CLEMSON — Clemson University students and faculty have a massive window on the world thanks to a new Social Media Listening Center dedicated Friday on campus. The facility effectively doubles the university’s commitment to social media listening, not only in terms of space but also in terms of technology.

At a mere 502 square feet, the size of an average classroom, the Daniel Hall listening center features a 152-inch video wall, plus other video monitors and collaboration tables that allow users to configure and display data in myriad ways to fit their particular needs and areas of study.

Powered by Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s Radian6 software, the new center provides the platform to listen, discover, measure and engage in conversations across the Web by capturing publicly available social media conversations, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, blogs and other online communities. The Radian6 summary dashboard shows a graphic display of social media content to convey sentiment, share of voice, trend information, geolocation data and much more.

Directing the new center is Joseph Mazer, assistant professor of communication studies in the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities. Mazer will be working with students and faculty across campus, as well as clients outside the university, to drill down into millions of social media conversations.

“The flexibility of the video wall offers a huge advantage,” said Mazer. “It can be displayed as one monitor or six, enabling us to configure data in ways that make sense graphically — critical for presentation, for teaching and even more fundamentally, for understanding what we’re observing.”

Richard Goodstein, dean of the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities, said “This technology provides student and faculty researchers with tools for viewing the world in real time, moment to moment, as it unfolds. Whether it’s an emerging trend in political thought or a sea change in public sentiment, we can put our finger on it as it happens. We can learn not only what people think, but also why they think the way they do.”

The new center is a sister facility to Clemson’s first Social Media Listening Center in Sirrine Hall, directed by professor Jason Thatcher and established in 2012.

Clemson Computing and Information Technology, led by Jim Bottum, vice provost and chief information officer, was instrumental in the development of both facilities.

“The opening of this second location of the Social Media Listening Center represents expected growth and will allow Clemson to better meet the research and pedagogical needs of students, faculty and staff across campus,” he said.


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