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November 12, 2007

Gordon College - Add Content and Tell a Story with Photo Journals

Keeping your alumni online community updated with new content is a never-ending goal.  Without new content for your alumni to consume, they'll spend their online time at other websites and communities, and will only visit yours sporadically.  I've written many other blog articles about different methods you can use to keep your content new, interesting, and fun for your alumni.  Gordon College uses photo journals as one of their methods to keep their alumni coming back for more.

Gordon College alumni go out into the world - not only to travel, but to share, help, and learn.  The college has provided an opportunity for their alumni, students, and faculty to share their experiences with others via their website.  Not only can alumni, students, and faculty of Gordon College use text to share these experiences, but now they can do so through photographs, as well.  This is a great way to add new content and to keep alumni connected, interested, and involved with your alumni online community.

Photos add depth, fun, and so much more to a plain written story.  Plus, photos are a terrific way to connect with those visiting the site.  In fact, this is great content to use on the admission side, as well.  Prospective students and their families will be impressed to see what graduates are accomplishing.  When you think about it - the difference in "telling" versus "showing" is massive. 

Photo journals can be used in a variety of ways to increase the connectedness, participation, and ongoing interest in your alumni online community.  What are your ideas for using photo journals on your website?  I'd love to hear about them!  If you're already using this tool in your community, let me know how it's worked out for you

Posted by Don Philabaum on November 12, 2007 at 02:34 PM | Permalink | Comments (37) | Links to this Article

November 09, 2007

Merrimack College - Celebrating Merrimack Marriages

I've posted several previous blog articles about the importance to recognize all alumni.  Giving your alumni their fifteen minutes of fame is a terrific tool to use, and it's one that I think that all alumni associations should include in their alumni online community.  I've talked before about different methods that can be used to do this - from posting pictures with short stories about the alumni, to alumni interviews, to linking to alumni websites, and more.  However, recently I came across Merrimack College's online community, and they're recognizing their alumni in a unique way that I love.

Merrimack College is giving their alumni their fifteen minutes of fame by recognizing those that marry other alums.  What a terrific idea!  They have a web page dedicated to this, and they list the names of their alumni, along with their graduation year, with a short blurb beneath detailing when they were married, how they met, and a little additional information about the couple - such as if they have children, etc.  And, not surprising, most listed fall within a couple years of each other age wise. 

I also like that Merrimack College has created a special event around their married alumni called "Alumni Valentine's Day Celebration."  Visitors can click on a link to see photos snapped at the event.  It looks like a lot of fun!  There's also a link to read a press release about the event, and one for alumni to send their love story in to be posted.   Also, special recognition is given to those marred at the "Collegiate Church of the Christ the Teacher" on campus.  All in all, Merrimack College had done a terrific job in recognizing their alumni in this unique, fun, and romantic web page.

I can't express how important it is to recognize your alumni.  When you do so, you'll find the rewards to be a more connected alumni, higher participation, and greater contributions.

Posted by Don Philabaum on November 9, 2007 at 07:58 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | Links to this Article