My thoughts about this website...

I got to thinking a little bit about the last reunion. It was a blast, but it was a substantially scaled-down version of what it started out to be. Then I got to thinking about Facebook and its role in helping, and possibly hurting the reunion.

The main positive thing about Facebook is that an amazingly high percentage of class members have joined and can easily be contacted. When organizing a reunion, just finding people can be a real challenge, and Facebook alleviates some of that "heavy lifting."

But Facebook has some serious drawbacks. How do you "get the word out" to everyone? Do you create a group? Do you create a fan page? Do you create an event and invite people to attend? Do you do all three? I have found that once I join a group, or attend an event, it's really difficult to find that information once it's rolled off my feed. Information on Facebook seems to have a fairly rapid expiration date and there doesn't seem to be any mechanism for it to persist, which is pretty important when leading up to an event like a reunion.

Facebook could also be detrimental to reunions in another way. It removes that "what ever happened to" curiosity we all have about our classmates. I have over 100 friends from AGHS on Facebook. I have a pretty good idea what they all look like, what they do, if they're married, have kids, etc. I think that, for a lot of people, this negates the desire to attend a reunion. I'm about to contradict my own point here, but For me, it has the opposite effect. Seeing thumbnails of my friends on a website makes me miss them even more. I can't wait for 2014 so I can see/talk to/hug everyone again!

Another point worth noting about Facebook is that there are a lot of people who aren't on Facebook! And many of those people have made a conscious decision not to join. Their lack of participation in Facebook shouldn't mean their exclusion from class reunions. And since they're not on Facebook, and we don't know everything about them already, perhaps their participation in the reunion should be valued the most.

So.... that's why I created this website. I wanted to create a way for class members to effectively receive all the latest information about the upcoming reunion and, at the same time, create an environment where users' privacy was respected. I wanted people who are wary of joining Facebook to feel comfortable joining this site.

I am very interested in thoughts, ideas, and opinions, about how this site could be improved. I encourage you to post replies to this thread with your ideas.

For the nerdists who are interested, this site is powered by Drupal CMS, and is hosted at Bluehost.com. Its functionality can be extended by add-on modules, several of which are already employed. If you wish this site could perform a particular function, chances are it can be made to do so.

Thanks,
-Chris Johnson