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How to Attract More Members to the International MBA Forum?

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Re: How to Attact More Members to the International MBA Forum? [#permalink] New post 07 May 2009, 16:15
Thanks for this bb. I intend to take it one step further. I intend to have master post for each school - which gives a brief intro to the school. This master page will contain links to individual year threads. We do have some master pages and threads for individual schools here :
europe-mba-discussion-19171.html

But these master pages are rather outdated (refer to 2003 stats and rankings) and were created when Hjort was still active. We need to update this. Step by step I suppose :)

bb wrote:
Exactly! School threads.
I was just going through BSD's post on Rankings (ranks-and-clusterings-of-various-international-b-schools-78320.html) and was going to link schools to respective discussion threads and realized that not many of them had a single central thread.
Not sure if there is any reason not to, but I think we have some improvement to do - merge and beef up school threads. I loved the Oxbridge one (but was not sure why Oxford and Cambridge were combined). Sorry, I am a newbie when it gets to International Schools - I am sure there is a good reason.

Not sure if it is related but Oxford is our second most searched term on the website. (internal search)

Let me know if I am off. Is there a post already that links to all school threads?
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Re: How to Attract More Members to the International MBA Forum? [#permalink] New post 07 May 2009, 16:28
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The point about the US b-school application forum having more quality posts has been made but allow me to try to make the point more lucid.

Once you are done with the GMAT, I think there are two basic categories of questions you have in your mind.
1) What are the general strategies/tips for a b-school application?
2) What are the school specific strategy for School X, Y, and Z?

When you have a question in the former category, where do you go? To "The B-School Application" forum.
When you have a question in the latter category, where do you go? Depends on the school, but either the US or International forum.

Since the former makes up the majority of the questions (IMO at least), most people HAVE to read US b-school forum, whether they have any interest in the US schools or not. Take for example an applicant who is only really interested in applying to European schools. However, to read up on general advice and tips on b-school applications, this applicant starts reading the US b-school forum. Eventually, this person builds a bond with the regulars in that forum, and only checks the international forum every so often and only follows one or two threads. I think that's the situation that arises most of the time. And that's what happened to me as well.

I think I have a pretty clear idea of the hurdles facing this issue, but I'm not sure I have any good ideas. The only clear cut solution is really like you say clone bsd_lover, or find more quality posters that are dedicated to the International forum.

I do have a few ideas that aren't completely thought out yet, but I want to throw it out there so maybe it can start some brainstorming.

1) Allow cross-posting between the two forums, that way good threads are kept common between both forums. It will also allow easier and more interaction between the posters in both forums. I don't know if this is technically feasible, but it's an old trick from my newsgroup days.

2) Create a separate forum for general application advice, then have separate forums for regions. I see two issues with this. First, it's hard to enforce the rule that people HAVE to post general advice in one forum and discuss school specific issues in another. Second, it doesn't really improve traffic in the international forum, though it might boost a lot of traffic in the general advice forum.

3) Screw it, create something like a GC10 (M7 + Insead, IMD, and LBS; three schools that belong up there with the very best IMO) to expose more people to the great opportunities that lie outside of the US shores. I don't quite know what this accomplishes (heh), but I just like the sound of it.

4) Create a database/knowledge vault for International/European b-school applicants. International b-schools are quite different from US b-schools, and the type of candidate they are looking for are also different. I don't think there are enough information highlighting these differences, and emphasizing the difference in experience. The hardest problem with this point though is that I have no idea how to resolve this issue.
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Re: How to Attract More Members to the International MBA Forum? [#permalink] New post 07 May 2009, 16:47
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xenok wrote:

I do have a few ideas that aren't completely thought out yet, but I want to throw it out there so maybe it can start some brainstorming.

1) Allow cross-posting between the two forums, that way good threads are kept common between both forums. It will also allow easier and more interaction between the posters in both forums. I don't know if this is technically feasible, but it's an old trick from my newsgroup days.

2) Create a separate forum for general application advice, then have separate forums for regions. I see two issues with this. First, it's hard to enforce the rule that people HAVE to post general advice in one forum and discuss school specific issues in another. Second, it doesn't really improve traffic in the international forum, though it might boost a lot of traffic in the general advice forum.

3) Screw it, create something like a GC10 (M7 + Insead, IMD, and LBS; three schools that belong up there with the very best IMO) to expose more people to the great opportunities that lie outside of the US shores. I don't quite know what this accomplishes (heh), but I just like the sound of it.

4) Create a database/knowledge vault for International/European b-school applicants. International b-schools are quite different from US b-schools, and the type of candidate they are looking for are also different. I don't think there are enough information highlighting these differences, and emphasizing the difference in experience. The hardest problem with this point though is that I have no idea how to resolve this issue.



Thank you for the ideas!

I like the one about cross-posting. I don't know if our forum allows that but we can at least assemble a small "Intro Sticky" that would have all relevant threads from the other forum, but having live threads would be better of course.

