I recently discovered Yahoo! Kickstart, a new (yes! Another!) social site, but this one has a lot of potential. Kickstart is a professional network with the goal of connecting college students, recent graduates, professionals and alumni of an individual school. Students can search for internships or jobs. They can get career advice and mentorship.
It’s a great example of niche marketing. Yahoo! has identified a need, an audience, and found what I think is a simple, effective way to meet that need.
We all know that networking is one of the best ways of starting a career or changing jobs. Kickstart, if it takes off, will enable alumni to help fellow alumni, especially, (but not limited to), younger alumni or students. It’s a new way for alumni to give back to the university in the form of helping fellow alumni.
The site is pretty bare bones right now. You create a professional profile, including a photo and (for me at least) start recruiting other alumni.
I’ve corresponded with Scott Gatz who is heading the project, who says Yahoo! Will be adding more features and growing the site according the suggestions from users. Sounds good to me.
In a smooth marketing move, Yahoo! will donate $25,000 to the alumni association with the most profiles by Dec. 31, 2007.
If you’ve seen the new site, I’d like your thoughts. I’d also like to share ideas on how this site can grow and be even more useful to individual colleges and universities. Mansfield University has more than 20,000 alumni. If we could sign up even half, what a useful organization this could be to alumni of all ages. I would think it could be a vehicle for news dissemination and for announcements of upcoming events.
I have other thoughts but I’ll save them for a future blog.
Check it out at http://kickstart.yahoo.com/
Send me your thoughts.