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February 22, 2006

Virtual Pub

Engage and involve alumni in a virtual hang out

The University of Iowa has developed a spot where their alumni can stop in and hang out, just like Univofiowathe old days. The Virtual Pub looks like a small pub that might be set up at the student union. This one comes complete with TV, bar stools, fireplace, dartboard and things you would expect to find in the pub.  (Missing is Ted, Kirstie, Woody, Kelsey)  The Pub has a unique look and feel to it and has NOT been designed to the look and feel of the university and alumni website.  It’s obvious the alumni association wanted this area to have a fun, collegial, student feel to it.  I think they achieved that.

While you are in the pub, there are quite a few things for you to do.  For instance, you can take a look around town using the two Webcams.  The Webcam on the Engineering building points toward the library and has views of a bridge where you see cars moving in “real time” across the bridge.  Ok, got enough of a view here?  Then check out the area called, On the Table.  In the- On the Table - area, you have an opportunity to see what kind of events are happening around the campus. Calendars for the college, alumni and athletic department are linked here. 

Assuming you can’t make it to any events; you may want to send an eCard to a friend. The University of Iowa, Alumni Association has created a simple, elegant eCard program.  You can select one of a dozen images on campus, select a postage and quickly enter your message and who you are sending it to.  They also provide a nifty preview button which enables you to check out the front and back of the postcard before you send it out.

So you still have some time available?  Check out the trivia section.  If you are looking for reassurance that your diploma has significant value and famous, creative and successful people like you have graduated, you can participate in this interactive and enlightening tool.

You can also take a quiz about Iowa Baseball here.  Try it out, it might help you when you go on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”.

Next you can drop in on the Iowa Music area. Here you can listen to or download some of the finer selections the band has provided. I listened to Eleanor Rigby and enjoyed my momentary step back in time.  Most alumni will enjoy the Alumni Memories section. Here you can submit a memory to share and be published later or you can read a story about an alum.

No pub is going to be complete without something you can take home!  The Virtual Pub provides loads of downloads.  For those who use Instant Messaging tools a lot, you can download a number of different university approved icons right into your IM.  Then while you are using your IM, you are reminded about your alma mater.  If you are like me, after a while you get tired of your desktop image. I like to change them frequently. University of Iowa provides alumni a number of different desk top images to use.

If you are interested in adding new content or fun activities on your website, the Virtual Pub idea offers something for everyone.

Podcast Series: Carol Harker, Director of Communication for the University of Iowa Alumni Association joins Don Philabaum to discuss their Virtual Pub.

To go to this podcast page click HERE

To hear the podcast click Wired Communities Podcast , or right link and save it to your computer for later listening.

Posted by Don Philabaum on February 22, 2006 at 04:29 PM | Permalink

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