April 17, 2012

U of C tweets its way to the online top

The U of C came in third place earlier this month for the most-buzzed American universities behind only MIT and Harvard.

The Global Language Monitor’s Trend Topper MediaBuzz rankings, compiled every nine months, measures the “Internet brand equity” of colleges and universities using data from social media sites, the blogosphere, and more than 175,000 print and electronic media outlets.

U of C spokesperson Jeremy Manier said that the ranking did not surprise him, given the University’s influential faculty and alumni, robust outreach from the Admissions Office, and a historically strong media presence.

“University faculty members help shape the public conversation through the impact of their scholarship and more directly as public intellectuals. Many of our faculty members and students write columns and op-eds, run blogs, and are active in any number of online conversations,” Manier wrote in an e-mail.

National coverage of new campus buildings like the Joe and Rika Mansueto Library and the Reva and David Logan Center has also increased the University’s online presence.

University media sources also contribute to the buzz. The University News Office, for instance, manages UChicago Live, which streams videos of prominent speakers and events on campus to the University’s 59,000 Facebook fans and allows viewers to comment in real time.

“We think this combination of online discussion and in-person events is really exciting, and it’s something we’ll be pursuing more in the future,” Manier said., a new effort to map University’s Internet presence, compiles the social media pages of all the University programs and divisions—including student and faculty blogs, RSS Feeds, Flickr, YouTube, and Facebook pages—into one online U of C “hub.”

The top five in the MediaBuzz rankings were rounded out by Columbia University and University of Wisconsin-Madison.