Archive for February, 2008

28
Feb
08

Scene 7 2008 Survey Report

I got an email this morning from Adobe offering me a download for a Scene7 Survey Report for experience in Web 2.0 for 2008 and beyond. I haven’t really looked it through thoroughly, but it’s on my list for today. Sign up really quick and they’ll email you a link to download. Here are some highlights that I found.

  • 360-degree spin is considered one of the most highly-effective features, yet it is underutilized today. Nearly 30 percent of respondents plan to add 360-degree spin in 2008 along with other top top-ranking features including: alternate views, user ratings, videos, blogs, product tours,online catalogs, personalized messaging, quick looks and personalized stores.
  • Increased clicks or usage and increased conversions are the leading metrics used for evaluating enhancements; however, more than 40 percent of respondents measure the effectiveness of features based qualitative feedback and increased revenues
  • Surprisingly low number of respondents for Education
  • Effectiveness of user videos (p. 6)

It’s not a super comprehensive report, but it might offer support for integrating new features to your website for the upcoming year. Just thought I’d share it with you guys!

18
Feb
08

Housing Virtual Tours

So for the past two months, I have been working off and on on complete 360 degree virtual tours for housing. It’s been a slow process because I have been working on a lot of other projects, but also because it hasn’t been a huge priority. After meeting with our Web Services people, we discussed having them done in time for unveiling with the newly redesigned Housing website. I will be using the ones I created along with some/all of the ones Brad created when he was here.  So of late, I have been trying to get them all put together. I have been using a program called Cubic Converter which has been working great! I’ve been using Photoshop CS3’s photomerge feature along with some of my own editing. To shoot the panos, I have a Panosaurus head mounted to my tripod (which is weak and has caused me to have to do A LOT of post-processing). I am shooting with a Nikon D200 with an 18-70 mm f3.5 at 24mm and manual exposure controls. I will be writing a how-to later about this detailing the process in full. It’s been a lot of fun, but it’s also been a lot of work. The results have definitely paid off though! Now, I need to figure out how to convert from outdated QTVR to a Flash file for the website…if you have any suggestions let me know. Here’s a little sample:  *Wordpress does not allow embedding of videos into posts due to security reasons.  So for now, I’ll link to it.  It is in it’s full screen version here, but it is undecided how large the final will be.  Use your mouse to control the scrolling and shift and control zoom in and out.

Let me know of any changes you would make or do before the final cut.  I think they look pretty good, but then again, I may be biased…

15
Feb
08

Emergency Alert Notification System

In light of the NIU tragedy on February 14th, I wanted to give coverage to UIS’ Emergency Alert Notification System. Andrew Careaga posted a link to the CNN news story on his blog yesterday just after we both posted it on Twitter virtually at the same time. What’s crazy is that I heard from a student that something had happened at NIU, but it wasn’t until an hour later that I read anything about it anywhere, and Andrew was one of the first. Just goes to show you the power of blogs.

I was just talking about our emergency alert notification system with our Director of Marketing the other day. We both thought it was interesting how a Springfield news station aired a report about our larger sister campus unveiling their new emergency alert notification system the other night. Funny thing is that they unveiled that system around last September…funnier yet, my campus, the one located in Springfield has never been mentioned for implementing our own notification system. Anywho…just a little rant with a lack of coverage from our own hometown news station.

My main point is to express to people to sign up for our alerts. UIS is a very safe campus and I have never felt as if I was in any harm or danger. I have been in contact with our Web Team and they assured me that an extensive plan is in place.  Here is what the NIU homepage looked like.

NIU emergency alert homepage

Regardless of how safe any campus feels, they should have a Notification system in place. Details of the UIS policy can be found here. Do yourselves a favor and sign up. The tornado season is coming, and that is covered under the policy as well.

14
Feb
08

Using Pixish for Higher Ed

This has been a crazy busy week with like a million of projects, all back to back…finally I get to blog…my apologies.

