Tag Archives: social network

PROpenMic.org Traffic :: One Year Anniversary

Our PR social network has been in action for one year, as of April 1st.  I thought you might like to know how we’re doing.  I’d also appreciate your feedback on the network.  We can’t get better without hearing from your members (and those that haven’t joined, yet, too).

Here’s an update on PROpenMic‘s traffic over the first year. Only April ’08 through February ’09 (11 months) are available.

I’ve used publicly available information from Compete.com and Alexa.com.  They are services used by media buyers to determine rates for ad buys, for instance. Continue reading


Auburn Student and Alumni Network :: WarEagle.me

Campaigns students worked very hard this summer.  They created a social network and pitched it to the faculty of the Department of Communication & Journalism, Auburn University.

Alana Wells, Sherry Namburi, Miles Duncan, Brett Pohlman, Lindsay McCormick and Whitney West were all members of the PR Campaigns class, Summer 2008. This site is their creation. Search for their resumes at PRProspects.com and hire them. ;o)

The mission?  Bring together students and alumni in an online community.

It launched last week.  In less than a week, members have looked at 2,673 pages on the site.  That’s 11.67 pageviews per visitor.  Members spend, on average, 9:49 on the site per visit.  We’re in the early stages of inviting members.  We have 141 signed up, as of Monday evening (six days into the site’s life).

I can’t let you in, as we’ve made this a totally private site.  I can, however, share a look at a screenshot. (Sorry, big file. 800kb)

Colleges and universities have their own alumni departments & programs, to be sure.  But, when you want to bring your niche group together in their sites, it isn’t always possible.  This site will help us connect with our best resources: alumni and students.

We aren’t trying to replace Alumni’s efforts, or thwart them, but we needed a way to engage your students and alumni directly.  I actually believe that our efforts will supplement Alumni’s work.  We can keep our alumni more engaged with the department.  That way, when Alumni contacts them … they still have a relationship with the university.  Cool idea, huh?

More universities should consider this.  Why not?  You have a built in workforce … students.  They can run the site and keep it active.  The site could even be worked in a course’s activities and exercise requirements.  If not that way, you could use your in-house ambassadors (if you have them) or the PRCA / PRSSA chapter could run it.  Hey, it’s good experience for the students.

The Department of Communication & Journalism at Auburn University is often the largest department on campus.  We’ve often had over 1,000 students.  And, in case you’re wondering, our PR program has a higher minimum GPA (than most any program on campus) to even be considered for enrollment.

We want to keep in touch with our alumni.  They are successful and so valuable to our current students.

I see this site as sort of a mini-PROpenMic.  It is a a Ning.com Web site.  Our site is, I believe, more dynamic than any other department social network I’ve heard of at any university.  But, I’m not familiar with all.  Surely, there must be more out there.  Does your program have such a site?

I believe these sites are the wave of the future for college and university programs that wish to keep in touch with their students in a way previously impossible for most departments to launch.  Ning makes that possible.  (Yes, I’m a big fan of Ning.com.)

Students will actually run the site.  Each semester, classes will be responsible for creating the content published on a weekly basis.  From videos to interviews with students & alumni, we will be able to keep the site fresh.

Ning’s various features help us keep the site rich with content, too.  Events and music players allow us to share podcasts and post upcoming events around the area, not just department events.  Groups allow us to share job and internship listings.  Alumni may contribute content, too.

Finally, the key to this type of site being successful is to have faculty buy-in.  That commitment of time assures that students will hear from the faculty.  Communication becomes open and more frequent.  Sure, I’ve heard some faculty (not necessarily at Auburn, either) say that they really don’t want more communication.  So, I’m happy that Auburn’s PR faculty bought into the project.

Other potential pitfalls?  The site will allow students to share their ‘issues’ with the program.  Well, OK.  Hey, if they aren’t complaining here … you can be sure they’re complaining somewhere.  Why not be aware of their feelings and opinions?  I don’t get those that want to avoid student input.  Sure, I understand why they feel that way, but the rationale just doesn’t sit well.

OK, that’s our new student network.  Your thoughts?  I was wary of posting about this, but the students worked hard on it.  We may have some people attempt to sign up (that dont’ belong) but I’ll just have to deal with that.  If nothing else, I love the domain name.  Thanks to Barbara Nixon (on Twitter) for letting me bounce ideas off her, too.  :o)

Interns Creating Video :: Features :: Photos :: Audio Podcasts

Auburn PR student, Kelli Hood - Auburn Intern at Camp ASCCAKelli Hood, is one of three interns at Camp ASCCA this summer.

She, along with Danika Kmetz of Illinois State University and Zeb Ramey from the University of South Alabama, are already writing (and getting published) for a magazine and preparing stories for local newspapers as well as their online offerings. Below, you’ll find three videos – one from each of them.

