Thomas Blog Entry:
This assignment allowed Amanda and I to explore areas and aspects of Macewan we probably would not have in our own free time. I personally enjoyed talking to Troy Donovan about the beehives on the roof of Macewan. He was very open, animated, and happy to discuss his project. The only difficulties with this project were finding the time to get together and work on this. Everyone we spoke to was happy to provide a photo and a quote so we did not experience any difficulties in that regard. I think Macewan could do a better job of using social media to encourage engagement with activities around campus. We discussed the Macewan Snapchat feed in class, and how it is lackluster at best. There are interesting things happening here, such as live music at Towers, intramurals, clubs, etc. but the various social media accounts seem to disregard the interesting in favour of the overly informative. A talking head on a Snapchat story is far less interesting than a Twitter/Facebook/Instagram graphic outlining an event taking place at the school. I would like to see Macewan step up their social media presence, especially by getting students involved. I think this would be an excellent opportunity for communications students in particular, as they could see the strength of social media.
The Macewan Ski and Social Club is quite active on Facebook and Instagram, posting pertinent information about new executives and upcoming trips. The important distinction is that they also share funny or interesting videos related to snowsports where they are able to generate likes and shares which is important in gaining publicity for their brand. I follow the page myself, but I also see it pop up frequently on my feed through other people’s posts and shares. The university itself could utilize a similar model, albeit more professional. Grant Macewan is a fun and engaging place to be, and it’s social media presence should reflect that.
Amanda’s Assignment Reflection:
For me, a challenging element of the Twitter scavenger hunt was figuring out realistic subjects for each point on the list. I felt that there were so many possibilities for most of the prompts; it all came down to what we had access to, and time to cover. Ideally, I would’ve liked to explore each subject much more: done more in-depth interviews, gotten better photos, and just gotten to know MacEwan better in general. For example, although not every point on the list required both a quote and a photo, it would’ve been interesting to also interview the students playing volleyball in the gym who we photographed for item #9, to have explored the more secluded areas of MacEwan, or to have been able to see the bee hives on top of building five up-close, which we used for our “Little known fact.” Although it was difficult at times to coordinate our busy schedules, Thomas and I ended up being able to get together for enough time to complete this assignment. This was a great opportunity to really get to know MacEwan and the people on campus, and given more time we could’ve taken advantage of that even more.
Before this assignment, I had never used Twitter before, but now that I have I really see the value in using it for publicizing organizations, or for communications in general regarding businesses or public figures. Using Twitter to publicize MacEwan as part of a communications team in particular would be effective because it’s user friendly, cuts right to the point, and using hash tags groups the tweets together, making it easy for users to get all of the information about MacEwan in the same place.
As far as organizations such as the City of Edmonton and MacEwan go, I’d like to see more interactive posts on their current Twitter accounts. For MacEwan, posting videos of student life, links to student blogs, and perhaps informal interviews with students would improve their Twitter account. Similar improvements could be made for the City of Edmonton’s Twitter page, in general I’d like to see posts be more relatable for citizens, more focused on the day-to-day happenings.