Launching a Blogger Program: Part 2

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Higher Education, Marketing, Recruitment, Technology | Posted on 09-13-2007

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As we get closer to the launch of our fully interactive bloggers/forums/photos section, I reminisce about something I did last year with my bloggers and will definitely not be doing this year: improperly implementing current technology.

Last post I talked about the power of Facebook, and with every good comes the bad.

Approximately 2 weeks before my bloggers launched last fall, Facebook implemented a new feature: Notes. This provided you with the option of writing notes/blog posts directly into Facebook as well as importing your RSS/Atom feed. Sounded like a great idea at the time… use current technology (Facebook) to import blog posts, which would spread the posts into Facebook and get more visibility for the blogs.

Sounds good, right? Wrong. Such a mistake.

Avoid me, please!

By attempting to leverage this technology, I managed to pull the entire comment conversation off of the blogs and on to Facebook, where there is a 99.999% chance your prospective students are NOT friends with your student bloggers on Facebook. As a result, the communication line was split. Typically in the past, current students of the University would post comments directly on to blog posts (which we were FTP’ing into student accounts from Blogger.com). From there, prospective students would chime in and eventually get comfortable with being a part of the conversation, and as a result they would begin to forge those relationships and build ties with the University, which is great.

With the current students posting their comments to the blogs directly on Facebook, the amount of comments directly visible at the prospective students’ point of view was close to 0 or 1 every time. The blog conversation was essentially going on behind closed doors, shutting out the prospectives.

This is a good example of when using certain types of technology for recruitment does not always have a positive impact. By attempting to make the blogs “cooler” and tying them into Facebook, I shut down any hope of communication/relationship bonding between current and prospective students.

Perhaps there is a way to do it better, but I think the best bet is to allow the conversations and questions to develop on your own blogging platform. This not only helps you be a part of the conversation, it also makes everything easily found in a search of your site.

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