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DCTC offers a new way to connect

Dakota County Technical College rolled out a new way to stay in touch with its students, faculty and staff Jan. 15. YouBlue is the college's new all-purpose news source and social media site.

The site, which is connected to the school's current web site, is a centralized place to get current information on happenings at the school, said communications coordinator Chris Hayes. In addition it's a way for students and staff to engage each other by submitting information.

The key to the new program's success is that students and staff can contribute to it. Hayes said the previous program was cumbersome and didn't allow for comments or outside information.

The new format encourages students to submit programs, ideas, suggestions, articles, editorials, activities, events, tips, scoops, blurbs, run-downs, comments and announcements

"We want to better engage students and staff and this is a good way to do that," said Hayes.

So far a few students have taken advantage of it. For example one student submitted information on Haiti relief efforts.

While there is some risk people will submit bad content, Hayes said that is a risk the college is willing to take.

"We learned through using other social sites like Facebook that we really can't be afraid of the people we're serving," said Hayes.

DCTC student Stacy Lahti said gets most of her school updates through Facebook so she isn't sure she will use YouBlue much.

But said the site seems user friendly and offers a good mix of information.

Hayes said other colleges have used similar programs and had success. He hopes that DCTC students and staff will respond positively.

"It's a good time to do it because there is a lot happening on our campus this year," said Hayes.

This year marks the college's 40th anniversary. With a number of big events being planned, Hayes said YouBlue will be the perfect place to get information out.

Check out YouBlue at

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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