When you picture the last time thousands of Trojan alumni gathered together, you probably think of the packed stands at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum or the Galen Center.
Now, you can also think of FightOnline.
Since its launch last year, the official website for USC alumni has welcomed more than 28,000 users and counting. Designed for alumni to stay in touch and update career information, the site also allows users to choose their preferences for receiving university communications.
“This is almost like a digital living room for alumni,” says Patrick Auerbach, associate senior vice president for alumni relations. “We want Trojans to be able to visit us anytime and customize their experience with USC.”
USC Alumni Gather Online Through New Networking Platform
On many social media platforms, it’s hard to tell if users are being honest about their identity—or worse, are just a bot. On FightOnline, all users are confirmed USC alumni. “This is not an open platform,” says Teresa Verbeck, executive director of alumni relations. “This is a service available to alumni only. You can’t join if you’re not in the university’s database.”
Users can search and message other alumni to reconnect with old friends or build new ties. They can also join message boards—several regional groups are based on where alumni live, for example—with each moderated by a manager.
Beyond location, alumni can personalize their profiles with their USC affiliations, including fraternities and sororities, student groups and athletic teams like rugby and soccer. As the site grows, it will be easier to find other alumni who shared these unique USC student experiences and request even more specialized groups, like former tour guides or Trojans whose children also attended USC.
USC Alumni Site Offers New Ways for Trojans to Connect
The USC Alumni Association is hard at work to expand the platform and plans to offer more ways for alumni to stay informed about official USC events and networking opportunities. Right now, users can check a calendar of events to keep updated on university activities.
And as more Trojans share information about their interests and involvements, the USCAA wants to keep customizing and enhancing the user experience. For example, when a USC Marshall School of Business alumna logs on soon, she will have access to parts of the site set aside just for USC Marshall alumni with content tailored to their interests and community.
For now, personalizing your relationship with USC is at the heart of the FightOnline platform. You can update your mail, phone and text messaging preferences and control how the university contacts you.
“We’ve made it so that alumni can tell us about their interests,” Verbeck says. “This is an opportunity for us to then tailor future developments to the site based on what alumni want.”