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TAMU Webmaster's Blog

Information and insight from the A&M Webmasters


President’s Site

I am happy to announce that we have published an updated version of President Loftin’s website. This brings the president’s site more into line with the university branding initiative, and allowed us to begin implementing new methods of developing websites.

The first thing we did was to move it out of WordPress and into our Cascasde Content Management System. This allowed us to be more flexible in content creation and delivery.

Under the hood, this is the first site that we have published using the “mobile first” philosophy of incorporating reactive (or adaptive) design. The page will scale down and be as accessible on mobile devices as it is on the desktop. We also did this when we published, but there the mobile view was build as an override of the traditional page view rather than as the default view. The mobile first method is actually much easier and produces a better experience since it is not an after-the-fact addon.

The code is also all HTML5. Learning and incorporating both of these new technologies slowed us down a little bit, but they will form the basis of all of our web publication in the future.

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Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 Ongoing Projects 2 Comments

Facebook Revisited

Last time I mentioned that I had given a presentation on Facebook to the Brand Council and that one of my points was to install Google Analytics and combine it with the information Facebook already provides to get a better idea of your site usage.  One of my other points was that you must actually look at and use this data rather than just passively collecting it and never looking to see what it shows. So here is a brief rundown of President Loftin’s Facebook site and the analytics behind it.

I didn’t get analytics installed for the launch of the site, which might actually be a good thing since the initial traffic spike of the first few days won’t skew the numbers.  While our total number of visits is in the acceptable range, the graph of  number of visits vs. time shows a clear pattern. Most of our traffic is generated on Tuesdays, the day that Dr. Loftin’s weekly report goes out.  The fact that each successive Tuesday has so far seen more and more hits is an encouraging sign.

Google Analytiscs chart of Dr. Loftin's Facebook page - # of vists vs. time in days

I’d like to go more in depth, but the fact that we’re still collecting the first round of data is hindering a  proper analysis.  As we collect more data I’ll get any trends that we find posted for your information.

To follow up on the gifts application that we added to Dr. Loftin’s Facebook page, I’m happy to say that it has been moderately successful.  In the week that it has been online 830 different Aggie gifts have been sent.  At least a few people have been heavy users of the application because 5 of the 11 hidden gifts have been unlocked.  By far the favorites have been the bow ties, so we will continue to add special bonuses to keep the interaction going.  This does, I believe, serve as clear evidence that adding ways of interacting with our social media sites increases their value.

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Wednesday, April 14th, 2010 Analytics, Social Media No Comments

President’s Pages

The cat is now out of the bag and we can add our announcement here.  After a few hurried weeks we are launching a pair of presidential websites.  Dr. Loftin’s institutional site has been completely overhauled and moved to  The site is designed to be much lighter than the old version, and will give Dr. Loftin the ability to interact more with the public.  It will feature such topics as Ask the President, as well as present his weekly reports online and even expand his presence into a “From the President” section that will allow him to expand on relevant topics throughout the year.

In keeping with his personality, Dr. Loftin expressed an interest in finding some way to communicate with the Aggie family on a more personal basis.  We have therefore created a Facebook page for him, and the reception has already been far beyond our expectations.  We hope to use both of these vehicles to continue getting Dr. Loftin’s messages out to campus and beyond.  We have found very few presidents of major universities using Facebook, so we hope that it’s ongoing growth will further cement our social media leadership in higher education.  We encourage you all to visit the site and become a fan.


R Bowen Loftin on Facebook

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Tuesday, March 9th, 2010 Social Media No Comments