Category Archives: YouTube

SMC Review 10/8

Nancy and Pete Frates

Nancy and Pete Frates spoke to the Social Media Council about the #IceBucketChallenge, technology and ALS.

It was a BC Social Media Council that none will soon forget. Nancy ’80, Andrew and Pete Frates ’07, spoke to our group about Team Frate Train, the #IceBucketChallenge  and living with ALS.

What was responsible for this summer’s viral sensation? Nancy explained that three key factors played a role:

1. Pete is a master communicator and relationship builder, a skill that has been honed throughout his life. Pete’s network is large, varied and geographically diverse. From elementary school to college friends, teammates and professional associates, he’s always made a point to remain connected to people through visits and phone calls. As his disease has progressed, Pete relies more now on email and social media – Facebook Messenger in particular. Nancy recalled her family’s eye-rolling episodes when Pete called someone “my buddy” or “my buddy’s buddy”. “We would always say, ‘he’s such a name-dropper,’ but after his diagnosis, all those buddies came running.”

The history of the challenge in Time, explains how Pete’s network gave the ALS awareness movement momentum. Nancy said the resulting response from Pete’s video came as a shock to almost everyone. 

“I knew it was coming,” said Pete. “I was ready for the boom.”

2. A clear call to action and a 24-hour deadline. 

The night of his diagnosis, Nancy remembered, Pete refused to be overwhelmed by negativity.

“We all sat around the table and Pete said that this is an opportunity – that is the word he used – he said that this was opportunity for us to change the world. We’re not looking back we’re looking forward.”

The Frates became focused on raising awareness and helping fund research for a cure. ALS is a disease that progresses rapidly, so there is urgency to their work. The immediacy of the challenge – participants had only 24 hours to pour a bucket of ice over their head or make a $100 donation (many did both) – presented pressure to act immediately.

“My favorite video is Bill Gates,” said Nancy. “He put real effort into it. It’s also because six hours after his diagnosis, Pete said ‘I’m going to get the ALS message in front of Bill Gates.’ He did it. It’s profound.”

The Frates talked with engineers at Facebook about the magnitude of the response. The numbers are staggering – to date, 2.5 million videos uploaded, number of views in the billions. On Twitter, a successful campaign for breast cancer awareness had 142,000 posts to a hashtag in the month of June. The Ice Bucket Challenge had 142,000 tweets in one hour on a Monday afternoon in August.

The fundraising component has also been unprecedented – by some accounts the total may hit $500 million for ALS support and research worldwide by the end of the year, Nancy said.

3. Fun.

From celebrities to everyday people, the spirit of the challenge resonated around the world.

“The consistent thing in all the videos is laughter,” said Nancy. “People were having fun, laughing. And people laughed watching the videos.

“ALS is a terrible disease, it takes away so much. This gives something to families dealing with ALS: hope. You couldn’t log into social media for weeks without hearing about ALS and the Ice Bucket Challenge. That is incredible for an underfunded disease that most people had ever heard about.

“It’s been a game changer.”

For more information on Pete, visit his website.

40 Days of #BCHappy

How many times did you view “Boston College Happy?” It has been viewed close to 250,000 times so far, with a majority of those clicks coming in the first 40 days.

Designed by News & Public Affairs Office Manager Michael Maloney, this infographic breaks down the viral video by tackling some of the data gathered from YouTube, Facebook and Twitter analytics. Enjoy!


Boston College Happy

If you have been on campus or connected to Boston College through social media, chances are you’ve seen “Happy.”

The reaction to the four-minute video has been sensational: a skyrocketing view count, hundreds of new followers, thousands of re-tweets and a tidal wave of email, comments and messages. And it’s all positive. Walking across campus during midterm week, you may have seen students laughing into their iPhones or standing in front of the Boston College’s Bookstore‘s big screen TV, watching the YouTube video play on a loop.

The first question most people ask: who did it?

Video Producer Sean Casey was the talent behind the piece. An alumnus of BC, Sean’s one year anniversary of working at BC’s Office of News & Public Affairs is next month.

