Today we had our first meeting of the alumni online taskforce, a group of alums, students, staff, and faculty to help shape the next generation of online resources to connect alums. We phone and online conferenced with the vendor, and looked at some interesting sites, including Mount Holyoke, Duke, and Harvard.
There's lots of good stuff here, but I felt like all of these sites (and the technology behind them) were behind the curve. As an alum, can I create easy links to LinkedIn and Facebook? Import and export contacts? Upload video or images to self-created groups? Feed content to things like a Blackberry? As importantly, shouldn't these systems be linked into Admissions so that prospective students could have the ability to see what alums have done and, with permission, be able to contact alums about what life is like at Puget Sound? There's so much we could do here in creating a single "life cycle" experience for our students, from pre-student to alum phase, that is more seamless. It's not that UPS is behind--I think everyone is behind on this, while social networking companies wind up capturing our attention and connections.
I'll keep you posted on this as the work develops. We've got quite a bit to do in the coming year.
One last discussion point was what to name this thing. Logger Online? Linking Loggers? Logger.net? I suggested logos, but maybe that's too snooty sounding. Anyone else out there have some good ideas for a catchy name for the alum network?