Everyone has felt the thrill of participating in a giveway, whether it’s staring at the back of a lunchables box after the perfect cracker stacker, admiring the Ninja Turtles room makeover sweepstakes (complete with a large boom box and a beanbag with Donatello’s face on it) or stuffing a submission box full of sweepstakes forms to better the odds of winning a shiny new car.
Now, thanks to the Daily Texan and the rest of Texas Student Media (TSM), that thrill doesn’t stop in college. Introducing: the TSM Facebook Giveaways.
This summer, TSM gave away a Chromebook, and in the fall one lucky student won a 3-day Austin City Limits festival pass. The giveaways are hosted on the Daily Texan’s Facebook page using a sweepstakes app like Punchtab. The giveaway page is like-gated and records the entrant’s email, so for every entry, the Daily Texan gets a Facebook like and newsletter subscriber for the Daily Digest. After entering the giveaway, participants, have the option to follow the Daily Texan and other TSM properties (KVRX, TSTV, Texas Travesty and Cactus Yearbook) on Twitter and Facebook to increase their chances of winning. Students not only get a chance to win an alluring prize, but they also get to establish a relationship with all of the University of Texas’ student-run media. The giveaways further connect the longhorn community to the latest news and happenings in music, comedy and student-run TV.
Since the inception, the TSM Facebook giveaways have generated on average 600 new email subscribers and 250 new followers across the 13 TSM social media outlets.
The TSM Facebook giveaways can also be sponsored by advertisers. If an advertiser provides a giveaway item such as a bike, they are naturally attracting students who are interested in owning a bike. When the contest is over, advertisers will be able to pay for the email list that contest generated, and those relationships with UT students will make it easier to expect sales down the line. The contest provides a non-intrusive way for advertisers to generate quality, active leads. Bigger sponsorships mean higher-priced items for the winners and a higher numbers of leads for advertisers, so everyone wins!
At the start every semester, UT students’ inboxes are buzzing with mass emails from professors, organizations and students who can’t read the syllabus. Recently, the Daily Texan rolled out a refreshing new email that contains up-to-date and interesting news headlines, keeping the UT community informed of top stories like the recent fork stabbing, disturbing on-campus A&M graffiti and the latest Longhorns game. Ladies and gentlemen of campus, we proudly present: The Daily Digest.
DT’s “Delta Project” has been working to redesign and reinvent the Texan website, and the digital team has been constructing new and sponsorable platforms like the Daily Digest to engage The Daily Texan’s audience. The Daily Texan’s objective is to deliver daily news to the UT community, and, in that same spirit, the Daily Digest is a daily newsletter that delivers the top Texan headlines to thousands of UT students, faculty and fans. While some sort of Daily Texan newsletter has been around since 2002, the newly-redesigned digest offers more relevant, engaging content in a simpler, more visually-appealing format.
According to Pew Internet, checking email is the third largest task that people perform on their mobile phones.The Daily Texan’s mobile traffic has increased by 194 percent in the last year, and, in keeping with these trends, the Daily Digest was converted into a mobile-optimized format. The newsletter’s subscriber list has grown by more than 800 percent since May, and the monthly impressions have increased by 1,000 percent. As of last month, the Digest has become the eighth largest monthly traffic source for the Daily Texan website, surpassing ESPN, Reddit and Bing. As the DT Delta Project progresses and more Daily Texan fans become aware of the Daily Digest, it will have an increasingly greater overall digital impact.
On Wednesdays, the Daily Digest also features content from all the Texas Student Media properties like KVRX, TSTV, the Texas Travesty, the Cactus Yearbook and Longhorn Life, in addition to the Daily Texan headlines. This connects the Longhorn community to the latest news and happenings in music, comedy and student-run TV each week.
I screamed when I finally got the email invite I signed up for, something I had been dying to get since first seeing the preview video two months ago. The preview was fluid and creative and beautiful but I was very curious as to how the revamped social media platform would actually work.
