The MMU Times swept the blog categories of the recent ICMA contest, which was nice.
We won even though many of our student blogs appear “dead.” That is, when absolutely forced to blog by a mean old professor, some students grudgingly blog now and then, maybe 3 times a semester.
It’s not enough. Any student who wants to be “a writer” of any capacity has to have more personal thoughts to articulate and share.
WordPress issued a 2011 challenge to its bloggers to try to post every day. I have not taken that challenge—I feel I’m not ready to do that much blogging.
But ,I update this blog at least twice a week, and it’s not the only blog I update, either.
Why is blogging so important? Well, for one thing, we live in a 7-days-a-week, 24-hours-a-day communication cycle, and any PR or Journalism or Multi-Media Design student needs to think about working in that kind of “instant update” environment.
Blogging provides students with a URL to share when looking for an internship or job.
Most important, blogging is regular, public writing performance.
So, how should students blog? Ideas:
• Make a time to blog. A regular few minutes each week when you collect your thoughts and share them.
• Write your blog posts in Word and edit them before posting. You are your own web editor.
• Be careful of what you post. You can get sued for libel over a blog, and you are creating a public image of yourself. If you copiously drop the F bomb, you may be positioning yourself as a coarse writer with little respect for the power of that word or it’s appropriate place, for example. I think it’s not only OK, but a good idea to blog about political topics—but that does , again, create a public persona for yourself. If you rant about Sarah Palin, don’t apply for a job at the 2012 Palin Campaign.
• Make it readable. A blog may not be the place to post class assignments, particular if you’re replying to 7 questions that the blog reader does not see, for example. Try to have something to say, and say it in a way that readers would enjoy.
Anyway, that’s all of my wisdom for now. Blogosphere—do you have ideas about either the value of student blogs or rules for student bloggers?