The campus yearbook in the age of Facebook

by andybechtel

I recently agreed to become the adviser for the Yackety Yack, the yearbook at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Growing up, I was never a yearbook person, preferring to work for student newspapers. I don’t know much about putting one together.

But I said yes to the Yack’s request to be the yearbook’s faculty adviser. I did so for a couple of reasons.

First, I was impressed by the enthusiasm of the editors. They’re an energetic group. To save the yearbook money, they even voted to become an all-volunteer staff. (Previous editors had received stipends.)

Second, I thought that advising the yearbook would be a challenge in creativity. In the age of Facebook, the Yack staff will have to work especially hard to put together a compelling keepsake that students want. To do that, the staff is planning to use text, photos and alternative story forms such as timelines and checklists.

So far, so good. The editors have an ambitious plan to document the 2011-12 school year, and the book has a new publisher. The staff is looking for sponsorships and raising its profile with students and alumni through social media.

The Yack yearbook is published each fall, and I’m looking forward to seeing the finished product in 2012. I’m also hoping to get a few requests to sign yearbooks. If I do, I will use my old line from high school: “Stay cool and have a great summer.”

Follow the Yackety Yack on Twitter and check out this archive of UNC yearbooks through the years.

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