We asked Sean to explain how this video came about. He writes:

“You can’t help but smile when you hear Pharrell Williams’ new song “Happy”.  It’s contagious.  Much like the spirit of Boston College. Being a native Californian, I found that I had been relying on this song to keep my spirits up during a particularly brutal Boston winter.

I began to reach out to a few student groups and faculty to see if there would be any interest in creating a Boston College version of Pharrell Williams’ original video.  The response from the B.C. community said everything and more about what it means to be an Eagle. In less than one week, more than 140 students, faculty, staff, and alumni answered that they wanted to participate.  They spontaneously broke out their very personal dance moves in public locations at the drop of a hat.

For me, it was unbelievably fun to film.  It was a chance to experience something very human and unique to Boston College.  In the midst of midterm examinations and single-digit weather, they passionately embraced the opportunity to show just how happy they are to be here at this University.

I can’t thank Pharrell Williams and his team more for creating such an amazing song that literally makes everyone happy.  But most importantly, I want to thank everyone who shared their radiant and contagious personalities on camera for all of us to enjoy.

I hope this video puts a smile on your face, I know it has for me.”

Thank you to all the members of the BC Social Media Council who supported the video through participation or by sharing this content on your channels. (See some of the responses from around the world on our BCHappy Storify – which proves once again that great content creates even more great content.)

New media & Journalism – Google+ Hangout with #BCExperts 2/25

Mark your calendars. You don’t want to miss this. Next week, Boston College will be kicking off our Google+ On Air Hangout series featuring some of our best and brightest faculty. #BCexperts Hangout: New Media & Journalism is scheduled for 2/25 at 2 p.m.

For our inaugural hangout, we’re excited to have two experts from the publishing industry: Maura Johnston and Janelle Nanos. Each a noted journalist in her own right, our guests will share their insights into the field and react to news of the day.

Hangout topic overview: Simply stated, social and digital media have changed the way the world communicates. Have news outlets responded accordingly? Has the quality of journalism suffered? How can new or aspiring journalists navigate a changing industry and establish careers? Is personal branding a way to set themselves apart? (Wait. That’s a lot of questions. Want to take the Hangout in a different direction? Good. We’ll be accepting your questions for our experts in advance via email or by using the hashtag #BCexperts. Send or tweet your ideas.)

Janelle Nanos

Janelle Nanos

A little more about our panelists: Janelle is a BC alumna, Senior Editor of Boston Magazine and a visiting lecturer in American Studies and Journalism. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, Newsday, Slate, Marie Claire and The Village Voice, among many other publications. She worked as Assistant Editor for Special Projects at National Geographic Traveler magazine, developing multi-platform projects that spanned the print publication, tablet, and web. Janelle ran the Intelligent Travel blog, that received awards from Lonely Planet and the North American Travel Journalists Association. (For those who are fans of Boston Magazine, Janelle was the journalist behind the 15 anniversary reflection, “Good Will Hunting: An Oral History)

Maura Johnston

Maura Johnston

Maura is the BC Institute for the Liberal Arts’ first journalism fellow. Maura was a founding editor of  Gawker Media’s music blog Idolator, former Village Voice music editor and recently launched Maura Magazine, where she works as editor. A contributor to Rolling Stone, The Awl, Newsday and Spin, Maura is  a frequent media commentator on music and popular culture. BC Prof. Carlo Rotella, calls Maura: “a pioneer in everything from the online expansion of traditional magazines and newspapers to purely digital publications, including the emerging field of subcompact publishing. She represents a meeting point between the priorities of online journalism and the kind of care of intellectual craftsmanship that we teach in writing workshops, journalism courses, and the liberal arts more generally.”

Who do you want to hear from at our next #BCexperts Hangout? Submit topic or faculty suggestion via Twitter using the hashtag #BCexperts or email

SMC Review: 10/9

Get visual. (Source:

Get visual. (Source:

The first Social Media Council meeting of the semester focused on how to enhance established social channels. Video resources, Twitter chats and new initiatives were all covered.

