Experimentation. That’s what social media is all about. Today, I tried two little tests:
- Promote NPR interns who need jobs: As a person who is going back to school, I feel for those interns who are ending internships without work. So, I decided to help these smart, outgoing individuals by offering to tweet their links/resumes/experiences to the 1700+ followers of the @NPRInterns twitter account. This is a fine line to walk though. You can just dump resumes out of Twitter or promote these interns by tweeting every other minute about their greatness. You have to make a short argument (140 characters) for why someone should look at their resume and consider giving them an interview. On top of that, you have to make it clear that NPR supports these interns in their future endeavors but is not married to or endorses them. Overall, the results were promising. People on Twitter were very supportive, often retweeting and adding words of encouragement. But I think most were just excited that someone was bold enough to 1) let their interns support themselves, and 2) put it all out on Twitter. A few people even offered some job tips — email this person, contact that person, etc. I heard of one intern getting a direct resume pass-off to a higher up. In the future, I’ll be sure to add a hashtag to make the tweets more searchable.
- Gather feedback and provide background for Middlebury’s WebRedo Project: I was reading through comments on the WebRedo Blog about the new Middlebury.edu mockup designs by White Whale. Then I heard that the LIS intern would be doing a chat Q & A with interested parties the next day. Why not do this in a liveblog chat format? A what? NPR.org frequently uses liveblog chats on The Two Way blog and on NPR Music. Liveblog chats essentially are a chat room that is moderated as a question and answer session. It’s done live, so people interact in real time and it’s a great way to get people engaging on an issue rather than simply leaving a comment and forgetting about it. It’s also a good way to get some buzz going. Some examples of the tools: ScribbleLive and CoverItLive. Here’s the result from today’s chat. Overall, low turnout but the format could pick up speed if you promote it well ahead of time. I think people like the format because it’s interactive but relatively low key. Plus, the conversation is archived so others can see it after the fact. I will try more of these soon.