UNCG Campus Weekly

Campus Weekly is published each Wednesday when classes are in session. In the summer, it is published biweekly.

Face Time on Facebook

072110Feature2_FacebookWhere are you? For 8,723 “fans” of UNCG’s official Facebook page, that’s the question every Wednesday. It’s called “Where Am I Wednesdays.” And the pictures, from mysterious spots on campus, are getting a little harder every week, as Facebook fans try to guess the right answer.

What about campus history and little-known facts? “Trivia Tuesdays” are another regular feature.

Debbie Schallock (University Relations), who oversees this Facebook page, says Betty Carter has agreed to provide trivia questions, when the new semester begins. Carter recently retired as universty archivist. “She wants to make it fun and informative,” Schallock says.

Schallock says Facebook fans have told her they want the fun items to be more challenging – and they will be.

This university Facebook page launched last fall. The current rate of growth is 100-125 new “fans” each week. Some events, such as inclement weather which spurs more postings from fans, have led to spikes in additional fans.

“Social media tools such as Facebook present new ways to tell UNCG’s stories,” says Helen Dennison Hebert, associate vice chancellor for university relations. She explains that people are relying on social media more and more to be informed.

The page is a true forum, a community. Everyone can see, even those who are not signed up on Facebook.

Those who are members of Facebook can become a fan – which lets them make their own postings on the “wall.” Or comment on a post. Or ask a question, so other fans can respond.

It’s a neat dynamic, Schallock says. “Prospective students ask questions,” she says as an example. “Students and alumni answer them.”

Sometimes she provides an answer or leads a questioner to the right place to find the answer. But she often waits, knowing that others in the page’s community will do the same. She encourages participation by all.

For example, a high school student may ask about best residence halls or apartments. Others will respond with their opinions.

A student may complain about a service. Schallock or a staff member in the particular department will respond with help or information.

It’s very immediate. Which makes it a way that a department or program may choose to let others know about an event happening very soon. In other words, if you’re a fan, your UNCG program can occasionally make its own post.

On the page are links to a select number of other UNCG-related Facebook pages, such as:

Members of the campus community may choose to “like” (in other words, become fans of) some of these pages as well.

This fall, a UNCG social-media guide with recommendations and guidelines for best practices will be published, says Hebert, for use by UNCG-affiliated social media sites.

In the coming month, the university’s Facebook page will add a new landing page, Schallock adds. New tabs will invite readers to check out the university’s central Twitter feed and use an RSS feed. And G-Cast video podcasts, featuring faculty, staff and students, will be added. There was one two-part G-Cast podcast, featuring Joe Erba (Bryan School), last semester.

And Schallock anticipates the number of “fans” will grow – which will result in more information and experiences being shared among the participants.

“We monitor and moderate,” she says. And post items along with the nearly 9,000 others. “Every day but weekends – and sometimes on weekends – there’s something being posted.”

The university’s official Facebook page can be viewed at facebook.uncg.edu. There, you’ll find links to more UNCG-related Facebook sites.