The idea came from an off-hand comment in another interview I was having with Ron Mize, the director of CL@SE at OSU. We’d talked about the subject of the story: The Tenured Faculty Diversity Initiative for almost half an hour. At the end of our chat, I asked him what he does for fun. Of course, most of our very dedicated professors don’t have a lot of free time, and he explained that he ESPECIALLY doesn’t because he happens to live in Portland and commute to campus in Corvallis four days a week.

I was shocked. I hate commuting. I live exactly 1.5 miles from campus. It takes me about 10 minutes on my bike…

“But people do this?” I asked.

“Yes,” he answered. And it’s not just him. There are more than a dozen faculty members at OSU in this unofficial carpool, and the idea intrigued me.

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My first thought was, “This could make a great story for our Beaver Nation PDX newsletter,” which I work on and contribute content to regularly. It focuses on content that relates to our Portland audience. Blah Blah…. But the idea became more than that for me….

I mean, these people are brilliant, right? Ph.D.s! In a car! For hours at a time! The conversations they must have! It wasn’t difficult to get the rest of my team on board with the idea.

I knew I couldn’t just talk to them about it. I needed to experience it for myself, so I got permission to join them on a Wednesday in May. But I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. Please never accuse me of not suffering for my art. This is what happened:

•5 p.m., Tuesday: I picked up a car from the motorpool
•4:30 a.m., Wednesday: I drove to the Park-N-Ride in Tigard
•6:15 a.m.: I began my journey back to Corvallis with the Carpoolers
•7:30 a.m.: I arrived in Corvallis and made my way directly to Java II for some caffeine
•5:30 p.m.: I met the carpoolers again
•6:30 p.m.: We are stuck in traffic behind an accident that eventually closes I-5 North.
•7:30 p.m.: We arrive back at the Tigard Park-N-Ride. I hop back into my motorpool car and turn around
•8:00 p.m.: I stop at the Sonic in Wilsonville for more caffeine. And tater tots. I need the tater tots.
•9:00 p.m.: I drop off my motorpool car. Go home and directly to bed.

The result: This story. And I’m totally and completely thrilled with it. It was a blast, and I hope you enjoy reading it!

-Callie

The campus community was extremely excited about the opening of the new Centro! That’s a great thing and further reinforces our hope to post more stories about some of our more underrepresented groups.
I’m also pretty proud of how well our dance story, “A common step,” did in the short amount of time it was actually on the home page. Things are moving along swimmingly. Soon we’ll be posting some of our “Beaver Nation” preview stories to the homepage!

Current stories:

The stories we have live on the homepage right now are ALL commencement-related. You can check out the stories here (http://poweredbyorange.com/blog/). We profiled six amazing graduating seniors. We also have a general commencement story up based on a press release and our Beaver Boards (http://sites.oregonstate.edu/beaverboards/) gallery filled with photos of mortarboards seniors decorated, showcasing the creativity of our graduates and the Oregon State tradition of decorating graduation caps each year! This is something we hope to continue and add to over the years, collecting the most interesting and unique boards…and maybe learning the stories behind them.

Video:

In this period, our most popular homepage feature story was undoubtedly our tribute to Beth Ray, hosted on our Life at OSU blog. The passing of our first lady was of interest to just about everyone in the campus community. The Olympics also had a far-reaching appeal, and Oregon State was happy to have a connection there! I would have liked to have seen more views on our Rugby microsite, but we didn’t spend any money to promote it, and that is changing now. We’ve thrown some dolla billz into promoting our spring break site (which you can learn about below), so I’m sure we’ll be seeing more ROI in the future!

Stories up on the site at this time include:
New Centro opens
A story and video about the new CCCC facility. It’s pretty swanky!
From the depths of time
Terra’s last cover story covering just about every aspect you didn’t know you needed to know about the Pacific lamprey.
Alternative spring break
A microsite about the alternative spring break experience! This site is chock full of photos, videos and interactive elements. We’re pretty proud of it!
Moms Weekend tradition continues
An overview of the events for Moms Weekend along with a profile of a very Oregon-State-centric family.
The mechanics of a student athlete
A profile of Ruth Hamblin, the Canadian Hammer featuring a video produced by our own Justin Smith.

And here’s a look at the video side:

We love us some Ruth Hamblin!

Finally, we haven’t taken a look at the individual colleges in awhile, so here’s a look at traffic on each College’s homepage. Unfortunately, we don’t have access to data from the College of Forestry, and the Honor’s College numbers are currently unavailable.

Hope you find this interesting. See you in late June/early July for more fun with analytics!

