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Social media program shows student success

March 3, 2012

University Communications has now joined hundreds of universities across the nation in using the new social media program, readabout.me, which allows students to publicize achievements and activities they have earned throughout their college career.

Readabout.me, a program offered by readMedia, provides students the opportunity to create an online profile that can display a history of work experience combined with personal stories about collegiate awards and accomplishments that are submitted by the university in the form of a badge.

Similar to foursquare, these badges now allow the University Communications office a streamlined way to process large press releases to students’ hometowns, said UW-River Falls Communications Marketing Specialist Amy Christensen. Students can share their profile and awards with family, friends and potential employers.

“Students do not have to claim their online profile on readabout.me if they don’t want to. However, doing so helps create an official record of awards you have earned while attending UWRF and students also have the option to add their own activities in as well,” said Christensen.

Students will now be receiving an email notifying them if a release about them was sent out, and the email will contain a link directing the student to their badge and story on readabout.me.

“We have just done releases for things like dean’s list, graduation, and various awards that areas have submitted to us in the past month since we launched the program. So those are the only students that have had access to a readabout.me account to date,” wrote Christensen in an email. “However, beginning next fall, we will be running our complete enrollment through the system and all students will have the opportunity to activate their account then, if they desire. If they want to start their account sooner, they can contact me and I’ll be happy to get them started.”

ReadMedia originally approached the Admissions Office about implementing the readabout.me program. Admissions passed along the program to University Communications, a more suitable fit with the offices responsibilities of handling both social media outlets and press releases.

“ReadMedia contacted our office and presented their program options. We felt readMedia was worth pursuing at River Falls because our students are very involved and we thought it would be a great way for them to showcase their college accomplishments,” said Admissions Counselor Jennifer Sell.

Junior Amanda Buchanan was recently awarded a badge on her readabout.me profile for being on the dean’s list last semester. Although she thinks this site is a valuable tool for students, she questions how many universities and potential employers also use the site.

“For soon to be graduates, I question if employers look up interviewees on the site. If so, the site could be very beneficial to graduates,” said Buchanan.

There are currently 464 universities across the nation that are on readabout.me, four of those being in the UW System.

“These profiles are also cacheable in Google, which means, if a potential employer Googles your name this is something that would potentially come up about you,” Christensen wrote in an email. “A lot of students get themselves into trouble with other things they put out there about themselves in social media and this will give a potential employer something positive to read about them.”

More information about readabout.me can be found at http://go.uwrf.edu/readMedia or by contacting Amy Christensen at (715)-425-3787.