Sunday, October 4, 2009

GlobalQuad: Colleges on Twitter

Attention everybody! There is a new website (www.globalquad.com) to check out! And okay, given the state of the internet today, that fact is not all too surprising. But trust me, this site serves a purpose! Think about it, have you ever wondered what is going at your university? What event one club is having versus another? What the school journalists are covering at any given moment? What events and news is happening around campus? Or perhaps a better question, have you ever wondered how other universities compare to your own? Wouldn’t it be great if you could find the answers to these questions from a primary source rather than hearsay and rumor? Well now you can!



Globalquad.com is here to answer your questions! Launched this past summer, Globalquad.com: Colleges on Twitter is an aggregate site for the range of twitter accounts from different colleges and universities. By bringing all of the schools’ twitter feeds together and organizing them on one host site, GlobalQuad makes it easy to follow exactly what is being tweeted both around your campus as well as your friend’s.

There are already over seventy colleges and universities represented on the site, ranging from lesser known schools like Towson University in Maryland, to Ivy League colleges such as Harvard. True to its name, GlobalQuad spans the globe as it hosts tweets from The University of Oxford and Cambridge University as well. (And of course, NYU is there too!)

The organization and functionality of the site is explained best in an article from the New York Times Blog, “The Choice.” It clearly states that:

Users can filter news by school, viewing all chatter about one place through, for example, the gathered feeds of a single university’s newspaper, alumni magazine, student clubs and sports teams. In addition to those institutional tweets are personal tweets from a range of campus characters, including student newspaper editors, law librarians, football coaches and journalism professors. (http://thechoice.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/31/a-new-web-site-for-tweets-from-colleges/).

If a tweet is sent out from a school registered on GlobalQuad, it will be easy to find and along with it, you will be able to read other twitter accounts from the same university, or similar accounts from different universities. The New York Times Blog entry also provides more background on the creation of the site and its editor, Natan Edelsburg (In full disclosure, Natan is an NYU Steinhardt Junior/Senior and the Vice President of the Comm Club).

So those are the straight facts about the site. Great. But what is its real value? It’s as simple as this: GlobalQuad is a great example of how social media can be used as a beneficial resource.

First, the site provides a one-stop shop to gather messages streaming out of your university and others. This will be useful to students who want to stay up to date, but perhaps more importantly for high school seniors who want to get a unique perspective on the schools they are considering. In a way, GlobalQuad provides an outpost for the social media enthusiasts at various universities to construct their virtual university. If the twitter feeds from all of the different academic departments, residence halls, clubs, student government, individual students, etc. at one university are collected in one “space” on GlobalQuad, the University, or at least a representation of the University, has essentially been constructed online through its own written and controlled tweets. That’s pretty cool. Current and prospective students, who want to know a school better, now have a new source for up to the minute information. But it gets better.

GlobalQuad is a great and unique resource because of the way it unites universities across the globe, creating, well, a virtual global campus. Lets say UCLA and USC have an upcoming football game. Being the bitter rivals they are, there are sure to be tweets talking about the game and how one team is going to beat the other (or something more exciting, and perhaps from the teams themselves). With the use of GlobalQuad, there is a new forum where those tweets can be viewed simultaneously and the rivalry, in all of its glory, becomes virtual. Though UCLA and USC are physically close to one another, students or alumni who are currently in a farther location can go to GlobalQuad and get a sense of the action happening on campus by its representation on twitter.

Whether one is an avid fan of twitter and social media, or doesn’t know a tweet from a text but wants to have up to the minute information stemming from campus life, GlobalQuad provides a great service.

Check it out! www.globalquad.com

Written by Felicia Shulman

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