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Friday, December 19, 2008

A note for Facebook users

I've always felt pretty strongly that admission officers should let Facebook groups geared towards applicants and incoming students grow organically. Last night, a well-researched blog post by Brad Ward at Butler University changed my mind.

College Prowler, whose main activity is publishing college guide books, has created well over 300 Class of 2013 groups for colleges and universities around the country. Many are deemed "official", including two of the three they created for UVa. They've also used trademarked logos, but that's another issue.

I emailed the CEO of College Prowler to get his reasoning for doing this (and really it's a ring of unpaid student interns that are doing all the work), but I think most people would conclude that they are going to sell marketing opportunities to companies that want to interact with college-bound students. I would hate for your interest in UVa open you up for spam from companies that aren't related to us.

This morning, I created a "Dean J" Facebook account and started an Official University of Virginia Class of 2013 Facebook group. I'm not interested in checking your profiles (admission officers at UVa don't do that). I want to provide a group for prospective students and applicants that won't be used to market any for-profit enterprise. I might post updates now and then about the admission process, but I won't be heavily monitoring the group.