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Social networks

April 2009

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New social networking keeps readers in touch with St. Norbert

St. Norbert is feeling more LinkedIn by the minute☺.

You may already count the Green Knight among your 473 Facebook friends. And if you’re not on FB, you soon may be – this is the year that Baby Boomers, for instance, are predicted to embrace in their millions the connectivity provided by social networking media.

Or perhaps you are one of the college’s “tweeps” – Twitter users who have signed on to receive athletics news, press releases or blog updates from their alma mater.

How about a prayercast – a guided prayer experience from Campus Ministry? Or the chance to view, rate and comment on St. Norbert videos on YouTube? (Videos from the online version of the current St. Norbert College magazine are among those you can view on the site.)

Social media like these are providing new ways for the college community to keep in touch, and they couldn’t be more convenient and inclusive for off-campus members of the family – groups like our alumni, or even the prospective class of 2013.

It was a matter of days after the St. Norbert College Alumni group debuted on Facebook that it boasted its first 1,000 friends, the word spreading virally, friend request by friend request.

Over on the Admitted Students page, high school seniors who have not even decided who to ask to prom are already getting to know next year’s potential college roommates, teammates and study buddies.

Ready to connect? Take a look at the range of current St. Norbert Twitter accounts, Facebook groups and fan pages, and the St. Norbert group on the LinkedIn network that serves both alumni and current students. (You can even find the college on iTunes.)

Not sure where to dive in? Here’s the low-down on social networking.

Although social networks have been around on the internet for nearly 20 years, it has been only recently that the phenomenon has blossomed into a multi-faceted, multi-generational network.

While there are hundreds of social networks, services and tools, Facebook is the mainstream favorite at the moment.

Facebook started at Harvard University in 2004 and was limited to colleges and universities. At the time, MySpace was the dominant social network web site, but when Facebook expanded its membership in 2006 to anyone over 13 with a valid e-mail address, it quickly became the largest and fastest growing site in the world. Facebook network connections are made by users inviting and accepting one another as “friends,” hence the new verb “to friend.”

Another fast-growing social network service, Twitter, enables users to send and read other users’ updates, known as “tweets.” Tweets are text-based posts limited to 140 characters in length, similar to mobile phone text messages, but based on the internet.

Although Twitter has been around for less than three years, it is currently the third largest social network, behind Facebook and MySpace. Major events in world news have sometimes been broken first by Twitter users on the scene.

YouTube isn’t exactly a social network – it’s a video-sharing web site where users can upload, view and share video clips. YouTube is a subsidiary of Google that has become a household name and, along with digital photography, is a major shared component within social networks.

Office of Communications

Phone: (920) 403-3557
Fax: (920) 403-4010

St. Norbert College • 100 Grant Street • De Pere, WI 54115-2099 • 920-337-3181
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