If you think we’ve gotten a bit sluggish about analytics lately, you’re wrong. Back in December, though? Well, that might have been a different story. These pageviews include December all the way up to Feb. 28:

previous homepage stories

“Celebrate the season” happened sort of last-minute, and it had about a 2-week run on the homepage, explaining its low views. There might be more reasons why the Terra story, “Singing His Story” might have been so popular, but from what I know, I’m going to chock it up to the beautiful photography we had, and its much longer run on the homepage through the holidays.

Here’s a look at videos in January and February:

videos

The commercial is still going strong!

And as for what we have up on the homepage right now… Five GREAT stories of course!

Outfitting Team USA: A story courtesy of the Oregon Stater, which was great to have during the Olympics. A pair of our alums own a ranch that supplied the wool for Ralph Lauren to make the sweaters Team USA wore in the opening ceremonies. Exciting stuff.
Changing the world: A student profile from the College of Engineering. They have so many inspiring students, and Nick is up there.
125 years of research: A timeline of the Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station. This awesome multimedia feature has great photos from the archives, and shows off our rich history as the state’s Land Grant University.
Celebrating black culture: a profile of the new director of the Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center. I’m sure we’ll be keeping in touch with them as they move into their brand new facility soon.
State of the University: a recap of Ed Ray’s speech in January with a great infographic about all of Oregon State’s accomplishments.

Make sure to check them out!

-Callie

Vancouver

Well… Where to begin? CASE 8 held a lot of firsts for me: It was my first time at a CASE Conference. It was my first time at any conference. It was my first time in Vancouver, and my first time in Canada. I didn’t even really, fully understand the term “advancement” until a few days before I left. So, for your enjoyment, here’s a quick recap!

Day One

Kegan, Ashley and I drove to Vancouver. The drive was delightful, and Kegan managed not to get us all detained at the border! We happily checked into our hotels after the eight-hour drive, and headed down the street for dinner, during which our delightful waiter gave us some tips of things to see in the city.

Day Two

Conference opportunities didn’t start until the afternoon, so after picking up our name tags & schedules in the morning, we took the opportunity to see a bit of the city: We walked and shopped around the downtown area and enjoyed our first Canadian staple: Tim Horton’s! And then we made our way to Granville Island, where we enjoyed the public market and some of the shops & galleries.

Callie with CTV

In the Pacific Centre mall, we actually got interviewed by a personality from CTV! The segment, which contains man-on-the-street style interviews about random topics at the end of the Vancouver newscast is online here.

The opening keynote was given that evening by Shane Koyczan. You may know him from his TedTalk….

His keynote speech was very similar to this talk: kind of fading in and out of poetry and public speaking. It wasn’t so much about our careers in higher education, but about life and how to be creative. I heard mixed reviews from other conference-goers, but I LOVED it! I jotted down a few notes a few notes:

•”If your heart is broken, make art with the pieces”
•My favorite quote from the Velveteen Rabbit, “…by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”, which almost brought me to tears because my Grandaddy read me this book before he passed away, and it’s always meant the world to me, as a metaphor for salvation.
•”In this world, If you can’t succeed in the formula set out for you, you will not be successful.” (which basically means …life ain’t fair!) But if you spend your life conforming to a broken process, you break yourself in the process.”
•”Stop waiting for a breakthrough.”

So it was a lot of stuff I’d heard before, but said in an awesome, poetic new way, and it reminded me of a song by one of my favorite bands, The Mountain Goats.

[If you don’t feel like listening to the whole song, my favorite line is “When you punish a person for dreaming his dream don’t expect him to thank or forgive you.”]

After the opening reception, 10 of us from URM, Public Health & development headed out for a delicious Mexican dinner in the Gaslight District, where the staff were kind enough to let us watch our CTV interview on their TV! Ha.

Day Three

Thursday, we got into the nitty gritty of the conference. First, we heard from Simon Fraser University about “Why We Stopped Talking About Ourselves”. They shared their “Are you SFU” campaign for prospective students:

I really liked how the illustrations they used in their video, website and print materials all matched, and were really cute and fun. The point basically was: they stopped telling students about themselves; they stopped recruiting students. Instead, they started SEARCHING for the RIGHT students, the ones who would belong on their campus and thrive. Pretty cool!

As you all know by now, I was REALLY excited for the second session that day, because it was given by two social media professionals from Arkansas, one from Central Arkansas University and one from Arkansas Tech University. But, honestly, I was a bit disappointed in the representation from my home state, and I’m sad to say I didn’t learn too much about social media. However, I did get an idea from the lady from ATU. She said she reads her university’s strategic plan every morning before she starts the day. I know this sounds a little excessive, but when you’re writing all day, and the plan is part of the messaging, I think it could only help, so I might start doing that! We’ll see.

