Story Magazine - Spring/Summer, 2011

M.A. student is voice of Luther on Facebook, Twitter

by Jennifer Lathrop, M.A. Senior

My entire life, I have been in love with technology. When I was in high school, back about 100 years ago, we had one of the first home computers available. (For those in the know, it was a Commodore Vic 20.) I was introduced by my dad to the Internet, which at that time was really just a networked bulletin board system. I blame my dad for my addiction to the Internet now.

After 10 years as a graphic designer, I decided to follow my call and enter ministry. I was thrilled when I found out there was a position available for a student worker with graphic design abilities. I have been working in the Communication Office at Luther Seminary for a little more than four years now. I like what I do, but I have mostly worked in print design (posters, flyers, programs, banners, ads) and don't really have the ability to do anything with Luther's website. (Plus we have an amazing team who works on the site.) I do, however, adore social media. I jumped on the Facebook bandwagon as soon as I learned about it. Twitter became a favorite when I learned celebrities and entertainment outlets could share information with me like we were best friends.

This fall, I was asked to expand my personal love of social media to a professional level. Of course I said, "No." As in, "No way! Really? Of course!" This new aspect of my job has me maintaining Luther's Facebook page www.facebook.com/LutherSeminary, Twitter feed (@LutherSeminary) and coordinating the bloggers on the Life@Luther student blog.

It is now part of my job to play online. During the week, I update pictures, ask questions and share special events at Luther with, well, everyone who cares. Luther has some truly loyal alumni/ae, faculty, staff and students. They share insights, information and opinions. Luther's followers have replied to questions, tagged themselves and friends in images, commented on photos and events, and retweeted information on upcoming events and activities. Every day we have more fans on Facebook and followers on Twitter. Many of them aren't directly affiliated with the seminary. Through our regular stats and email alerts I am able to see firsthand the reach Luther has in the world.

If you're not already a fan or a follower, please take a moment to check in. You can see who our fans and followers are and where in the world they are sharing their own ministry. And if you have any ideas about how we can better use social media, please let me know at socialmedia@luthersem.edu. I'm always looking for more ways to play.