Don’t try to beat Facebook

MiraAlumni Relations, social media

One of the sessions at CASE in Glasgow was “Don’t try to beat Facebook”. Afterwards Corey Morris from Aarhus school of business – Aarhus University wrote a post in their blog about the session. I have asked Corey if it would be alright for us to post
at our blog as well and I’m now glad to do so!

Below follows the post Corey wrote shortly after he returned from CASE in Glasgow:

Don’t try to beat Facebook! – By Corey Morris, ASB ALumni relations Manager

I recently returned from the CASE* annual conference in Glasgow with a hoard of new ideas and inspiration for improving ASB Alumni. Not that there’s anything novel about this. I, just as you, go to these events to harvest ideas and refuel my motivation tank by swapping stories with same sector colleagues from around the globe and listening to titillating speakers prophesy about the next big thing. But there’s one particular session that I simply can’t get off my mind. Let me share with you why.

“Don’t try to beat Facebook”
The session was titled “Don’t try to beat Facebook”, and seeing as Facebook is an integral part of the growing digital ecosystem at ASB Alumni, I dove in head first. The underlying idea was simple: “What can your platform do that Facebook can’t?” It didn’t take long to piece together a nice list of reasons why alumni should use CONNECT. But then it struck me – are our users aware of the differences as much as we would like to believe? To be on the safe side, here’s a brief look at just some of the ways CONNECT matches up against Facebook.

In all honesty, it’s no big surprise that so many have flocked to Facebook. It’s intuitive, simple and the mere notion of instantly connecting with a gazillion people is admittedly exciting. However Facebook isn’t an online community, it’s a social utility. It’s good at connecting friends, but weak at connecting strangers. In addition to this, many prefer to keep their social and professional networks separate and this is proving to be increasingly difficult with Facebook. This is where CONNECT can make a difference – and even more so with your help.

We can praise the virtues and benefits of having an online community until we’re blue in the face. But unless these advantages are perceived by alumni as value-adding, then our efforts are futile. So in the spirit of web 2.0, here’s a question to you:

“How do you perceive the advantages of CONNECT – and is there anything we can do to make it better?”

*Council for the Advancement and Support of Education is a professional association serving educational institutions and the advancement professionals who work on their behalf in alumni relations, communications, development, marketing and allied areas.