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Drawing people away from facebook and other class sites

Forums: General Discussion
Created on: 06/21/13 09:39 AM Views: 1393 Replies: 13
Friday, June 21, 2013 at 9:39 AM

After a break and letting our class site sit idle I am trying to draw people away from facebook to our class site. I started doing trivia on facebook and want to draw the people over to the class site. I would like to try doing the trivia on Facebook then draw the people over to the class site and have them type thier memories of the area they are remembering on the home page. It seems like I would want to have all the peoples memories on the home page so new people can see it easy and will get drawn into the action, if you want to call it that. Is anyone doing this so I can see how it works or learn how to do it?

Friday, June 21, 2013 at 11:41 AM - Response #1

I have similar challenges but for different reasons. My class is not very computer savvy. Many don't use Facebook or even email much. So my challenge is getting them to visit the website whether they wish to socialize or not.
My suggestion would be to NOT put all the memories on the homepage, but instead, put a link to a memories/trivia page. Maybe put the question on the homepage, with the answer somewhere else. Use a picture of something familiar and ask, "Remember this?" Then invite comments.
If you put everything on the homepage, you don't have any way to truly track what your classmates are interested in. It's like having Christmas presents under the tree already unwrapped. Part of the excitement(if you can call it that)is seeing something that piques one's interest and making him "unwrap the present" by clicking on a link to get to the area where you want him to visit.
You don't need to compete with Facebook to make your website successful. Your website caters to a niche unique to your class. That is it's own strength.
Utilize the "email the class" feature about once a week when you do updates to the site. Give only enough information to make them want to visit the website, but make certain you let them know that the site is active. As you have already discovered, allowing your website to sit idle is a death sentence.
I don't know if I have fully answered your question, but I do hope my suggestions help.

Friday, June 21, 2013 at 1:11 PM - Response #2

Well stated, Tim. The home page is an invitation into the rest of your site. It is where you capture their attention and welcome your members.

Here is a plus on both of your sites... your home page does not require a visitor / member to scroll down and down and down. Too much on the home page requires an amount of scrolling, which can become tiring / boring to the point a member simply closes it and moves on. Well done.

Friday, June 21, 2013 at 1:28 PM - Response #3

Thanks, Gwen. Not to sound like a "mutual admiration society" but I like the way you stated the homepage as being an invitation into the rest of the site. True, dat!
Right now, I'm fortunate to have news items that are really important to our class, so I'm getting more visits. My concern is how to keep up the success we are having after our Memorial Project is completed. We will still have the building demolition, but as I stated, my class just isn't into computers that much. It wasn't a big part of our lives earlier, and only us "geeks" really took to it later. So I know I have a real challenge on my hands. I can only hope that our project will be the start of a habit. Thanks for being there for us with your suggestions and help too.

Friday, June 21, 2013 at 9:17 PM - Response #4

I'm a novice in writing on the forums, but I wished there was a "like" button.

We are also having the same issue. But I think a big problem with our class is that many of our committee members use their cell phones and class creator isn't mobile friendly. (at least not for my eyes) The members that would like to utilize Class Creator more are trying to come up with new ideas. We had our 40th 2 years ago and now we're celebrating turning 60 (for the most of us) with a Big, we hope, Birthday Party this fall. For our reunion we did the trivia thing and used a separate page as well as a sneak preview on the home page, it did create some good discussions with classmates I didn't remember and we ended up with a fairly good turnout.

Friday, June 21, 2013 at 10:13 PM - Response #5

Thanks, Tim.

"chockzoid", for now we simply key in LIKE! Smile

I hope you will both join us on TAP where we share ideas and more.

Saturday, June 22, 2013 at 3:31 AM - Response #6

If anyone would be generous enough to provide some more tips, from their experiences, regarding this thread's title, I would genuinely appreciate the input.

Saturday, June 22, 2013 at 4:02 AM - Response #7

Hi Gary,

Trying to bring others over to our sites from Facebook is definitely a challenge, as we have discussed in our TAP chats. The way to do it is CC's Class Connection, which is on the way. Should an admin choose not to allow entry from Facebook to their site, then the challenge continues. Having it open will be the draw as they will not think they are leaving Facebook due to the Facebook wrapper/frame surrounding the site.

Otherwise, it is all about marketing, imagination and not giving up.

Hang in there, Rick. Help is on the way. Laughing

Edited 06/22/13 4:02 AM
Saturday, June 22, 2013 at 5:32 AM - Response #8

Appreciate the input, Gwen. However. While there is absolutely no doubt that your reply was meant with well meaning intentions and not to sound the least bit overly authoritative, I am seeking something besides, once again, a "sales pitch" for a Class Creator product. So I instead would appreciate an opportunity to receive information from other administrators too. I think that can be interpreted as being fair, which is my intention.

Saturday, June 22, 2013 at 7:57 AM - Response #9

ouch, Gary! I, for one, truly appreciate all of Gwen's comments/ insight & admire her experience & commitment to helping (esp. newbies like me). LOVE TAP - I always find some great info there & everyone on TAP has "kept me going" when things got really tough & I had nowhere else to turn & just wanted to throw in the towel.

