The Small Things Loosely Connected student group had its kickoff meeting this afternoon. As Brian noted it was a good start to a very interesting endeavor. Michael Cohen mentioned that he had thought more student groups like STLC would have formed at SI before now. I was surprised by the same thing when I first arrived last fall. There are a couple of chapters for student professional organizations such as the ALA, SLA, SOCHI, SIMPLE, but no ad-hoc interest groups. What we need are SIGs. I hope this will be a good start.
So how can we use the Web to make it easier for student groups to form? What keeps them from starting up? I think some of it is because the masters program lasts only two years, that’s not much time for a student group to recruit new members and pass the torch. Part of our conversation covered social networking sites, such as LinkedIn, Friendster, etc. I wondered if any of those models could be used for an alumni or student organization. The University of Michigan apparently already has a social networking system in place but according to Brian it hasn’t gained much traction with alumni because it requires a membership fee to continue using.