November 8, 2006
Social Networking makes alumni and development folks’ lives much easier in some basic ways. We spend so much time, energy and resources—human and financial—on four areas for which Social Networking offers easy solutions:
Lost alumni. Despite all the advances in automatic address correction etc, none of us likes to see those return to sender piles following a big mailing. Not only does each represent a little bit of extra postage cost, each also represents lost opportunity to tell our story, as well as additional labor and cost as the each piece works its way into whatever lost alumni processing your office might follow.
Identifying class influencers. Who is the best person(s) to sign those invite letters to reunion or annual fund solicitation letters? Sure the president of the graduating class of 1994 is still active on the alumni board, but how many people in her class still think of her as a friend 16 years out?
Solicitors Who would make best solicitors of whom in the Campaign? Bob and Ted both offer to solicit
Alice. Who’s the more appropriate, or might the best person be Betty?
Interests Just what sorts of things do our leading prospects care about—on campus or in the world? Sure he was in a fraternity when an undergraduate, but how much time and money are you prepared to spend to figure out that this real love was, and continues to be the library?
Social Networking empowers our alumni to answer all four questions for us. When we provide them the place and the means to keep contact information up to date, list their friends and business contacts and indicate or discuss their areas of interest or concern, we’re letting them do much of our grunt work…..and maybe, just maybe they’ll thank us for it!
November 5, 2006
Sprint has announced a new mobile gaming opportunity, NFL Airplay. This game lets participants call the next play for any NFL game in real time. You score every time you correctly guess the next play. You can then compare your score with a group of friends or any of the wider community of users. For now the only prize is bragging rights, but you can wager there’ll be more to follow. Speaking of which, imagine the first game played with real NFL players in which the Sprint Airplay community votes on the next play, with the play with the most votes actually being played out on the field….
Friday’s NYT Escapes section Nov 3,2006, features a resort in the virtual world of Secondlife. There’s a little humor/irony that this feature should hit the same week that the latest fall in print newspaper readership was announced. Did I mention that Reuters has opened a bureau in SecondLife?
Which will happen first: Starbucks on the corner starts taking
Linden dollars for that latte or we find a “Save the Pixel” movement in SecondLife?
October 18, 2006
Twan Verdonck presents a new business model for the web2.0 age in his presentation @ http://www.webtwobusinessmodels.com/index2.htm.
Briefly, he proposes that the transactional model of business and consumer is being replaced with an interactive model of business and user in which business provides platform and tools so that user becomes a co-producer of value.
Arguably, all the talk over the years of involving donors in the life of an NFP follows a similar sort of model, but I think it can be enormously helpful for us to step out of our own paradigm of charity/donor/gift transaction and think about what we do as providing a platform for partnering, whether online or in a soup kitchen. Part of the usefulness of technology now available to us will be found in extending the “hands on” experiential nature of the soup kitchen to the wider world of charitable activity.
October 18, 2006
I’m looking forward to my CASE presentation next month. There’s so much going on online right now that it feels like 1996 all over again–when simply launching a web page felt momentous! Whether we look to Web 2.0 issues or secondlife, the opportunities to engage constituents through the web offers so much to those of us who are accustomed to the donor relations/fund-raising process that it seems a shame to let the for profits have all the fun! In fact those of us in institutions of higher ed are especially well placed to offer our constituents platforms for community. Specifics to come later, but there’s plenty to think about in my delicious account at this point. If you’re looking for something to read, I HIGHLY recommend Communities Dominate Brand. More on that to follow.