It is online video that seems to attract the most attention from potential campers, their parents and volunteers for Easter Seals Camp ASCCA. The interns post these to two different sites Camp ASCCA Journal and ASCCA Friends, ASCCA’s own niche social network. The students then share the videos with the world via TubeMogul. That site allows you to post one video to numerous video sharing sites around the world. Traffic from these videos greatly enhances Camp ASCCA’s visibility. Awareness is being developed each day.

They are also using Utterz to easily post audio podcasts throughout the day. I got an inexpensive $30 prepaid cellphone (with 300 minutes already on it) and gave each intern one to play with creating audio interviews. Hey, we’re experimenting. Here are three examples. What do you think?

Danika Interviews Auburn Alum Ashley Dickerson at High Ropes

Zeb Interviews a Camper at the High Ropes Course

Kelli Interviews a Counselor and Camper at Cargo Net

Now, the videos… Continue reading

Google’s Friend Connect Arrives (Tonight)

Must admit, I’m intrigued by Google Friend Connect (Note: Not up yet. Later tonight.)

The details are here: Google Press Center: News Announcement.

Lots of other people are, of course, buzzing about it. See Techmeme: Previewing Google Friend Connect: Website owners can make any site social (Sean Carlson/Google).

Now, since it is just launching, I’m not too sure we can take advantage of it in this semester’s classes, but I’ll hope. I’d like for all students to be able to get an account. But, Google is rolling it out piece meal, like they usually do with Beta releases.

What’s The Benefit?

What might it do? offer to our student projects? Well, it can make a digital resume a social site, for instance. Would we want to do that? I don’t know, but some aspects seem compelling. The simplest explanation comes from the release above, “any website owner can add a snippet of code to his or her site and get social features up and running immediately without programming — picking and choosing from built-in functionality like user registration, invitations, members gallery, message posting, and reviews, as well as third-party applications built by the OpenSocial developer community.”

Websites that are not social networks may still want to be social — and now they can be, easily. With Google Friend Connect, any website owner can add a snippet of code to his or her site and get social features up and running immediately without programming — picking and choosing from built-in functionality like user registration, invitations, members gallery, message posting, and reviews, as well as third-party applications built by the OpenSocial developer community.

Visitors to any site using Google Friend Connect will be able to see, invite, and interact with new friends, or, using secure authorization APIs, with existing friends from social sites on the web, including Facebook, Google Talk, hi5, orkut, Plaxo, and more.

So, although we wouldn’t want to necessarily add that info to the resume, we can put it on a sub-page. The student uses that to build their own network over time. Also, what about potential employers and internship providers that are digital adopters and want to connect with the student in their social networks? Well, now you can do it on your own domain.

Does it change the rules?

No, but it can change the opportunities.

Best practices will still rule. In fact, they are going to become even more important. This is, after all, as much an opportunity to screw up your online reputation as it is to enhance it. ;o) Translation: Don’t post anything you wouldn’t show Grandma and Grandpa.

I’ll be watching and signing up. Hope for a quick invite for me. No. I’m not holding my breath. ;o)

This could turn out to be a really good, easy way to explore socializing a site, while not spending too much time on coding and more. After all, we’re developing PR practitoners, not creating developers and coders.

Update: Well, I have (of course) not yet been graced with an invite to Google’s Friend Connect. Big shock. But, I have seen more talk about it out on the Web. Something I have since learned is the possibility that all of these new tools will be in an iframe. What’s that? Well, let’s call it a page within a page, or a frame (featuring content from other sites) inside an HTML page. Um, that’s not really “integrated” now is it. Hmm? See Google Friend Connect Tries to Strangle the Social – ReadWriteWeb (Hat tip: Google Friend Connect – Error 404 – Your Friends Not Found | My Blog Posts)

Well, this makes me a bit less energetic about the whole project. I’d still like to see it and try it for classes, but I was really hoping for something a bit more truly integrated. Still, I have yet to see the service, so I’m reserving my final opinion until later.

Diverse International Population of our PR Higher Education Social Network :: PROpenMic

Over on PROpenMic, I’ve posted a run down of the population we’ve developed from countries around the world.

The experience of launching this community, and watching it grow, has been very enjoyable. I deeply appreciate all of the people that have visited the site and signed up. PROpenMic is actually turning into a worldwide social network for public relations and marketing communications worldwide. PROpenMic :: Social Network for PR Higher Ed Worldwide

The post is here: Diversity :: PROpenMic’s Demographics, by Country. An excerpt is below, but you’ll have to visit the site and sign up to read the post. Sorry, but I’m trying to continue to build the community.

As of today, we have 361 members (in a little over 12 days). They hail from 25 nations. There are at least two (2) members from each continent (well, sort of … you’ll have to read it to understand). North America and Europe are the largest contingent, but we’re now reaching other continents, too.

