Twitter commencement?


A quick Google search on “twitter commencement” yielded a little less than 800,000 results today. It’s commencement weekend @gettysburg and we will be tweeting our commencement ceremony on Sunday at 11:00 am.

Today it got me thinking about other institutions who may be taking the opportunity to jump into the “twitterverse” (did I really just use that word) with commencement. What is the downside? With an iphone and some creativity you might be able to create a little buzz without much effort.

Here are a few of the results from the first 2 pages of Google results. If you tweeted or are planning to tweet commencement add your name to this list.

Arizona State

Boston University

Concordia (MN)

SUNY Oswego

Vanderbilt

University of Southern Maine

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4 Responses to Twitter commencement?

  1. Georgy says:

    We live-tweeted the Tufts commencement (http://twitter.com/TuftsUniversity), RTed a bunch of commencement-related tweets and had some success in popularizing the #tufts09 hashtag.

    I’m curious about the decision by some to have a separate commencement twitter account. Did that work out for folks? We just used our normal one.

  2. Paul Redfern says:

    This is a good question. We used our general @gettysburg account because we already had 500 or so followers and figured it was a good way to start having more authentic content out there as opposed to our RSS Feeds. Worcester Polytechnic Institute used @wpicommencement maybe they will share some of thier thoughts?

  3. Bradjward says:

    Indiana University East used the #iuegrad hashtag on Friday to tweet theirs. Tons of user generated content too for schools all over the place!

  4. Adam Epstein says:

    I ran the @WPICommencement account and I also manage our other Twitter accounts on campus. There are about 5 active WPI accounts; 4 have pretty targeted content, e.g. news, athletics, admissions, and one (@W_P_I) is the more general account for conversation/@replies/etc.

    I am involved with Commencement mainly as a volunteer because it’s an exciting day on campus that I like to be part of. I do have some official roles and sit on the planning committee. I started the @WPICommencement account only 10 days before the actual ceremony.

    I do think that the way I did it was good for a few reasons:
    1. I could focus solely on Commencement with the account and not worry about holding back from updating. With 134 tweets just about Commencement in 10 days, I think a lot of people following @W_P_I would have been overwhelmed and uninterested. My feeling is that it should have either been separate (as it was) or really scaled back.
    2. I was able to retweet or double post particular things. I posted and retweeted on @W_P_I about the webcast, the @WPICommencement account, news releases, and other items.
    3. I was able to really connect with the people following @WPICommencement. I gave away some extra tickets, congratulated all of the students individually on Twitter on Saturday.

    However, I think there is/was some room for improvement:
    1. Obviously with only 10 days in advance, there was little time to promote it. I’d like to make it more integrated into the Web site and other communications in advance of next year’s event.
    2. I introduced the hash tag #wpicommencement, but it wasn’t really used much. I didn’t use it on my own tweets from the account.
    3. What do I do now? Leave it mostly dormant for the next 12 months?
    4. Most of the followers/following came from me seeking them out. There were *some* organic followers, but not too many.

    It was really interesting for me to see that at least a half dozen students and some other visitors were tweeting during the event. Everything from commentary on the speeches to the weather to how bored they were to how excited they were.

    But, as Tim Nekritz wrote this morning, “…I definitely think it was worth the effort… but I’d say that even if it helped just one more person enjoy such a glorious, momentous, joyous day.”

    A few of those tweets for us:

    All in all, it was fun and I hope some of our visitors and graduates appreciated it. I’ll look forward to doing it again next year bigger and better!

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