Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Star is Boring

In an unusual pitch, George Mason University is encouraging potential college applicants to watch and upload videos to YouTube that might be featured on their YouTube channel. My seventeen-year-old son received the following message in an e-mail.

Congratulations! Based on the information you provided to the CollegeBoard
I believe you are a strong candidate for George Mason University, Virginia's flagship institution in the Washington, D.C. region. I have selected a small group of students like you to offer a new opportunity.

While many colleges will have your data, at Mason we want to get to know YOU. To help, we are the first university in the country to incorporate YouTube into our online application, allowing you to show off your creativity, talent, and personality.

Want to see what other students like you have done for their applications? Several of our applicants have already made their videos public, just like the one in this email, and you can view them all (you can even vote and help us pick the video of the month - and after you submit, find out what other people think of your video)!

Check out the videos, make your own, and be sure to submit your application. We look forward to seeing you at George Mason University!

This mixture of a not-for-profit educational institution and the aspirations of the young to the social mobility represented by higher education with a platform for corporate data mining and unremunerated user-generated content seems to be incompletely examined by college administrators who obviously have no fear of the Googlization of Everything.

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