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Web Services

Social Media Information

Social Networking Sites (SNS)

With the arrival of social networking sites like Facebook, the Internet quickly transitioned from a one-way communication tool to a networked community of Internet users. The evolution of the Web also has changed the way we do things in higher education. From e-recruitment to publicizing events, social networking sites (SNS) have become a vehicle for building communities.

At Winthrop University, we are taking advantage of the many opportunities SNS provide to communicate with current and prospective students, faculty and staff, alumni, and others with affinity for Winthrop. Provided below is a brief list of some of the more popular Web sites used for connecting with others. Some sites may be used for marketing purposes, whereas others are listed to make the Winthrop community aware of their presence.

Add This

Summary: This site offers a popular bookmarking and sharing service, similar to Digg. According to the AddThis Web site, the service "helps your visitors create a buzz for your site and increase its popularity and ranking."

Winthrop: Winthrop uses the AddThis button on press releases. It is a simple install that allows tracking of user bookmarking and sharing.

Del.icio.us

Summary: Bookmarking service that allows users to share sites related to their interests. It provides an easy way to sort bookmarks and discover new sites. Users can even import bookmarks stored on a personal computer.

Winthrop: At http://delicious.com/winthropuniversity users can share sites that may be of interest to students, faculty and staff. The service is perfect for departments to share news that is published by outside sources.

Digg

Summary: Digg is a community-based popularity site that combines social bookmarking, blogging, and syndication. Web sites, which are submitted by users, are promoted to the Digg home page by user-ranking.

Winthrop: Though Winthrop does not have an official account on Digg, users can sign up for an account that will allow the user to promote events and activities, comment on and follow others' recommendations, and use the Digg search feature.

Facebook

Summary: A SNS that started among college students and alum, Facebook has grown into the number one social site on the Net today. Facebook allows users to set up profile pages and maintain information on them, as well as upload photos and videos. The site also allows users to send friends "gifts" and "superpokes," allowing users more interaction than traditional e-mail.

Winthrop: Winthrop maintains a profile page as Wingspan Portal and an official Winthrop University page with a growing number of fans at http://winthrop.facebook.com/winthrop.university. Several departments and many student clubs have a presence on Facebook.

Flickr

Summary: This photo sharing site allows users to post still photos as well as video. Flickr enables users to share photos with friends and family and also to create albums, souvenirs, and cards. Winthrop photos may be viewed at http://www.flickr.com/photos/winthropuniversity and http://www.flickr.com/people/winthropuniversity or by doing a search.

Winthrop: Winthrop students, faculty, and staff use this site to post photography. Additionally, many students share their graphic design work via the site.

Google

Summary: Founded in 1998 by two college students, Google has become a household name worldwide. According to the Google Web site, the company's mission is "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful." Google offers an ever-growing variety of user services including a powerful search engine, free e-mail & Google Apps, online mapping system, and even a customizable home page.

Winthrop: Winthrop uses several free services offered by Google, including search, e-mail, and analytics.

LinkedIn

Summary: This professional networking site helps colleagues and former classmates connect. Primarily a career-enhancing site, LinkedIn boasts 25 million users representing 150 different industries.

Winthrop: Many individuals and groups affiliated with Winthrop University are taking advantage of LinkedIn's powerful professional network. Members of the Winthrop Alumni group are able to engage in discussions with one another, keep up to date on Winthrop news, and view jobs posted on an electronic bulletin board.

Meebo

Summary: Meebo allows users to access instant messengers (chat) from anywhere. It is an AJAX-based chat client that requires no download and can be used from any computer by users of AIM, GoogleTalk, Yahoo, MSN Messenger, Jabber, ICQ, and more.

Winthrop: Winthrop's Office of Admissions, though not using Meebo, has found that a chat service is helpful to meeting enrollment goals.

MySpace

Summary: As one of the first overwhelmingly successful SNS, MySpace allows users to create sites describing their lives and daily activities. The service allows users to keep up with friends and family, upload photos, join groups, write blogs, etc.

Winthrop: Winthrop has a profile previously maintained by University Relations at http://www.myspace.com/winthrop.university MySpace profile activity now is non-existant due to the rise of Facebook and dwindlining in-house resources.

