It’s Monday. You’re having a hard time getting started. You’re reading blog posts instead of tackling your lengthy “To Do” list. I understand. Here are a few ideas to boot up your brain and boost your productivity.
1. Chronicle of Higher Ed: Who Does Your College Think Its Peers Are?
2. Alumni Futures: 21 Examples of Crowdsourced Fundraising Platforms
3. FastCompany.com: What Successful People Do With The First Hour of Their Day
4. EDU Universe: Taking the Time To Do It Right
5. LifeHacker: Why We Procrastinate and How to Stop It
Link-up with LinkedIn
If you haven’t noticed yet, we’re pretty excited over here about our new integration with LinkedIn. And I have to say, there’s plenty of reasons for our enthusiasm. We know that anything which helps our clients keep their constituent database up to date is a plus. Our integration with LinkedIn not only makes it easier for you to collect updated data, it also allows your members to get more out of their relationship with your institution.
It’s no secret that career networking and alumni mentoring are huge trends in alumni relations these days. In this difficult job market, alums and students are looking to their alma mater to provide them with career networking opportunities and employment assistance. Incorporating LinkedIn into your online community is one way you can begin to meet this growing demand. If you missed our LinkedIn webinar this week, you can watch it now on the client community. It’s well worth your time and full of great tips for making LinkedIn an effective and integral part of your outreach to both alumni and students.
And Now For Something Completely Different…
Are you sick and tired of dealing with non-member records? You are not alone. Those pesky little non-members tend to make a mess of things. Clients have told us that although Identity Checkpoint certainly helps, it doesn’t fully solve the problem of duplicate member records. So in the September product release we’re rolling out our new non-member merge capability to help manage the non-member record conundrum.
More details about this great new tool can be found in the September Product Release notes. We’ve also put together a short video tutorial for a quick peek at how it works.
Another fantastic update coming with the September release is event registration update. If you aren’t jumping for joy, you will be soon when you see it in action. Not only can you give members the ability to edit their registrations by using a link in their confirmation e-mails but the changes they make WON’T MESS UP YOUR EVENT REPORTING. Now are you jumping? Check out the details in the September Product Release notes. It’ll put a big smile on your face
Go To An Impact Group This Year!
It’s time again to register for the fall Impact Group sessions. If you’ve never attended one of these peer networking meetings, I highly recommend that you consider checking it out. The Impact Group meetings are a kind of Sizzler roadshow. You have an opportunity to meet your peers in the industry, learn new ideas for using the Encompass tools, hear about upcoming releases, and consult directly with iModules staff. All packed into one very productive day. The best part is these sessions are FREE. The agenda will cover key areas such as e-mail marketing, event management, data management, as well as product development and client idea exchanges. As an iModules client, I always found these meetings to be a valuable source of new ideas and networking opportunities, so I’m really excited about co-hosting sessions this year at Le Moyne College on October 9 and Pratt Institute on October 23. Visit the Impact Group information page for the full schedule and registration links.
The Impact of Usability
I’ve been working on site audits this week and thinking a great deal about the importance of web usability. I find that this is an area of site management that often gets lost in the towering list of priorities that the average web manager faces on a daily basis. But it’s one of the single most important things you can do to drive (and keep) traffic on your site. In his book, “Don’t Make Me Think”, Steve Krug does an excellent job of explaining how to quickly assess the usability of your site and gives some straightforward advice about how to make improvements. Some of his advice is what most site managers already know, such as:
- web users don’t read, they scan. And therefore…
- most of the words on your site are just taking up space
- everything important on your site should be obvious at a glance, but…
- your site shouldn’t look like Las Vegas
Even though we all know this, it can be difficult to get a handle on it. Krug’s book does a great job of explaining where to start and provides some easy to remember tricks for improving usability when designing or redesigning your site. The best thing of all about “Don’t Make Me Think” is it’s a quick and enjoyable read.