Is MySpace the right space for college marketing efforts?
One of my smartest friends in this business says "No." He can't understand why organizations think that a website presence in a Web 2.0 environment designed for individuals is a good marketing move. And he reminds me frequently that the "cool" people are fleeing MySpace in search of a new frontier where everyone can still be free.
That might be true. I certainly would not bet any part of my retirement funds that it isn't. But despite my friend's thoughts, interest in MySpace for marketing is growing at colleges and universities. In my March issue of "Your Higher Education Marketing Newsletter," I had two entries about marketing on MySpace. They were far and away the highest interest items measured by people who clicked on the relevant links, more than double the next most popular.
I haven't seen a response that strong since the first time I included something on Web writing about two years ago.
One college was featured, Drury University. If you go to http://www.myspace.com/druryuniversity you'll find an elaborate attempt to take advantage of Web 2.0 features by this "Female, 100 years old, Springfield, Missouri" resident.
Time for a prediction.
I'm just starting to work on a "Trends and Tribulations" keynote presentation at the eduWeb confernce in July about the future of online marketing communications. And I've got a strong feeling that what you see here for Drury will move over to regular college websites over the next few years as organizational formality crumbles. Expect more content decisions based on what web visitors want to find (and what they create) rather than what organizational decision-makers think is right and proper.
It won't happen overnight. But it will happen. And so part of my eduWeb presentation will focus on how Web 2.0 is already starting to spread into the world of higher education websites.
For a peek at the future, visit the Drury MySpace website.