Agenda – February 4, 2021 


4:00 – 4:05 p.m. – Announcements (5 minutes) 


- David MacAlpine motioned for the approval of the meeting minutes from December 10, 2020, and the minutes from January 21, 2021. Hearing no objections, meeting minutes are approved.  


4:05 – 4:30 – Social Media at Duke and Beyond Sonja Likness, Ashley Wolf, Emily Frachtling (15 minutes presentation, 10 minutes discussion) 


What it is: Duke’s University Communications' social media team will tell you about the trends in social media and how they use metrics to figure out how to post. They’ll talk about their specific strategies on social media platforms-- including YouTube-- and what those strategies to do to promote Duke’s faculty scholarship. 


Why it's relevant: Social media platforms continue to be a major part of marketing, branding, and information sharing in higher education, as well as in many other industries. Staying on top of metrics and trends in social media means a more robust communications plan. 


Sonja Likness started the presentation with a poll for everyone at ITAC to answer. The poll asked everyone to answer which social media platforms were used the most. 


Sonja Likness then continued to introduce the University Communications team members. 

Kristen Brown – Associate VP for University Communications 

Laura Brinn – Assistant VP for news and global communication 

Sonja Likness – Director social media and content strategy 

Ashley Wolf – Social Media Manager 

Emily Frachtling – Digital Media Producer 


After introducing everyone, Sonja then continued to share the mission of the Duke University social media team. Sonja talked about the different social media platforms run at Duke. Some of the social media platforms are branded Duke University and some are branded Duke Students. The social media team out of Duke University Communications runs the Duke university brands, and there is a group of student editors that report up to University Communications that run the Duke Students branded channels. 


Sonja continued to talk about some recent special considerations the team has taken. Sonja discussed, 


Accessibility – making sure that the social media accounts are as accessible to everyone as possible. This is done by adding alternate text in captions to everything.  

Scheduling and tone – due to the pandemic, unrest, protests, etc.  

New YouTube strategy – content specifically for YouTube instead of just a place of holding our content. 

Monitoring/flagging emerging issues of concern to university leadership. 

After-hours duties significantly increased. – on-call schedule. 



Sonja ended the poll posed at the beginning of the presentation and mentioned that the results of the poll fall in line with the next part of the discussion that Ashley talked about.  


Ashley Wolf started talking about her role that deals with analytics and tracking a lot of different things about the different social media accounts. For example, demographics performance, how posts are performing when the audience is on different platforms. Ashley mentioned that one great thing about social media is that it allows the team to reach the audience where they are instead of drawing users to a Duke Website, the users can be reached through these social media platforms. With the help of analytics, the team determines which platforms to post on, what should be posted, along with tracking how active the audience is based on time of year, day of the week, time of day, and lastly how photos perform compared to videos, links, and other forms of communication.  


Ashley then talked about the impressions overtime on Duke's social media. Impressions roughly equate to page views. It’s not the same thing but impressions track the number of times that content has been seen on a particular platform. A few things that affect total impressions are,  

The number of posts, and also engagements. Engagement is how many times people interact with each post.   


Regarding engagements, Ashley showed a graph detailing the engagement over time on Duke's social media accounts for the past three years (2018-2020). Engagement of posts deals with shares, comments, likes, etc. The social media platforms have different ways of demonstrating engagement with Facebook using likes vs Reddit using upvotes and such, but these engagements are captured in the same way.  


Lastly, Ashley talked about how 2020 was harder to generate content from a workflow standpoint. But there was more attention on posts during the 2020 year compared to 2019. 2020 had an uptick of engagement per post. This means that the content that was being delivered is what people want to see, share, and interact with. 


From the results of the poll, 76% mentioned that they used YouTube, said, Sonja. And with that, she introduced Emily Frachtling to talk more about what the team is doing regarding content posted on YouTube. 


Emily started by mentioning that as part of the YouTube strategy, they partnered with YouTube to create a video series called Fundamental Concepts. The series focuses on explaining a concept from beginning to end by a Duke faculty member. Each video is less than 10 minutes, said Emily. Being that YouTube uses a model based on subscriptions, the goal here was to gain more subscribers. Instead of seeing YouTube as a place for hosting videos, the team changed the model to post videos for YouTube content. Fundamental Concepts being a huge part of this new model.  


Lastly, the team shared key takeaways.  

