App Top Ten Lists

Everyone loves a good top ten list (especially USA Today), so I hope you enjoy a few top ten lists of our app customers.

Out of our 50+ customer apps, below are the winners…

Most App Visits

Note: Not all large organizations made this list.

#1. Michigan State (Alumni Association)
#2. University of South Florida (Alumni Association)
#3. Delta Zeta
#4. Alpha Chi Omega
#5. Saint Joseph’s University (Alumni Association)
#6. Calvin College (Alumni Association)
#7. Otterbein University (Alumni Association)
#8. Pi Beta Phi Foundation
#9. Kelley School (Indiana University)
#10. Stony Brook University (Alumni Association)

Most App Engagement

Note: This list shows the number of visits per download,  so the size of an organization doesn’t matter.

#1. Calvin College (Alumni Association)
#2. Otterbein University (Alumni Association)
#3. Marian University (Alumni Association)
#4. Milton Hershey School
#5. CSU Channel Islands (Alumni & Friends Association)
#6. Michigan State (Alumni Association)
#7. Claremont McKenna (Alumni and Parent Relations)
#8. Ferris State (Alumni Association)
#9. Northern Colorado (Alumni Association)
#10. University of South Florida (Alumni Association)

Most Life 101 Topics Read

Note: Some folks love the life 101 content even more than the news feed. 

#1. Delta Zeta
#2. Michigan State (Alumni Association)
#3. Alpha Chi Omega
#4. Pi Beta Phi Foundation
#5. Calvin College (Alumni Association)
#6. Stony Brook University (Alumni Association)
#7. Magner Career Center (Brooklyn College)
#8. University of South Florida (Alumni Association)
#9. Saint Joseph’s University (Alumni Association)
#10. Otterbein University (Alumni Association)

The real winners of these lists are the marketing wizards who promote their apps so well. Kudos to you!

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App Update 3.0

The team at Cap & Compass is excited to announce an update to our popular Crib Sheet app.

For starters, we’ve added three new life 101 topics:

  • Interviewing
  • Mortality
  • Watching Football

On the iPhone and iPad, we’ve updated a number of elements to give the app a more snazzy iOS 7 look:

For customers with a mobile website, we’ve also added an optional fourth tab (see the “MSU Web” tab).

To promote reading more life 101 topics, our app now offers easier topic navigation (previous/next buttons):

You’ll also find a variety of other subtle, valuable improvements.

We think graduates will love this app update. Enjoy!

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Beautiful app icons

We’re excited as more and more schools and organizations join our “app family”.

Much like our book covers, we love to see the creativity of our customers in the design of their app icons. Below are just a few recent examples.

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App Update 2.5

We’re excited to announce a update to our mobile app, Crib Sheet.

For starters, our app now takes advantage of the big screen of iPhone 5. You’ll see more news and more life 101 content in one glance.

Once you try it, you’ll immediately notice the difference.

In your news menu, we’ve added “# selected” next to each category name to better show which feeds you’re reading.

You’ll also find a few more minor improvements. Details matter.

The update is live for most of our customers today. We hope you love it!

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What’s on the minds of your alumni?

With our new crystal ball (kind of), we give you a window in the minds of your alumni to discover what they’re really thinking. Then take action with this data!


In your dashboard, we supply detailed statistics across four new categories. Learn what is read and shared most in your app by your collective alumni.

Life 101 Topics
Learn – Over the last 30 days, is homeowners insurance getting read?
Do – Send a timely mailing describing your insurance partnerships.

Learn – Is news about your baseball team popular recently?
Do – Start a free ticket promotion in exchange for address updates.

Learn – Surprised in the interest for renovations to the student union?
Do – Consider a capital campaign linked to these renovations.

Features (example)
Learn – Are videos your most popular features?
Do – Add more videos to your website and email blasts.


Our new stats provide unique, real-time insight into the minds of your alumni. Then use this treasure trove of data to cater your program to their needs.

We hope you love it!

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Your Mobile Strategy: A Fish or Dog?

When my daughter turned five, she begged my wife and I for a pet. So we got her a “starter” pet, a goldfish.

For a day or two, she watched “Peter Pan” swim in a circle. But after a week, her fish got ignored (“he’s kinda boring”).

When my daughter turned seven, she begged for a “petting kind of pet”. So we brought home Maggie, a basset hound. Six months later, I took this photo:

My daughter is still obsessed with Maggie because she greets her at the door, delivers her teddy bear, and makes her smile. Maggie is an interactive part of my daughter’s life. Therefore, she gets a lot more attention.

As you plan the mobile strategy for your office, ask yourself: are you giving your alumni a fish or a dog?

Mobile websites often fall into the fish category. They look better than a regular website on a phone, but the content doesn’t change much and they don’t offer anything to engage alumni:


Our app is the basset hound in this analogy by:


And if you already have a mobile website, our app is a great tool to send more traffic to it.


Give your alumni something as interesting and interactive as news, life tips, and deals in a beautiful format and they’ll return again and again (and stay engaged with you).

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Reduce the cost of your app with helpful ads

In our app, we give you the option to include relevant, useful ads to help you reduce the cost of your app.

