An Experiment in Being Human: Logo Tweets Must Die!

BeforeTo paraphrase Jon Stewart, “be an eff-ing person!”

He said it in relation to the GM executives who were closing decades-old car dealerships via form letter. But it really stuck with me and has become a kind of life mantra. If you’re unsure of what to say or how to react in a situation, just be an eff-ing person! Happily, this mantra also applies nicely to the world of social media, Twitter specifically. It is — after all — PEOPLE who are social, and it is — after all — PEOPLE who are writing and responding to all these tweets.

I’ve always understood what it meant for ME to be on Twitter, but after nearly two years of tweeting as the University of Rochester, I’ve never really had a firm grip on what it meant for the UNIVERSITY as an institution to tweet.

At first, I kinda liked the sense of anonymity. I mean, who am I to speak for the University anyway? And yet, here I was, speaking for the University in this admittedly limited way. Why should I pretend otherwise?

Twitter After
So I’m trying a bit of an experiment starting today: I’m pulling back the curtain behind the institutional Twitter account and being open about the fact that, yes — this is me. I’m just a woman who works in Wallis Hall and I am your “head twit.” As such, I’ll do my best to pass along interesting stories and useful information about the university, and to help you out whenever I can.

So no more logo! Starting today, the face of the @UofR twitter account will be this old mug (or my glasses at least. They loom large in my legend.) I’m thinking that over time — as new folks take on Twitter duties during events like our reunion weekend, for example — we’ll update the profile pic accordingly.

Ya know, just like a person would.

 –lori

2 comments

  1. Robin2go says:

    This is an incredibly brave step for your organization, and I applaud their decision to go with your face. Really, when you think about it, it’s like a byline, not usurping the identity of a university (as if we really believed that anyhow). Thank you for putting a face to authenticity and transparency with your followers. I’m so incredibly stoked to see this, and I’ll be interested in how your numbers track in the next few months. I’m betting you will be able to engage your followers more, and that you might even increase followership simply because you acknowledge there is a person behind the tweets.

    Thank you for stepping out from behind the logo. WELL DONE!

  2. LoriPA says:

    Thanks, Robin. I think the real test will be our reunion weekend in October, but it should be fun seeing how this develops.

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