#eduweb2008 Admission Life Cycle

Christopher Ferguson, Dir. of Admission at Wilmington University.

Interesting. He went to a real estate company for the virtual tour.

Ning, interesting that they have it open to anyone not only accepted students. I’m not sure about how I feel about this. Get a kid who applies and then is denied…

What is Blogger’s problem with Italics? It won’t shut them off. Starting to get annoyed by it.

It’s been a long day of live blogging. Clearly, this post has not been very enlightening. Sorry, I’m fried. (::DAMN ITALCS!!!::)

#eduweb2008 High School Students Tell All

Presented by Bill Royall and Pam Kiecker

The Wealth of Stealth: the stealth market place. Website and other internet resources (think first contact application) -from the Lawlor Group

A few of the top most important information resources for students:

  1. Admission website
  2. Virtual tour
  3. Student blogs
  4. Online chats
  5. Instant messaging
  6. Personalization of website


  • College websites are used for information not entertainment
  • Functionality: must be easy to use
  • Two click rule – it’s even more important now that there

Most frequently used sources during colelge search:

  1. Websites
  2. Other students/peers
  3. Letters from colleges
  4. Email messages from specific colleges

.edu websites are used more than any other. They are the most trusted and are used by all h.s. ages

Heavy traffic time winter break of their Sophomore and Junior years!!!!

They are searching for:

  • Can I get in?
  • Major?
  • Can I afford it? (GD financial aid again)

Seniors use website for:

  • Make an informed decission on where to apply
  • Develop a strong application
  • Make the FINAL choice

Everyone is on Facebook, but I’m surprised that the high school numbers are low. I’m not surprised that they’re not using it to get information on colleges.

I’m also surprised to see such a high the numbers were for those accepting of colleges on Facebook. I wonder if the students really understood what they were being asked. I also wonder about what kids picture when they’re asked about colleges being on Facebook.

More insights:

  • Website is important.
  • Connect with current students
  • Despite what you may think, students want more information not less. Email sin’t as dead as you’ve heard. This makes sense especially when considering how much Royall uses email and the incredible response rates they get in direct mail.
  • Students are saying, let me have it all and then I’ll sort through it and get what I want

Bill just suggested a financial aid estimator and how it can help enroll students!!!!!!!! No more!!!! I can’t take it!!!!!!!!

#eduweb2008 E-Mail Marketing for Higher Ed

Kyle James, webmaster @ Wofford College

Consistency is key. branding should be similar to the over all branding of your site.

Wish we had a dog for a mascot.

What to send?

  • New releases (check)
  • Weekly newsletter i.e. athletics
  • Data mining blog posts
  • Promoting Website features

Good idea from Kyle: Find an alum who is already blogging about what they do and piggyback onto it.


  • Subject line (a must have)
  • Small bite sized chunks
  • link back to site
  • multiple content options
  • Pictures should ad to content but not dominate

Use Google anylitics in emails.


I’m a little grossed out by the feet on our website.

#eduweb Brian Niles, "Recruiting 2.1"

Lot’s of talk about population trends and the economy. Scary stuff. He did mention wasteful travel.

Stay away from fads. i.e. Second life and crappy facebook applications

Where’s the big picture? Are we doing this just to do it or is there a plan in place?

Email: What we use to talk to old people

IM/SMS: What we use to talk to our friends


64% believe that advertising is dishonest or unrealistic. Taglines. The marketing speak.

>25% of first contacts are at the point of application. >13% start searching at the 8th grade.

How to reach these kids? Where are they getting there information?

In 2004 75% of students researched colleges online. Really old study. Must be way higher now.

Damn Financial Aid Estimators again. 90% of parents want one. We continue to get killed by that one.

Funny, I don’t see those IM #’s. I never get IM’s from kids.

Quality: Define it! How is your program different! Think of the question, ‘how is your english program?”

Graduate student blogs. The whole damn website needs to be blown up and focus on recruiting students.

