February 24, 2011

New Media: Why a College Student Made the Facebook Page for NPR

To everyone who has seen the NPR Facebook Page video and wants to know more:

So I've already made a couple posts about the video I put up the other day from a seminar by the folks at NPR. Since then I've shared it with friends and I've been asked why I put it up and what my intention was....and so I thought I'd share that answer here.

I made the group around March 2008. I had gotten my acceptance from the best undergraduate school in Canada, Mount Allison University and I had decided to go. While I was drudging through what was left of my senior year of high school (like so many are doing right now) I thought about what I would miss from the US while I was abroad...and one of the first things that came to mind was NPR. Growing up my Dad always listened to Car Talk and Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, and as I grew up I found their website and looked at more of the political stuff.

(As a little aside at the time I decided to go to Mount Allison for my undergraduate I saw Canada as...well... what the US would be if everybody were reasonable and listened to NPR instead of Fox News. It, to me, in an idealized version, was basically a democrat's paradise...more or less this video:)

And so I went (actually listening to Obama accepting the Democratic nomination for President on NPR on the drive from Boston to Sackville)...and then quickly became disillusioned with Canadian politics/culture and have related even more to my American upbringing.

Anyway, back to the story: With the explosion of Facebook I added those things I 'liked' to my online profile...but when it came to March '08 I was looking for a few American things I really liked, I couldn't find NPR...and so...

The story in the video is the most important respects true, but they left out the 12 days I waited for a form-letter reply to my specific question...and they never sent me a mug...

But anyway...as far as what my intention was: It was to show some support for an organization that I really admired. I was really surprised how slow to keep up with technology NPR was at the time so I offered to help. After telling them they should make an Facebook page, asking them if they would mind if I did it, and not ever really getting any response, I did it myself. The rest of the NPR Facebook story is pretty well documented and advertised.

I hope that answers any left-over questions anybody else who has seen the video has about why I decided to support an organization I like. From all the comments and other feedback (articles and other mentions) I think other groups have learned from this and are taking the lead in connecting with their fan base on their terms.


'Enthusiastic' Geoff Campbell


  1. I ain't mad at ya. This happened in my lil town with a non-profit women's center as well. Feathers got fluffed, but anyone can see your intentions were good. Not like you posted anything negative about (aboot?!) them. Kudos to you for recognizing a need and attempting to make them aware of it!

  2. Geoff, NPR with all its wisdom and intellect sometimes isn't the most agile or progressive with technology. If not for you, they might still not have a Facebook page... then whose comments would I click 'like' on repeatedly throughout the day?

  3. Similar thing happened with coca-cola, they straight-up hired the 2 guys responsible for the page. Thats how you treat someone that is responsible for socially marketing your brand when you lag in doing so. It should always be commended. The industry has a term for those loyal few - "brand ambassadors" of which, you are NPR's finest. Way to go!

  4. Hey man! Thanks a lot for doing this,NPR has been apart of my life for years, and always makes me feel at home no matter where I am!

  5. I miss being a college student! I feel so out of the loop since I graduated. College kids are always up to date on the latest trends...

  6. It took a Canadian to make an (American) NPR page. Figures.