The Power of Student Blogs

If you’re reading this article via a RSS reader or by subscribing to my feed or through email, I don’t think I need to tell you too much about how powerful and informative blogs can be. Blogs have quickly moved from a niche personal outlet to the mainstream. CEOs from large MNCs to celebrities and politicians are all jumping on the blog (and for that matter Twitter) band-wagon.

The education industry is no different. As students begin to move away from their home town to their new university environments and experiences, they have been quick to use the blog, and other social media channels, as a way to let their friends back home know what they are up to. Blogs have been a great way for prospective students to get a real feel and insider perspective of how life can be like at the schools they are interested in.

Admission departments are now beginning to embrace this new marketing channel as well. While MBA programs have been soliciting student volunteers to be part of their official blogs for sometime now, undergraduate programs are joining in on this growing trend. One concern some administrators have had is the lack of control and influence on the specific content student bloggers write about.

This New York Times article gives you some more insights about the issue, and talks about M.I.T.’s policy of allowing their student bloggers to write censor-free.

The corporate world has also been engaged in blogging as a marketing tool for new recruits. One thing to be aware though is that corporations generally have much stricter guidelines for “official” bloggers and I wouldn’t be surprised if virtually every corporate blog has some sort of approval (read: censorship) process to adhere to. This was definitely the case when I helped Deloitte Canada start their first recruiting blog aimed at undergraduates back in 2006. Keep that in mind.

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