At the “Technology and International Student Recruiting” meet-up this past month, George Comeau, the managing director at Suffolk University and an educational technology management consultant talked about how at Suffolk they had developed a listening strategy. I really liked the term listening strategy because listening is exactly what we need to do in order to effectively employ our social media initiatives.
One method in which you can begin to listen to fellow admissions offices and experts in the higher education industry is to read their blogs. There are many great blogs being written about the subject of employing social media and here is a way in which you can begin to listen more effectively.
Google Reader, I love it! Google Reader in a nutshell is an aggregator of blogs you subscribe to, listed in headline format so that you can easily pick and choose the ones you are interested in reading.
(TechCrunch, ‘the weblog dedicated to obsessively profiling and reviewing new Internet products and companies’ selected Google Reader as the winner of the ‘Best Application or Service Award‘ at this year’s Crunchies Awards)
So for example I have a list of 15 blogs that I really enjoy to read. Every time I open my Google Reader account all the most recent headlines from each of those blogs is presented in a nice list so that I can see which blog entry I want to read.
The great part about Google Reader is I only have to go to one location to see all of the blog entries from my favorite bloggers. For example, today I found a very interesting entry on the GlobalHigherEd blog about the economic impact of ‘export education‘ as well as kept up on the latest from Chris Brogan and his thoughts on social media.
To get involved with Google Reader make sure you have a Google account. Don’t worry it’s free. If you don’t have an account simply go to http://www.google.com/reader and sign up.
After you have your Google account go to your favorite blogs and click on the RSS feed button. You should be asked where you want the feed to be read. Click on the Google button and then choose, ‘add to Google Reader’ and voi la your Google Reader account has it’s first blog.
Now get out there and find blogs that you find informative about employing social media and add them to your Google Reader account.