Online ‘Interaction’

I met with some gentlemen who are starting up an events site online, similar to those that can be found at going.com and meetup.com. I think they’ve got some great ideas, and they left me with thoughts of target marketing long after they left.

As more of our content is delivered to us via the web, targeted marketing is essential to parse through all the virtual flotsam to get at what’s relevant, whether it’s news you’re looking for or products to purchase. Being a pretty healthy male in my 20s, I don’t give a second glance to pharmaceutical ads; but show me an electronics retail store having a blow-out sale, and I’m inclined to click over.

Is there a way we can similarly segment our students to give them a more enjoyable experience?

I spoke to one of our board members this week about incorporating more of a user-interactive web experience. How about recommending classes the way Amazon does? Or allowing users to ‘friend’ each other the way social networking sites like facebook allow? Would you enroll for more courses if you knew most of the people taking the courses with you? These are all important questions to consider as our online registrations continue to grow.

I think of the Center as being a center for people who are concerned with self-development and enrichment, offering a variety of experiences that engage and make us think or feel something beyond the daily routine. Classes and events here are great, but it’d be ideal if the Center could provide resources to relevant events across the city, beyond Brattle Street. And online opportunities bring us closer to this everyday.

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