So I ran across a website the other day called Pixish. That same day, Brad Ward from SquaredPeg blogged about it’s uses in higher ed. I met with some creative students yesterday and talked to them about how they would feel about submitting photos in exchange for photo credits for use on some of our webpages (Student Life, Student Page?, Media Quad, etc.). It was unanimous, and everyone said they would be happy to submit photos. We currently do not have a campus photographer (he retired 6 months ago) other than myself, and I am do not consider myself a professional photographer; I can just take pretty good photos. So I thought, why not open this up and see what kind of response we get. I will be monitoring the site for quality of shots and to ensure they will help add to our goals. I will not just take any shot of students, certainly not something point and shoot, but actual really excellent shots of students having fun. FJ Gaylor blogged about how to capture life after 5 p.m. This is definitely something we have always struggled with, and really do now since I have moved from the Student photographer position I held here last year to full time marketing. No one has filled that void yet, I’ve got my eyes on a young woman I met at a preview day, so hopefully she comes to UIS next year! Anywho…chime in on how you feel about this and whether or not you think students will really take advantage of this.

07
Feb
08

A little bit about me

Per Matt’s request, I thought I would give you guys a little background into who I am. I will tell you that I have probably been working in higher ed for the least amount of time (7 months) out of all the people involved in BlogHighEd, but I am extremely passionate about what I do and therefore always wanting and willing to learn about the ever changing field of Higher Education.

I am officially the Marketing/Recruitment Specialist for the Office of Enrollment Management for the University of Illinois at Springfield. I work for the smallest of the three U of I campuses, but still get all the benefits. This position was created last year for UIS graduate and co-creator of BlogHighEd, Brad J Ward, but he moved on to a position at Butler University in Indianapolis, IN. I spend my time researching trends in the current and potential student market for recruitment and retention. I also implement ideas that I present to the directors on our websites. I also have some web experience, but desperately want to learn more! I also do campus and event photography.

I look forward to learning with and from everyone who contributes here and I am very thankful that I was chosen for bhe. And here’s a better photo of me and my wonderful girlfriend.

Jordan and I
04
Feb
08

Weekend Re-Cap

Superbowl Weekend! Not gonna lie, I was really getting sick and tired of all the “perfect” talk accompanying the Patriots. I am a hardcore Patriots (and Jets) hater! And that can only mean one thing: I am a Dolphin’s fan. Flame me for their horrible season last year, but the Tuna’s in charge and has revamped practically the entire coaching staff. Anyway, something else the superbowl brings is usually awesome and memorable advertisements. While I have always enjoyed watching the commercials, I found myself not only viewing them, but really looking for the next big idea in any one of them. But more on that later! I’ve got to tell you about the events that led up to Sunday first.

Thursday night, we were predicted to get a TON of snow. I really don’t like snow that much. Sure it’s pretty, but it makes such a mess of things. Classes got canceled for the evening in preparation for the worst. Come 5:30 a.m. friday morning, word came down that the campus was closed! Woohoo, three day weekend! I look outside and this is what I saw.

Snow

That’s right…A TON of SNOW! 10 inches to be exact…19+ from drifting…

And here’s my poor car…Look at the snow on the mirror. I had to dig out the bottom of my door so that I could get it open.

my car

My buddy T and I spent some time digging our own cars out as well as a couple of our friends, and even some people we didn’t even know. We even pushed one girl out of a snow pile she drove into, later admitting that she’d never seen snow like this before…crazy.

The next day, I came down with something awful…I mean, I have been out of commission for the last three days…I don’t usually get sick, but when I do, it’s bad news…I’m feeling better today, but I wouldn’t have minded another day off to relax.

On Superbowl Sunday, my friend Chad held a get together at his place so we could watch the game on his 52″ plasma (thanks to me and SD). Let me just revisit what I said earlier about me really not liking the Patriots. I just wanted to make sure that was fresh in your mind. The game was full of a bunch of great plays on both sides, but one play stands out above all…This scramble by Manning and ensuing catch by Tyree…INCREDIBLE!

I am sorry for jumping around so much, my mind is still recovering from the medicine…back to business. So of the commercials that were played, there were a couple that stuck out in my mind. Some in a good way, and others in a bad way. First: Winner for the night…The Tide talking stain commercial. Congrats to their marketing team for that video. They did it all right…entertaining, made me remember their product, and drew me back in with an interactive website at the end mytalkingstain.com

Other winners for the night included Budwiser/Bud Light, Bridgestone (maybe a surprise?), Coca-Cola, Diet Pepsi Max, and Sobe. You can view them all on MySpace’s Superbowl ad site.  Line of the year:  “Suck One.”  Wait for the T-Shirts!




Proud Member of Blog High Ed

Feed Me

My del.icio.us

Calendar

February 2008
M T W T F S S
« Jan   Mar »
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
2526272829  

Categories


Add to Technorati Favorites

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
This blog represents my views and my views alone. It is not reflective of any organization I am affiliated with.