Ning

Summary: Ning is an easy-to-use social platform that allows its more than 33 million registered users to create their own social networking sites. Users are allowed to design their own sites and are able to utilize an array of features including: videos, photos, chat, forums, blogs, and events to interact and communicate with friends and colleagues. Winthrop maintains an official account at http://winthropuniversity.ning.com 

Winthrop: Winthrop utilizes Ning to build relationships between its faculty, staff, and students. Some departments are encouraging professors to establish class Web sites that allow students to blog about assignments, chat with classmates, and create discussion forums. The most active Winthrop-affiliated Ning network is http://wuxxite.ning.com where university faculty can discuss SNS and related technologies.

NOTE: As of April 16, 2010, Ning decided to phase out the free services offered to users. According to the site, details regarding the changes were made available on May 4th via series of blogs.

Rate My Professors

Summary: Allows users to post ratings of professors based on easiness, helpfulness, clarity, and interest. RateMyProfessors boasts participation of over 6,000 schools reporting on 1 million professors.

Winthrop: Winthrop has many professors rated on this site.

Scribd 

Summary: Scribd's "About Scribd" statement says it all: "Scribd is the largest social publishing and reading site in the world. We've made it incredibly simple for anyone to share and discover informative, entertaining and original written content on the web and mobile devices. Our vision is to liberate the written word, to connect people and organizations with the information and ideas that matter most to them."

Winthrop: As more and more Winthrop publications move from print to digital pieces, the university may increase usage of Scribd's free services. 

Tumblr 

Summary: As described by the Tumblr Web site, this service "lets you effortlessly share anything" via a blog-like interface.  Users may post pictures, text and quotes, audio and video, and links using a variety of methods such as a Web browser, cell phone, or e-mail. Just like with Twitter's "re-tweets," Tumblr allows user to "reblog" to help content spread quickly over the Internet.

Winthrop: Though Winthrop has secured its name on Tumblr, the resources are not available to update the site regularly. 

Twitter

Summary: A social site that allows users to stay connected through short, simple statements called "tweets." Though a young application, Twitter has rapidly gained popularity. Due to its flexibility in update methods, the service offers a convenient way to update followers on activities, closings, and even "re-tweets."

Winthrop: Several areas of the Winthrop community use Twitter to communicate with "followers." Check out the official university Twitter account at http://twitter.com/winthropu. Encourage folks to follow your group's tweets by using these graphics and widgets.

Ustream

Summary: A free service that allows users to post live streaming video and online broadcasts.

Winthrop: Winthrop has a generic account but it is not currently populated with a live stream. Winthrop utilizes YouTube's more popular services.

Wikipedia

Summary: A user-based encyclopedic Web site on which users post data on various topics. Information is not peer reviewed and cannot be taken as absolute fact, though information presented is often accurate. Note: Many professors have banned Wikipedia as a cited reference in research.

Winthrop: Topics listed for Winthrop University include Campus, Academics, Athletics, Student Life, and University History. Information on the site is positive and appears accurate, though contributors to the site are unknown.

Winthrop Fans

Summary: Fan-supported site that allows users to create forums and message boards to cheer on their favorite teams.

Winthrop: The site at http://www.winthropfans.com has several forums with many different discussions each, all encouraging Winthrop fans to discuss their favorite sports.

Yahoo!

Summary: Founded in 1994, Yahoo is a relic in Internet years. Though old, Yahoo has consistently gained in popularity over the years due to its diversified set of services and tools.

Winthrop:. By setting up a free account, you gain access to a variety of free services that can be easily accessed through a customizable home page. Yahoo's RSS aggregator offers a great way to keep up-to-date on Winthrop in the news.

YouTube

Summary: Allows users to post and comment on amateur videos. In order to increase the likelihood of your video's success, try to keep the clips short...2 minutes or less. YouTube also generates embed code that allows for easy insertion of videos into web pages by the video creators and others.

Winthrop: Winthrop has an active presence at http://www.youtube.com/user/WinthropUniversity

Additional Notes

Social Networking Sites comic

Site last updated by Kimberly Byrd on 11/05/13.

CONTACT INFORMATION
Web Services
200 Tillman Hall
Rock Hill, SC 29733
803/323-2236
803/328-2855 (Fax)
web@winthrop.edu
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