Live-tweeting events makes commencement more interactive

Tufts University online communications specialist Kimberly Moniz tweets the commencement address.

Not more than a decade ago, students dressed in caps and gowns were forced to sit silently and sweat in the blazing sun as guest speakers offered words of wisdom to graduating college seniors during commencement.

But during the celebrations of several of Boston’s newest graduating classes on Sunday, the ceremonies were far more interactive.

With the flood of social media platforms available at peoples’ fingertips, officials from Suffolk and Boston University, as well as Tufts, took full advantage of connecting the audience with their respective events.

“You used to tell people to leave their phones at home because basically, your participation was passive. What has changed, in a great way … is that the audience is now integrated as part of an event like this,” said George T. Comeau, director of digital and interactive communications at Suffolk University.

Comeau said this year’s commencement had the most technology involved since he started working at the school in 1987.

“[We] have to look at where technology is going and direct how it is going to help us tell stories,” said Comeau about Suffolk’s use of Twitter, Facebook, FourSquare and Storify yesterday.

Much like Suffolk’s integration of social media, officials at Boston University used hashtags to engage both the families and the students at commencement.

“We share things, whether photos or musings going on,” said Tom Testa, assistant vice president of public relations at BU. “Given that everyone is online and everything is on peoples’ handhelds, it’s another way for people to connect.”

Testa said this is especially helpful for family and friends across the country, unable to be in Boston yesterday.

“It’s a better way to give it that personal touch,” he said.

Staying connected at Suffolk

Students could check in for special commencement badge on Four Square
   
Text messages could be sent to a special screen seen by students as they graduated.
   
The staff spent time re-tweeting student messages and family messages using the hashtag #Suffolk2012
   
By 10:40 a.m. Sunday, Suffolk was trending on Twitter


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Rapper affiliate of Wu-Tang Clan 'cuts off own…

Rapper Andre Johnson, who has performed with New York outfit the Wu-Tang Clan, is in a critical condition after reportedly cutting off his own penis…

National

Cleavage complaint: Disneyland staffer orders curvy mom to…

A curvy mom-of-three says she filed a formal complaint after staff at Disneyland Resort in California ordered her to cover up her boobs. Melissa Behnken,…

International

Canadian charged in 'Heartbleed' attack on tax agency

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data from…

National

Every dog has his day in court, in…

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty,…

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 8

Sure, it's called Survivor. But this season should really be called 'The Tony Show.'

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

The Word

Wahlburgers announce North America domination

Tuesday was a huge day for Donnie Wahlberg.

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox beat White Sox…

Red Sox walk 15 times in extra innings win

NBA

Kris Humphries on free agency, future with Celtics:…

Kris Humphries on free agency, future with Celtics: 'I hope to be back'

NBA

Celtics turn attention to NBA Draft, improve lottery…

Celtics turn attention to NBA Draft, improve lottery odds with loss

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…

Wellbeing

This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…

Wellbeing

Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.