Teens and Social Media: Pew releases newest research

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Marketing, Research, Web | Posted on 20-12-2007-05-2008


The Pew Internet and American Life Research team has made their most recent research available here (PDF).  Read it, chew on it, pass it around the office, and learn from it.  It seems nearly every category has risen from the past year, with more and more teenagers using the internet more, blogging more, and creating more content for the web.

[Link:Teens and Social Media (PDF)]

Come join me in Indiana for Blogger Conference!

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Blogging, Conferences, Web | Posted on 19-12-2007-05-2008


A group of local Indy bloggers are attempting to put together an Indiana Blog Conference.  Sounds like a great idea, and I would only have to travel 5 miles to get there :)   If anyone in the regional area is interested, sign up now while it is only $49.  If the 200 user mark is reached, then you will get charged for the conference.

I emailed the people running it to see if there could be a place for higher ed blogging, and I figure they are pretty flexible with the schedule.

Hope to see you all there!  I’ll be sure to show you my great city. :)

LOL oh hai, i can haz applicashunz?

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Higher Education, Marketing, Recruitment | Posted on 17-12-2007-05-2008


No seriously, when I first read this blog post from Chris D’Orso, I thought I was reading a LOLCat or something.

itz ma plesure 2hav ur mail……..
i hav greta interest in ur school…..
but d prb is m planin 2get tramsfer2 CUNY…….
n i hav applied 2 queens col……
if i wan 2 take transfer 2 ur shoool for SPRING 2008 IS DER ANY CHNACE 2DO SO….?

Maybe in a year or two I can get “Teenage Translator” added to my title if I can learn the language of our future students.  We get some funny apps for the Wall of Shame at our office, but nothing tops this.

Anyone have a Monkey for a Mascot?

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Facebook, Higher Education, Marketing, YouTube | Posted on 17-12-2007-05-2008


These videos are great. What a creative ad for a car dealership! Beats your typical “SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY” ad any day.


Wouldn’t it be fun to do a similar set with your university mascot? For example, our Bulldog can watch the freshman girl away from her parents on the first weekend. Or he could come from out of nowhere and attack the cheater on the test. Or pull the kid away who’s been on WoW and Facebook for 200+ hours nonstop. Roommate conflict? Let the dog settle it. The possibilities are endless

Link: [YouTube: Trunk Monkey]

New Facebook Updates

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Facebook, Web | Posted on 16-12-2007-05-2008


Some pretty minor updates, but they all add some value to the end user.

Read the rest of this entry »

Facebook App success!

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Facebook, Higher Education, Marketing, Technology, Web | Posted on 14-12-2007-05-2008


2 posts in 1 day?  Wow.   Guess you have a lot to talk about when you’re tied up for a week.     Just wanted to spit out some more stats on a recent project — a Facebook Application.

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The way users do things…

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Higher Education, Research, Usability, Web | Posted on 14-12-2007-05-2008


I’ve been tracking a recent stat in Analytics that keeps popping it’s ugly head up, so I had to do some research. Here’s the deal. Our admission site is http://go.butler.edu, not http://www.go.butler.edu. Regardless, a lot of end users still feel the need to put a www at the beginning of absolutely everything.

Not a problem, right? Wrong. Looking at the top 2 browsers, people use, 1 of 2 things would happen to them:

1) Internet Explorer — The bad url would direct to a Microsoft search engine that showed http://go.butler.edu as the top result. The user would then click that link, which would report in Analytics that they came to the site via search engine with the string ‘www.go.butler.edu’. Turns out, it was our second most popular search link last month with 101 people doing this.

2) Firefox -Nothing. ‘Server not found’ error would display. User ends up thinking site is down, or worse… “Well, there must not be a site here.”

So let’s look at the numbers.

So if 101 users using IE did this, we can extrapolate the number of browser users to say that approximately 21 Firefox users did this as well (on the other hand, we could also say Firefox users are more tech saavy and would do this less, but let’s just keep it simple.)  Using the math that 101/130 = 77.69%, if there were 130 people to search www.go.butler.edu, 101 of them would be the IE users, and .1646*130 = 21.4 users, with the remaining 8 users using Safari/other browsers.

SO. Here we are with 21 users a month (252 a year) who for sure aren’t getting to the site, and another 1,212 that are having to go the extra step to get to the site, assuming they even want to do that. That brings us to 1,464 potential website viewers who are just not getting straight to the message.

Luckily, this ended up being an easy fix.  We told IT  our problem/suggested solution, and they emailed me back within a week saying that http://www.go.butler.edu would now redirect to http://go.butler.edu.   And we will now have 1,500 more visitors who get straight to the site every year.  Hooray!

99% of readers think this is the best blog ever.

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Facebook, Higher Education, Marketing, Research, Web | Posted on 13-12-2007-05-2008


Of course there was a +/- 1% margin of error on the poll. No, seriously, everyone I interviewed said this was the best blog ever for Higher Ed, so it has to be true………. right? (PS – I interviewed myself and a co-worker, who didn’t know what a blog was until I asked.)

Yesterday FJ Gaylor blogged on a poll that was released by Kaplan saying that 59% of kids would rather be accepted to their top college choice rather than have $500,000 for Christmas. You know what I think (and he thought)? Ridiculous. Absolutely absurd. If you’re telling me that more than 1/2 of kids would rather get into a college than have a half a million in today’s world, I’m telling you this: Either 1) you are in the business of getting kids to go to college, or 2) you are interviewing kids who live for nothing more than 17 applications and 3 SAT retakes, or 3) both.

So, I commented and suggested a Facebook poll for the age group to see what they thought. Sadly, I went to do it and it was going to cost more than Polls used to. Since my wife and I are in the middle of buying our first house (home inspection today! w00t!), I didn’t figure she would enjoy hearing “We can’t re-tile the bathroom floor because I spent the money proving a corporation wrong”.

But lo and behold, FJ Gaylor swooped in with a magnificent Christmas gift of Facebook Poll. And honestly, I can’t say I’m surprised. (Note: n=100 due to cost and Facebook restraints. C’est la vie.). Turns out that 73% of kids would rather take the money. High five, Capitalism.

(Chart Screenshot by FJ Gaylor. [Hopefully] licensed under Creative Commons. :) )

When we met this summer we talked extensively about polls/ratings/etc and how they were typically way off, and this is just another great example. There could be some good dialogue and discussion on this sort of research. Feel free to start the discussion by commenting below. :)

Butler starts the website redesign

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Higher Education, Uncategorized, Usability, Web | Posted on 06-12-2007-05-2008


We’re done with usability testing, and now it’s time to get some input. You can see some results/summary of our usability testing and feedback here and here. Feel free to check out some potential designs, which are extremely rough draft here.

20 Ugliest Colleges in the US

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Higher Education | Posted on 05-12-2007-05-2008


Did your college make the cut?  If not, congrats. :)   Sorry to see Matt’s campus made the cut.

[Link: CampusSqueeze.com - The 20 Ugliest Colleges in the USA]