One of those key takeaways is that social media is continually changing. Duke social media adapts along with the landscape. And lastly, 2020 was an odd year on social media and in many places. 


Sonja mentioned that If anyone had any questions, they can be reached at 


For the discussion part of the presentation, Sonja presented a few questions to the group: 


How has the use of social media in your area changed during the past few years? 

How do your teams manage the 24/7 demands of IT and are there lessons our team could learn from that in terms of after-hours coverage? 




Q: What is considered a successful endpoint for all this effort? What is the purpose of this? Is it to get more students? Good for the community? What is a win? 


A: We have strategic goals that we want to achieve. We want to build a sense of community. We want to engage alumni. When we look at numbers, we want trends to be going up. We want to reach audiences where they are. Talk about the great things that Duke does all over the world, the content we put out addresses many of those things Duke does. Tactically, all this flows out of our strategic content goals.  


Q: from the IT side to better understand where the trends are where the directions are and how we need to communicate with students, and to making sure they know about the available support, are there other channels or social media, we should be using more for that.? 


A: The common conception is that students aren’t as active on Facebook and we are seeing that play out. However, I wouldn’t say that they have completely abandoned it. The majority of them have Facebook and they usually use it for events. When we post pictures of them and their friends, the students come out and tag each other on the photos. Then they go missing again when we post other regular content. In terms of trying to engage the students, it depends on what the goals are. If you are trying to promote an event or the like, I think Facebook is the way to advertise it. If you want to engage students in a more fun way, Instagram would be the platform to use since they are more active. 


Q/comment: from a departmental perspective we use social media as a recruitment tool for grad students, we use it to advertise our research and accomplishments to our community. It takes a lot of effort and the recent downsizing on university communications and media has not helped us. We are trying to manage all the social media platforms as best we can but it’s hard.  


A: We hear this is common in a lot of departments. We hear that there is usually one person that does social media work whose primary job is not that. We have support available. We have a social media working group that anybody who does any social media work can come and join us. WE are happy to help and consult with anybody that has questions.  


Q: is there a middle point to start to help faculty craft a video presence for their research? 


A: Steve Toback touched on this question briefly but the presentation he gave highlights the resources available for faculty. Sonja also said that there are partnership opportunities for faculty in the video series that we do. We are working on several video series that need faculty talents.  




4:30 - 4:45 p.m. - Panopto Todd Stabley (10-minute presentation, 5 minute discussion) 


What it is: Since 2010 the Panopto service, formerly called DukeCapture, has operated as a collaboration among various units in OIT and across campus utilizing Duke’s on-premises infrastructure, including virtual machines, storage, and physical capture PCs. Now that Panopto’s cloud offering is economically viable, we’ve decided to migrate to take advantage of new services and features. 


Why it’s relevant: Todd will provide an overview of the benefits of moving to Panopto’s cloud, the project timeline, and the impact on our customers at Duke. 


Todd Stabley started the presentation by discussing the timeline and the steps needed to migrate the Panopto software at Duke to the cloud.  


To start, Todd gave a summary of the role of Panopto and what Panopto software does. Panopto is an enterprise tool for licensed software recording, transcoding and securely publishing video and audio. At Duke, Panopto has been in production for 10 years. Recordings are generated by classroom recorders, software, and mobile devices. Users play content in rich media viewer or as audio and video podcasts.  


Todd shared some statistics relating to Panopto on-premises. 

- 23 VMs running windows server 2016 

- 292 GB RAM 

- 388 CPU 

- 560 TB 


Regarding the on-premise usage since 2010 of Panopto at Duke, 

- 20 schools and departmental sites 

- 155 classrooms recorded 

- 150,000 hours recorded 


- 540,000 hours viewed 


Next, Todd discussed the on-premises support for Panopto. The different teams involved are: 

- OIT media technologies 

- OIT windows team 

- OIT Storage and VMs 

- OIT database hosting and administration 

- Centralized Device and Services Support (CDSS) 

- Networking 

- OIT A/V consultation 

- External A/V integrators 

- School and Departmental site administrators 

- Panopto Support 


Todd discussed that with the moving of Panopto to the cloud three teams from the list above no longer will support Panopto. Those teams are, OIT windows team, OIT storage, and VMS, and OIT database hosting and administration.  


