#EMchat: One Year In

About a year ago I posed a random question via tweet asking if any chats existed specifically for enrollment management. Less than ten minutes later, I had a response from Jennielle. “Nope. Let’s start one.” And so, #EMchat was born on October 5th (a Wednesday…prior to figuring out our best day), just a few weeks later. If you had asked me where I saw the chat going in one year, I don’t think I could have fathomed the expansion to a blog, 1,000+ reads on specific topics, or the people I’ve met online and IRL as a result…I’m glad those people like to happy hour. I’m also amazed that I have yet to actually meet Jennielle or Jillian.

I’m reminded every day of the vibrancy of this community. We’ve grown from an hour worth of tweets on Thursday evenings to a community of perpetual engagers, content distributors, resource sharers, and relationship builders. We are a community. I (we) have each and every one of you to thank for that.

I’m also reminded each day of the purpose of #EMchat. We’re here to discuss best practices, trends, new ideas, and opinions.  But here’s the thing. Are there really best practices? Are trends really going to catch on? Are all ideas great? And, are all opinions right? No. This is the purpose of #EMchat. It’s an open forum to share. It’s also what makes our community strong. You can be a newly-minted admissions counselor or a VP of EM. You could be a vendor or, heck…a government contractor for the Senate. No matter what, your opinions are not only considered, but valued.

We have had some amazing guests on our chat over the last year. Higher ed pros, vendors, and consultants define this community. We’re not here to sell a product and we don’t report to anyone. This is one of my favorite aspects of this chat—the growth has been completely organic because it could be. We’re not a business and so we don’t have competitors. We collaborate not only because we can, but because we want to. We work with experts to develop chat questions and resources because we’re not experts ourselves. And, we don’t claim to be.

When we began #EMchat, we made one simple rule: never make this community feel like work. Thank you for making that possible. Cheers to 348 days, 42 chats, 12 blog contributors, one great team, one phenomenal hashtag, innumerable tips, tricks, and ideas, words of advice and kind words of encouragement.

Looking forward to bigger things in year two. What would YOU like to see?

-Alex

And, if you'll be at NACAC in October, be sure to look up @jhiscock. She's putting together a tweetup--Details coming!