At Augustana College we use a number of tools to track what people are saying, writing and blogging about the college. It’s helpful to know what’s out there, to track trends and celebrate good news or prepare for bad news. These tools track all sorts of things, and an alert I received today really got me thinking.
Yesterday one of the alert services provided a link to a parent’s Facebook page on which Augustana was included. The parent had listed several other colleges and universities, too. The post, which I will paraphrase, includes a list of colleges this parent’s student is considering. Plus the post includes the academic and co-curricular interests of the student.
It’s a fascinating list of colleges—ranging from the super-selective to the local public university. The list includes 20 colleges in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky and Wisconsin. Colleges range in size from 800 to 5,000.
What is most interesting to me about the post, though, is that the parent asks for advice on how to decide, compare and even negotiate with colleges.
Presumably, this parent is asking for advice from people who he trusts to be informed and have the best interest of his student in mind. However, the replies are what you might expect – both biased and anecdotally based.
I am very tempted to follow the parent, so I could continue to monitor the post. I am curious to see if anyone makes a good case for Augie among those who post.
I guess this really shouldn’t surprise me at all, considering how people use social media. But, this particular post may suggest a new way to gather information about colleges and the college search.
It seems to me that discussions on comparing and negotiating with colleges were once reserved for the cocktail party circuit. These questions were reserved for close friends or those who one knew had recently navigated the process. These questions were held in reserve—somewhat like one’s voting preferences. However, this post suggests otherwise.
While I know plenty of people who have queried their Facebook friends for dating, dining, vacation and voting advice, what do you think? Are you ready to ask for advice via Facebook about important issues, like your student’s college choice?
Please complete the poll below:
Let me know what you think? Is social media the new cocktail party?
W. Kent Barnds aka @bowtieadmission