Networking in the 21st century
I am very happy to report that my business school, INSEAD, has taken on social media, podcasting and mobile with great vigor. Not that I have followed their every action at INSEAD, nor can I reasonably compare with what its fine competition are doing; however, I wanted to do a little focus on the INSEAD Alumni mobile app, “INSEAD MOBILE CONNECT,” which can be downloaded on iTunes here. I should say that this is an exciting advancement in terms of digital networking in the modern era.
What does INSEAD Mobile Connect provide?
First, a word of warning: it is only available for the iPhone users.
Mobile Connect is compatible with ALL mobile platforms (Apple, Android, BBerry, htlm5, …). I have only used it on the iPhone. Thanks to the x2 magnification, the interface is quite plausible on the iPad. The dashboard (below) gives you 8 different areas: Alumni, Events, Associations, Networks, News, Career, Profile and About.
Of these functions, when you visit your profile you can see if your information is up-to-date, etc., but you can’t edit (you need to go back to the main website to do that). Associations relates the local country alumni associations. Events gives a listing of the upcoming events in your region. I don’t belong to any of the networks (there is no sub-network that interests me, yet).
The best feature: Alumni around me
The most interesting part of the application is the geo-localization feature, which allows you to see who among the INSEAD alumni are in the neighborhood. As you can see by the screenshot below, there are apparently 614 alum in the Manhattan area at the time of my writing.
Improvements that could be made…
Two things to improve. It is just not possible that the nearest alum would be 48 miles away, since I was in midtown Manhattan (problem with the geo-localization function) midweek. I note that some of my classmates prefer not to allow the site to know WHERE they are (you can arrange that in settings)…
Secondly, it would be rather useful to be able to sort for friends, or at least people in and around your year. The keyword search is a little aimless.
Mobile app for the current students too
Meanwhile, I know that INSEAD also has created a mobile app for current students (only available on iPhone) to enhance the networking and learning on campus (or should I now say, on the campuses). It has the social network component as well as a link to the itunes U and podcasts, programmes, etc. I’m sure that this is a real plus for the students.
My third and final request for the Alumni app would be to add, much like the student one, a link to the podcasts as well as the social network element… why not?
In any event, for the INSEAD alum reading this, please come and check it out… join the party. And, hopefully, in updates of the product, we will see some enhancements.