Last week, Memorial University’s online connecting tool, Yaffle leapt into the world of social networking, launching both a Facebook page and a Twitter feed.
It all makes a lot of sense – Yaffle helps support collaboration and connections between Memorial and the people and regions of Newfoundland and Labrador, and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter help connect people and ideas from all around the world.
“Yaffle allows people and communities to share their priorities and projects with Memorial, leading to practical partnerships that benefit everyone involved,” explains Dr. Rob Greenwood, director of Memorial’s Harris Centre. “Even if you’re not close to a university location where you could meet with people face-to-face, Yaffle enables you to find out who has expertise or current projects related to your need.”
Yaffle’s Facebook page and Twitter feed will help people and communities make the most of Yaffle through demo videos, tips, tricks and stories of others who have made successful connections through the site. Users are encouraged to not only ask questions, but also share Yaffle successes and experiences.
Another reason for establishing a social media footprint for Yaffle is to help bring the tool out of the university and into the provincial community.
Dr. Greenwood believes social media has great potential as a regional development tool. As he puts it: “This really levels the playing ground. If your community or organization is wrestling with a challenge, or if you’ve got expertise that could benefit others, you can use social networking to find answers or share your experience.”
And, as he adds, “one thing leads to another.”
That´s the beauty of linking Yaffle with social media tools, says Dr. Greenwood. “Memorial has over 800 faculty, and over 2,700 grad students. Tap into that, creatively and flexibly, and who knows what you’ll unleash!”
Dr. Greenwood believes that forging social media links between Memorial and the rest of the province is particularly important when it comes to reaching out to youth about policy and development issues in Newfoundland and Labrador.
“Using sites like Facebook and Twitter to help connect with young people is essential. It’s Memorial’s chance to meet our future students, leaders and citizens on their own terms, in an open and evolving environment,” he says.“We have to evolve with our audience. The need for expertise and knowledge will not go away – we just need to understand how our young clients and partners want to access it. It´s exciting, challenging and the possibilities are limitless!”
Join Yaffle’s Facebook fanpage, or follow Yaffle on Twitter.