the hardest thing we had to do. Fifteen to twenty-five year-olds are rebuilding every aspect of the industry, and I’m listening to them.”
In a time of tragedy and a lot of questions left unanswered regarding the death of UVa’s women’s lacrosse player, Yeardley Love, social media seems to have found a way to respond with patience and maturity. The sports blog, Deadspin, known at one time for its vindictive and unprofessional posts, proved a firm and respectful grasp of the situation by shutting off comments on the UVa story when they veered towards bad taste.
Editor, A.J. Daulerio said, “It was more a message to think a little bit more next time around.”
There also wasn’t a single negative comment to be found when a Facebook page was set up in Yeardley’s memory. Instead, there has been an outpouring of compassion towards Love. The number of likes on the Facebook page jumped from 4000 to 13,000 within 14 hours … and two weeks later, there are over 66,000 likes.
One student blogged the following: I started to feel isolated and lonely…By 2:00 pm I began to feel the urgent need to check my email, and even thought of a million ideas of why I had to. I felt like a person on a deserted island…. I noticed physically, that I began to fidget, as if I was addicted to my iPod and other media devices, and maybe I am.
Two hundred University of Maryland students agreed to live 24 hours without any social media – no cell phone, iPods, or computers. The results of this study actually found that students suffered from the same physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms as alcohol and drug addicts when they went without social media and their cell phones for 24 hours.
President Brian Rosenberg of Macalester College has never blogged, tweeted, and he’s not on Facebook. However, as he stated, he learned first-hand how new forms of social media “have more potential to connect audiences across both generational and geographic boundaries than do virtually all previous forms of communication.”
After a seemingly innocent, self-parodying video on YouTube, “President’s Day at Macalester College” initially designed to engage alumni reached over 40,000 viewers on YouTube and annual fund donations spiked, the self non-technology savvy college president has had a change of heart:
“I have begun to learn about the nature and power of the social media that are reshaping the way we communicate with one another and should be reshaping the way organizations of all kinds communicate.” – President Rosenberg