Improving Open Graph Tags on

We’ve recently made a “behind the scenes” update to our pages and sites within OU Campus that greatly improves the metadata code provided for open graph tags. Open Graph is a technology first introduced by Facebook in 2010 that allows integration between Facebook and its user data and a website. By integrating Open Graph meta tags into our page’s content, we can identify which elements of our pages we want to show when someone share’s a page on Facebook or Twitter.

By implementing this, Facebook no longer has to guess what image to pull when our pages are shared, for example.

Facebook describes it this way:

The Open Graph protocol enables developers to integrate their pages into Facebook’s global mapping/tracking tool Social Graph. These pages gain the functionality of other graph objects including profile links and stream updates for connected users.

OpenGraph tags often look something like this:

<meta property="og:title" content="Example title of article">
<meta property="og:site_name" content=" website">
<meta property="og:type" content="article">
<meta property="og:url" content="">
<meta property="og:image" content="">
<meta property="og:image" content="">
<meta property="og:description" content="This example article is an example of OpenGraph protocol.">

Cool, right? If none of this makes sense, all you need to know is our web pages will look better when shared on social media sites like Facebook.

Introducing: Spera

Spera 2018
Spera 2018

See the 2018 and the inaugural issue of Spera, a new print and web publication focused on the research, scholarship and creative performance of Hope College faculty. Spera will be produced annually by the Office of Public Affairs and Marketing.

Themes in this issue include: Looking Back at the Reformation, the Fine Arts, Science on the Cutting Edge, Education and Vocational, Dimensions of Disability, Life in the Public Square and Faculty Books.

Available online at


Campusmail and studentmail changes

Recently the inclusion of images in “campusmail” and “studentmail” messages has become problematic. In some cases, the distribution of messages with images can take hours and hold up other messages. Additionally, the information in an image is not accessible to those with visual impairments.

Because this system is necessary for the prompt distribution of emergency and weather-related information, we are discontinuing the inclusion of images in messages for the time being. Text-only messages also have the benefit of being more easily read on mobile devices and can be searched at a later date.

If you have an image or file that you wish to share with the campus community, please upload it to Google Drive and include a link in your message.

Please also consider complementary communication options. For example, events can be submitted to the Campus Calendar, announcements can be submitted to inHope and you can create images to be shared on various screens around campus. Additionally, you might consider promoting larger events on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or your department blog.

Work is underway to develop a new system for the distribution of campus-wide messages in the months ahead.

Thank you for your understanding!

Julie Huisingh, Public Affairs and Marketing
Jeff Pestun, Computing and Information Technology

Our new Student Organizations Directory

At Hope, life outside the classroom is as vibrant as it is inside. Our Student Life office offers an array of opportunities for students to get involved in more than 50 student-led organizations.

However, for many years our student groups were provided a fairly limiting template and embedded blog for sharing information (and many were not updated regularly). When we began the process of redesigning the new Student Life website, we knew a key aspect to success would be a finding a way to showcase the many student organizations and opportunities.

Together, we chose to abandon the one-size-fits-all approach of handing every group their own site, and worked toward a comprehensive Student Organizations Directory. The new directory provides an at-a-glance view of every Student Congress funded group, with quick access to social media links. The expanding accordions allow interested users to learn more about each group with a short description, photo, and email address to contact.

We also recognize that some groups or organizations do require more than a directory listing. For those, we work closely with the group to identify specific needs and a plan for sustainability. A few examples of custom sites for student organizations include:

We’re eager to hear feedback from students and others on their experience with the new directory!

Mark your calendars! Public Affairs and Marketing Open House

Public Affairs and Marketing Open House

Monday, March 27
1 – 3 pm

​Anderson-Werkman Financial Center
Suite 110

Please stop by to visit our new office space!
​​​Enjoy a candy bar, popcorn, and more!​

A Few New Web Projects

We had a busy summer working on the new inHope and new Athletics website and app, but we’ve also had a handful of fun projects this fall that we’d like to share with you.

  • Dining Menus: we worked with Dining Services to introduce an entire new website for their area that also features new dining menus. The new menus were created and are completely managed within Google Calendar and allow the dining staff to maintain and update their daily menus easily and while on the go. The menu content is pushed out to their website as well as the display screens in the dining halls automatically and in real time. We’ve also introduced a new set of allergen icons.
  • EMS: many of you use EMS to reserve rooms around campus throughout the year. We gave the Virtual EMS interface a bit of a branding refresher and an overall clean and sleek look.
  • Tickets: our online ticket platform, Webtix, also got a branding update to match our tempalate. The new is now responsive and mobile friendly.
  • Admissions Rep Finder: We’ve had an “Admissions Find Your Representative” feature on our website for a while, but the data and files associated with it have had to be manually updated each time a change occurred. The new Admissions Rep Finder is now connected to our institutional Banner data, so updates and changes are made automatically.