#2 is tough - we tried sub-forums and they often fail. For example we had Reviews subforum and it was dead because people did not want to leave the Math or Verbal or MBA forum to post a review or provide feedback about a product. I would hold off on this one.

#3 Sure! I think BSD already did that in his thread right here: ranks-and-clusterings-of-various-international-b-schools-78320.html

#4 Agree as well though I would recommend building it using stickies - it is the best of two worlds - keeps people in one forum and also preserves knowledge. We used to have a GMAT Knowledge Vault and once I moved one of the topics back into the GMAT Forum, it's visitation and popularity was 5x times the other topics, so I have evidence to believe it is best not to split up sub-forums for a very limited number of posts. (Though some members definitely prefer that format and there are reasons reasons to have a subforum, but I noticed that often threads are more popular when they are stickied or linked from one main thread). I know Praet disagrees with me somewhat on this, and you are welcome too! Actually - I love to be proved wrong, esp if I was pessimistic about it.
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Re: How to Attact More Members to the International MBA Forum? [#permalink] New post 07 May 2009, 16:50
Expert's post
bsd_lover wrote:
Thanks for this bb. I intend to take it one step further. I intend to have master post for each school - which gives a brief intro to the school. This master page will contain links to individual year threads. We do have some master pages and threads for individual schools here :
europe-mba-discussion-19171.html

But these master pages are rather outdated (refer to 2003 stats and rankings) and were created when Hjort was still active. We need to update this. Step by step I suppose :)



Great Idea! That way the old info is preserved as well. Both myself and Timetrader, our resident content expert, would be able to help out a few hours a day (which should be plenty for our modest plans), but we will need you to lead/provide direction. Unless of course there are better ideas or reasons not to do this?
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Re: How to Attact More Members to the International MBA Forum? [#permalink] New post 07 May 2009, 17:02
No dramas :) I'll update the LBS master page soon. Hopefully we can get some of the active oxbridge folks (you there buffdaddy and greenoak ?) to update master pages for there. Also suggest Nerdboy to tackle the INSEAD masterpage. If only we had an IMD evangelist.

bb wrote:
Great Idea! That way the old info is preserved as well. Both myself and Timetrader, our resident content expert, would be able to help out a few hours a day (which should be plenty for our modest plans), but we will need you to lead/provide direction. Unless of course there are better ideas or reasons not to do this?
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Re: How to Attract More Members to the International MBA Forum? [#permalink] New post 07 May 2009, 17:55
I think IMD folks are a little too busy for GC.... seriously.
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Re: How to Attract More Members to the International MBA Forum? [#permalink] New post 07 May 2009, 18:00
Or there are hardly any around haha.

xenok wrote:
I think IMD folks are a little too busy for GC.... seriously.
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Re: How to Attact More Members to the International MBA Forum? [#permalink] New post 08 May 2009, 11:18
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bsd_lover wrote:
No dramas :) I'll update the LBS master page soon. Hopefully we can get some of the active oxbridge folks (you there buffdaddy and greenoak ?) to update master pages for there. Also suggest Nerdboy to tackle the INSEAD masterpage.


OK, no prob. How does this work - I post it as a new topic and then someone sets it to 'sticky'?

On a side note, I did research IMD, but I'd rather let someone else handle that masterpage. Like, someone who has at least managed to get an interview invite ;)
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Re: How to Attract More Members to the International MBA Forum? [#permalink] New post 08 May 2009, 11:32
My thoughts on xenok's ideas: in general, creating too many subforums is not a great solution. A subforum should be something intuitive and helpful, i.e. it's natural to post quant questions in the math forum and interview advice in the B-School Application forum. It is a bit contrived, IMO, to remember to post a thread about an Asian school in one forum and about a European one in another forum. And what about INSEAD - is it a European school or an Asian one?

Cross-posting in several forums is a better alternative, also I like the idea of GC10.
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Re: How to Attact More Members to the International MBA Forum? [#permalink] New post 08 May 2009, 14:52
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Hi nerdboy thanks for offering (I was hoping you would :) ).

The structure will look like :

Master thread --> School Home thread -->Other useful school specific threads.

I have created the master thread here : ranks-and-clusterings-of-various-international-b-schools-78320.html#p589230

The master thread will become an announcement / sticky soon. Currently I have linked to Hjort's school pages on the master thread . For insead, the school home thread is here : insead-13421.html. But this thread is very outdated. Also this information doesn't contain links to other useful threads (such as the 2010 applicants thread). So, the approach would be to create a new school home thread with links to useful threads. This is where I was hoping you and other INSEAD folks come in to contribute. So, basically just create a new topic specific to INSEAD and let me know and I'll update the master thread accordingly. I will create a similar one for LBS.