Biola for parent programs. It’s a great page and hits on a lot of stuff we’ve been talking about in our communications meetings.

Transforming a College George Keller

I’ve got a lot of reading to do. http://linkbun.ch/hh0

roommate assignments in February(!!!). The ability to connect with your future roommate can help make the sale!

Travel, where are we going and why? I don’t think we’ve cut it enough in our office…

Book list:
The Overacheivers
Beyond Disruption
X Saves the World
How to Drive your Competition Crazy
Fast Company ( I need to subscribe to this for the office)
Don’t Make Me Think

Presentation available at knowledgecenter.targetx.com

#eduweb2008 Buzz, Brands, and Babes

Sexy title.

Sean Carton, CSO from idfive. sean.carton@idfive.com

6 trends of change

  1. The consumer is in the driver’s seat
  2. Everything is digital
  3. Real time now = when I wnat it
  4. Bye, bye centralization
  5. The future is always on (wireless)
  6. Peace out desktop

It should be standard practice to search around for what they’re sayng about you. I think we’ve lucked out here.

Memes – a unit of cultural information. Richard Dawkings The Selfish Gene

Malcolm Gladwell, the Tipping Point- You just need to reach the ten people who will be the ones to make it grow and then it will be viral.

Duncan Watts One-to-one – disagrees with Gladwell.


I was talking about this yesterday. I really think that this web 2.0 movement will force conversation from the marketing speak to honest conversations.

Keep it honest
Multiple channels
Frequent updates

This is more to the point that you can’t always control your message and sometimes you have to let it ride.
More passive Marketing.

Helicopter Parents

Presenter: Stephanie Geyer – Noel-Levitz

Parents say the darnedest things. Stephanie had us read various quotes from parents about their involvement in their kid’s college search.

I don’t think this will shock anyone out there: Parents fill out forms for their students and pose as students when they can. I know we see parents on the student chats @ SMC.

Here’s an important piece, “The more parent information the better.”

Some quick numbers:

90% either have or would chat online one on one with a counselor.

87% would or have email a counselor.

Virtual Tour is huge!

Social Networking:

I wonder how many parents are on facebook, etc. I wonder if a Parent social networking site would be useful if it was directed solely at parents.

Recommendations for colleges:
More detail into curriculum requirements
Financial costs/financial aid/percentage of students receiving aid
Application status

Not surprised here. 2 of the top five web content priorities for parents are financial aid related. I worry about this and our site.

Email is not dead for parents!!!! It’s in fact the number one way to connect with parents. That’s a real bad thing for us and our CMS.

Millennials go to College, must read.

To me, parents aren’t going away. Colleges should accept that. You can’t bite the hand that feed you.

Live from eduweb2008

So it’s begun.

I’m at the third annual eduweb conference in Atlantic City, NJ. I’m going to try to post here as much as I can through out the week.

Right now, I’m in the opening speaker’s presentation: Mark Greenfield from the University of Buffalo. This is the second time I’ve heard him speak. The man loves his Slingbox and his Sabres.

Mark’s top 10 Web Trends:

10. The end of print – see Kindle

9. World network (web3.0) Loopt – a social compass that the new iphone has. There’s not much that Vermont is missing, but the fact that Vermont doesn’t have the iphone is ridiculous.

8. Virtual Reality – Club penguin, webkins, second life, second life teen. Not sure about this one.

7. Email is dead. I totally by into this. Email is ridiculous. Completely annoying and people don’t know how to use it appropriately. Facebook is becoming this way too.

6. Read/write web. I like his idea of striking out the word “audience” and using “community” when talking about for whom content is directed.

5. Information overload. Too many people out there and it hard to separate the chafe from shaft. (I think that’s the saying)

4. Redefining Time. Stuff has to happen much quicker than before. Qik.com going to have to check that site out. Live video streaming through your cell phone.

