Thursday, December 14, 2006

Cool Home Page Stuff - Student Blogs

A brief discussion of using student blogs on your home page.

On this last day before Christmas break (oh man, do I need it), I thought I'd start a recurring post on cool stuff universities are doing on their home page. This is just my opinion (and as we all know, I don't know jack), so feel free to ignore or deride it. I'm stealing most of this stuff from anyway.

Student Blogs

OK, these are university-sponsored student blogs, and so have some strings attached. Typically, students are compensated and there are often rules about not bashing professors by name or writing in gory details about the underage kegger/orgy that took place Saturday night.

A lot of schools have sponsored student blogs, but not that many feature them on their home page.

The value of sponsored student blogs are several:

  1. Students are blogging anyway, so you might as get involved and have at least a little control over the message.
  2. Prospective students are very tuned into social networking on the web, and getting the direct perspective of other students is highly valuable.
  3. Blogs personalize your Web presence, and can make your site appear more personal, friendly and honest.

The downsides include:

  • Picking the right students with the commitment to post regularly
  • Maintaining control over the message (at least to the point of preventing explicit or inappropriate posts)
  • Cost. Students are usually compensated, often with digital cameras and such that they use to maintain their blogs

Some sites, like Capital University, allow people to subsribe to the blogs, so that they can easily follow what's happening on campus over time.

Overall, most campuses that have used student blogs as a recruiting device have been very happy with the result.


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