The Digital Campus

The Digital Campus

Digital Campus Study Tour – Day 1

UC Berkeley

By Tanja Von Rotz, Head of Marketing and Communications, ZHAW School of Psychology (@indira2007)

San Francisco welcomes the Study Tour Group with beautiful sunny and warm weather, leaving the fog behind. After exploring the exciting city on Sunday we are given a warm welcome by the swissnex team at the Slanted Door, a popular Asian style restaurant in the Ferry Building. We got to know the group members better while facing the beautiful Bay Bridge, and started to get sense of the California spirit.

Our very first day of the Study Tour on Monday started at swissnex San Francisco. During the introduction we were taught that people in this area do things differently. And given the fact that the famous Silicon Valley is home to many of the world’s largest and most successful technology companies as well as thousands of small startups, this seems to be right. But when it comes down to Social Media, we learned that even the University of California, Berkeley (the number three of the best universities in the world) puts its pants on one leg at a time!

Digital Campus Study TourTheir Social Media activities are down to Earth and they face the same problems and struggle with the same kind of issues that we do in Switzerland. UC Berkeley, it seems, doesn’t really have a specific Social Media strategy. But what appears not to be strategic in the first place turns out to be the answer to important questions: Why are we running a social media platform? What are we going to achieve? And most of all: Who is our audience and what kind of information would people like to share?

Being on our Social Media pathway, one take-away from today’s meetings is: You have to leave your comfort zone.  You need to experiment and take risks!

Or, as Kathryn Bader, Social Media Strategist for UC Berkeley, puts it, “You have to be humble and make mistakes.”

The concept is trial and error. Often Social Media practice is done that way—and sometimes that’s how you learn the biggest lessons, such as what kind of content works and what people don’t like.Comfort Zone

As we look forward to an interesting but intense week, we ought to follow this advice as well: Go out, experiment and take risks! We might fail, but hopefully we will fail fast!

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Author: Megan Williams

Megan Williams is swissnex San Francisco’s Head of Communications. She likes to write about science and culture. A marine biology nerd and a dedicated science communicator, she also loves to hunt for design treasure at thrift stores.