What a Tumblr Learned Meerkating His Periscope?: The Future of Social Media & Higher Ed presentation pitched by Ron Bronson was a completely different animal by the time we met in MCS 11. Ron admitted that when he proposed his idea to #heweb15, he thought Periscope and Meerkat were the greatest apps ever, and now he finds them not as useful. So the chat turned into increasing awareness about the needs of the prospective college market, being honest about how we are never going to be cool and developing realistic views about what we can and cannot do successfully as higher ed professionals using social media.
Current data from PEW shows that 15% of 18-29 year olds depend on smartphones. For lower income (under $30,000) and minority students their smart phone may be their only link to the internet and college content. Many of them admit to running out of data during the month and having financial difficulties around their phones. What does this mean? It means that we have to answer their questions when they come to our sites because they don’t have time or data to waste and that we have to be authentic and engage realistically to get them to spend time with us on social.
And social media sites were not created for us to use easily, we have governance issues that slow our ability to be cutting edge and students are building peer networks of their own for their use. What we need to do is experiment to find the tools we like and will use, create authentic content and be true to our campuses. Don’t marry the tool, figure out the problem you want to solve and focus on the tools that help you solve it.