1 Year Anniversary of SquaredPeg.com!!

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Blogging, Higher Education, Marketing, Recruitment, Thoughts | Posted on 05-09-2008-05-2008

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I’m excited to say that it has been 1 year since SquaredPeg started! It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year. We began over on a wordpress.com platform, even though the SquaredPeg.com domain was purchased from Day 1.  In preparation for the BlogHighEd.org launch, I moved us over to SquaredPeg.com and have been here since.

Analytics on the first year?  142 posts, 465 comments, nearly 30,000 visits, almost 300 RSS and email subscribers, and a ton of new friends. To me, the last stat is definitely the most important. I’m grateful for all of the information I’ve learned and all of the people I’ve met in the past year, through comments, Twitter, and conferences. You all are truly a special group of people to me. I’ll keep pouring my time into the site as long as you continue to read and engage with me about the content.

And for the most recent SquaredPeg news….. I’m flying solo now.  After a buyout in early August from the other writers, I am hoping to take the site in a new direction and be able to brand it more personally than the team blog atmosphere offered.

Here’s to another year! Thanks for coming along.

Brad J Ward

An Update on Student Bloggers + Twitter

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Higher Education, Recruitment, Research, Thoughts, Twitter | Posted on 04-09-2008-05-2008

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I’ve been dragging my feet this week on getting this post together as we finish up some whitelisting with Twitter, but Karine’s latest post gave me a little motivation to showcase what we’re doing with Twitter this year. :)
First, a huge thanks to @nrsgroi for his hard work in coding with the Twitter API to bring this concept to fruition. He is a coding rockstar, and the amount he wrote for this project is massive.

This project was an extension of what we started 4 months ago with Twitter, and we’ve now implemented it for each blogger. When the ‘party badge’ went foul and started pulling in random tweets from people, we had to remove it from the Blogger Homepage. In addition to showcasing recent tweets on the homepage, each blogger has their individual badge on their blog. For example, right now you would see that Ashlen has a recent update of:

“ready for the weekend. Dinner at Weber Grill and the Colts game on Sunday should be awesome! Oh yeah, and studying too…”

What does that tell me, ‘between the blog posts’? I should expect a blog post Sunday or Monday about her trip to downtown Indy and some pics from the Colts game.

The beauty of the code Nathan has written is that if a) Twitter is down, or b) we hit our API request limit, the <div> tag that the info shows in disappears. Pretty slick. Which also means when you try to go look at the site, it might not show at this point. So here’s a screenshot of the new Blogger page in action:

(Click to Enlarge)

Like I have said again and again, use the Twitter platform without ‘using the Twitter platform’. In other words, don’t get caught up in how many followers you have, if students are using Twitter (2 of 319 in my most recent research), etc. Instead, think of how you can use the technology to portray something for the prospective students that is easy to use and integrates seamlessly into your current recruitment strategy.

I also mixed the ‘About Me’ intros up a bit. Instead of the typical text, I recorded an audio version, threw a beat behind it in Garage Band, and stole some photos off Facebook. Mashed it all in to Animoto, and voila! 9 intro videos in a day’s work. So far they’ve combined for over 550+ views in less than a week. See below!

Would love some feedback on all of this. How are you going to make your Bloggers stand out as it becomes more of a commodity in the recruitment process?

Google Docs: We’ll do it for you!

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Free, Google, How-To Tuesday, Recruitment, Research, Technology, Web | Posted on 02-09-2008-05-2008

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I have long been a supporter of Google Docs, and a recent update just made me that much more excited to continue to spread the love to others.

This post will supplement my previous post on how to create a form in Google Docs. The latest update is that Google Docs will now compile data for you! Here are some screenshots.

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