Wednesday, April 8, 2015

So How?

So, we've addressed "why." Next question: "How?"

How can we bring about real interaction among our members? How can we overcome the inertia of fallow or even non-existent relationships? How many ways can this same question be posed without saying it the same way twice?

All right, all right. No, I don't think step-by-step prescriptive approach is best for this.

In fact, it seems that we're having some success in achieving the goals of "why" already, through a sort of, kind of trial and error, playing with today's social media tools. The Facebook group has continued to grow, although more slowly, with 58 members currently showing. We've reached some non-Facebook folks with this blog, and by encouraging them to spread the word to the people they know. Some people have been more active than others, but, the interaction on line has been pretty good!  Some of the group has undertaken to find some of their old friends using other social sites, and even by networking otherwise (even using such ancient methods as the telephone and ...yes, by pen and paper).  It's building!

If we can leverage this into more folks participating in  the conversation, I believe we might start formulating a plan for getting together in real time and space...the final frontier.

I propose that we try to keep the conversations alive and try to add participants any way we can. Subscribe to this blog through your e-mail address!  Subscribe for a friend! Join the Facebook group, or at least check the page once in a while:

If you have a Facebook account, please join our group.  It's fun, and as a long-time, stalwart denigrator of Facebook, it pains me to say so.

Another suggestion is to "follow" this blog by entering your e-mail address at the upper right of the post, where it says to. Of course, there are hundreds of cybercriminals who are salivating and rubbing their hands together feverishly as they wait for you to do so.  Believe me, nobody gets more irritated than I do about junk emails. If I learn that this blog is bringing any about, it will be promptly discontinued.

It would be nice is someone besides Laurel would offer a published comment, too. I'm not complaining; just sayin'.

When our expansion of membership looks as though it's really slowing, then we should think about the next next step. To those who may be thinking ahead: please share your thoughts!


Scott Clayton said...

I don't want to come off as negative in any way but I have a few comments in response to your plea.

When I co-chaired the 30-year reunion with Tony Powers, Milissa Wierhdt and Debbie Nelson we primarily used to get the word out. We also called people and networked as best we could.

I remember speaking to a couple male classmates who used to be good friends of mine back in our youth and so they were very candid with me; they said they don't socialize or even bump into former THS classmates, and frankly had no interest in doing why bother to attend our reunion? These similar comments really were a punch in the gut because I simply couldn't fathom such a response. I thought, wow, those guys must've had a terrible high school experience. In contrast, my high school days were some of the best years of my life!

When we had our 30-year reunion in August of 2001 at the Pointe at South Mountain Resort, it was a two-night affair. I really, really enjoyed seeing everyone who showed up, but there were only 42.......42 out of approximately 380 1971 graduates. That's just not a very good attendance...just my opinion......but again, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the folks who DID show up.

Fast forward to 2011.......nobody stepped up to plan a 40-year reunion, not even a mini my knowledge. Not blaming anyone, because I'd have to blame myself too.

We had really nice turnouts at the 10-year, 15-year and 20-year reunions, but somewhere between 20 and 30, we lost a large segment of our class to apathy.

So my solution is: Why wait until 2021? Heck, a number of us may not make it that far.

I'm kind of thinking we need to take some "baby steps" and do some mini-reunions every six months or so. Anyone of us can organize a happy hour gathering on a Friday night or a Saturday or Sunday picnic in a park when the weather is nice. It can be impromptu, not a lot of notice or planning is necessarily needed unless the organizer so chooses. But hey, if one of us came on here or Facebook on a Monday and said lets hook up Friday evening on the patio at Macayo's in downtown Tempe, I'm sure 10 to 20 of us would show up and have a great time.

And for you classmates that live out of metro PHX right now, next time you come "home" set something only takes a few old friends to have some fun.

Getting together now and then may build some momentum for the big 5-0.

Patrick Fleming said...

All right! Thanks for posting a very insightful comment, Scott! Yep, I think baby steps to build for the big 5-0 is a great suggestion. The Grand Canyon started with a single drop of water. We don't have 9 million years, but we have a little less than 74 months to build up to the Grand Reunion!