At the Communications Awards Luncheon, we were awarded a Grand Gold award for Kel Wer! But, were denied the Cregal. Maybe next year, guys.

After lunch, I sat in to hear Melody and Carson present “A Tale of Two Beavers,” and they did a great job talking about our rebrand!

The last session of the day was presented by UBC about “Breaking Down the Digital Wall”. Until this presentation, I’d never heard “digital immigrants” used as a term, which I thought was interesting. They talked about their use of storybox, which is similar to tools we’re utilizing, and reminded us to ask the questions: Are you building stories that lets your audience in? How does your audience participate?

That evening, the alumni association took us out for a great dinner, where I ate probably two loaves of bread by myself, among other things….

Day Four

Because we had to drive home, we only got to attend one session on the final day of the conference, presented by the University of Manitoba. They talked about embracing their perceived negatives for a marketing campaign. They turned negative words like cold, flat, boring, old-fashioned into words like “pioneer” and “visionary”, using them boldly with great black and white photography. I really liked their ideas, but (fortunately), I don’t think we’re facing many of the same challenges they are…

U of Manitoba

Wrapping it Up…

So all in all, it was a great time, and I’m really thankful for the opportunity! As you can see, I got some great ideas, met some interesting people and basically became internationally famous. Thanks for reading!

-Callie

We are in the middle of the holiday season at the moment, but that doesn’t mean we still can’t take a look back at the past few months of web traffic:

Here’s a look at the stories we took down.

previous homepage stories

Floralia was up on the homepage for a very, very long time. It was our first experiment with a microsite and was VERY well-received by the College of Business.

The stories currently linked on the homepage include:

Creating great writers: A feature about EVERYTHING Writing at Oregon State: from a new partnership with a nonprofit in east Oregon, to the new low-residency MFA in Bend, to talented students choosing Oregon State over world-class programs like Iowa. Big things are happening for writers here.

Rocking outdoor education: My big summer project: A feature about the Adventure Leadership institute here at Oregon State and the impact its made from the very start with prominent climber Willi Unsoeld

Making it happen: A great student story about Joyce Madriz: an undergrad biology student following her dreams! This story is also up in Spanish.

Amphibians are crashing: A Terra story about herpetology, which I don’t even understand, so you’ll have to read to find out more!

On a wing and a dare: Another great Terra story about drones. Drones are such a hot topic now, and the dudes in our office obviously love them.

On the video side, we gained 471 subscribers and lost 124 subscribers for a net gain of 347. We currently have 5,658 subscribers to the Oregon State Youtube channel. “Welcome back to Oregon State”, our “short tour” campus video has 141 likes and only one dislike, counting it as our “most engaged” video.

And here’s a look at our top videos:

top videos

Darryl says: In this time period, we saw a nice bump in views in comparison to our last report.

The Welcome Back video was inspired by a video that an improv group created. It was one of our top performing videos, and in a very short time and little to no promotion at all. While edgy, the video inspired over 100 likes and multiple comments within a week of posting. The amount of time we spent creating the video was minimal as well, we spent a couple hours planning the idea of the video, a day to shoot and just a couple hours to edit.

The Bass fishing video we created generated an impressive 18,883 views due to an interesting viral video that recommended our video as a follow up to watch. Most of these views originated from Brazil, which leads us to believe that the recommendation must have been localized to that country.

Our Beaver Nation commercial, as mentioned in the previous report, is also performing well and we continue to receive good feedback on it. We also finished up our 1-minute version of this video, using similar visuals yet a unique take on messaging.

Other videos in this timeframe include the Fire video and two accompanying profiles. While they don’t have many views, we fully intend on pushing the piece out to different sources. We also recently finished up our campus recruiting video for the OSU Cascades Campus, a fun video with all the spirit of Central Oregon.

July and August were all about getting rid of the (awesome) commencement stories we worked so hard on in the spring and replacing it with awesome content that could see us through the summer and straight into school. Here’s a look at the stories we took down.

previous homepage stories

Stories up on the site at this time include:

Floralia: I can’t get rid of this beautiful site we (and by we, I mean Kegan) created. I still love it so much. The site features a quick story I wrote, video by Darryl and lots of HTML5 moving photos & other awesome bits and pieces.

Board of Trustees: This homepage feature is a link to our new leadership page for the Board of Trustees. We’ll keep it updated as we go through the confirmation process, but will probably remove it from the homepage pretty soon? We’ll see.

Making an Impact: A young-alum story about a Peace Corps volunteer in Moldova.

For the Sport of it: Did you know Oregon State had a winning bass fishing team? Me either. This story by Colin explains…

Creating great writers: A feature about EVERYTHING Writing at Oregon State: from a new partnership with a nonprofit in east Oregon, to the new low-residency MFA in Bend, to talented students choosing Oregon State over world-class programs like Iowa. Big things are happening for writers here.

