Monthly Archives: April 2011

The Pros & Cons Social Media has on Students

Courtesy of Online Education this graphic shows some of the advantages and disadvantages social media has on the college student.

A few of the most notable facts include:

  • 96% of students use Facebook
  • Almost half of all students on Facebook consider themselves sadder than their friends
  • Grades are positively affected by collaborative work online
  • “Facebook Addiction” is searched 350x more than “Cigarette Addiction”
  •  Social media users feel more “connected to their institution”
  • 1 in 3 students use social media for educational purposes

Is Social Media Ruining Students?


Viral Videos | University Lipdubs

One of the more recent trends in  international education viral marketing videos is the lipdub.

Canadian university students are banding together with their school mates to show prospective students just how much they love their institutions.

University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM) students came out with their I Gotta Feeling lipbdub in 2009, which has 8,526,428 views as of this post being published.

University of British Columbia (UBC) students recently released their own Raise your Glass & Celebrity Status lipdub on April 8, which already has over 852,000 views.

As a follow-up the UQAM student who directed and produced the video released a “Making of Lipdub” video a year following the original. This video has been posted to the same YouTube channel, but unfortunately, is not available for viewing in some countries. I was able to watch it before it was limited and it was very fascinating to see the coordination and planning this type of project required. The video link is still live, so perhaps you can try from outside the US or check back in the coming months.

Here is some recent press coverage on UBC’s lipdub by the Vancouver Sun, as well as links to other universities following the trend.

These videos are incredible to watch. Not just for the coordination of hundreds individuals among a mass group but to see how excited students are about celebrating their institution. These projects are an amazing way for students to engage with their community, about their community, doing something truly entertaining in the process. And the result is a very noncommercial promotional tool that can be used to market the institution to prospective students.

The key to success in these type of projects is that it has to be a concept that is organized organically from the student body, or a student leader. If this video was commission and produced via a large corporation by the college it wouldn’t be nearly as fun for students to be involved, or for prospective students to watch. There are ways to encourage this type of participation, such as connecting with those student leaders on campus, but many of these type of projects happen without official direction when students are excited about their institution and encouraged creatively (as well as having access to resources such as technology, video editing, and sending out mass announcements to student body during the organization-phase of large scale projects).

For more information on these and other viral marketing videos attend Content is King: Video & Viral Marketing for Recruitment Success at the Unique Uses of Technology and Social Media in International Education poster fair Friday, June 3, 2011, 9:00-10:30 am at the NAFSA Annual Conference in Vancouver, BC.

Tags vs. Categories

The best news is that you don’t have to choose.

Both tags and categories are important for successful blog indexing.

I have read a number of posts on tags and categories, and have wanted to post on this topic for awhile, but hadn’t discovered what I felt to be a solid explanation of why you should use both tags and categories on your blog.  I have also been searching for a clear illustration on the difference between the concepts of tagging and categorizing.

Social Media Today recently featured Elissa Nauful’s Tagging 101, which is one of the best pieces I have seen on the discussion of tags and categories.

The best line that sums it all up:

If you organize your blog like a book, your categories would be its table of contents, and your tags would be the index.

I remember in my tag/categories research I read one article that said “don’t even bother with tags, categories are really what matters.” Yet as Nauful says in her piece both tagging and adding categories can help search engines create your blog entries as results.

Well worth a read of the full article on Social Media Today’s blog.

Image Credit