Eric Stoller's blog

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Growing Twitter

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If you’re ever in need of a quick and easy way to visualize the growth of your followers on Twitter, look no further than the Wildfire Social Media Monitor. While your total number of followers on Twitter is really more of a vanity metric, the Wildfire tool is a great way to see if certain accounts have been artificially increasing their following.

According to the graph, on April 28th, 2010, I had 1,586 followers on Twitter. Whenever a client asks me to help them grow their followers on Twitter, I usually talk about providing quality content and engaging with their audience…over time, your follower count will grow on its own.

Written by Eric Stoller

January 26th, 2013 at 9:36 am

Making Coffee, Appreciating the Pause

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Eric Stoller loves making coffee

One of my favorite times of the day is when I go into the kitchen to make coffee. I associate a lot of different memories with coffee. My Grandpa Clyde used to drink an entire thermos of it on a daily basis. Coffee was part of a ritual. When I make coffee, I enjoy the process of making it as much as I enjoy the actual beverage. Measuring out just the right amount of beans into the hopper of my burr grinder, filling up the hot water kettle, prepping the French press, putting sugar and milk into my 20 ounce coffee mug…these are all parts of a break in my day where I get to reflect on what I’ve done pre-coffee and what I plan on doing after things have brewed and the timer beeps that the moment is complete. It’s a meditative, reflective experience. Looking out the window in the kitchen and letting my mind pause. These are the moments in the day that create space for creativity, stress reduction, and an enhanced clarity of thought. Making coffee. Sure, I love the bump that I get from the caffeine…the warmth that it conveys…but most of all, I love making coffee because it makes me take a pause. I appreciate those pauses.

Written by Eric Stoller

January 25th, 2013 at 8:03 am

Dear Microsoft: Children of the 90s Were Not Born Yesterday

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You might not remember us, but we met in the 90s.

Microsoft’s new ad for Internet Explorer wants to capitalize on our collective nostalgia. Hungry Hippos, floppy disks, Oregon Trail, snap bracelets, bowl haircuts, and slow Internet access. Microsoft just doesn’t understand that while we may fondly remember the items in the ad, we are never ever going to associate Internet Explorer in the same vein. The end of the ad shows Microsoft’s Surface tablet as if browsing via IE on Surface could bring back some sort of mythological experience of yesterday. I loved the ad until the big reveal. All of those memories that it triggers somehow feel betrayed by a company that is completely out of touch with those of us who exist in 2013. A companion website was created to coincide with the ad: “The Browser You Loved to Hate.” Why would they ever want to remind us that “back in the day,” we rushed to Netscape and warmly embraced Firefox. Anything but IE was better than suffering through the default browser on a Windows PC. In 2013, Chrome and Safari have captured our clicks. Microsoft has tried dubstep in previous ads to appeal to our cool sides while this ad appeals to memories that aren’t exactly friendly to good old Microsoft.

With the closing tagline, “Reconnect with the new Internet Explorer,” Microsoft is asking us to do something that feels hollow. Why should we reconnect with something that even Microsoft acknowledges that we “used to hate?”

Written by Eric Stoller

January 24th, 2013 at 7:00 pm

Getting Radical at the Big Ideas in Higher Education Conference

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Eric Stoller - Big Ideas in Higher Education Conference

The most-commented, most-discussed post that I’ve ever written for Inside Higher Ed was last year’s “Where Are the Radical Practitioners” entry. It quickly collected far more comments than I had expected, and I made the decision not to answer any of them due to the epic amount of time that it would’ve taken to constructively engage with all of them. Out of frustration and needing to vent, I did write up a quick “pseudo addendum” and posted it to this blog as “Radical and Student Affairs.”

What happened after that was an intriguing journey as I was asked to talk about being radical in student affairs at the Big Ideas in Higher Education Conference. In hindsight, I don’t think I really needed the social media aspect of my Big Ideas talk. Next time!

Unlike any other conference that I spoke at last year, 99% of Big Ideas featured speakers weren’t employed in higher education. It made for a fascinating event. My favorite part of the Big Ideas experience was meeting so many cool speakers. Charlie Todd of Improv Everywhere and I had a great chat about our appreciation for retro Saucony sneakers. Amber Rose Johnson gave a slam poetry reading that gave me chills. And then there was Dayna Steele…well, she’s a legit rockstar! The full slide deck and video of my talk is after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Eric Stoller

January 24th, 2013 at 3:36 pm

Mashable – Social Media Day Boston

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Mashable Social Media Day - Boston - Eric Stoller

So this post is amazingly late. However, here it is… Last summer, I was asked to be on a social media panel for Mashable’s Social Media Day in Boston. The topic for the panel was on building brands with social media. Taking place at Boston University, the panel was moderated by BU’s Steve Quigley. It was my first time working with Steve and I was thoroughly impressed. He’s a PR professor at BU and I hope his students soak up as much of his wisdom as they possibly can. Joining me on the panel were Tamsen Webster and Tyler Cyr. Tamsen knows everything about social media. I’m serious. Tyler does social media for Dunkin’ Donuts…I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I’m a Starbucks guy. I was thrilled to be representing higher education and to just listen to all of the knowledge that Steve, Tamsen, and Tyler dropped at Social Media Day Boston. Remember, if you go to a party, engage in a conversation..the same thing goes with social media. The full video from our conversation is after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Eric Stoller

January 23rd, 2013 at 10:05 pm

Where is Eric?

