“We’re thinking about starting social media accounts for our department. I’m not so sure about it — we already have good reach with our listservs and our events are already well-attended — but our director thinks our listing in the Penn A-Z directory looks bare.”
Together, the assistant director and I pull up the Penn A-Z site (directly via the Upenn homepage) and he scrolls down a massive web page to his department’s entry. I lean back in my chair, slightly taken aback, and put my finger to my cheek.
“Wow, this is pretty crazy,” I realize.
The directory reminds me of a product or hotel feature comparison where each category is either denoted with having a feature or not — where having more features is always a very good thing.
Only we’re not talking about products or hotels. We’re looking at Penn schools, departments, centers and other officially recognized entries and what social media accounts they have. Out of the possible categories (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, LinkedIn, RSS, Blog and iTunes U), only 3 directory entries are marked as having all 8: Penn Law, Penn Museum and the Weigle Information Commons at the Penn Library.
We can only assume Penn A-Z is supposed to be as a handy tool — and it is — but it raises a big question; What does it say about your department if you don’t run any social media accounts? Are you illegitimate? Behind the times? Anti-social? Boring?
If you’re looking at products or a hotel, are you drawn to one that doesn’t have any features ticked?