Latest Thought For A Class Project :: A New Loveliest Village Social Network

For the longest time, it seems, we’ve been doing projects for clients in our Style & Design class, as well as Campaigns, PR Writing and Survey Research.

I had a thought. Yes, I know … that’s often a dangerous thing.

Why not take our ongoing blogging and podcasting activities and fold them into a real, honest-to-goodness, social network?The Loveliest Village social network

So, here ya’ go … LoveliestVillage.org will now become … TheLoveliestVillage.org.

From now on, part of our ongoing projects will be — grow the network. It isn’t enough to just practice the art of writing for an online audience, or preparing podcasts, or dabbling in graphics and layout. All of that means bupkus if you don’t also know how to develop the network (audience) for your project. D’oh?

It is such a simple natural progression on what we’ve been doing, I wanna kick myself for not having done this sooner. Perhaps it is my new infatuation with ASCCAFriends.org and the power of Ning, but this seems like a pretty fun idea. I can see students becoming fairly engaged. A little competition between groups as to which one lands the most signups … huh? Ya’ think?

ASCCA Friends ScreenshotAfter all, the students (depending upon the semester and # of classes / class size) combine to crank out 140 to 300+ videos and 240 to 500+ blog posts each semester. To keep it sane, we can limit participation in the ‘open’ social network to the almost 1,000 students in our department and select outiders/alumni. Then, as we learn, perhaps open it up. (Don’t know about that.)

Now, if we can’t build a network of Auburn students and fans around all the video podcasts and blogging we’ve been doing – while letting the network members blog & post, too – well, I’ll feel pretty goofy. (More goofy? goofier?) I’m even thinking about doing some Facebook Ads (just among Auburn students) to get it rolling. Don’t worry, we won’t spend much. The process of creating and launching the ads alone, is worth the cost.

Not foresaking the traditional bread-n-butter PR practices, we build in the traditional elements such as research, media relations, press kit … well, we will have to decide what fits.

So, whatta’ ya’ think? I’m liking this … but, as always, crave feedback and critiques.

I’m thinking that any college, university … any school, could create such a network.

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