If you don’t read it then you should. It’s Chris Brogan’s blog.
He wrote 2 posts that I thought were particularly interesting and wanted to share with you:
Dara Crowfoot asked a good question about what metrics or usage stats I have in a comment on my post Thinking Differently About Student Blogs.
I pulled together some data to share:
We promote the blogs right off our homepage with a news article. It promotes all three of the spring break blogs we are supporting. Each group that blogs might do separate promotion with alumni and parents which we suggest as well.
So far the news article has received about 600 unique pageviews which is excellent for our news stories. This is more than double our average story. Part of your assessment efforts for these type of blogs has to be comparing your numbers against what might be “normal traffic”. We do detailed news comparisons each year so we can tell our average pageviews on stories and how many doubled the average etc… This type of data is very helpful when we are attempting to quantify our efforts on projects like this one.
Additionally we have had over 300 unique pageviews to each blog so far. Of course these are still going on and we will do more post trip promotion. Admissions will use them in e-communications and we will often feature them in an alumni magazine. In the fall we had a professor take one of our first-year seminar classes on Homelessness to DC for fall break. This blog ended with over 2,000 unique pageviews.
Over the last 5 or so years I have been asked many times about starting blogs on campus. When I was in the admissions office this was often an idea we looked at but never tried. I always had trouble with what a student would blog about. Talking about what someone had for breakfast just did not seem interesting enough. I know lots of people have had success with blogs. One example we looked at was Brad Ward when he was at Butler with the Butler Bloggers.
However we still couldn’t make the case that student blogs were right for Gettysburg. Last year we decided to try blogs in a slightly different way. We tried taking short term experiences that our students were having like an outdoor adventure trip, community service project, or class field trip and have them “blog” during the 7 or 10 days that they were on the trip. They write reflections and post pictures and videos.
So far these types of blogs have worked well for us. It allows Gettysburg to highlight several different aspects of student life as well as the breadth and depth of the student experience. This week marks one year since we started this strategy with a blog about one of our student leadership groups and their trip to Colorado. Since then we have published many of these and actually have three more right now during this spring break.
What do you think of our different way to provide our audience with student blogs?
Since I am on vacation – and it is about to rain (I guess no beach this afternoon) I thought I would update the blogroll on Higher Ed Web Marketing. Hope you find the time to begin or continue reading some of these since they have some really interesting things to say.
Till next week…
Kyle James the Webmaster at Wofford College writes a great blog called .eduGuru. This week he gives a shout out to this blog check it out.
Ok we are back from a week in the Adirondacks Mountains in New York. In case you are interested my wife posted some pictures on our family blog.