Why not just have a group on Facebook, or have a database in school? Surely everyone is already on Facebook, or a the database in school could be customised to exactly what we need! There is a whole bunch of reasons why my vision for a JIS Alumni organisation sits best on LinkedIn; I will do my best to take you through some of them:
A professional environment for an organisation of professionals
I reckon Facebook is the right place for photographs of your personal life. I envisage the Alumni pages be a place where we share professional information about what we have been doing in a more public arena. Maybe you link up with JIS contacts on Facebook a little further down the line once your friendship moves beyond business.
A searchable database for businesslike interactions
If you need information about a specific University, or are searching for someone with a specific skill, LinkedIn provides you with the means to find exactly the knowledge or ability that you are looking for that is already held within our community. It is setup to enable networking and facilitate progress towards mutually beneficial goals.
Professional details kept up to date
My school holds a database that we are meant to update any time my professional status changes. I am ashamed to admit this has not been at the top of my list of priorities. I look at my schoolmates details and I see that they have been no better. I know that for me and my friends it is a much higher priority to keep LinkedIn up to date as so many more people are able to see our profiles. It's much simpler on LinkedIn too.
A positive digital tattoo for our community
I think that we are naive if we do not believe that universities, prospective employers or potential clients are not scanning our digital profiles for a handle on the kind of people that we really are. This platform gives us a chance to create a compelling online narrative that we own. One that tells a story about all our capabilities and, furthermore, how we collaborate, encourage and inspire.
It is what LinkedIn does
We could set about re-inventing the wheel and set up a bespoke system that would have time and resource costs. But LinkedIn is already there. And it will continue to be there, even if the administration of the school changes. The critical mass of 467 million LinkedIn users ensures that it is futureproof. LinkedIn's mission is to connect the world's professionals to enable them to be more productive and successful - isn’t that pretty much what we are trying to do?
The JIS Brunei Alumni group can be found at this address: