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How to encourage web site usage

Forums: General Discussion
Created on: 06/12/11 10:57 AM Views: 1389 Replies: 9
Sunday, June 12, 2011 at 10:57 AM

We have had fairly good success getting classmates to join our web site. Since we graduated in 1961, many of our classmates are not familiar with PCs; have no idea how to upload a photo; and appear to be intimidated by the internet.

Based on some of the questions I'm receiving and based on the number of views to User Forums, I don't feel our classmates are taking full advantage of the web site and all the information that is available. They may not understand there is information and photographs behind all the buttons on the left side of the screen.

A good example of the type questions I am getting: One classmate, Tom, who is on the reunion planning committee, asked me about Mary, a fellow classmate. Mary has a great profile on the web site explaining what she has been up to for the last 50 years. I told Tom he should read Mary's profile. His eyes kinda glazed over and he said o.k., but did not say it in a way that led me to believe he would ever do it.

So I'm thinking about sending hints to classmates to explain some of the available features (Classmate Profiles; Memorable Photos; User Forums; Missing Classmates; Military Tribute; In Memory; etc.)

My fear is that if I list a lot of information in one email, most people will ignore it (short attention span). On the other hand, I don't want to send multiple emails or flood classmate's in-baskets.

What have you done to get classmates to check out all of the information that is available on your web site, and how have you done it?

Anyone have any humorous suggestions or examples of emails they have sent to their classmates?

Thanks, Bob

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Sunday, June 12, 2011 at 11:57 AM - Response #1

I went to www.techsmith.com and downloaded a Free version of a product called Jing. There is also a Jing Pro, that is fairly inexpensive (I think it was $19.95?????).

It is a very simple program to use, that you simply turn it on and "capture" your screen and voice. Essentially, I made for my Class of 1960 about 4 Help Videos so far. I plan to make a few more, but will probably wait until CC 3.0 in case screens look differently. Some I have made are:

Message Center
Edit your Contact and Profile
Uploading Photos
Navigating Classmate Profiles

I just simply send out Email Class with names of Videos and name of link on my sidebar (I used Gallery Creator). My side bar has a link called "HELP Me Videos". Do I know if the classmates are using it.......no. But next reunion I will sure ask them. Also, if someone occasionally asks a question about some subject contained in the website, I can just suggest they "watch my video".

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Sunday, June 12, 2011 at 12:13 PM - Response #2

Well, I'm not sure I'll have the right answer, but we do have similarities. Our 50th reunion will be in 2013 so I have some more time than you do assuming you're planning a 50th reunion also. Ours was a small private girls' school of 75 graduates in 1963.
What I've done was to send out many short e-mails and posted announcements on the homepage that I am changing as frequently as I have time to do so. The announcements ranged from "saint of the day" during Lent to downloading popular music of the day to one of the empty pages available (and adding more tunes weekly). I also send out e-mails to the class that tell them what (and how) to 'check out what's knew on the site'.
There seems to be some apathy and sometimes it seems like a chore, but I think it will be worth it. Also, if you're pretty sure an alumni in particular is confused about using the site, try asking her (him) if you may change thei password. If you are permitted, post something for him in particular, like an old & new picture of him side by side. Or a favorite song he liked could be loaded onto a page with his name on it and you can password protect it. Probably a guy might not go for the 'song' thing, but you get the idea. If you lead him through it on the phone, he just might like it and appreciate the time you take. He can always change his password later.
Another thing might be to assign this chore to someone particularly suited for it. Hope this helps.
One last thing -- We're narrowing our reunion site choices down. We now have voted and have 2 spots left. I see you're from N. Carolina. One possible site for our reunion is Sunset Beach, N.C.. Do you know anything about the town? I understand it's about 15 minutes from Myrtle Beach, S.C. Someone of us has touted SeaTrail Resort & Conference etc.. If you have any personal knowledge of the place, I'd be appreciative of a comment from you about it.
Again, good luck!! I'd be interested in how your reunion turns out.
Barbara EckerWink

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Sunday, June 12, 2011 at 1:57 PM - Response #3

Derrell, thanks for the info. I'll have to check out www.techsmith.com and Jing.

Bob

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Sunday, June 12, 2011 at 2:04 PM - Response #4

Barbara, we are planning a 50th reunion this coming August. Thanks for your suggestions about web site usage.

Regarding SeaTrail Resort & Conference, I don't know anything about that resort. I'm familiar with Sunset Beach though, and it is about 30+ minutes to Myrtle Beach. In roughly 15 minutes you can make it to North Myrtle Beach.

If you hold your reunion in Sunset Beach, be sure to work in a trip to eat in Calabash which is about 10 minutes away. You will find some of the best seafood you have ever had there.

Bob

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Sunday, June 12, 2011 at 8:19 PM - Response #5

Another way to ask the question above:

Does ClassCreator.com provide instructions for classmates like it does for administrators?

Bob

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Monday, June 13, 2011 at 5:34 AM - Response #6

I owned a beach house at Sunset Beach for many years. It's the prettiest beach in North Carolina. The strand is very wide, especially on the west end. The beach runs East to West. Great for long walks on the beach. It is the southern most beach in North Carolina, just above North Myrtle Beach. Great golf courses and close to Myrtle Beach for all the nightlife. They recently replaced the old swinging bridge with a new modern bridge. When I owned property there, it was mostly a family beach. The old bridge controlled the traffic. I don't know about the traffic volume now. I think you will enjoy it. Great location!

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011 at 10:36 PM - Response #7

Does ClassCreator.com provide instructions for classmates like it does for administrators?

Bob

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011 at 10:46 PM - Response #8

No. ClassCreator.com doesn't have any instructions for classmates.


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Wednesday, June 15, 2011 at 10:53 PM - Response #9

Thanks Kyle.

I know you are really busy, but as time becomes available, perhaps a video for some of us older classmates might be appropriate.

Bob

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