To do this, we start with a crazy idea: ads should improve the app experience of your users. If your alumnae reads about “auto insurance,” she might appreciate learning about an auto insurance discount available to her.

So we designed Crib Sheet from the ground up for “good ads” (nothing obnoxious):

– Each ad is related to a life 101 topic (e.g. auto insurance)
– Maximum of one ad per topic
– Only your partner ads (affinity partners or ads you’ve sold)
– Ads visually match the app design (nothing annoying)

Search for “MSU Crib Sheet” in any app store to see ad examples in an app.

Automatic Discount (Sponsors)

To help you easily reduce the cost of your app through ads, we’ve partnered with some of the country’s top affinity partners as app “sponsors” (e.g. Liberty Mutual).

To receive an automatic discount off your app subscription, promote your affinity partner (sponsor) by:

– including their ad(s) in your app
– incorporating their logo in some of your app promotional materials

Sell Ad Space (do a little legwork)

If you’re in contact with any other advertisers (besides our sponsors), you can sell your own ad space in the app:

– Keep 100% of the revenue (you choose the ad rates)
– Ads need to be related to a topic
– We provide you an (optional) “ad-sales sheet” to provide to your advertisers
– If you sell ad packages (print, web, etc.), add the app to your “ad portfolio”

Promote Internal Partners

As an added bonus, promote products and services from your own organization as “deals” in your app:

Controlled by You

You can add, edit, and delete your deals right from your dashboard:

And you can even send automated emails to your advertisers showing statistics and more.


Alumni appreciate these limited and relevant ads in their app because they provide real value when reading about a given topic.

Take advantage of the financial benefits of ads with little effort (a sponsor discount) and/or a little hustle (sell ad space). You never know, you could even get paid to provide this valuable app to your alumni.

Please contact us with any questions!

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Get More Users: Crib Sheet 2.3

Our new update provides powerful signals to direct new and repeat users to our app. We’re proud to debut push notification, improved sharing via Facebook and new branding touches.

Push Notification

Push notifications allow you to send messages directly to the people who have installed your app, even when the app is closed on a device.

Send (and schedule) unlimited notifications right from your dashboard. You can even send users to specific pages in your app, like an address update form.

Your alumni have control over their notifications.

When used right, push notifications can be a powerful communications tool within your larger communications strategy.

“Liking” of Stories

Since sharing is so important to the growth of your app in your alumni network, we’ve added the ability to easily “like” stories.

Now with one simple tap, “liking” a story sends a short message to friends on their Facebook pages. Links within these Facebook messages make downloading your app easy.

Improved Branding

On iPhone and iPad, we now include a vertical, white logo to improve the branding in your app.

We hope everyone loves these updates! Stay tuned for more…

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Our new “Web App”

We excited to announce some key improvements to our “web app,” the version of our app viewable on any computer browser (like Explorer, Firefox, or Chrome).

We’ve increased the presence of your brand, and made a ton of changes to improve the overall reading experience.

And just like on iPhone, iPad, Android, and BlackBerry, users can personalize their news feed. We think they’ve love it, and use it.

So, why have we put so much effort into this version of Crib Sheet which isn’t used on a mobile device?


Your alumni and members still use computers… for lots of hours. We want your news to be easily accessible your users spend their online hours.

We see the web app as something that your alumni will use frequently (some as their home page) to keep up with your latest news.


When someone wants to read about an event at Malone University or a score for BU hockey, they often search in Google. Why not send this interest your way?

Some of these searches will send your alumni to your branded desktop app where they’ll read more news, download the app to their mobile device, and become more engaged with you.


Our new web app is now easier and more fun to use. We think this platform will be a go-to source for your institution’s news and life 101 tips for many of your alumni sit in front of a computer all day.

This update is live for all of our customers. We hope everyone loves it!

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Digging for Your Social Media Feeds

Your organization may have tens or even hundreds of news feeds across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, RSS, Pinterest, Vimeo, and so on. For your alumni, finding the specific news they want to follow is hard.

The newest version of our app debuts several improvements targeted at getting your users to easily see and follow your social media.

We Find All of Your Feeds

Like pigs hunting for truffles, we sniff out (almost) ALL of the social media from your organization (alumni and greek chapters, sports blogs, student clubs, academic departments, and so on) and serve them up in one simple app.

Providing lots of niche news choices is key to building a strong alumni news following. Let’s say you have an alumnus who played soccer, studied history, and belonged to Kappa Delta Something. He or she wants to read news tailored to those interests.


Some organizations have a LOT of feeds (some of our customers have 250+). To make finding those niche interests a little easier, each feed is listed within a useful category such as “Sports” or “Academics”.

Feed Images (thumbnails)

To make the app fun and engaging, we attach a tiny “thumbnail” image to every news feed to give the user a visual sense of what the feed is all about.

Easy to Customize

As you add (or we find) additional feeds from your organization, these new feeds are highlighted in a “New” category, making discovery of news fun and easy.

Also, users can remove feeds (but not your features) by simply tapping on a little “x” next to those stories which they don’t want to read.


A fundamental demand exists for your organization’s news. This demand is currently being met by a variety of websites and social media. Now your office can satisfy this hunger by offering all this news to your alumni in a beautiful app… branded by you.

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