Leading off: representatives from Media Technology Services, Office of Marketing Communication and News & Public Affairs/University Advancement each explained how they can assist with video projects. The top takeaways: MTS has a wealth of services that are available – everything from editing studios to equipment rentals and student workers to film events. BC’s graphics department can help produce professional quality images and BC Cable Television‘s Bulletin Board Channel (Ch. 47) is a good resource to advertise events or have publicity for individual social media channels. OMC and NPA/UA each provided insights on how to produce complete video packages, all are featured prominently on the Boston College YouTube page.

After hearing from the experts, reps from Graduate School of Social Work and BC Law showed how video helped to deliver key messages. GSSW presented a bilingual video campaign to highlight the Latino Leadership Initiative, which is featured prominently on their webpage and social media channels. BC Law explained the work behind the Inspire series, featured on the BC Law website and YouTube page. Members such as BC Recreation have become leaders on campus utilizing Instagram’s new video functionality.

Social Spotlight: Director of Emergency Management John Tommaney talked about his involvement in a Twitter Chat with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Ready Boston. Using #EduPrepChat, John represented Boston College among the institutions in the “Campus Ready” portion of National Preparedness Month. John gave great perspective on the resources that were in place to make this a worthwhile experience. He also shared the challenge of keeping messages to 140 characters and the need to publicize an event in advance to maximize audience participation. (As a side note, BC Emergency is doing some great posts on their Facebook page and have built an audience through a number of interactive campus events.)

Social Roundtable: Finally, we opened the floor to members. The Career Center recently relaunched Career Edge, a new landing page for many of its programming and social media offerings. Users can now access videos, blogs and job postings from this attractive new space. BC Alumni is promoting #HireEagles, a hashtag for employers to use when attempting to recruit Boston College students and alumni for job openings. BC Alumni is also offering Halloween Postcards, for those in search of a BC-themed Halloween message. Also, new to Facebook: OMC’s Boston College Magazine Facebook Page and Student Affairs’ the BC Beat. (You can also check out the BC Beat on Twitter and Instagram)

Two breakout sessions – Facebook for Business 101 and Advanced Facebook – were held this month. Offerings for additional breakout tutorial sessions will be announced here, so stay tuned. The next SMC is scheduled for Dec. 4, McGuinn 334, 2 p.m. If you have an agenda item, email

SMC Preview: 10/9

With the semester well underway, many Boston College social media channels have been buzzing. Across campus, social media admins have launched or been a part of some great projects and campaigns. We want to hear about them at the first Social Media Council meeting of the year. Block off an hour or so on Oct. 9, and join us in McGuinn 334 at 2 p.m.

Have video needs? Interested in graphics? “Visual Resources for Social Media Admins at BC” is on the agenda as our first discussion panel of the year. In an effort to help all of us make our channels more visual, we’ve brought together a group of colleagues who might be of assistance: Darren Herlihy and Mike Swanson of Media Technology Services will provide a brief overview of the services their department offers; Ravi Jain of Office of Marketing Communications will talk about a targeted marketing approach for video; and News & Public Affairs and Advancement‘s staff videographer Sean Casey will provide insights in providing meaningful event content for social. We’ll also hear from members who have run interesting video campaigns on YouTube, Instagram and/or internal websites: Nate Kenyon of BC Law,  Susan Callaghan of  GSSW and Megan Burke of BC Rec.

Next on the agenda, Director of Emergency Management John Tommaney will step into our “Social Spotlight” to talk about his involvement in a Twitter Chat with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Ready Boston. Using  #EduPrepChat, John represented Boston College among the institutions in the “Campus Ready” portion of National Preparedness Month. Other participants included Virginia Tech, Florida State and DePaul University.

Finally, we’ll leave some time to go around the table and check in with each member to find out what is new on your social channels. So, come prepared to share achievements and challenges of the last few months.

Please remember to RSVP to so we have enough chairs set up for everyone! See you on Oct. 9.