Yesterday we launched our newest initiative: a Twitter feed for students, run by students. It’s called @umichstudents, and it came out of a brainstorm at Twitter HQ last week (no, we aren’t copying Sweden, but we’re certainly watching how they’re doing).
Every week we will have a different student tweeter, who will be responsible for managing the account in all ways, although I will have moderation and monitoring capabilities through Hootsuite. And there’s a high degree of trust. The rules are: no swearing, no illegal activity, and no promotion/selling. Very simple.
On day two, we already have 241 followers, and I hope it keeps growing at this rate. We hope to use it as a tool to help new students get advice from experienced students, as well as prospective students to get a feel for what it feels like to be a Michigan student.
I’ve included some questions, conversations and comments from Twitter so you can get a sense of the discussion:
I have no idea. I haven’t seen another one, but I’m curious to know if this is true.
This one just made me happy:
Then we got a LOT of these:
Here’s one conversation about it, as well as my response:
So far we have several students who have volunteered to participate in the project, and I’m sure we’ll have more. Our first student, rising senior Taylor Davis, has already been just awesome.
Something like this is a calculated risk. But social media should be risky. Sure, we could have a student post something we don’t like. But that’s a risk we take for the price of giving our students a voice that they haven’t had before in representing THEIR university on Twitter. Sure it may keep me up a few nights, but that’s a price I’m readily willing to pay.