The Maneater

New website showcases MU social media

The new missouri.edu extension branched out of an idea to integrate social media on the website.

Web Communications unveiled a redesigned missouri.edu earlier this month, along with a brand new experiment: socialmedia.missouri.edu.

The new social media extension centralizes official MU accounts through a directory and stream, which updates every seven minutes. Users can use a directory to find various social media accounts from MU colleges and schools, as well as official MU accounts like MU Alert.

Missouri.edu has not been redesigned since 2006, editor Karen Pojmann said. The original plan was to redo the main site and make a centralized news site — the social media extension branched out of an idea to integrate social media on the website.

Pojmann said it helps promote MU.

"The social media mash-up showcases the coolest aspects of MU," Pojman said.

Since the unveiling of the new site on June 12, Pojmann said she has received positive feedback from various colleges and schools.

With the redesign, missouri.edu, the News Bureau and the social media page work on multiple platforms, from phones to desktops.

Ryan Gavin, senior information specialist for Web Communications, said the sites have a responsive design, which means it adapts to each device. This way, the website is going to work for all users on any device.

The original idea for the website came from Gavin, after he noticed other universities had adopted social media webpages. He said most other universities had directories and a Twitter stream on one topic.

"We wanted to take it to the next level," Gavin said.

That next level includes what Pojmann called a social media mash-up, referring to the stream on the site.

Gavin said he checks hourly for new content, updating the stream by liking a post on Facebook or Instagram, or "favoriting" a tweet on Twitter.

He said he searches #Mizzou and general searches to find content that he thinks is uplifting and positive. Since Gavin controls the content, negative tweets about MU using #Mizzou don't show up in the stream.

The content is not only generated by official accounts but user-created, public content; photos and tweets about summer welcome from incoming freshman have been prominent on the site.

"It's an open and honest look at what's going on at Mizzou," Gavin said.

The new site is also a way for people who aren't heavily involved in social media to see what is going on at MU.

Gavin, who referred to himself as the idea and content guy, said this new site was a team effort with the tech guys, and he couldn't be happier with how it turned out.

"I love everything about it," he said. "I never expected that it would have every feature I suggested."

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