Some of the benefits of moving to the cloud include: 

- Simplified upgrades 

- Eliminates feature gap 

- Easier onboarding 

- Improved global performance 

- Live broadcasting 

- Unified troubleshooting 

- Improved support 

- Improved Sakai integration 

- Interface virtually identically for user 


As part of the moving to the cloud, there is also support for integrating with Zoom. This only applies to the cloud instance of Panopto said, Todd. Some of the benefits of the integration of zoom into Panopto is that,  

- Setup is easy 

- Storage: default “Zoom Recordings” folder 

- Custom mapping 

- Alleviating pressure on zoom storage 

- Rich media playback. 


Lastly, Todd talked about the timeline for finishing the Panopto migration to the cloud. That timeline is outlined below: 

- 10/1/20 –6/1/21: Cloud Testing 

- 2/1/21 –5/1/21: Pre-migration cleanup  

- 3/1/21-6/1/21: Content Migration  

- 6/21 [TBD]: Freeze on New Content Uploads 

- 7/1/21: Go Live 


As part of the discussion, Todd posted a few questions for the ITAC group.  

  1. Given the original challenges we see with storage for cloud vendors, what sort of retention policy should we create for Panopto after the cloud migration? 

  1. Site administrators have always played a central role in support for Panopto. In what ways would we benefit from more self-service approaches? 


As a clarification to the first question above, Steve Toback said that there is a retention policy, and it follows the Sakai integration policy. Previously it was hard to remove stuff because it was manually done.  




Q: Is this available for administrators, how does it compare to the hosting instructional type that goes on warp wire or the learning management system.? 


A: it is similar to warpwire. Panopto is better than the LMS in terms of putting content right in there. If you want to do content creation and being able to edit the video and have slides and screens and be able to do quizzes, Panopto has a much richer editing environment.  




4:45 - 5:00 p.m. - Clean Your Zoom: Zoom Cloud Recording Tool Isabel Valls Taylor (10-minute presentation, 5-minute discussion) 


What it is: To reduce the need for additional Zoom cloud storage for the enterprise, OIT has developed an online tool that allows users to delete their cloud recordings en masse or to move them to local Duke storage. From there, the user can move recordings to the platform of their choice for streaming/sharing. 


Why it's relevant: Costs associated with Duke's Zoom cloud storage have risen significantly since March 2020 as we've had to add capacity for recorded courses and other meeting content. Zoom’s cloud storage costs significantly exceed those of many other cloud providers and on-premise options at Duke. The tool addresses the urgent need to encourage users to remove their Zoom recordings from the Zoom cloud back to local storage at Duke. This is the initial version; additional functionality can be added in future versions. 


Isabel Taylor demonstrates a new tool that Liz Wendland developed that enables Zoom users to delete and move Zoom recordings to the OIT NAS. See try it out. Log into the Duke domain using SSO. The tool will want authorization to access your Zoom account. 


You can search recording by month. You can delete an individual recording, or you can delete all. You can click on a video so that you can see it and be reminded of what it is. There is also a link to recover a deleted cloud recording. 


Videos are transferred from Zoom to the Duke NAS storage. 

You can go to your CIFS space to see your transferred files. 


Please note these procedures require that you connect to VPN. 


Q. Mark Palmeri – Why would faculty be motivated to take time to do this when it’s then harder to share the videos? 

  1. Isabel – We are going to do a campaign. Every time a student indeed joins or leaves an auto recording Zoom meeting that Zoom creates a recording every time. 

  1. David MacAlpine – If videos are deleted after 120 days, this will provide motivation. 

  1. Tracy – It is for the good of Duke. 

  1. Charley – It costs $2,000/terabyte of storage in Zoom; this is much more expensive than Duke storage. Also, your course content will have a future that you can control as opposed to being in Zoom’s hands. 

  1. Mark Palmeri still does not think anyone will do this; this will have to be done at a higher level or faculty will not move their old lectures. Faculty are recording in Zoom because they are forced to record, and faculty do not want more overhead. 

  1. Evan – If being deleted will not motivate and the million-dollar price tag won’t motivate, then? 

  1. Steve Toback is looking at a new project for his group. Once these Zoom videos are on Duke’s NAS, Steve’s team will create thumbnails and other organizational tools. 

  1. Victoria Szabo – Hopefully, we will not be using Zoom as much in a year. 

  1. Mark Palmeri – Zoom is not about the polished video so faculty do not want them; if faculty do not want to keep these Zoom videos, they will not care about moving the Zoom recordings. 

