Monthly Archives: April 2012

How do you celebrate real life in the digital universe?

This weekend, Mike Wallace, famed journalist and U-M alum, passed away. His death was widely covered in the media and talked about across our campus, where he had been active until not that long ago.

On Sunday the email discussion was lively: What’s the best way to memorialize him? Where do we help people go to express their feelings? What about those who knew him to want to share their stories?

Here’s how we handled that loss in the social space.

I turned the main U-M Facebook page into a virtual tribute to Mr. Wallace. We switched out our header image and profile picture. The profile remained the “Block M,” but the background is black. We gave people a place to post and share.



I loved this comment from one of our page members:


Shannon Riffe (@rifferaff on Twitter), is a digital media strategist at the university. She created a Storify for all of the tweets coming in form the Knight-Wallace fellows (former recipients of a fellowship endowed in great part by Mr. Wallace). 


Our Global Vice-President for Communications, Lisa Rudgers, wrote more intimately about her relationship with Mike Wallace on her blog, “View from the Cube.”

Lisa Rudgers and Mike Wallace

(That’s Lisa and Mike!)

I loved this post. And not just because she’s my boss — she would know it if I were just being nice. For many of us whose contributions were more in the way of tribute, or of culling the memories of others, Lisa shared a glimpse into moments in her life that she had shared with someone considered by many to be, as she put it, a giant.

The last part of my day was my first official pin to our brand-spanking-new Pinterest page. I know. I’m behind. But what better way to kick it off than with the celebration of one of Michigan’s finest.