One of my favorite television shows of all time is The West Wing. Throughout the show’s run the tales o f the Bartlet administration were always “must see TV” for me. During the early seasons of the show I was living in D.C. and I feel that always added a bit to my enjoyment of the show. Though at times C.J., Sam, Toby, Leo, Donna, Charlie, and Josh were a bit over the top with their fast walking down halls and quick dialog, and Sorkin’s scripts could become a bit too liberal and preachy, I still would recommend The West Wing to anyone look for a good drama of the recent past.
So why do I start this blog by extolling the virtues of a retired television show? No, this is not going to be a blog about my addiction to television, and no, this is not my way to comment about NBC and the mess they have made with late night TV and how they totally mistreated Conan. The reason I bring up The West Wing is that in deciding how to write about today’s Friday Favorites topic, I was thinking of one of the very popular phrases used throughout the show. President Bartlet (played magnificently by Martin Sheen) was always known to use the phrase, “What’s next?” whenever moving on to a new topic. “What’s next?” became a common phrase simply because there was always so much going on in the fictional White House, and they always had to follow one great accomplishment with the next one.
This “What’s next?” mentality is something that I have incorporated into my occupational philosophy, especially when it comes to new ideas related to our Hopkins Interactive project. I often connect with the current students who volunteer with me and ask “What’s next?” Right after we complete a project it is time to move on to the next project. There is no resting on our laurels. We launch a new freshman blog, and then it is on to launching our awesome Academic Blog. We start with a new Twitter account, follow that up with new videos for our YouTube page, and continue with our Guest Blog Google Map. As we work on one project, we are always brainstorming or planning a variety of next projects. It is time for me to once again ask “What’s next?” as last Friday we launched our next big accomplishment and my Friday Favorite for today.
Last Friday after a few months of hard work by a number of Hopkins Interactive students, especially my current student intern and in many ways my executive assistant Mandy Stein, we launched a Facebook Fan Page – Johns Hopkins University – Undergraduate Admissions. The Facebook Fan page is for us the next evolution of using the most popular forms of social media to connect with a variety of audiences. In the past we used Facebook groups to connect with prospective audiences, but it became clear that Facebook was “forcing” its membership to embrace Fan pages instead. We will still use the Facebook group function to connect with specific groups of students, such as our Class of 2014 Facebook group currently populated with recently admitted Early Decision students (the first members of the JHU Class of ’14) and will expand in the spring with Regular Decision admitted students who choose to enroll at Hopkins. But, it became clear that a Facebook Fan page was a next logical step for us.
One question I do anticipate getting in the future is whether being a fan of the Fan Page will improve one’s chances for admissions? No it will not.In fact, we will not be tracking which applicants “become a fan” and those who choose to lurk or never use the resource. The Fan Page, as well as all of our social media devices (Twitter, blogs, YouTube, Hopkins Forums, etc.), are a means to dispense information and allow prospective students and applicants to connect with the Office of Admissions (me!) and current JHU students. We provide these tools to help you all navigate the admissions process and to educate yourself about the “real” Johns Hopkins University – hopefully assisting you in the end with determining whether Hopkins is the right fit for you. In no way do we provide these tools as a way to track an applicant’s interest or to “stalk” our applicants. We do not have the time or the interest to do anything like that.