A lot of people fear the power of online social networks, the pervasiveness of their existence and the level of intrusion into their lives. The jury is still out on a lot of the implications that arise from this new phenomena of our culture, and I’m still not sure how I feel about a lot of what’s happening within this mostly unexplored frontier.
But I for one can deeply vouch for their usefulness. Ten years ago, the amount of work that you would have to put in to promoting an event was massive. You’d need posters, flyers, t-shirts, and people on the ground battering the message into people’s skulls.
And even then, these methods weren’t always effective.
But things like Facebook on the other hand…. College kids? They’re probably lying if they say they haven’t checked it at least four times today.
Yeah, Facebook can be kind of silly sometimes. A lot of uninteresting or uninformative information floats around on any given day. I confess; I perpetuate a lot of it within my circle of friends.
But the fact that we all look at it makes my job as an organizer super easy. Today I created an event on Facebook, announcing the registration event for this Fall’s “Humans vs Zombies” game at The College of Idaho. Facebook naturally tracks who is attending, and when someone’s friend marks that they’re attending, that information will likely show up in the feeds of other people connected to them.
I get free advertising by the minute.
This in combination with posters, articles in The Coyote (our student newspaper at C of I) and general word-of-mouth at least can create curiosity. There’s no guarantee that anyone will ever show up to an event, but if you plant the information out there, you might get some bites.
The fact that we’re such a small school allows word to travel fast about these kind of things. It makes the magnitude of even small events that much larger. Our Program Council (the elected students in charge of organizing a lot of the free events on campus), has made a dedicated effort over the past few years in coordinating events on Facebook to keep students informed.
It’s amazing how easy it can be to get people to assemble. Things like bonfires and random movie nights can appear with virtually no advance warning. It’s part of the magic of college I suppose. But it’s even more magical being able to recognize everyone in the circle around you.
That’s my piece on the social networking of my generation. We’ve all heard of arm-chair generals. I’m a couch-coordinator.