Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I'll see your photo challenge and raise you...

Last week was the first week having new students on campus. In an attempt to direct students to our Facebook Fan Page to interact with each other, we launched a photo challenge during our orientation program.

The challenge:

The team who uploads the most photos to our Facebook Fan Page by 2pm on Friday will receive an award at the awards presentation Friday.
Also the team who uploads the most interesting photo will receive an award Friday.
Before we announced this to the teams, we made sure all the group leaders were aware of what we were doing to make sure they encouraged their team to participate.

There were a few other rules we gave teams on the first day.
  1. Duplicates do not count
  2. Only photos that have the team name in the description or tagged will count
**Note to self: add a few more rules next year.

The Stats:

After lunch I checked to see how everything was going. About five hours into the challenge we had 20 new fans, 84 photos uploaded and links to 343 more photos.

At the end of day one we were at:
  • 30 new fans
  • 216 photos
  • 343 more photos linked to

Day Two stats:
  • 50 new fans
  • 1053 photos
  • 370 more photos linked to
1053 photos??? Yes that number is correct.

Day Three Stats:
  • 59 new fans
  • 3300 photos uploaded
  • 5000 more photos lined to
However, after you take away the duplicates and pictures that can't be made out, we had approximately 2800 photos uploaded.

One student posted a non statistical breakdown on the photos:
Although not 100% accurate at times it seemed like it was.

The Unexpected:

  1. I was leading an orientation group. Our first activity was to check out a camera from the library, take a group picture and upload it to the Facebook Fan Page. What?! No one told me there were going to be activities having us upload things to the Fan Page. There were two activities to earn points that involved the Fan Page. Great Idea! Just wish I could have had a heads up.
  2. 5000+ pictures! Let me say here I truly only expected between 500-800 photos.
  3. One of our staff members put together a small contest to help with the "Most Interesting" Photo contest. This is what came of it.

Where we messed up...

I guess duplicate means one thing to one person and another to a freshman college student. The most common photo series uploaded where ones of rapid fire photos going around the room that should have been stitched together in Photoshop and then uploaded. At one point we had a group leader hang his camera around his neck and set it to go off every 5 seconds.

Also, we need to state what is classified as a photo. To me, it is clear enough to make out what is happening in the photo and is not of walls, skies and railings unless the walls, skies and railings help tell a story of what happened.

All in all I believe this was a success. Since the end of the contest, we have had more activity on our Page. However, we will not find out if it was a true success in getting students to come to our Fan Page to interact until later in the year.

(Checkout other great examples of Social Media use in HigherEd at .eduGuru)