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Penn State ranked No. 1 in social media usage among universities

Penn State UniversityBy Matt Morgan

Geoff Rushton said Penn State’s excellence in social networking platforms can’t be attributed to one person or one department — it is a university-wide effort. The university was recently ranked No. 1 in social networking usage by Unigo, a company that partners with media outlets like USA Today and provides statistical data for colleges and universities, according to its website.

The specific poll was listed as the “Top 10 schools where the faculty is on Facebook more than you are,” but Rushton, the manager of the Office of Social Media in University Relations, said it stems from all social media platforms throughout the university.

“This recognition is speaking to the work the entire university community does,” he said.

He cited specifically faculty using social media in classrooms and student groups, such as Nittany Nation and the IFC/Panhellenic Council Dance Marathon, that provide a strong online presence in addition to the administrative offices using the tools.

“For us, and I think a lot of communications offices throughout the university, social media has become very important with what we do,” he said, adding that professors are finding they can use the tools more in the teaching process.

Rushton expects even more collaboration from all Penn State departments and the social media sites to grow.

He said the university always is looking into new tools that are cropping up and it is focused to stay on the cutting edge of the landscape. But it must have a practical use.

“It really kind of depends what you want to use it for, what you could use it for and just how adventurous you want to be,” he said of expanding the presence to new and upcoming online platforms.

Yale University, Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Southern California rounded out the list’s top five. (Centre Daily Times)

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