As a disclaimer, I’m on the lookout for new social platforms, I obviously self selected into this beta trial and I have been disenchanted with Facebook for some time, so I may be more forgiving of the new Myspace’s flaws than most. I’m viewing the site on a PC using Google Chrome. This acrostic below represents my first impression and is not meant to be a definitive analysis.
Music: Where Facebook failed miserably, Myspace triumphs as it always has. Circa 2007, Myspace was a medium where you watched your favorite “little known” bands get famous. Right now the new Myspace is mostly dominated by the big names like Beyonce and Taylor Swift, but there are some surprising smaller artists like T. Mills and Big Chocolate making an appearance. Facebook made music a hassle through the use of outside apps like Bandpage, but every inch of the new Myspace is designed intuitively with music in mind. On top of being able to create custom mixes that you can assign a photo to and choose the privacy level of, you can queue up music or radio stations to listen to continuously while moving throughout the whole site.
You: The new Myspace is a blank canvas just for you. It’s not the place to reconnect with old friends, but it is the place to reconnect with an old favorite song and people who also have an affinity (even though I’m still trying to figure out how it’s calculated myspace measures affinity now) for that song. It’s cool and very confusing to use, so hopefully this will keep the parents and grandparents away. The problem is that to truly get the full experience, the new Myspace will suck up a lot of your time as well. From remembering how to get to things to endless amounts of media to “discover”, it’s definitely not the place to take a quick study break.
Streamlined: Your “stream” on Myspace is equivalent to your newsfeed on Facebook or your home on Twitter. It collects bits from all the things you connect to (we’ll get to that part later) and displays them. At first glance, what makes the Myspace stream so different and in my opinion better than its counterparts is the horizontal scrolling feature. Scrolling through the content from left to right is a very natural way to read. It reminds me of the way reading is typically done on tablets, especially on apps like Flipboard which consolidates your social networks into a feed that’s visually appealing and well as the name denotes something you can flip through like a magazine.
People: This will obviously make or break the new Myspace. If it is invite only for too long like Google+ was in the beginning those only slightly interested or simply content with the social networks they currently maintain may not have the attention span to wait for it. It incorporates a lot original elements that mimic other tools people use like the music steaming on Spotify, video streaming on YouTube, posts that have a 150 character limit similar to Twitter’s 140 character limit, and feed that lets you scroll through it all. The question is, does Myspace master each of these elements enough to convince you to save time by ditching your other tools and consolidating it all on one site. At this point the answer is no, partially because there is a definite learning curve that comes with the new platform and partially because it is doing so many things that it doesn’t take the time to perfect each like the individual tools do.
Affinity: When you hover over a person, artist, song, etc. a Venn diagram appears with an overall affinity percentage and percentages broken down into the categories of music, connections and activity. I have affinity percentages with artists I haven’t connected to. Does this mean that connections of connections can also determine affinity? Or connecting to similar types of artists can determine affinity?
Connect: Connect is the new Myspace’s verb. It serves the purpose of both the “add friend” and the “like” on Facebook and the “follow” on Twitter. It is both ambiguous and impersonal. You use the connect feature to connect with your best friend, Jay Z, the song “Call Me Maybe”, and a Michael Jackson music video.
Enigma: I still have a lot of questions like how exactly uploading photos and creating photo albums will be and how the old Myspace, Myspace Classic as they’re calling it, integrates with the new Myspace. How will the mobile experience change? Will there be a tablet app with similar new features?
I simply created a new account instead of facing the shame of my old one, and the invite only status makes for a lonely site so far. For now, I’m simply swimming in the vast sea of media the new Myspace offers because I’m not too sure how the friend, you know the people you actually know in real life, part will work yet.
It’s definitely worth a try. Request an invite. Friend me! If that phrase is still applicable. There’s a lot to work with here. Let’s figure it out together.