The Colgate Scene
January 2007

Telling the Colgate story
 

The university's vision for addressing the needs of students and society in the 21st century is spelled out in its strategic plan, and technology plays an important role in supporting and publicizing those efforts, a main focus of the Office of Public Relations and Communications.

The process and goals for disseminating information about Colgate to a networked world has changed significantly during the past few years. Many initiatives commingle and find a home on www.colgate.edu, where an array of tools is deployed to build relationships with the university's constituencies, including prospective students and their parents.

  • Colgate's blogs (interactive online journals, at www.colgate.edu/blogs) written by students have garnered attention in media outlets such as the Chicago Tribune and have spurred interactions between high school students and the writers, who provide a genuine look at what Colgate life is like. Four students — one in each class year — share their experiences on the 'gatelife blog, and four student-athletes on the men's hockey team keep Raiders fans engaged in the On and Off the Ice blog.
  • Staff-written stories about campus events, programs, student projects, and research often spur news articles by newspaper and TV journalists who see them on the university website or find them through Google news alerts. The stories are distributed automatically through the university's RSS feeds, which allow those interested in Colgate to collect them in one place through online news readers. Alumni and others can also sign up to receive regular e-mails that include links to the latest stories.
  • Vocus software allows staff members to track how and where Colgate is mentioned in the general media. The "hits" are compiled and distributed through a weekly Colgate in the News e-mail newsletter, and posted to the website and elsewhere.
  • Six webcams provide up-to-the-second views of campus, including streaming images of ongoing construction projects — the new science building and the expanded library — and offer updates on the ever-changing weather in Hamilton.
  • Campus photos can be found on the photo-sharing website flickr, where they have been viewed more than 150 times. Links to key university web pages are shared on del.icio.us, a social bookmarks manager.

  • Podcasting, a collaborative effort with Information Technology Services, is one of the newer ways to introduce Colgate people to a wider audience, through iPods or personal computers. Colgate Conversations, a series of audio interviews, has involved 15 guests so far, including President Rebecca Chopp, history professor Graham Hodges, and tech expert Michael Sippey '90 (see sidebar on pg. 2). The number of regular iTunes subscribers to the podcasts has doubled -- to about 1,200 -- since they were rolled out last year (go to www.colgate.edu/podcasts or the Colgate Conversations page on iTunes).
  • The redesigned university website, to be unveiled in January, will capitalize on the incredible growth of video on the web. Employing the latest Flash technology, video clips will be seen throughout the site, giving users a new way to experience the energy that pervades campus, from classrooms to residence halls to playing fields.

All of the online tools are aimed at creating conversations and building a sense of community among everyone with ties to campus — and to make it easier for those interested in forming a relationship.

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