Now, regarding FB - I have an even bigger dilemma (I think). I believe one of my administrators wants to go w/FB exclusively (cuz it's "free") and phase out our CC site (shame!). He even deleted posts I've made recently on FB! So, I would appreciate any & all tips, as well as "sharing" really good stuff to draw classmates to our site, other than "big interest" one-hit items(like recent deaths, which always peak interest/site visits - sad but true - but add more "feel good" items too, just don't know what yet).

I am planning to scan hometown newspaper articles of interest through the years (esp. classmates' accomplishments) and make a "modernized" high school newspaper. I would like to post the title/first sentence of the article on FB with a "read more..." link to the article on the CC site. I am hoping people will be interested enough / find it easy enough to come to the site that way. My hands are tied by my "committee" & the admin mentioned above - they do not want me to email blast classmates OR password protect pages, which is of course counterproductive (why buy the cow when you get the milk for free). I'm about to change all that though....Laughing

Thanks everyone for all your help & great suggestions!

Saturday, June 22, 2013 at 1:37 PM - Response #10

Yes Karen but there are other people out there, such as yourself, and I want to hear from them too. As for Facebook, we still have a group page with them but our committee decided the service was lacking the sufficient security we wanted after some very negative experiences. So that's why we concentrate now on our Class Creator site. We had a death threat while using Facebook from a fake classmate and the service did nothing about the report we filed. FB wouldn't even write us back. So that is why we protect some of our Class Creator site pages. While it can interpreted as being counter productive, we want to make sure no one can threaten our classmates ever again. We know the staff here will help and will write back or can be reached by telephone.

I like your third paragraph ideas about the hometown newspaper plans, etc...

Edited 06/22/13 2:09 PM
Saturday, June 22, 2013 at 2:08 PM - Response #11

Karen, For one of your administrators to delete your posts is an over-reach, and not cool.
I think you have the right idea, but you will need to get many participants from the class to contribute news. I decided to try a "Class News Page" that would be for that purpose. I asked my classmates to just email me any news and/or pix that they would like posted, and I will do that for them. We will see what kind of success that brings. Also, I utilize Google Analytics to see what pages are being visited so that I can see if I'm on the right track.
Your committee needs to understand the importance of password-protecting some pages and not password-protecting others. You want to encourage participation by leaving some pages open, but they must login to see the "meat." If they don't login, you have no way to know who is participating. It's a balancing act, but you probably already realize that. Why buy the cow? Because unless the cow is yours, you can't control it, its quality, its quantity, or how long you will have access to it. I hope that you will be able to reconcile your differences with the committee. I believe their hearts are in the right place, but perhaps they don't understand the complexities of administering a website. Even though I've had business experience with websites, I often feel like I have no idea what I'm doing. So, I go with what little I know, and from then on it's trial and error. (Probably a lot of error)LOL

Saturday, June 22, 2013 at 3:58 PM - Response #12

Using Facebook as your 'one and only' way to keep your class together certainly has it limitations.
While CC does cost, that is miniscule when you consider the following features that CC has to offer:
multiple pages
email the class
In Memory page
survey capability
Live Chat
individual classmate profiles
And SO much more!

I would venture to guess, that if each of your committee members would order water instead of tea, a soda, or other beverage over the course of a few month, I imagine you could take that 'saved' money, an purchase several years of CC membership!

[not to mention asking for a dollar or two from classmates wishing to help keep everyone together. - Sell sponsorships to fund the site - surely some of you classmates could afford some very reasonable advertising their businesses]

Saturday, June 22, 2013 at 8:45 PM - Response #13

We have the same challenges...seems like a never ending challenge to stay creative rather than complacent and this is ultimately a positive thing! I've taken to "stealing" posts/pictures from fb posts and asking permission first/ apologizing after the fact,etc and posting in perhaps a "gallery of "borrowed" pics/memories,etc...Some will never leave the confines of what they are familiar with (i.e. fb) and yet, Hope Springs Eternal!
The Message Forum ""conversations", polls, surveys, surveys about surveys,etc are all part of the plan and i send out a monthly blurb, occasionally "begging" others to join in. Very little response, but yet, when i get a bit of encouragement from a friend or classmate reaffirming my "mission" of reuniting or refreshing friendships, it makes it worth it. Even one friend can make a huge difference in one's life at any given point, and the quest to keep it interactive and creative continues. We've had many sad life events unfold in recent weeks and i am hopeful that the simple gestures of an e-mail can make a huge difference or brighten a day.
Hope still Springs....even if some daze i want to forget it all and scream Uff Da from the top of the fjord!
Good luck on your quest!Cool
p.s. I also try to add more open-ended questions to the profile list, requiring more than a simple answer of yes or no. This allows some insights and "food for thought...not always successful, but i entertain my simple mind a bit! Have FUN with it and enjoy the challenge, in spite of the seeming frustrations!

Edited 06/23/13 6:12 PM
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