You’ve been trying to convince the powers that be that, at bare minimum, your college site needs RSS feeds. Perhaps you’re institution is considering using YouTube but is still on the fence. Asking for comments seems like a good idea, but what if those comments are bad? What do you do then?
Well, if these all seem like scary new tactics, take that fear to the highest level: to the incoming president of the United States. Wonder where he really stands on issues like rural America or disabilities? Need RSS feeds of news or the blog? Want to share your ideas about what change in American society means to you? A stop over to President Barack Obama’s website can do all this and then some. You can even apply for a job in the Obama-Biden administration.
Obama’s new site is a case study in integrated social media at a highly visible level. Users not only can view, send, and comment on YouTube videos (a weekly address, no less) but can keep up to date on the white house transition. See new cabinet members as they get added. Endless possibilities. Once this content is created, its easy to share and post over other networks, such as Twitter, adding infinite extensions of what could have been a static web site.
What your university should learn from this is that technology is finally highly embraceable. The Obama weekly video address on YouTube already has over 736,000 views. Its been emailed, bookmarked, Facebooked and MySpaced. You cant buy that kind of bottom up publicity. Its something thats taken on life from the people, not the press. In the end, thats the entire purpose of social media.
The comments, not to mention videos and photos, that he’s receiving in the American Moment: Share Your Story/Vision area of the site are groundbreaking pulse takers on American society. Imagine if these tools were implemented – comparatively on a much smaller scale – at your university. What would you learn and then change? How would your audience create a living virtual space and identity for your college? Think of how that powerful catalyst for change could make your product even better.
Whats irrelevant now?