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Eric Stoller and my watch

Wow. The last post on my blog was in July. JULY! How did this happen? Well, it turns out that being a speaker/writer/consultant is a full-time job (x) 1000. According to my TripIt.com account, in 2012 I took 44 trips and was on the road for 148 days. Coming up, I plan on putting together a post that lists all of the trips/cities from last year. I’ve never traveled so much in my entire life. Whenever anyone asks me if enjoy traveling, I usually respond with “sometimes” or “it depends.” My enjoyment of travel tends to be modulated by my fellow travelers. It’s always more fun when people on flights are happy. Trust me.

One of my foci for 2013 is to be more mindful of my time when it comes to blogging. Writing is something that I did a lot of last year, but it wasn’t always on my terms. As much as I love writing my Student Affairs and Technology blog for Inside Higher Ed, sometimes, it’s tough to generate content when you’re always on the go. Additionally, I realize that many of you are coming over to this blog because of something that I shared on Twitter or because of a Google search for a variety of topics. And, when you get to the blog, you’re probably wondering, “hey, where’s the new stuff?!” Well, here’s the deal, I’m going to make a more concerted effort to post, ponder, write, question, and get my thoughts on “the page.”

Now, I realize that saying and doing are two different things. To that end, I think I’ll reduce my consumption of television programs, minimize my time on Facebook (we’ll see how that goes!), and be mindful of how writing for the love of writing energizes me. There’s always time for writing and thinking.

Written by Eric Stoller

January 23rd, 2013 at 4:42 pm

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The Mobile Campus Revolution: It’s Not Rocket Science, It’s Star Wars

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Mobile-Eric-Stoller

In addition to writing a couple of blog posts for InsideHigherEd while at Blackboard World, I also managed to put on a session about “The Mobile Campus Revolution.”

The fine folk from echo360 were on hand to record my talk with their lecture capture tech.

In order to embed the lecture capture content, I had to embed it in a separate page:
The Mobile Campus Revolution: It’s Not Rocket Science, It’s Star Wars

*Amazing sketchnote art courtesy of Gerren Lamson

**Sadly, there wasn’t any Red Bull available at the New Orleans Convention Center…an alternative energy beverage was consumed during the taping of this talk.

AACRAO Technology Conference Plenary

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Slides from my recent talk at the AACRAO Technology Conference in Chicago.

Here’s part of the description from my talk…I covered a lot in 60 minutes!

Technology: Where are we today? Where are we going tomorrow?
Responsive web design, mobile apps, early alert systems, “big” data, privacy and social media are all topics that are extremely relevant to the work of admissions and registrars professionals.

However, regardless of the technology tools, we have to remember this too:

Resources, links, videos, etc, after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

NAFSA 2012: Advanced Social Media – Making use of Assessment and Global Channels

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Slides* from my social media education session at this year’s NAFSA event in Houston, TX:

Social media represents an ever-changing set of communications tools, challenges, and opportunities. This session covers techniques for assessment, goal setting, and metrics for success. Additionally, participants learn about how Google Plus might be more influential than Facebook and why sites like Orkut, VK, and Renren are important.

Videos & Links that I shared in my talk are available after the jump.
Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Eric Stoller

June 29th, 2012 at 9:23 am

Mobile + Higher Education + Ewoks at #BBW12

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It’s official…I’ll be speaking at Blackboard’s annual users conference – BbWorld – in New Orleans. The topic for this talk is mobile + higher education. And, because I’m such an uber nerd, I’ll also be doing my best to incorporate Star Wars into my 55 minute talk. The kind folk at Blackboard wrote up a blog post intro’ing my participation…Blackboard Mobile is definitely a cool segment! Here’s the session description:

The Mobile Campus Revolution: It’s Not Rocket Science, It’s Star Wars

Want to better engage your current (and prospective) students? Building bigger Death Stars is not the answer – instead, be a better Ewok! Eric Stoller is a nationally known thought leader, speaker, author, consultant and blogger in the areas of higher education, student affairs, and technology. Join this avowed student affairs radical as he discusses the human-centered technology revolution and mobile’s critical role at the center of the student experiences on campus.

May the force be with you!

Written by Eric Stoller

May 24th, 2012 at 1:58 pm