Wednesday, September 19, 2018
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Think long term about this site being a true community...keeping classmates engaged will make the next reunion easier to plan.

  • E-newsletter capability makes blasting infomation easy
  • Classmate profiles (opt-in)
  • Then and now pictures
  • Classmate news
  • Links to classmate websites or Facebook pages
  • Message boards or blogs for ongoing communication
  • Upcoming birthdays
  • Class polls & surveys
  • Deceased classmate directory
  • Get everyone involved in locating lost classmates
  • Allow classmates to keep their own information current
  • PayPal integration for donations, fees, etc.
  • Feature stories about classmate accomplishments
  • Where are they now?
  • Have contests like "who's changed the least", "who has the most kids/grandkids", etc.
  • Include faculty members if desired

Don't you need a common place to record memories of all your school hijinks?

Bring Your Classmates Together - The Planners, Too!

OK, let's dispense with the elephant in the room.

Yes, we know that Facebook is the de-facto platform for classmates to stay in touch. But not everyone belongs to Facebook, nor do they want to! Privacy concerns and being inundated with minutiae are just a few reasons. Time magazine had a recent article about Facebook backlash.

In short, we see 3 components to a reunion website: tools for the planning team, pre-reunion information sharing, and post-reunion wrap-ups.

Planning team: Streamlining the thankless work of these volunteers is vital! We often see the team divvy up the class list, each responsible for contacting a subset of the class. Excel spreadsheets are usually the tool of choice. One unfortunate soul gets to manage the master spreadsheet, trying to compile multiple files into one. Copying and pasting, interpreting each other's notes, responding to some goofy color-coded scheme. Praying that they don't overlook someone. Sigh...

How about a secure, on-line master database? All the information in one place? Editing rights determined by agreed-upon login credentials? Yeah!

Pre-reunion: Post information about upcoming events to the site, including directions and maps. Allow classmates to offer activity suggestions. Provide the ability to donate or pay on-line.

Post-reunion: Create guestbooks and message boards to allow classmates to comment and share memories. Post photos. Keep the community alive to make the next reunion easier to plan!

For The Planning Team...

Take a look at a sample on-line database for managing classmate information. Take a further look at the dashboard that shows real-time statistics. See what you think of a discussion forum to kick ideas around.

Your website is not about technology - it's about communicating and building relationships with your stakeholders. It's Your Site!

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