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


Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking


K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.


Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.


Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.


Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.


Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…


Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…


2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…


NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…


Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.


Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.


Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.


Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.


Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.