networking and student bloggers.

I’m happy to say that our student bloggers are off to a flying start this year. I can barely keep up with them! But also of note to those in higher education is how the contributors came together. The old-fashioned way. Networking.

bloggers

This year’s group includes:

Sherrifa Bailey, a senior public justice and psychology major, McNair Scholar and all-around uber-involved person
Christopher Cook, a sophomore English major, writer and devourer of pop culture
Steven DiMarzo, a junior human development major, director of student affairs for Student Association and admissions intern
Tiffany Duquette, a secondary education and French major studying in Paris, and member of the Laker women’s ice hockey team
Tess Kaczorowski, a senior theatre major and dramaturg for the student honors production Blood Relations
Leah Matthews, a senior elementary education major and co-captain of the women’s swimming and diving team
Katherine Raymond, a junior journalism major, environmental writer for The Oswegonian, secretary of Students for Global Change
Jose Terrero, a senior journalism and creative writing major, active fraternity member, writer, admissions tour guide
Meghan Upson, a junior business administration major active with alumni relations and the business dean’s council
Lizz Wetherby, a junior public relations major, Laker Leader orientation guide and my intern

Most of them I met at various times and identified as potential bloggers. I interviewed Sherrifa for a story and knew she’d be great. I know Tiffany from being a faculty mentor for the women’s ice hockey team. I saw Katherine give a presentation about her group’s activities and read her work in the campus paper. Worked with Meghan on a couple of projects related to her PR internships. Steven asked me about blogging after hearing me present at a student leadership conference. Lizz came to me as an intern because one of her best friends interned here after taking a class from me.

Others were recommended via canvassing my campus contacts. Tess came through a request to the box-office manager for someone who could address the performing arts. I contacted our swimming coach, a blogger himself, who recommended Leah. After a meeting of our social-media team, admissions recommended Jose (who I’d met before in his efforts to start an entertainment publication). As for Chris … he just wandered into our Web developer’s office as a freshman looking for a work-study job and we quickly learned he was a good writer.

So, for the most part, we obtained our bloggers through good old-fashioned networking … and, moreover, from having a genuine interest in getting to know our students. Like most colleges, we don’t pre-approve blog postings — just pre-approve the students who do them — so we need to know we can trust them with the Internet version of a live mic. Plus, recruiting good and interesting people more often than not leads to good and interesting blogs.

4 Comments

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4 responses to “networking and student bloggers.

  1. We use the same approach here. We’ve never had to do blind calls for bloggers — we’ve found them all through networking, recommendations from current bloggers, and recommendations from faculty. Many times we’ve received e-mails from students asking how they can be a blogger next year. It’s been pretty easy filling the slots year after year. The challenge has been having to select approx. 5 from a larger pool of awesome recommendations and connections.

    Related to that – I’m curious what others think the magic number is related to the number of student bloggers you have on a site. I’ve never read any real research or data on this, especially related to recruiting. I’m wondering if the number matters, or is more about a depth of choices and diversity and prospects stick with one or two that interest them? One year we had 10 bloggers and it felt like too much, but we never got any feedback from prospects saying that. We’ve stuck with approx. 5 all of the other years. Just a gut feeling, but maybe there’s no harm in having more? What are your thoughts on the magic number you picked?

  2. insidetimshead

    I originally aimed for about 8 bloggers but also had specific areas (academic, activities, etc.) I wanted them to cover. And, to be honest, I expected some of them to say no … but they were interested. Once I hit 10, and given the timeline, I figured to go with it.

  3. Cindy Kane

    Hi folks! I know this is an old post but I’m just stumbling on your blog now… great stuff!

    One question, do you pay your student bloggers? How much?

  4. insidetimshead

    CINDY: We don’t. Other than the obvious — no one gives me a budget for the project — I also think that if students are paid a certain amount for blogging, their objectivity can be questioned. This way, we can keep it authentic.

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