a Topic? Start a Blog
Why expend your time and creativity
organizing thoughts, advices and knowledge into an online
periodical for public consumption?
For those who publish
Weblogs, it’s about sharing
information that might be of use to their readers, in whatever
niche that happens to be. And to be sure, the niches addressed
by today’s “blogosphere” are multitudinous and range from
the common to the obscure. Blog numbers are not reliable,
and blogs come and go, but a tracking company named BlogPulse
estimates there are 126 million blogs worldwide (iMediaConnection.com
estimates 184 million).
Not surprisingly, the Smith
community hosts scores of bloggers, featuring periodic discourse
on topics pertinent to students, prospectives, staff and
faculty members, and others.
Five Smith seniors and recent
alumnae launched a new blog, titled , that tracks their lives in the world beyond
“Everyone goes through this terrifying transition,” says Hannah Hickok ’11, who
contributes to Strategic Exits under the pseudonym Senioritis, referring to students
navigating the world after college. “Why not share with each other in a forum
that allows for debate and discussion? It makes the whole process of graduating
and trying to figure out the post-grad time a lot less scary.”
The latest entry, by anonymous
blogger NickyenPeru, laments the recent graduate’s
frustrations with taking the Graduate Record Exam—sentiments no doubt in common
with many of her fellow Smithies.
Jan Morris, administrative assistant
in student affairs, blogs, it might be said, from the opposite
end of the stress spectrum. Her new blog, , is also intended mostly for students.
It leads with a weekly phrase of inspiration by history’s
wordsmiths followed by Morris’ thoughts and insights about
“I hope to offer messages that are insightful and beneficial to my readers,” says
Morris. Based on Dean’s Dailies, an email of inspiring quotes
provided by a dean at St. Lawrence University, where her
daughter attended college, Morris’ blog
aims to offset the stresses of college life. “I found those
Dean’s Dailies to
be uplifting and inspirational and I thought I could contribute
something similar here at Smith,” she said.
This week’s words
of wisdom on which Morris blogs: “Confidence
is developed by taking risks that challenge your own inner
strength, not by assuming the character that others want”—Byron
A sign near Grand Isle, La., posted on the blog Living
with the Spill in Grand Isle, by Rachel Rock-Blakek ’09.
While many blogs impart opinions
and commentary, others exist for the purpose of keeping readers
updated on a particular group’s activities.
Jaime Ginsberg, Smith’s
field hockey coach, launched in 2008 “to
share what Smith field hockey’s team was all
about beyond the scores and stats.”
The field hockey blog will be
particularly instrumental, she says, in keeping readers updated
on the project this summer to replace its practice and game
field with artificial turf. Pictures and brief videos (with
comments) of the ongoing project currently populate the blog.
Other coaches also maintain
team blogs: Smith ,
for example, and Squash.
As well, the admission office
maintains , very popular among prospective
students and their families.
impossible to say how many Smith alumnae blogs are online.
Rachel Rock-Blake ’09
describes her close-up view of a sore subject in her blog
(Louisiana), where she
is spending time as part of her job with the Mystic Seaport
Research Facility. “We need to keep this terrible tragedy
in the forefront of everyone’s consciousness,” she says.
“Blogging gives me, personally,
the sense that even when life is extremely overwhelming and
scary, there are still these wonderful moments, and these
themes and stories that weave together everything we do,” says
Hickok, aka Senioritis.