Students are our largest group, 220+. Faculty represent, I believe, some of the most active and creative researchers and experiential educators in the world. That is particularly true with regard to online public relations. We have the honor of welcoming Dr. James E. Grunig, easily the single most prolific public relations researcher and publisher in the world. Our practitioners represent a wide variety of experience and sectors within the broad field of public relations practice. PROpenMic has welcomed people with the title of CEO, President, SVP, and VP from some of the largest PR agencies, as well as some of the most prominent boutique agencies, in the world. Even more Managers, SAEs and AEs have signed up, too. But, just as important, we have practitioners from NGOs, PA/Government practice and local/regional practitioners, too. I won’t even try to represent the broad range of practices they hail from, please just look for yourself. The experience runs the gamut.

I hope you’ll visit the site and consider signing up. We are especially interested in attracting students and faculty from PR/Marcom programs around the world.

Social Network for College & University PR Students and Faculty :: PROpenMic.org

One place for all PR students and faculty to meetup and mashup ideas about emerging digital media. That’s been my dream.

Sure, we’ve been creating our blogs and podcasts. We’ve been following each others writings and media. All fun. All good. But, there really hasn’t been one place for everyone to do a meet and greet … until now.

PROpenMic.org is the place.

PROpenMic? A metaphor. Step up and speak your mind. Our goal is to be the social network for PR students and faculty worldwide. We have common interests, goals and certainly can learn from one another.

PROpenMic.org logo

The site is open to practitioners, too. So, if you’re interested, please come and join in the discussion.

We can share documents, audio, video … a music / podcast player, forums, blogs & photo albums for each member … RSS feeds, photo albums, and more. Already people are blogging and four forums have begun – PR Syllabi & Resources, PR / Marcom Pros, Faculty and Students. We can start more, too.

Connect & Collaborate

I love sharing and learning. No better way to do that than to interact with your peer groups, right? So, my hope is that we can all come together – from around the world – and connect in this community.

The site is built upon the Ning.com platform, so it has a sort of Facebook-like appeal. The difference? No ads. No apps sending you numerous emails. Just PR people. Hey, I like Facebook for connections, but to do what we wanted to do … a mashup of content in one place … we had to have our own platform, in my opinion.

Meetup, Mashup & Share

Already, in one day, we have people signing up. Blogs, forums & video sharing are already seeing a bit of activity. We want more, though. Interest has come in from Asia, Europe, North America & Australia. How about you? and your students?

I realize that starting this at the end of a semester isn’t the ideal time. But, I had an epiphany on Sunday night and just started building the site. By Monday morning it was essentially ready to go, so I shared PROpenMic.org in Twitter and through an email to about two dozen people.

Please Join

I’m seeking your support, please. Share PROpenMic.org with your students, fellow faculty, PR/Marcom colleagues and more. Sign up yourself and there is a very easy “invite” process for you to use. Thank you.

Note: PROpenMic.org will never sell or share your email address or personal information with anyone else. You choose what to share on the site. This is a nonprofit academic project, primarily for the benefit of our students. No cost. No ads.

And, just so you’ll know … This is for real, too. No April Fool’s silliness, here … unlike this one from Google. Hat tip to Brett Pohlman for that one.

Latest Thought For A Class Project :: A New Loveliest Village Social Network

For the longest time, it seems, we’ve been doing projects for clients in our Style & Design class, as well as Campaigns, PR Writing and Survey Research.

I had a thought. Yes, I know … that’s often a dangerous thing.

Why not take our ongoing blogging and podcasting activities and fold them into a real, honest-to-goodness, social network?The Loveliest Village social network

So, here ya’ go … LoveliestVillage.org will now become … TheLoveliestVillage.org.

From now on, part of our ongoing projects will be — grow the network. It isn’t enough to just practice the art of writing for an online audience, or preparing podcasts, or dabbling in graphics and layout. All of that means bupkus if you don’t also know how to develop the network (audience) for your project. D’oh?

It is such a simple natural progression on what we’ve been doing, I wanna kick myself for not having done this sooner. Perhaps it is my new infatuation with ASCCAFriends.org and the power of Ning, but this seems like a pretty fun idea. I can see students becoming fairly engaged. A little competition between groups as to which one lands the most signups … huh? Ya’ think?

ASCCA Friends ScreenshotAfter all, the students (depending upon the semester and # of classes / class size) combine to crank out 140 to 300+ videos and 240 to 500+ blog posts each semester. To keep it sane, we can limit participation in the ‘open’ social network to the almost 1,000 students in our department and select outiders/alumni. Then, as we learn, perhaps open it up. (Don’t know about that.)

Now, if we can’t build a network of Auburn students and fans around all the video podcasts and blogging we’ve been doing – while letting the network members blog & post, too – well, I’ll feel pretty goofy. (More goofy? goofier?) I’m even thinking about doing some Facebook Ads (just among Auburn students) to get it rolling. Don’t worry, we won’t spend much. The process of creating and launching the ads alone, is worth the cost.

Not foresaking the traditional bread-n-butter PR practices, we build in the traditional elements such as research, media relations, press kit … well, we will have to decide what fits.

So, whatta’ ya’ think? I’m liking this … but, as always, crave feedback and critiques.

I’m thinking that any college, university … any school, could create such a network.