RAQ – What is a SMUGgle?

Even though we don’t have our own sports teams (which helps us keep tuition down!), Social Media University Global still needs a nickname for our student body. Referring to the whole bunch as “SMUG students” has an unfortunate connotation, but until a few weeks ago it was the best I could do.

Then, in a comment on this post, Jim Streed suggested “SMUGgles” as the collective shorthand designation. For those who haven’t read the Harry Potter books, it’s a take-off on J.K. Rowling’s name for ordinary mortals, Muggles: those who lack magical powers.

And while “muggles” is sometimes used pejoratively by Harry’s peers, SMUGgles is a label we should all wear proudly. It reinforces one of the founding principles of our institution:

You don’t have to be a wizard to get magical results with these powerful tools.

Everything you see here is accomplished through free or ridiculously inexpensive services like YouTube, Facebook, Flickr and WordPress.com, and with no professional IT support. And with SMUG you can work through the learning process step by step, until you feel confident using these tools in your organization.

But having chosen SMUGgle as our “team name,” that still left us with one problem. We all can picture a Cardinal, or a Blue Jay, or a Viking, but what does a SMUGgle look like? What could be our school mascot?

For now, we’re going with something that bears an eerie resemblance to the “I just joined Facebook” avatar that represents all of us on that social networking platform until we upload a picture. Somehow that seems appropriate, because it shows that SMUG is not only open to newbs, it’s intended for beginners.

But with that, I also want to renew the call for those, newb or not, who have artistic abilities and would like to design a new masthead and logo for SMUG. It would be great to have an official seal that incorporates our Latin motto, Suus Non Ut Diffucile, and if we could get an original drawing for the SMUGgle mascot, that would be fantastic, too.

If the Obama campaign can have an official seal complete with a Latin motto, why not SMUG? To borrow a phrase, “Yes, we can!

I promise that once we select a SMUG seal, we’ll use it a lot longer than Obama did.

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Author: Lee Aase

Married father of six and grandfather of seven, and the Chancellor of SMUG - Social Media University, Global. By day I'm the Director of the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network. Whatever I say here is my personal opinion, and doesn't reflect the positions of my employer.

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