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The Power of Social Media

ALS_Summer 2014_Elias Eldayrie at Ice Bucket Challenge

For the first time, UFIT eclipsed the 1 million account-reach potential on Twitter with a Tweet about HiPerGator’s Top-2 public university ranking. Besides informing the world about UF’s computing prowess, social media has the power to incite compassion, raise awareness, and inspire giving.

In 2014, more than 17 million people joined a viral social media movement by filming a bucket of ice water being dumped over their heads. The ‘ice bucket challenges’ were done across the globe to bring awareness to the fight to cure Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Vice President and CIO Elias Eldayrie joined UFIT staff to perform a massive (and numbing!) UFIT group challenge. The buckets of ice produced something more than entertaining YouTube click bait: Worldwide, $220 million was raised to help fund ALS research.

This fall, UF student organizations harnessed the power of social media on behalf of Dance Marathon at UF, the annual event benefiting UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital. Through Transform Today, its largely social fundraising push, students used Facebook, Twitter, and email, along with cross-campus collecting, a phone-a-ton, and a Turlington flash mob, to raise both awareness and money. The mobilized efforts generated $224,756.13 in fundraising support in 26.2 hours.

Besides connecting with friends and sharing cat videos, what can you do to change the world? #ForTheGatorGood