This article was published at TheWhitOnline.com on March 5, 2014.
For the past five years, the Shorty Awards have recognized the best in social media, from Twitter to Facebook, YouTube to Instagram, and gifs to apps, matching winners to dozens of categories. This year, nominated and now one of the seven finalists in the #BNCollege category, Rowan is up for a Shorty Award.
Acknowledging the best of social media from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr, Vine, Instagram and more, the 6th Annual Shorty Awards allows the community to vote for their social web favorites from Jan. 7 until Feb. 18. During that time, anyone can tweet a nomination for anything or anyone related to social media via Twitter or the Shorty Awards website by tweeting who or what he or she wants to nominate and why. According the Shorty Award website, more than 2 million tweet-nominations were submitted during last year’s nomination process.
Previous Shorty Awards winners of multiple categories have been comedians and TV personalities like Ricky Gervais, Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Kimmel, and New Jersey senator Cory Booker. Even Grover from “Sesame Street” has won a Shorty Award.
Sabrina LoBue, a graduate coordinator for the Office of Student Activities, took it upon herself to spread the word to her staff to nominate Rowan in the #BNCollege category.
“I started on Twitter and we just retweeted and try to get as many of my followers to retweet it,” LoBue said. “We actually had an all-staff meeting the Friday before the [nomination process] ended so my boss asked me to bring it up on the screen and have all of our students in the room log on Twitter and we had about 40 [students] at our all-staff so we got them to either join Twitter, if they didn’t have it yet, or to get on and tweet it and actually vote in the Shorty Awards at that moment.”
YouTube videos were also made to promote Rowan’s placement in the Shorty Awards. With enough tweet-nominations, Rowan has made it to the final seven of that category, competing against well-known colleges like West Virginia University and Boston University.
Rowan’s Barnes & Noble store manager John Styles shared word of the Shorty Award via web and even reaching out to people on campus, such as Dean of Students, Richard Jones.
“A lot of it was kind of word of mouth and within the Rowan community and it kind of flourished,” Styles said, “so once the web people got the social media part going, we posted on the Facebook page a couple times and sent out different notices that it was out there and then I kind of pushed it on some people on the campus.”
Understanding the big role that social media plays on a college campus, the #BNCollege category was created. This category represents a Barnes & Noble College school that uses social media to successfully communicate with and initiate involvement between students, faculty and the community as a whole, while expressing school spirit.
Styles says he is proud to be a part of a university that is up against bigger schools for the #BNCollege Shorty Award.
“I think it’s fantastic,” Styles said. “I consider myself very privileged to be working on the Rowan campus. If you go to [the Shorty Awards website] you can look and see the people that tweeted and I was very pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t just students. If you go through and take a look, it’s students, it’s faculty, it’s staff, it’s alumni, it’s local businesses, it’s the borough of Glassboro. It was really a community type of thing.”
After being selected by The Academy, the Shorty Awards winners will be announced at April 7 at The TimesCenter in New York.