One year later, a Q&A with UNH's new social media coordinator
When UNH found itself falling behind in the emerging world of social media last year, it began looking for someone to lead the way in building the university's online presence. UNH soon recruited Jason Boucher, an alumnus, for the position of social media coordinator. Boucher, who was hired last fall, agreed to take a break from tweeting and posting statuses to answer some questions.
You worked at UNH IT and DJ'd for WUNH while you were a student. What was your previous job and how did you become coordinator of social media here?
I worked within the world of UNH IT as a Help Desk & Support Technician. I also trained faculty and staff on Microsoft Outlook, Windows, Microsoft Office and Apple Mac 101. I also wrote for Signals and participated in various software testing. As an undergrad at UNH, I worked at WUNH 91.3 FM as the Music Director in 1996-97, Sports Director in 1997-98, and hosted various shows while creating others such as Gammlyte, New Real Rhythm and Monday Jazz. Working at WUNH and UNH IT along with my three years as president of Seacoast Social Media, led me to my current role as UNH social media coordinator.
Is there a division of people at the university who work to promote social media? Can you explain your division/department a little bit?
I work for New & Emerging Media within University Communications & Marketing. Our team is responsible for design and implementation of both web and mobile UNH websites, all social media, and we work with UCM to create UNH Today. Within the Social Media department, I have two work-study students, who operate @UNHStudents on Twitter and Instagram. Among many other students, they also blog for our new website, UNHTales.com, which is a social website for students, by students (Hint: We're always looking for more contributions from students). Other accounts we run are listed here: unh.edu/social.
Why is the university so interested in promoting an online presence?
Having an online presence, especially through various social media channels, allows everyone to have a voice and to contribute. Through contests, conversations, photos and video, everyone can participate and be a part of the conversation. It connects our students, staff, faculty, alumni, parents and prospective students, bringing everyone together.
What are some of the benefits and also problems that come with increasing social media use?
Some of the benefits are increased exposure to various campus events and news. Twitter is the most popular social media app, because it's quick, easy, and also available via mobile. Some of the problems with social media is inappropriate postings to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram that might come back to haunt you when applying for a job, applying for graduate school, or just being out in the public for everyone to view.
To maintain professionalism, how are all the Twitter accounts and Facebook updates "censored?"
UNH does not censor our Twitter or Facebook updates. If there are comments made on our posts that are deemed harassing or malicious, then the proper action is taken. But a simple disagreement, negative comment or unpopular opinion can be a part of the conversation in which others can also add their voice, making it a discussion and allowing everyone to participate.
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