By Jeff Barron, social media and photography intern
If you’re connected to Chico State on Facebook (and even if you’re not), there’s a good chance you’ve already seen our Valentine’s Day video. Viewed by more than 80,000 times in less than a week, the response has been incredible, and your feedback so positive. It shows how Wildcats embrace the idea that love can be shared by everyone, whether it’s romantic love, friendship, or simply a love for life.
As we launch into 2014, we decided take a look back at Chico State’s social media hits in 2013. The common thread across platforms is that all of our audiences love stories of student/faculty achievement, and have a strong connection to our beautiful campus and its quirks and traditions. So, we’ll do our best to bring you more of that kind of content in 2014!
Thank you for following us and keeping the Chico State social media community vibrant!
By Dustin Moseley (Business, ’11), Owner of Full Circle Social and the Social Media Coordinator for HeyGoTo Marketing & Social Media
It’s important to understand that nonverbal communication and tone is nonexistent when expressing yourself in text. Whether it’s an email, an article, or a Facebook post, you must always keep in mind that those two communication avenues don’t exist.
Just think about all the times you’ve read a text from your friend, your boyfriend or girlfriend, and you had to read it over a few times before you had any idea of what they meant. And even then, you still weren’t exactly sure what they’re trying to say. Were they being serious? Were they being sarcastic? Surely they didn’t mean that…or did they!? Who knows?
The same potential for misunderstanding exists for all the readers who access your content online.
Make your message bite-sized, short and concise. If you try to write like you talk, there’s a 99 percent chance the reader will not receive that message as you meant it. If you have to write as you talk, practice with quotes and emoticons. For example, if you’re making a joke, a “smiley” face is appropriate to make sure that the reader knows you’re making a joke.
I think my generation is lazy. I mean, let’s be honest here, nobody wants to read a paragraph of text during their free time. If you want me to actually care about what you’re posting, make it short and interesting to read. Otherwise I’m moving on to the next interesting thing.
Did you know that the average person takes 3.4 seconds reading content before deciding whether to move on or not? Don’t believe me? The next time you’re scanning our Facebook newsfeed, pay attention to how long you take before moving on to the next post. Welcome to the generation of ADD.
Here’s my strategy for attracting online readers, but in bite-sized chunks:
Less is more: if you want people to actually care about what you’re writing, make it short and interesting. If you have a long story to tell, make sure your first sentence is compelling enough to convince readers to continue on.
If you have to post something that you wouldn’t want your parents to see, for cryin’ out loud, do not post it publicly.
Before making a post, take a step back and read your content. Pretend that you’re reading it for the first time. Does it make sense? Does it really say what you want it to say? Could it be taken in a different way than you meant?
Help us choose CSU, Chico’s Facebook cover photo! Share your photos, and then help select from our favorites to be the next California State University, Chico Facebook page cover photo.
Photos should show off the best of Chico State and the Chico experience. Take photos of our beautiful campus in all its spring glory or your student club hard at work—or make a creative collage of campus scenes. All photos should represent your own work, be in good taste, and comply with the Chico State Social Media Comment Policy.
Photos need to be large enough to work for a Facebook cover photo (851p x 315p, file sizes of 1 to 2MB work well). Most current smartphone camera photos are OK. (Sorry, Instagramers—most Instagram images won’t have high enough resolution when cropped and enlarged to Facebook cover size.)
You may submit up to three photos.
How to Enter: Share your photo(s) with us in one of three easy ways!
Post it to our FacebookTimeline. Put “cover challenge” or “photo challenge” in the comment
Email your photo as an attachment to PAintern1[at]csuchico.edu. Include “cover challenge” or “photo challenge” in the subject line.
Selection Process: Share your photos with us by Monday, April 15, 2013, at 5 p.m. The Chico State social media team will select up to 10 photos to be featured in a photo album posted on our page Wednesday, April 17. The photographers’ names will accompany the photos, so feel free to brag to your friends if you’re featured. The photo within the album with the most “likes” by Wednesday, April 24, at 5 p.m. will become the next CSU, Chico Facebook cover photo!
Note: This challenge is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered by, or associated with Facebook Inc. Any and all information provided with your submission is to California State University, Chico and not to Facebook.
By Ben Mullin, Journalism and English Literature major Managing Editor, The Orion
When The Orion news team convened for the first meeting of the semester, I told them all to take a deep breath and close their eyes.
Some raised their eyebrows. Some cracked hesitant smiles. But they humored me while I began my speech:
“I want you to imagine you’re all big shot reporters for the New York Times,” I said, eliciting genuine smiles from the group. “Suddenly, you get the call: the Empire State Building is on fire. You rush over to the scene and talk to the police, who tell you the building could collapse at any minute.”
I paused for dramatic effect. It’s possible one of them yawned.
“Suddenly, you’re confronted by a mother who’s out of her mind with worry because her baby’s stuck on one of the floors. When she asks you about the situation, what do you do? Tell her everything you know right away, or ask her to wait until tomorrow morning for the print edition?”
It may sound like a no-brainer, but there are still a few news organizations who operate using the latter method: they report the news all day and put their stories into the next day’s newspaper, just in time for it to be outdated and irrelevant.
Up until about last year, The Orion, Chico State’s student-run newspaper did just that, even though we’ve had a website since the late ’90s. A few stories inevitably found their way online between weekly editions, but the majority was posted Tuesday night, right before our print edition came out on Wednesday.
This semester was different. The majority of news writers made Twitter accounts for The Orion and posted brief bulletins whenever they noticed something interesting or newsworthy happening on campus. When we were notified that Cal Poly San Luis Obispo student Brett Olson went missing during the annual Labor Day float, we posted it to Twitter immediately. When we heard that Governor Brown was visiting campus to promote Proposition 30, it was online within the hour. And when Chico State president Paul Zingg suspended the Greek system, we had a videographer, a reporter, and two photographers on the scene, with coverage to match.
On Halloween weekend, reporters and photographers stayed out until 2 a.m. capturing images and stories for publication the next day. I would routinely get called at O’Dark Thirty from staff writer Pedro Quintana, who slept during the day so he could listen to the police scanner at night.
The Orion isn’t the first collegiate newspaper to attempt to bolster its online presence through Facebook, Twitter, and a neverending stream of online stories. In many ways, we’re behind the times. But this year, the Associated Collegiate Press acknowledged our efforts by naming TheOrion as a finalist for an online Pacemaker award, widely regarded as the Pulitzer Prize of digital college journalism.
When the awards were announced last semester, The Orion wasn’t among the winners. But most of the editors saw our failure to clinch the award as inspiration to try again next semester, with a focus on delivering news to Chico State’s students in real time, with text, photos, and video. We’re also launching an app which students can use to get their Chico State news from their smartphones.
Chico State, welcome to the future of journalism. We’ll see you all on the other side.