Social media major part of Urbana 12

By January 1, 2013

USA (MNN) — For the first time in the history of Urbana, social media played a major role in the convention.

Social media director at Urbana 12 Adam Jeske says their twitter reach is about two to four million people. "Twitter is really made for live event parallel usage where conversations can be happening in the 'ether' so to speak between participants — with participants connecting around mutual interests."
With 2-4 million reach numbers, Jeske says that has the possibility of expanding the impact of Urbana’s message well past the 16,000 who attend the event.

Worship leader for Urbana Sandra Van Opstal says social media was strategically used. "The technology allows people who aren't presently here — who aren't present at Urbana — to still access the live streaming, the videos. I mean you can access all of it and have conversations about it. So, it's almost like they're in a room talking, but they're not here with us."

Greg Jao, Urbana's master of ceremonies, says social media was a great feedback tool. "We're getting stories in real time. So, I was following the Twitter feed and students were texting, 'I was found by God for the first time today,&#39 within minutes of an international student from China coming to faith in the International Student lounge."

According to Twitter, Urbana's hash tag – #u12 – trended number one in many circles. Jeske says because of that, many more people have been able to experience Urbana 12. He says people who see the #u12 hash tag, "will say: Oh, what is that? They go across and see it and discover this is really good connection. So, we've had pastors, church leaders, and other campus ministry folks end up seeing some of our content as a result."

It was an Urbana to remember. Pray for students who have made commitments.

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