Can You Hear Me Now? SoundCloud and Digital Alumni Social Networks

Justin Suter by on Sep 21, 2016


Even as most universities have cultivated an active presence on traditional online platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, new and different digital arenas are emerging with the potential to foster greater alumni engagement, networking and, ultimately, giving. Whether through SoundCloud or proprietary alumni platforms, Emory, NYU and OSU have recently delved further into the digital world in order to better connect to and engage with their alumni.


Emory University recently launched an Emory Alumni Association SoundCloud account, allowing alums worldwide to tune into faculty webinars, lectures, university updates, ceremonies and interviews. SoundCloud, a social media platform that lets anyone listen to or share audio, gives alumni the opportunity to connect with their alma maters at their convenience. Though one of the newest schools to enter the audio playfield, Emory is by no means the first university to use SoundCloud to reach alumni: Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Duke, the University of Cambridge, the University of Sydney, the University of Bath and many other colleges and universities maintain SoundCloud accounts.

Emory is currently promoting the new service through a section added to the alumni homepage and a new link to a new Listen in to Emory SoundCloud page on the Explore Emory Alumni Association’s Social Network page. The Listen in to Emory SoundCloud page organizes content into four categories: Alumni Academy, Alumni Experience, Alumni Honors and Alumni Insider. The Academy section features faculty, lectures and panels while the Experience section includes interviews, conversations and university traditions. The Honors section houses ceremonies and profiles, and the Insider section provides updates from Emory leaders. Emory’s SoundCloud archive dates back as far as 2008 in each category, and alumni can leave comments at any point of the track to initiate discussions about different points raised by the speaker.

Colleges are continuously searching for more ways to connect with and engage alumni and should take advantage of platforms like SoundCloud to disseminate lectures or webinars, content that they are already often producing and recording on campus, quickly and easily. Alumni whose university maintains a SoundCloud account can access content anytime anywhere and, thanks to a recent SoundCloud app update, can download and listen to content on the go.


Listen in to Emory SoundCloud Page (Truncated)

New York University

NYU alumni received an email on September 8 promoting the school’s Fall 2016 Alumni College, which will focus on the 2016 presidential election. NYU’s bi-annual Alumni College invites alumni back to campus for a day of lectures and conversations hosted and led by faculty experts. The email includes a link to the NYU Alumni College Microsite outlining the event. Anchored links at the top of the page lead to the microsite’s four sections: Overview, Schedule, Speakers and Register. Alumni can register to attend the event in person or participate online via a live stream. NYU’s decision to live stream this event allows it to reach and engage its global alumni base, not simply those able to make it to New York City.


NYU Alumni College Microsite (Truncated)

Ohio State University

Ohio State University expanded its digital presence in June when it launched Alumnifire, an online networking and mentoring community for OSU alumni, students and staff. Its new associated Alumnifire microsite offers an overview of the platform and registration links.

Alumnifire is the first digital networking platform powered directly by OSU alumni and, as a school-specific alternative to LinkedIn, allows them to exchange career advice and industry knowledge, network, and connect. Further, the more personal nature of Alumnifire fosters regular online interaction between students and alumni, a particularly useful perk for students searching for quick tips on a specific class or the best way to break into their chosen field.


New Alumnifire Microsite (Truncated)

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About The Author

Justin Suter

Justin is an Analyst for Property & Casualty Insurance Monitor at Corporate Insight. Read more