Tuesday, May 31

What is it about High School Reunions?

This Memorial Day Weekend, I spent the weekend at my hometown catching up with people I haven't seen in two decades. It was just under 20 years ago, I dressed up in a white gown and got a piece of paper signifying my passage into the "real world". Little did I know that I would go through a number of these rites in my lifetime - aside from high school...

I spent a lot of time catching up with people at the three events I went to - and discovered something interesting - while our class had almost 400 people in it - only about 25% of the class showed up to any of the events. But what was interesting was that every person that was there - knew at least two other people in our class that was not at the event. Which, conservatively, meant that the entire class should have gotten wind of the event - whether by phone, email, website or WOM.

The question is - how could we make sure this happens effectively? In other social circles I am associated with - email, Skype and IM are the three main connection mediums I use. In a project I am working on, the urban community uses mobile, SMS and email (to a lesser degree) with a *very* strong referential bias. In an alumni group like mine, the number of people who use these media are very different - and can find that it must be a challenge to reach everyone in the network solely relying on a particular medium.

For my high school graduating class - I am going to see what I can do to make the bonds stronger for the next reunion. Maybe five years from now, maybe ten. And with my brother having his reunion in two years, we shall see how the network effect operates in the future...

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