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     June 23, 2009

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myPurdue part of growing e-communication network

Taping leaflets to sidewalks has become so … last year.

Although a popular way to advertise student activities and other organized events for decades, Purdue began to clean up its campus walkways in fall semester 2008 by replacing sidewalk fliers with a variety of electronic options.

Photo of Lee GordonCreated in 2006 as an alternative to e-mail for communicating to students, purduEBoard added eSidewalk to its Web site last year to display electronic fliers, using random, alternating displays to approximate the previous “fortuitous discovery” experience of paper handbills on sidewalks, said Lee Gordon, assistant vice president for student services technology and assessment.

In addition, purduEBoard provides a universal mechanism to push information through an RSS feed into such other communication tools as digital signage displays or Web pages. Boiler Television (BTV), for example, has dedicated one of its existing channels to display electronic fliers.

Electronic fliers also are posted on the GetInvolved@Purdue Web site, a communication network for student organizations, and Gordon’s office is working to make them automatically appear as eSidewalk fliers on purduEBoard and BTV.

This fall, the myPurdue student portal will include both eSidewalk fliers and a daily feed of purduEBoard Weekly News and Purdue University Student News articles.

“We hope these eSidewalk fliers will spawn the same fortuitous discovery as with the old paper ones,” Gordon said. “Students who want to learn more about an event will simply click on a flier to be taken to eSidewalk on purduEBoard.

Flat screen televisions — dedicated to the BTV station with eSidewalk — also are being installed this summer in high-traffic, indoor student areas on campus. The first ones should be in place by fall semester in these locations:

  • Colby Fitness Center exercise area at the Recreational Sports Center
  • Fred Ford Dining Hall
  • Starbucks in the Purdue Memorial Union.

“Students will have full view of the screen while waiting to order or pick up their coffee,” Gordon said.

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