What’s in It for Me? Progressive Personalization for Alumni-oriented Sites (Best Of)

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Mark Heiman
Senior Web Application Developer, Carleton College

The beard is part of the job – who knew???

We all of us are doing a really bad job at building alumni sites/communities.

Hella? Yes, he worked it into his presentation!

Social media is necessary but not sufficient

There is no correlation between web engagement (logging in) and willingness to give money (at this point). Nice chart!

Many sites make users log in to get to the good content. But… how do we protect data without making them log in???

What to protect:

  • Contact Info
  • Academic Records
  • Memberships to interest groups
  • Some conversations

But, really that’s it. the following can be made use of in public.

  • Association with the institution
  • Class Year
  • Major
  • Some volunteer roles
  • Membership in some interest groups
  • Some conversations
  • Self-selected contact information

How do we get this information?

We ask them (and the computer they are on).

  • Browser Geolocation – a key piece of information that allows us to customize the experience

Shows a wireframe – hmmmm, I might just use that as a starting point for our site. I really need our foundationto watch this presentation.


Needs to be prominent – alumni directory search. You found 372 results – please log in to see them :)

Also: In your area, Careers, Interests & affinities, Carleton Eras, Majors.

If your cookie says your in NY, but your computer says Hawaii: “Are you traveling? See local events”

Wow – they plan to show charts about the popularity of majors. I would love to put that on the public website program pages!

Additional Goals

  • Return
  • Learn
  • Volunteer
  • Ask

Require login at the last possible moment!

They are using the reason content management system – that they originally developed. PHP/MySQL

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