URI getting strong following on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube

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Online social networking presence continues to grow

KINGSTON, R.I. – May 8, 2009 – For several months, the University of Rhode Island has been developing a Web presence on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to provide a wide range of outlets for those interested in following life at URI.

Through different means, these outlets allow people to discover and share news about the University. Each of the social networks provides new content, including information not directly available on the official school Web site.

On Facebook, fans can view news items or photo albums, watch videos or start a topic for discussion. Facebook also allows our fans to leave comments about the items that are posted. You must be a Facebook user to see the content, but registering is free. Fans receive an alert each time the URI page is updated.

The URI page on Facebook went live on Jan. 22, and one month later it had a modest following of 108 fans. The fan base slowly continued to rise to 474 fans on April 16, at which point a major surge occurred. Of the three social networking sites with University presence, Facebook has the most followers with 4,646 fans as of Thursday afternoon, giving URI the most Facebook fans of any of the public universities in New England. Of the Facebook pages of all the colleges and universities in Rhode Island, only Brown University’s – which has been in existence for 10 months – has more fans, with 5,100-plus.

To find URI on Facebook, visit http://mytinyurl.net/8546e3. (You will need to register for a free Facebook membership to view this site.)

On Twitter, followers can receive tweets – or quick messages – letting them know whenever a news item has been posted on the school’s Web site. This site provides announcements and links to events and news items for the University. This site has 679 followers. Each time the URI Twitter site is updated, all followers receive a message alerting them.

To follow URI news on Twitter, visit http://twitter.com/URINews.

URI has just been accepted as an education partner with YouTube. On the University YouTube channel, viewers can watch videos on a wide range of University activities. The University has posted nearly 50 videos, which have been watched by nearly 10,000 viewers.

YouTube allows URI to group videos into topical playlists or categories. For example, we have published 15 profiles of graduating seniors; those videos are grouped under the playlist “Commencement 2009”.

We have also begun to embed these videos throughout the University’s Web site. For example, the Physical Therapy Department has embedded a URI YouTube video on the web page at http://www.uri.edu/hss/pt/why_uri.html

To view URI videos on YouTube, visit http://www.youtube.com/user/UniversityOfRI.