The following post is an entry in the SUxSW contest, which will allow four winning students to attend the Interactive portion of the SxSW conference in Austin, TX, this March. This is a joint post by Alyssa Henry and David Rosen.
David and I met online before we ever met face-to-face; we’re both active twitter users and had interacted with each other on the social networking site multiple times. Last year, we were approached separately by an iSchool professor and invited to join the Syracuse University social media team, which is made up of a faculty advisor, a staff member, and a group of several students to develop and manage the social media strategy for the university. Our online connection evolved because of this opportunity, and we’ve been lucky enough to work together professionally on some exceptional projects. Even better, we’ve become really good friends.
As Chancellor Nancy Cantor stated last May in her commencement speech, Scholarship in Action involves “engagements that connect what you do here with what you can do in the world”. Over the past year, David and I have been joined together by two major influences in our lives: Syracuse University and social media. If given the opportunity, David and I can use these two passions during our experience at South by Southwest Interactive as education “for the world, in the world.” Here’s how…
We’re making Scholarship in Action a social experience
David and I have worked together on several projects to make Scholarship in Action more attainable in the Syracuse community and beyond. During this year’s Orange Central celebration, David and I worked with the SU social media team to share Orange Central not just with students who are currently on campus, but also with alums that were unable to attend the events. As Foursquare campus representatives, we designed a campaign that utilized the location-based social networking site to promote attendance and interaction at on-campus events. We posted LCD screens on the quad and in Schine Student Center to encourage students to participate in the online celebration.
We designed “I mayor SU” Foursquare t-shirts and conducted a Twitter #SUOC contest that challenged students and alums to answer Orange Central trivia to win them. During the events, we engaged with SU students and alums on our @SyracuseU twitter account and invited them to post pictures of their Syracuse spirit on our Facebook page. We received positive feedback from members of the SU community, and iSchool Professor Anthony Rotolo stated that, “for first time ever, even alumni who couldn’t be in Syracuse could still come ‘home’ with social media”.
We’ve also participated in Syracuse events like the Beyond Friends and Followers: What’s Next in Social Media and the Social Media Futures Charrette, using social media to share the ideas generated at these events with people inside and outside of the SU community. During Friends and Followers, we live-tweeted the event so those that couldn’t attend were still able to follow the conversation and receive information and insights generated from the participating panel of social media professionals. During the Social Media Charrette, we discussed the future of social media in business with 34 other SU students and presented our ideas to a live audience (while live-tweeting with the hashtag #SUcharrette, of course). David and I have also been speakers at the BizBuzz Social Media Conference to present The Real World: Social Media, where we talked about what we’ve learned about social media.
Learning lessons in social at South By
Our past experiences demonstrate our ability to use our education to spread information, ideas and innovation through social media. However, there’s always more to learn, and South By Southwest Interactive presents an opportunity for us to continue to learn about technology and social media- and share what we learn with others.
After viewing the scheduled sessions at South By, we noticed there is a focus on social media in many of the presentations. David, a finance and information management dual major, immediately noticed the program called “Banks: Innovate or Die!”. David also has a passion for location-based social media, and is interested in sessions like Beyond the Check-In: Location and the Social Web by Gowalla and How Game Dynamics Can Change Real-World Experiences by Foursquare.
I received my undergraduate degree last May from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications in broadcast journalism, and I have a great interest in how journalism is evolving due to opportunities in new media. Sessions like Bloggers vs. Journalists: It’s a Psychological Thing, Hacking the News: Applying Computer Science to Journalism, and Will News Apps Reinvent Journalism? sound like they’ve been chosen just for me. As we’re both members of the Syracuse social media team, we also love the description of the presentation Using Twitter to Improve College Student Engagement.
Sharing South By with the SU Community and beyond
Attending South By Southwest Interactive would be an awesome experience for both of us, because we would get to learn about the things we love and interact with peers and leaders in our field, while sharing our passion with others. We would be able to bring our experience back to the SU community in real-time through social media, as well as applying the things we learn through innovative ideas and connections in our work with the SU social media strategy.
Our use of social networking sites will create content like tweets, blog posts, photos, and videos that will allow us to easily and instantaneously share information with followers, iSchool students and faculty, and the Syracuse community- as well as an open, broad audience on the internet. So, by sending David and I to South By, you’re sending the entire SU community and beyond because we would have the experience with all of you. We would embody education “for the world, in the world” by learning valuable information about our educational and professional interests, applying it to ourselves, and sharing it with anyone who would like to come along with us.