  1. Evan – We have been fearing the retention policy; if the truth is that no one wants these, then that is great for our implementing the retention policy. 


5:00 - 5:25 p.m. – Academic Media Production “The Show Must Go On” Steve Toback (15 minutes presentation, 10 minutes discussion) 


What it is: In the Spring/Summer of 2020, Academic Media Production played a pivotal role in preparing the University for moving much of its instruction online through training of faculty and staff as well as producing close to 40 “How To” videos. Once the semester was underway, we had to come up with some unique methods to continue to produce content at as high a quality as possible. 


Why it’s relevant: Steve will discuss how we adapted our production process to working remotely while still completing over 50 projects already this fiscal year. Steve will also discuss the pandemic delayed establishment of what we are now calling “Bryan Center Studios” – a place for media professionals to create which is starting to get back on track. 


As part of the pandemic response, Steve Toback, Senior Producer for OIT Academic Media Production, acknowledges that there has been an unprecedented demand for media production. Many instructors who did not want to deal with media in the past, now had to. To meet demand, the team took the following approach: 


  1. Training - Using the big brain trust of OIT media staff, the team conducted 40 sessions with 200 people on Zoom; this included one-on-one sessions as needed. 

  1. Training the trainer – This included training TAs, site admins, media people, department chairs, and working with Learning Innovation. 

  1. Producing how-to videos – Some of these were just-in-time 2–3-minute videos. The advantage of training videos is that they are available any time of day; the team received very good feedback about this approach to training. Some examples of these videos include what is VPN, how to use Camtasia and a series on Academic Advising. 

  1. Creating kits - The most important piece of these $250 kits was a good microphone. Other equipment included webcams which were difficult to purchase at the start of Covid. Wacom pads were included as well. 


On top of these new approaches, the team continued with normal production demands; from July to December 2020, 52 different projects were completed. Steve highlighted seven production projects with the School of Medicine. 


Next, Steve spoke about the Bryan Center Studios renovation project, which was started pre-pandemic and then, slowed due to the pandemic but is picking up again. The Bryan Center Studios is in the basement of the Bryan Center. The space was built as a scoring stage many years ago under the Griffith theater so is a very quiet and ideal spot for video production. Duke Media Services was run in this space and provided by Student Affairs, but as more and more people are set up their own studio spaces, this no longer made fiscal sense.  


Steve outlined the goals for the Bryan Center Studios renovation: 

  1. Move editorial rooms – This gets people close to the studio; at The Tech, the studios were too far from the staff. 

  1. Move MPS Pro Studio – Located in the library, the MPS Studio has been a very small space but much used. Once moved, the studio will be close to the editorial rooms. Also, Steve’s team is working with university communications for a space to connect to CNN, etc. 

  1. Provide a Community Studio – This professional studio has been provided to media professionals. After completing training sessions on use and Covid restrictions, media professionals have access to this studio which includes teleprompters, confidence monitors, etc. 


Evan Levine interjects that this has been going forward without the renovation being complete. But they are trying to get the renovation going again. 


Steve demos playing an mp3 video over Zoom including footage of Tracy saying how OIT staff are very deserving of a much-needed break while an IT security alert goes off. 


Steve concludes by asking: 

  1. How can we improve training? 

  1. What are current roadblocks for schools and departments in better-utilizing media for communication and education? Have heard no budget for one and am hoping the kits and Bryan Center Studios will address this.  

  1. How do we leverage new media formats such as TikTok microlearning to better communicate and educate students and others? 


Q. Victoria Szabo – What about captions? 

  1. Steve says yes, there is already speaking to text recognition with Panopto. Soon, Zoom will be rolling out online captioning. 



5:25 - 5:30 p.m. – Common Solutions Group Tracy Futhey, John Board, Charley Kneifel, Mark McCahill (5 minutes) 


What it is: The Common Solutions Group (CSG) works by inviting a small set of research universities to participate regularly in meetings and project work. These universities are the CSG members; they are characterized by strategic technical vision, strong leadership, and the ability and willingness to adopt common solutions on their campuses. 


Why it’s relevant: CSG meetings comprise leading technical and senior administrative staff from its members, and they are organized to encourage detailed, interactive discussions of strategic technical and policy issues affecting research-university IT across time. We would like to share our experiences from the most recent meeting this month. 


The common solutions group discussion was postponed due to running out of time this evening.