SMILE!: A feature about Oregon State’s SMILE (Science & Math Investigative Learning Experiences) program, which encourages underserved youth to see themselves as scientists.

As for video views, Bollywood Dance the Harlem Shake are KILLING it right now. Maybe we should just dance our way into the school year.

top 10 videos

We were also really proud to release the new Beaver Nation commercial, which our team as well as Marketing has worked so, so hard on.

top 5 new videos

A lot of this traffic was thanks to a big push on social media. Here are a few of my favorite comments we received.

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Releases about our scientific research remain our highest viewed:

top news releases

Thanks so much for reading this post and the last one. Now that we have our format down, you’ll be seeing these every two months. One thing everyone was interested in was seeing a traffic report comparing our colleges. Ask and ye shall receive:

colleges

My takeway from these numbers is that strong content breeds page views. Summer has been a bit slow for us all, but I’m finally feeling more in the swing of this still-new job (I passed the six month mark this month – woohoo!) So I think September and October will bring us a wealth of new content, fun new projects and learning experiences all around.

-Callie

Each time a homepage story is uploaded, one is taken down. When it is, we make sure to take a look at the analytics of the stories we remove. Here’s a look at the pageviews of previous homepage stories:

previous homepage stories

Many videos are also attached to these homepage stories. Here’s a look at the analytics from the most popular videos on our YouTube channel currently.

top videos

The takeaway: people like dancing. People also like research and scientific things …just not as much.

The Oregon State Experience video has been a great hit with multiple audiences. Here’s what one prospect says about it:

I’m from Brazil and my dream is to study and live in the U.S. I’ve been searching and comparing some universities, and after reading about it and know a little about the university, I had no more doubts… My choice is Oregon State, and I’m already starting to get ready to try my admission for 2014!

And here’s a current student’s view:

I chose to go to Oregon State and I am from New Jersey. My four years at Oregon State have transformed me from a shy and unmotivated individual into the person I am today. I am poised to be a huge part of the theme park industry and I have OSU to thank. I will miss Corvallis and Oregon so much after I leave. But everyone should know that OSU has a place for them and is a great, stress-free place to live 🙂

top new videos

The takeaway: Between The Trees was an experimental video we produced during commencement, and it’s gotten a good amount of traffic. Maybe experimentation is good. It also makes sense that a popular athlete, Stephanie McGregor, got the most views of any of our commencement videos.

Commencement was a very important area of interest for us for the weeks surrounding graduation. The stories were as follows (some are still online while others have been removed to rotate new stories in):

•Commencement 2013: Building community (Eder Mondragon)
Eder came from a Hispanic family in the Dales & excelled at OSU. He hopes to go on to serve other communities in need of bi-cultural leadership.

•Commencement 2013: Accelerating his future (Ryan Connolly)
Ryan – a business major – started a company while studying at OSU, and will continue working with it after graduation

•Commencement 2013: Halfway around the world (Alex Gulick)
Alex Gulick was a biology major. She’s headed to grad school, probably, after some high profile internship plans. Her story focused on her international experience and how OSU helped her focus her career goals

•Commencement 2013: ‘Challenge yourself’ (Alfonc Rakaj)
Speaking of high-profile internships, Alfonc interned with the US House of Reps & Scottish Parliament. His story is about being an international student at OSU, finding “family” here and getting as much as you can out of the college experience

•Commencement 2013: Loving learning (Hyung Seok Lee)
Hyung also brought us the international angle. He talked about the INTO Program since he’s part of their first graduating class (the program has been around at OSU for 4 years now). He talked about his transition from being a below average student in South Korea to excelling at OSU.

•Commencement 2013: Moving forward (Alexa Ortiz)
Alexa was a student athlete, a rower at OSU, and studied zoology major. She’s going to vet school at Tuffs in the fall. Her story discusses athletics & trying new things at college

•Commencement 2013: ‘People matter the most’ (Stephanie McGregor)
Stephanie was one of OSU’s favorite gymnasts, but not many people knew that she had a near-perfect GPA in the college of Engineering. She talks about leaving her gymnastics team and her feelings about the future after a solid OSU education

And data on the video component of those stories:

commencement videos

The takeaway: Again, cute gymnasts get lots of views!

News & Research Communications is another area of interest. Here’s the data from May 15-July 1.

top releases

The takeaway: The “Boys will be boys” release was picked up by a variety of high-profile sources, which accounts for the major jump in views. Pageviews are generally strong for research-based news content.

We’ll keep these running regularly from here on out! Thanks for reading!

-Callie