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Friday, February 18, 2011

DePaul Interview About SMASHUP

Recently I had the chance to speak with Kris Gallagher from DePaul University on how their SMASHUP has changed social media for their school. DePaul’s SMASHUP was launched in October and is one of the first live SMASHUP sites. Kris oversees the social media for the school and manages the SMASHUP.

Q: Why did you want a SMASHUP for your university?
Kris: “We had a lot of people doing social media at DePaul. We maintained a directory page but it was not exciting visually. The SMASHUP made a live feed from everything, showed the most recent posts and the video was much more accessible. By displaying content as it is done in SMASHUP someone could immediately say, ‘Yeah, that’s useful to me.'"

Q: What benefits have you experienced from having a SMASHUP?
Kris: “The SMASHUP is a good central place to have all the University’s social media. It has made the maintenance much easier. People really like it. Also with Google Analytics [integrated] on the SMASHUP it’s now easy to track what’s being looked at - how many visitors the site has, which tools are being used the most and where traffic is coming from.”

Q: What do you like most about SMASHUP?
Kris: “It’s easy to update. You log in, put the info in, and you’re ready to go. Even if I’m gone I can turn it over to someone else and they can manage it easily.”

Q: How often do you make changes to the DePaul SMASHUP? How much time would you say you spend on the SMASHUP monthly?
Kris: “We only make changes about once a month. Mostly we just make sporadic changes when we need to add a new group or change the focus on the main page to a different group. On average it only takes about 3 minutes to make a change. “

Q: Are you using your social media sites more frequently because of SMASHUP?
Kris: “No, but we are pushing out the SMASHUP through social media. By using the SMASHUP we are able to gather and promote information faster and more broadly than before. And now people are more aware of our social media sites.”

Q: Have you pushed the SMASHUP out to your students? If so, how have they responded?
Kris: “We’ve pushed it out through Social Media and there have been no complaints. Students are used to seeing things in this way, so no news is good news. They aren’t complaining about how behind the university is. “

Q: What expectations did you have for SMASHUP? Did it meet them? Exceed? etc?
Kris: “One of our biggest expectations was to create more traffic. SMASHUP has exceeded that. We’ve had about 1700 page visits with each person viewing two or more pages, spending an average of 2 or more minutes on each. SMASHUP has increased the exposure rate. Another expectation was to improve on the directory visually and now with a SMASHUP it looks sharp.”

Q: Do you feel that your SMASHUP is unique to your university? Why?
Kris: “It’s unique in a way; there are other universities that have it but it shows how our university is using our social media compared to other universities. The SMASHUP fits well with our website and by working with the design team at AllofE we were able to incorporate our logo and colors to reflect our overall university site.”

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