Social Media: Penn State’s Office of Social Media’s Geoff Rushton

810RushtonImage
Standard

I recently caught up with Penn State Office of Social Media’s social media manager Geoff Rushton to talk social strategy, trends and how social media has aided Penn State University in crisis over the past year. Geoff is a Penn State Class of 2001 College of Communications graduate with a strong background in journalism, public relations and new media management.

Established in the fall of 2011, the Office of Social Media is keeping a pulse of what is going on in the social sphere on and off campus as well as providing guidance and collaboration for individuals or organizations who want to fine tune their social efforts.

“The great thing for us at Penn State is that there are a lot of people here to learn from.” said Geoff of the benefits of exploring social media on Penn State’s diverse campus.

Dear Old State’s social media following boasts nearly 350,000 members. It’s the responsibility of the Office of Social Media to keep up with, what Geoff referred to as, a “wealth of content” ranging from the College of Agricultural Science to the Clown Nose Club. He also noted the challenges that the surplus of content brings.

When crisis emerged in the past year at the University, millions all over the world weighed in over the social media airwaves to publicize their thoughts. Geoff explains the approach the Office of Social Media took to facilitating conversations, disseminating news,  and responding to questions surrounding the “white hot” issues via Penn State’s social channels.

To wrap my conversation with Geoff I asked him a couple questions about emerging trends he anticipates in the coming year and his thoughts on the current state of the social media workspace. Geoff explains how anyone can make social media part of their career.

A very big thank you to Geoff Rushton for his time and  insight.

Featured Startup: PSU Pledge

PSUPledgeFooter
Standard

PSUPledgeFooter

Interview with PSU Pledge co-founder Cory Trimm

Q&A with PSU Pledge co-founder Garrett Miller

Q: What is PSUPledge.com and how does it work?

A: Put most simply, PSU Pledge is a Twitter-driven donations engine benefitting the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon. PSU Pledgers simply “authorize” the PSU Pledge application to their Twitter account, make a pledge per tweet, credit an organization if you like, and watch your total pledge grow between now and THON – and see how your friends are doing as well. Once you reach the $50 threshold, you’re able to verify your pledge – lending some credibility to large donations. What’s unique about PSU Pledge is that we don’t handle your Twitter account information, or your payment information at all. We use Twitter’s OAuth API system for all Twitter functions, so we never see your password, and all donations are still handled through THON’s in-place donation system.

Q: When did you start working on PSUPledge.com

A: I began conceptual work on PSU Pledge back in late July, around the same time that the NCAA sanctions came out. Daily, all I saw was negative publicity surrounding the University community that I love, and in my frustration, I was inspired to do something impactful for Penn State. Since then, this has been a project I’ve worked tirelessly on in between sleeping and working full time, and while exhausting, was also immensely rewarding.

Q: What was your goal when you started developing the site?

A: Our goal was simply to create a new, innovative way for people to direct money towards the world’s largest student-run philanthropy, by doing something they already do, and making it fun. By “gamifying” it through allowing PSU Pledgers to compare themselves and their organizations against their friends, as well as share their pledge totals, we hoped that this would encourage users to perhaps tweet more, spreading the word about THON in the process.

Q: How has the goal changed?

A: The overall goal of PSU Pledge has not changed – to simply be a fun, innovative way to drive fundraising to a remarkable cause, all For The Kids. However, from the outset, we did have to make some scope changes simply based on time available to devote to the project. That said, we’re looking to the future, and still have plenty of ideas of what we hope is yet to come.

Q: What’s PSUPledge’s future OR What can we expect from this group of developers in the future?

A: PSU Pledge’s future is to grow – we want to expand our team, enhance our site and its functionality, and add support for other social networking platforms. To eventually move into the space of an even more comprehensive web application, more sharing options and better support for mobile devices, we think that PSU Pledge has a very bright future ahead of it – getting there just takes time and talent.

Follow @PSUPledge on Twitter | Visit PSUPledge.com to learn more

My First Mobile jerryrizzo.com Post

Standard

This is my first time posting with the mobile WordPress app for the iPhone. The app so far has allowed me to easily view, edit and publish new blog posts. I don’t publish a ton of personal photos or personal thoughts in general, but I anticipate posting a lot more photos accompanied with brief reflections more frequently.

Here goes nothin’…

20110803-102152.jpg

Here’s an Instagram photo taken at Kotatsu in Ardmore (Suburb of Philadelphia). This was an awesome meal and experience with my family. It’s rare that I sit down with so many members of my family, but I appreciate and relish every chance I do get to.