Butler personalities gain recognition through tweets

Two Butler University personalities were recently given top honors for tweeting.

Levester Johnson, vice president of student affairs, was named one of the “25 university presidents to follow,” by bachelorsdegree.org. He was one of only two VP’s ranked on the
list.

The school’s live mascot, Blue II, also received an award for his tweets.

Blue’s account was named one of the “Ten University Twitter Accounts Worth Learning From,” by Patrick Powers, a St. Louis social media expert. Blue’s account was the only university mascot to gain this recognition.

Currently, Blue has 2,283 followers on Twitter. Johnson trails with 624 followers. Michael Kaltenmark is the man behind Blue’s Twitter account. He’s also the bulldog’s owner.

“We had Blue before Twitter and it’s good to see what it’s done for his personality and his celebrity,” he said. “It’s really been fun for me, but at the end of the day it’s really great for Butler.

“The media is shifting its eyes towards Butler University, and if Blue has something to do with it, that’s great.”

Kyle Johannsen, a sophomore public and corporate communications major, said that Blue’s success on Twitter gives Butler a positive image.

“I think it’s pretty cool that Blue II is so well known nationally,” she said. “It shows that Butler is looking to be really involved with social media and shows great growth for our school.”

Kaltenmark decided to make a Twitter account for Blue about two years ago.

“Twitter was something new,” he said. “We had already established a nice social media platform for [Blue], so he already had somewhat of a following.”

Blue’s account, @ButlerBlue2, frequently features photographs of him in his day-to-day life as a mascot.

The tweets are witty and lighthearted.

“There is nothing magical about it, but it is unique,” Kaltenmark said. “I like to think that Blue’s Twitter cuts through all the other information that is thrown out there.”

Blue’s tweets weren’t always so popular. Kaltenmark said the tweets started out bland.

“At first, it was things like ‘I’m at a basketball game,’ but then we got the hang of it and it’s grown to be what it is today,” he said.

Kaltenmark said Blue’s Twitter account adds positive dialog for the Butler community to see.

“Through the Twitter, you can really get the feel for the institution,” he said. “You can feel the culture and notice a certain vibe around Butler.”

The Twitter account also exhibits Butler pride.

“Sometimes I think my life is Butler and it shows on Blue’s Twitter account,” Kaltenmark said. “When you have the mascot, you start to bleed blue.”

Johnson also uses his Twitter account to show his Butler pride.

“I just love me some Butler,” he said.

Johnson hopped on the Twitter train about a year and a half ago.

He said he was skeptical at first, but the website has allowed him to let students in on his daily life.

“I don’t sit down and say ‘this is something good to tweet,’” Johnson said. “My life and my schedule is exactly what you’re seeing.”

That schedule includes attending numerous student-run events and many leadership conferences around the nation.

The website that ranked Johnson 23rd wrote that Johnson is, “a great follow, frequently tweeting about trips to conferences and meetings about higher education and college culture.”

It was this college culture that originally drew Johnson to Butler, he said.

Johnson said the size of Butler’s campus was something that caught his attention because it allowed him to interact with students, which was something he valued.

“Twitter opened a whole new window and door into how to do that,” Johnson said. “Students feel like they know me, even if we’ve never met in person. It really helps to break down the walls between the administrator and the student.

“It’s easy to be yourself on Twitter, so students get to see a different side of you.”

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