Nerdboy wrote:
bsd_lover wrote:
No dramas :) I'll update the LBS master page soon. Hopefully we can get some of the active oxbridge folks (you there buffdaddy and greenoak ?) to update master pages for there. Also suggest Nerdboy to tackle the INSEAD masterpage.


OK, no prob. How does this work - I post it as a new topic and then someone sets it to 'sticky'?

On a side note, I did research IMD, but I'd rather let someone else handle that masterpage. Like, someone who has at least managed to get an interview invite ;)
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Re: How to Attract More Members to the International MBA Forum? [#permalink] New post 08 May 2009, 15:09
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Love the structure:

Code:
Master (Sticky) thread --> School Home thread -->Other useful school specific threads.


A small suggestion - as an applicant I would probably prefer for the School Home thread to be the current year active thread such as Insead 2010 rather than a short info thread. Most traffic will be to the Insead 2010, 2011, 2012, etc. Then Hjort's thread could be a link from the Insead 2010 First post.

Just my 1 US cent (about 0.005 pesos at the moment).

P.S. Though I may be too americanized now and this is not a structure a European/Australian would like :)
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Re: How to Attract More Members to the International MBA Forum? [#permalink] New post 08 May 2009, 16:58
Sure that would work as well. In this case the structure would look like :

Master thread --> School current year thread --> home thread --> Other useful school specific threads.

bb wrote:
Love the structure:

Code:
Master (Sticky) thread --> School Home thread -->Other useful school specific threads.


A small suggestion - as an applicant I would probably prefer for the School Home thread to be the current year active thread such as Insead 2010 rather than a short info thread. Most traffic will be to the Insead 2010, 2011, 2012, etc. Then Hjort's thread could be a link from the Insead 2010 First post.

Just my 1 US cent (about 0.005 pesos at the moment).

P.S. Though I may be too americanized now and this is not a structure a European/Australian would like :)
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Re: How to Attract More Members to the International MBA Forum? [#permalink] New post 09 May 2009, 00:29
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Re: How to Attract More Members to the International MBA Forum? [#permalink] New post 09 May 2009, 00:53
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buffdaddy wrote:


Beautiful post.

BSD - I made a little edit of your post rankings post. Not sure if you like it, but I tried to include the best of both worlds.
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Re: How to Attract More Members to the International MBA Forum? [#permalink] New post 09 May 2009, 04:52
bb it looks real great. I'll try to emulate that for LBS. Although buffdaddy has raised the bar sooo high that that page alone will increase the Oxford applications by 10% in 2010.

bb wrote:
buffdaddy wrote:


Beautiful post.

BSD - I made a little edit of your post rankings post. Not sure if you like it, but I tried to include the best of both worlds.
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Re: How to Attract More Members to the International MBA Forum? [#permalink] New post 09 May 2009, 06:53
bsd_lover wrote:
bb it looks real great. I'll try to emulate that for LBS. Although buffdaddy has raised the bar sooo high that that page alone will increase the Oxford applications by 10% in 2010.

bb wrote:



funny you should say that because just as I was going through buffdaddy's Oxford page, I was wondering why I didn't apply to some program at Oxford. bsd_lover, Oxford looks a lot lot lot better than LBS... you have to come up with something (pictures etc) to make some of us feel better :wink:
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Re: How to Attract More Members to the International MBA Forum? [#permalink] New post 09 May 2009, 09:16
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MJ2009 wrote:
bsd_lover wrote:
bb it looks real great. I'll try to emulate that for LBS. Although buffdaddy has raised the bar sooo high that that page alone will increase the Oxford applications by 10% in 2010.



funny you should say that because just as I was going through buffdaddy's Oxford page, I was wondering why I didn't apply to some program at Oxford. bsd_lover, Oxford looks a lot lot lot better than LBS... you have to come up with something (pictures etc) to make some of us feel better :wink:


I say the easiest thing is to delete the tread and ban buffdady - otherwise too much work :)
Joking of course.


Buffdaddy - fantastic Job!
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Re: How to Attract More Members to the International MBA Forum? [#permalink] New post 09 May 2009, 09:59
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Yep, banning buffdady is the easy way. The other way involves me digging for pictures of Fontainebleau/ Singapore and spending hours of writing and editing... the horror ;)
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Re: How to Attract More Members to the International MBA Forum? [#permalink] New post 10 May 2009, 02:08
thanks guys,
really wasn't too much of an effort. Did it while having breakfast on a lazy Saturday morning before I headed out of town.

It reads kind of like a brain dump :oops: and is a long way from being a polished marketing ploy :)
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Re: How to Attract More Members to the International MBA Forum? [#permalink] New post 11 May 2009, 08:01
Why don't we create an Ambassadors Forum and move the Oxford thread over there?

I am planning to put up something similar for Cranfield and BSD could put up something for LBS.

I think we have some Judge admits too.
Re: How to Attract More Members to the International MBA Forum?   [#permalink] 11 May 2009, 08:01
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