3. The end of the walled garden. The conversation has left the blogosphere. I was talking about this in my final presentation last Friday. Blogs have become one-way conversations. This is why we need to use all of the different social networking media out there. (Flickr, YoutTube, etc.) Ping.fm (need to check this out as well)

2. Cluetrain Manifesto! Must read according to Mark. Chris Andersen (wrote The Long Tail) says that social networking sites should be a component not a destination. In otherwords, he’s an advocate for niche social networking. I this has some value. We certainly use it with accepted students. I wonder about this though. I wonder though…. Who has the time? (cuwebd.ning.com)

1. Mobile. This is where we get killed in Vermont!!!!! Push the damn AT&T deal through!!!!!

Strategies to deadl with these trends:

Focus on the relationships, not the technology. Yes, exactly!!! What is our goal? Why do we want to have a presence in a place like Facebook?

Read Groundswell, The Revolution Will not be Televised

1. Be first.
2. Refresh. Keep it moving. Update daily.
3. Be authentic.
4. Be honest. Love the marketing jargon.
5. Community!!! Build it.
6. You can’t control it. You must cede control. Understand that if you let them in, they’ll poke around in places you don’t want them. (see what happened when I got off of the Facebook group)
7. The world is flat. Connections can be made that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. There’s a lot of wonder that can happen, but there’s a lot to be skeptic.

Chief Marketing Officer. Now we need a Chief Community Officer. Someone to advocate for the Community first and the Organization second. This is a tough one for educational institutions I’m sure. It goes back to #6. I’ve been thinking about this the last couple of weeks. It’s almost like passive marketing. I want to explore this more in the future. I think there’s a lot there.

I’m starting to recruit students to be a part of a new division of our Founder’s Society (our student ambassador program). Members will blog, spend some time on Facebook, and participate in our Virtual Open Houses. Below is an overview of what the team will do and their responsibilities:

The Make Up
The Founders Society e-Team is a crack group of technology savvy Founders Society Members. Just as tour guides introduce potential students to our campus and campus life, the e-Team will do the same – in cyber space.

The group will be made up of eight individuals, plus at least one study abroad blogger. With the exception of the Study Abroad blogger, e-Team members are expected to fulfill the responsibilities listed below.


e-Team members are required to write a blog post weekly and are encouraged to do more. A happy blog is a frequently updated blog. More updates give a reader a reason to check back regularly. They don’t to be epic posts either. Long posts get dull quickly, but a couple of hundred words every few days will result in people reading the blog more often. If you can tie them in to SMC that’s great, but non SMC posts are great as well. The most important thing is the frequency of the posts. The more posts the better. Have fun with it!

e-Team will from time to time post videos to YouTube and imbed them in their blogs. These videos will provide another glimpse into the life of a Saint Michael’s College student. This is a great outlet for your creativity. Again, have fun with it and be creative!

Facebook, KnightSpace, etc.
e-Team members will monitor the Office of Admission page, any class pages, and KnightSpace. Their presence isn’t meant to be an overseer or a authority figure, rather to provide factual information when necessary and correct any misinformation posted to these sites.

Virtual Open Houses
e-Team members are required to be present and participate in all VOH’s that may occur throughout the year. These are two hour chat sessions with accepted students. They provide an opportunity for accepted students to ask questions and interact with current students without having to travel to campus.


e-Team members will be compensated in a similar fashion to Campus Tour Guides. Each significant blog posting will be compensated at the same pay rate as a campus tour. There is no limit to the amount of posts an e-Teamer may publish. As posting in a blog should take less time than an hour long tour of campus, e-Team members will also be expected to spend a variable amount of time (depending on the time of year) on the Social Networking outlets.

If you’re interested in applying, send me a brief 200 word or so essay explaining some things that you’re involved in on campus. Attach it in a Word doc and email is to amillikin@smcvt.edu. If you already have a blog, send me a link!

Now playing: Grateful Dead – Dire Wolf
via FoxyTunes