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« Back Post Date: Tuesday, February 07, 2012, 4:00 PM
Introducing ClubLife: Social Networking for Private Clubs
Say hello to ClubLife, a social networking application that enables clubs to build upon the intangible value of membership.

Have you ever noticed a situation like this? The member of seven years and his wife decide on the spur of the moment to have dinner at the club. They arrive at the club and stand at the door of the clubroom looking from table to table. They vaguely recognize a few faces but soon proceed to the dining room where they sit at a table, alone, and have a quiet dinner. They know the name of their waitress and say hello to the club manager who stops by, but have no interaction with other club members. Next week they will make another spur of the moment dining decision, and they’ve heard a certain new restaurant three blocks away has a superb chef...

This story illustrates a club that is not taking advantage of its biggest strengths to engage its members. What distinguishes the private club from the restaurant three blocks away or the public golf course a mile away? At a private club the members are supposed to know each other and enjoy their common experiences. But often the room is full of strangers.

General Managers know the importance of member recognition, both by the staff and by other members, because that recognition is essential in integrating the membership into a tight social community - the type of social network that makes going to the club much more interesting than just visiting a good local restaurant.

Introducing ClubLifeTM

Social networking through the Internet has obviously become a big part of modern life, but it has not been very helpful to the original social networks—private clubs. Most of the social networking services are in the public domain and are not subject to much content control, which are both problems for private clubs. Clubessential has introduced social networking behind the closed doors of private club websites in a controlled and sophisticated way that matches the traditions of clubs. We’ve introduced buddy lists, shared tee sheets, opt-in groups and a long list of other social networking features. We are now adding ClubLife to that list, which will be a big jump forward for private club social networking. If you wanted to engage your members in an activity that would teach them how to recognize their fellow members, this is it!

ClubLife is a private archive of historical and casual photos and documents. But this isn’t just a static catalog – it allows staff and members to upload, annotate and classify items and also to “tag” photos with the names of individuals shown (whether members – past or present – or guests). The system also tracks which members are contributing to the “tagging,” awarding the most prolific with “five star status.” You will be surprised at the level of competition to achieve status.

Captures Member Attention

Many clubs start by scanning old historical photos, but soon modern photos taken with digital cameras and phones will be added by staff and members. Certain members will become surprisingly engaged in tagging the names of people in all these photos. In the process, they will learn the names of other members.

One particularly effective approach to driving traffic is to notify members whenever they are tagged in a photo by someone else. Most people can’t resist going to the website to see themselves! Once a member views their own photos, they may notice another club member in one of the photos and with a single click, they can see all the photos of that person. This leads to an engrossing series of cross-linking searches as the member "surfs" the photo archive. It's addictive. Often they will begin looking at other photos of their friends, and inevitably they will wonder “who that person is over there” and by clicking, will get a whole rash of related photos and information.

Build Upon the Intangible Value of the Club's History

The photos and documents, especially the historical ones, serve to reinforce the history and traditions of the club. All those old photos stored in a box somewhere aren’t helping the club, so this is a way to turn dusty history into higher member engagement. Do you have a warehouse full of trophies that few people ever see? Imagine if you uploaded photos of each trophy and then “tagged” them with the winners’ names? The next time a member clicked to see pictures of one of the winners, the photo of the trophy would be in the mix.

Social Networking Designed for Private Clubs

If you’ve been wondering how to take advantage of social networking, but have been leery of losing control of content and exposing too much to the public, ClubLife may be just what you need.

If you would like to find out more about how the ClubLife can help your Club, please contact us to request a demo with a Clubessential representative, or call Bill Ivers Jr. at 513.322.4202.

Stop by our booth at the 2012 Club Business Expo - CMAA  

Clubessential is excited to be exhibiting at the upcoming Club Business Expo - CMAA (Feb. 26th- 27th) in New Orleans, LA. Stop by our booth (327) to learn more about ClubLife and all that Clubessential has to offer. We hope to see you there.