I was up at beautiful Colgate University in upstate New York last week with my wife Kathy to “move in” our daughter Becky, a very excited freshman. Colgate is a great institution and we are really happy Becky is there. 

The school happens to have a very cool head of public affairs in Charlie Melichar. Charlie’s been on the cutting edge of media and higher education since his early days as an employee of ProfNet.  Charlie is embracing all sorts of new media platforms for Colgate including blogs, RSS and now a big push for online video.

Colgate has plans in the works that should put them at the lead of the pack in terms of video use on the university home page. Not just pretty scenery; (although there is plenty of that up there) the page will feature student-made vignettes on various topics that communicate the dynamism of the academic and student life of Colgate.

Here Charlie tells us about the online video initiative at Colgate:

The heart of our story, our brand, is our people — the students, faculty, alumni and staff who are Colgate. Video allows us to broadcast their voices and let them tell their Colgate stories to the world without a filter.

“The kinds of stories that we will pursue will be slices of life. What is it like to live at Colgate? Who are the faculty and what kind of work do they do? Where do Colgate graduates go on to work? How do Colgate alumni define their experience? They will all have a conversational tone, rather than a slick marketing spin. We want people to have access to our place through our people, and video is the best medium to do this.

“We are fortunate to have some very talented Flash programmers at Colgate and have been using Flash to serve our video. As we look forward to launching a redesigned website in the next few months, we will push the Flash video envelope even further — providing a wide variety of opportunities for those visiting our site to engage with Colgate through video.”

They have Flash programmers indeed.  Charlie asked me to shoot some video last week while I was moving Becky in.  The quality and stream of the Colgate video is outstanding.  And, they have some darn good editors too!

— Andy Plesser

In his comments Charlie references some other institutions using online video to promote their brand, including the University of Florida, Ohio University, University of Missouri, and New Jersey Institute of Technology. You can catch some of NJIT’s video on YouTube as well.

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