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Since I work in a University of Applied Sciences and I’ve been interested in social media, I’ve wanted to get an overview of the social media usage on the Finnish university homepages. Inspired by the crowdsourced book by the activists around SomeTime2013 event about the state of social media in Finland, I finally decided to have it a go.

To get the data relatively quickly, I just checked the main pages, even though I knew that sometimes there would’ve been more examples deeper in the structure, eg on Library or Career Services pages.

Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS)

All but one UAS had some social media application on it’s homepage, the UAS that had most, had five.

The most popular social media applications used was Facebook: 25/26 UAS had it on their main page. Almost as popular was YouTube (19/26) – blogs (12/26) and Twitter (12/26) less so.

The range was quite wide: 11 different applications or formats (blogs, wiki). About half of the applications (Flickr, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Vimeo, VKontakte, wiki) were used only by one UAS.

2013-05-25 Social media on Finnish university homepages

UAS: Social media applications on the main page 24.5.2013 (Centria added 25.5.2013)


All universities had at least one social media application on it’s homepage, the one with most had six.

The most popular was Facebook (17/18 had), then came YouTube (13/18) and Twitter (12/18).

Universities had narrower range of applications than UAS: only seven. Flickr and Pinterest appeared only on one page each, LinkedIn on 3 pages and 4 had blogs.

Universities: Social media applications on the Finnish main page 24.5.2013

Universities: Social media applications on the main page 24.5.2013

Social media has come, but is it to stay?

I made a similar check in 2011 and there were much fewer mentions of social media then. I may have a closer look at the raise some time later.

It’s interesting to see, how the schools invest in the use of social media now that there are big funding cuts at least on the UAS sector. Even if the applications are free, the active content creation, curation and community management requires time and staff. Will the social media experiments melt away like spring ice, when the climate change?

Spring shore. Laaksolahti, Espoo, Finland 28.4.2013 (Edited with Picasa's Creative Kit: Rotation, exposure, colours, Reala 400, Lomo-ish & watermark, CC BY Tiina M Niskanen)

Spring shore. Laaksolahti, Espoo, Finland 28.4.2013
(Edited with Picasa’s Creative Kit: Rotation, exposure, colours, Reala 400, Lomo-ish & watermark,
CC BY Tiina M Niskanen)

Edit: Centria added to the UAS list afterwards on 25.5.2013, the numbers in the text corrected accordingly.

Edit 2: The University of the Arts Helsinki started 1.1.2013, the founding agreement was signed 15.11.2011.

Edit 3: Took out the word “Finnish” from few places, since the main page for Swedish schools is in Swedish.



Metropolia UAS, News: Metropolia Initiates Information and Consultation Process

Ministry of Education and Culture, Finland: Polytechnics aka Universities of Applied Sciences

Ministry of Education and Culture, Finland: Universities



Edit 23.7.2013: Statistics on Google url shortener

Round new year there have been a lot of posts looking back or forward in time – or both.

This is my brief, possibly incomplete and somewhat inaccurate list of applications related to social media that I’ve used so far.


  • Facebook: got an account, didn’t use actively until 2010
  • LinkedIn: got an account
  • Picasa: got some photo link from an overseas friend, sent some links to overseas relatives, haven’t used that actively lately
  • Skype: some calls to overseas friend & relatives


  • Delicious: got an account, after a while used only sporadically


  • Moodle: got acquainted with employer’s version of the system


  • Amplify: just got an account, was surprised by the good visibility on Google search
  • Connect Pro: have participated employer’s seminars etc remotely from own office
  • Diaspora: just got an account, like the collaborative OS spirit & ownership ideas, isn’t expecting much from alpha, everybody still on FB
  • Doodle: found and liked, used few times
  • Facebook: got first active with the private account, then made a group for school & parents to use and a page for employer (Metropolia Career Services), added a widget to employer’s homepage
  • Google: used Google docs collaboratively first time
  • Knowledge Practices Environment (KPE): used a little in one project
  • LinkedIn: participated in building the employer’s company profile, have been thinking about other possible professional uses
  • Mahara: got an account, acquainted with employer’s version of the system
  • Memolane: just got an account, loved the visual timeline, think Scoble had a point when suggesting that companies would pay for the service (see the end of this post)
  • Moodle: updated a course for employer to be used as an info package for students’ self study or reference material for teachers
  • Quora: just got an account, didn’t get kicks out of it
  • Second Life: got an account, didn’t get so excited about it because of the demanding UI
  • Skype: some calls & chats also inside Finland
  • Soovox: just got an account, didn’t get kicks out of it
  • Twitter: got active first with a private account (@tiinanis), then made one also for employer (@MetroCareer), added a widget to employer’s homepage
  • Wiki: made a restricted team page for employer, started planning an open info page for Career Services
  • WordPress: just started this blog
  • YouTube: just got a personal account, have been thinking about possible professional uses


Inspired by

  • Robert Scoble’s interview 18.12.2010 on YouTube: “Memolane: innovative look at your social media life”
  • Ilkka Koivisto’s blog post 31.12.2010 on WordPress: “My Social Media Year 2010: Test everything. Hold on to what is good.”


Update 2011-1-6


  • stopped using in Tweets after it announced mandatory sign up (seems to have changed again)
  • Google: started to use Google url shortener after, like the statistics
  • Klout: found to be an Explorer with a Klout score of 17
  • RockMelt: could try only at work (at home only Linux)


Edit 19.11.2012: Statistics on Google url shortener

It seems like the cold weather and snow would have made the streets even more quiet here – unlike the Finnish airports.

The current struggles with snow on many airports gave an idea to the Finnish Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb: he wanted to cheer up everybody and assure that with the Finnish snow-how Santa would be on time also this Christmas. So, yesterday he held an international press conference together with Santa, a Finnish pilot and a snow-how specialist.

Season’s Greetings – pick your favourite video!

The videos are made by Media students from Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences (I work there in Career Services).

Content CC BY Tiina M Niskanen

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