As sites like Facebook and Twitter take over the Web and our lives, Binghamton University’s first-ever Social Media Week provided students the opportunity to learn how to stay current with the latest privacy restrictions, keep sites professional and attract prospective employers.
Social Media Week’s final presentation, titled “Create an Online Identity,” aims to help students choose what information should be shared on the Internet. It will be held at noon today in the University Union Undergrounds.
Jennifer Keegin, associate director for Campus Activities, coordinated Social Media Week.
Bridgewater State University, in Massachusetts, was the first university to hold a week of events and lectures regarding social media, which sparked Keegin’s interest in bringing the concept here.
There are also biannual International Social Media Week conventions around the globe, in cities such as London and Chicago. Despite sharing a common name, BU’s Social Media Week is independent of its global counterpart.
“I believe it’s important for students to understand how social media can be used to create meaningful relationships with other students, but to also create professional networks which will benefit them after they graduate,” Keegin wrote in an email.
She said it was important that students tailor their social media profiles. Students are warned about the dangers of Facebook, but “they aren’t always given a sense of what types of content should be out there,” Keegin said.
Open hour-long presentations and discussions started Monday and took place at noon every day in the University Union Undergrounds. The topics ranged from cyberstalking to creating a successful LinkedIn profile.
At these events, students could take part in a social media ladder that categorizes people into seven different types — creators, conversationalists, critics, collectors, joiners, spectators and inactives.
Creators are defined as people who publish blogs and music, conversationalists are people who post updates on sites such as Twitter, critics post ratings and reviews, collectors add tags, joiners maintain social networking sites, spectators only view content and inactives abstain.
Students who placed their name onto the social media ladder are entered into a raffle to win shirts and other goods. The winners will be announced today.
Renee Andrews, a worker for BU’s Physical Facilities department, volunteered to help Keegin with Social Media Week. She said she was surprised by the results of the social media ladder.
“Most of them [students] are spectators and joiners, so lower on the scales,” Andrews said. “I thought it was really interesting a lot of the students are worried about their online presence and how they look to future employers.”
Students, staff and faculty are also encouraged to join the social media challenge in order to win a Kindle Fire. Students entered the drawing by using social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to complete activities.
Soon Sung Hong, a sophomore majoring in economics, attended two Social Media Week lectures, one on Google+ and one on creating a LinkedIn profile.
“Because I never used Google+ before, I learned a lot,” Hong said. “I think it was quite useful. I learned how to find other networks and connect with them.”