Sometime last semester, I was trying to think of different ways to promote work that was taking place on OU Create, our domains project, as well as simply say thank you to folks that have committed time and energy to our first full “non-pilot” year of domains at OU. At some point, I ran across my old friend the Webby Awards and thought it would be neat to think about how something like that could translate to a campus.
We’re currently taking nominations for ten of the eleven categories:
- Best Portfolio Website (Student)
- Best Portfolio Website (Faculty)
- Best Course Website
- Best Short Story
- Best Photonarrative
- Best Narrative of 2015 at OU
- Best Post Related to Study Abroad
- Best Review of a Song, Movie, Book, or Video Game
- Best Wiki
- Best Community
This doesn’t comprehensively cover everything that we are seeing happen on OU Create, but it does give us a small list that we can work with and manage this go around. After nominations, there will be a brief round of fan voting that will take place as well. Everything culminates with an award luncheon to take place on April 29, 2016 (free meal!). All of this will make for a very busy April, but one that will properly add a period to Year One of domains/subdomains for all.
We’ve had a lot of success simply amplifying work via our Twitter (@OU_Create) and our weekly “Best of” blog, This Week on OU Create (again, thanks to the hard work of Anoop). I was pleased when, a couple weeks back, a student tweeted this:
The highlight of my week is always when @OU_Create retweets my blog
— M McSpookyskeletons (@missmiranda17) March 23, 2016
Prior to the tweet, I received this email:
I just discovered the “This Week On” page – what a great idea! I let my students know if their posts had been highlighted, and I’ve already heard how thrilled many of them are. Thanks for all you do to build up this campus.
It appears to me that these simple acts where we, as Amanda Palmer would say, say “I see you,” are pleasantly received by students.
It’s easy for institutions to get comfortable being at odds with students (because that puts the institution in power). This can translate to social media where the department accounts become sounding boards for more noise where we talk at our students instead of with them. I see this abuse mostly by large companies who use social media to quiet tempers of customers who have a bad experience.
Example: Company tweets $69 one-way flights promotion (talking at me). I complain about experience (talking at it). They apologize (via DM), give me a number to call, and send me drink tickets. This commercial approach isn’t bad (hey, I got a free drink) but it doesn’t build community. Again, to get back to Amanda Palmer:
For most of human history, musicians, artists, they’ve been part of the community. Connectors and openers, not untouchable stars.
For me, The Creaties is another way for us to say that we, as administrators of a system, aren’t untouchable stars, but rather connectors and openers. We aren’t adversaries here only to tell you about uptime/downtime and what you can/can’t do. We are also a part of this small community who believe in creating a culture of public sharing in digital spaces. And we want to acknowledge that your work can be more than a grade (if only by giving you a free meal :smile:).