College search engine CampusCompare has launched a social media stream to provide additional information about colleges beyond what data it’s already making available. The URL for CampusCompare is http://www.campuscompare.com/, but to get to “College Current” (what it’s calling the social media stream) you’ll have to dig around a little…
I had never been to this college search engine; it’s nice. From the home page you can choose a variety of factors to start your search including state, major, career, etc. You can even look at a full A-Z listing of all colleges.
I chose to look at colleges in Arizona. I got 116 results but sliders on the search results would let me narrow my results down still further, by things like number of students, whether it’s public or private, and so on.
When you initially click on a college to look at it, you’ll get a lot of reference-type information. There’s notes on academics, financial aid, room and board, campus services, and a lot more. (Of course, not all campuses have information for each of those topics.) For a completely different take on the campus, click on the College Current tab and you’ll get a screenshot like the one below.
College Current aggregates videos, photos, Twitter, and RSS feeds to give the user another take on the campus. Frankly I didn’t know what I’d think about this when I first read about it. I thought the tweets would be fairly meaningless and the multimedia wouldn’t be extensive. But I was wrong. The tweets were a lot better than I thought; the ones I looked at were a good mix of student commentary, event and resource announcements, and even some job postings. (Note that there doesn’t seem to be any filtering to the tweets so you will see some bad language, etc.) The multimedia was more pervasive; I saw several campuses that didn’t have anything in the line of Twitter or RSS feeds, but they had plenty of video multimedia and most of them had photos.
When you’re looking around for a campus you have to have the regular reference type material to give you information on which you can base your decisions. But I liked the College Current; it provides a whole other, more dynamic, perspective on the school. You know what would be really neat though? Aggregating the tweets for each college and making TAG CLOUDS, then searching the clouds. Find your college by concept!