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“Facebook Challenge” promotes competition team awareness

University of Missouri engineering competition teams are using Facebook to raise awareness about their activities and progress. A current Facebook contest, proposed by Charlie Triplett, engineering I-net administrator, is being held in an effort to promote engineering teams, recruit new students and spread the word. The contest began Sept. 9, and challenges each student team to recruit the most “fans” to their Facebook fan page. Competition team members have until Nov. 13 to attract fans to their pages, which display general information about team activities.

“Everyone logs onto Facebook at least once a day. This is a more convenient way to promote content across the College of Engineering and to non-engineers across campus,” said Jashin Lin, a student technology specialist and challenge promoter who is aiding Triplett.

Members can invite Facebook friends to become “fans” of their team’s page, and the page then is advertised on friends’ personal pages. Fans can view regular updates of meeting information, activities and pictures, and can add their own comments and questions.

Triplett believes this system to be much more valuable than the previously existing blogs that were not updated frequently.

“This is our first foray into social media and it’s working well because information is updated,” Triplett said.

Teams participating include American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics (AIAA), Basic Utility Vehicle Team (BUV), Concrete Canoe Team, Formula Car Racing Team (FSAE), Steel Bridge Team and TigerGen Hydrogen Car.

Mike Stagg, a civil engineering senior and president of the Steel Bridge Team said using Facebook is ideal for sending important information.

“Facebook is the easiest way to get information to people our age,” Stagg said.

The Steel Bridge team just started their fan page this semester, but plans to continue updating and keeping the page active.

Prizes will be awarded to the first, second and third place teams. In addition to various Transformers paraphernalia, all teams that recruit at least 50 fans will receive an outdoor banner and Mizzou Engineering gear. Teams who recruit more than 100 fans receive a larger retractable banner.

Triplett is currently at work on another project to develop Web content that will encourage prospective students to talk to current engineering undergraduates and ask any questions they may have.

For more information or to view the pages visit the competition teams Web site.