At Southern Westchester BOCES, we’re trying out a new product that, since its launch in September, has already received interest from other school districts in our region. It’s called Smashup, and the product places all your social media feeds onto one page where readers can easily follow you and see your posts on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and now even Pinterest.
In addition, at the bottom of the page, you can see a cool iris tool that permits the user to scan through your videos and choose one to watch.
The company that created the tool, AllofE Solutions of Lawrence, Kan., worked with us over the summer to design our Smashup page and combined RSS feeds from our social media sites to build the page. We worked closely with the company on the design to ensure that it would look like our website pages, even though it’s not really a part of our website at all.
I was also trained on how to use the Smashup back-end tool, which permits me to make changes to individual modules, change font styles and even change the feeds themselves. I’m also able to rotate our featured social media feed, giving our member school districts a chance to be featured regularly. Currently, the White Plains City School District’s Facebook page is in the featured spot.
Having access to the tool is your choice, and some of you may prefer to simply permit the company to maintain and monitor the site. If you’re lucky enough to have a webmaster with html coding experience, then you might consider building your own social media portal page.
Blended social media portals are growing in popularity among K-12 school districts, but are particularly being used now by colleges and universities, many of which have grown their social media stable to dozens and even hundreds sites that can be corralled onto one page for easier access. Here are a few you can check out:
- IBM launches social media-savvy news site Smarter Trends (itproportal.com)
- Get started with your Social Media Plan (mirolta.com)