Student-based blogs provide information to a broader audience

Kseny Boklan

More and more, Saddleback College students are discovering the incredible benefits of the digital age through blogging. The popularity of blogs seems to have no boundaries, and is quickly taking over the way we acquire information. For example, fashion students at Saddleback College now have a blog in which their works are periodically displayed to a wider audience, allowing everyone in the field to stay connected with their community. Other departments at Saddleback are quickly picking up interest in this easy form of sharing information.

The fashion department recently received a grant that made it possible to hire a former Saddleback fashion design student, Malia Hill, 25. Hill said she started the blog to “strengthening the fashion community and for commuter students.” She encourages students interested in posting on the blog to email her, set up a linked blog, or to join the Saddleback College Fashion Facebook group.

This fashion blog serves a variety of purposes.

“If a student works at a company, we put them on there,” said Lindsay Fox, Saddleback Fashion Department Chair. “We also have an advisory board, fashion news, extra credit opportunities and updates on available internships.”

Other departments, having heard about the amazing popularity of the fashion department’s blog, are interested in finding out how they can follow their lead.

“We don’t have one yet, but I would love to find out how they are doing it,” said Susan Denton, department chair of nutrition and food service.

In the past, gaining publicity and marketing were strategies reserved only for business entrepreneurs or wealthy individuals. With the advent of the Internet, however, anyone can have a self-promoting publication available for all to see. Plus, they can do so at no cost.

The value of social networking has not escaped Saddleback’s Associate Student Government as their Web site has a student blog feature. On this blog, students can post ideas and commentary, or join a variety of clubs, including the Fashion Club. Men planning dates for upcoming Valentine’s Day might be interested in checking out a blog by Saddleback student Nathan Smith, entitled “The Way You Should Treat a Girl.”

While many students post blogs, most don’t think to link their blogs to a specific activity by identifying themselves as students. This, unfortunately, makes their opinions harder to find by others. It is not that students don’t want to be classified as students; rather, most just don’t realize that referring to themselves as “I” in their blogs mean that they are only accessible through broad word searches. This, however, is easily solved. If a blogger is a student, say an athlete at a particular school with an interest in surfing, all these words should be elaborated upon and linkable to the web.

Because blogging is so simple, anyone interested could pursue this activity. Web sites like YouTube offer step-by-step instructions and the search engine Google can easily track free blogging applications and Web sites like WordPress.com and blogcatalog.com.

If a student is interested in starting a blog for whatever type of interest, it would be a good idea to go over the concept before hand with the instructor in charge of the department. Both parties can benefit from the publicity and awareness a blog can generate.

Visit the Saddleback Fashion Department blog at www.saddlebackcollegefashion.blogspot.com

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