#SAwrites: Blogging in Student Affairs and Higher Education

SAwrites

This website was developed to serve as a resource to those in the student affairs and higher education community who are bloggers or want to start their blogging journey.  If you have resources you think will help, let me know and I’ll add them.  You can always point your browser to SAwrites.com to come back here.

Contents:

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SA Bloggers using the hashtag #SAwrites:

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Pencil, Pens, Marker, HighlighterA blog is a website that is managed by an individual, group or organization, with posts that include options such as text, pictures, videos, comments and much more.  After being published, these posts can be commented on, shared and updated with more content.  They are very interactive, as authors engage with readers who leave comments, subscribe and send messages.  Examples of blogging sites include Blogger, Tumblr and WordPress.

Blogging challenges leaders to be innovative, as they establish a presence and identity online.  Studying the psychology of blogging, Laura Guark and Smiljana Antonijevic (2008), found that this digital activity produces twofold communication.  First, bloggers establish their own voice and expression.  Secondly, they are transformed by interactions with their audience, which the author calls ‘rewriting oneself.’  This transformation process makes blogging a process of linking two or more individuals not known before (Guark & Antonijevic, 2008).  The potential blogging has in the field of student affairs is significant by constructing links globally for knowledge sharing, networking, advancement and much more.

However with this opportunity brings challenges.  This includes the professional role one holds at their institution, existing employer policies and personal/professional boundaries. One must weigh the pros and cons when considering creating a blog site.  Many authors believe that the positives outweigh the risks, “Blogging allows you to speak out authentically on your own behalf, and in the long run people will recognize that. Do it consistently and they trust you” (Nackerud & Scaletta, 2008).  To this end, this author encourages creating blogging rules, or a blogger code of ethics to guide content.

The creation of a code of ethics for blogging should be fueled by best practices specifically for educators.  Little research exists on blogging in most disciplines, however the last few years faculty utilization of social media platforms have received scholarly attention.  This research can also be considered for non-faculty, such as student affairs administrators.  For example, Veletsianos (2013) study asked what activities and practices arise when researchers and faculty use social media, finding that usage includes both in class and professional (non-class) use.  In addition to Twitter, blogging was a major component of this activity, which included professional content such as highlighting research or presentations, as well as personal reflection on issues important to them.  This personal sharing was found to be valuable in the academic community (2013).

References:

Esteves, J.  (2008).  Where is your blog?  Business Strategy Review, Winter 2008.

Grover, A., & Stewart, D. W. (2010). Defining interactive social media in an educational context. In C. Wankel & M. Marovich & J. Stanaityte (Eds.), Cutting edge social media approaches to business education: Teaching with LinkedIN, Facebook, Twitter, Second Life, and Blogs (pp7-38). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Gurak, L. & Antonijevic, S.  (2008).  The psychology of blogging: You, me, and everyone in between.  American Behavioral Scientist, 52(1), 60-68.

Nackerud, S. & Scaletta, K.  (2008).  Blogging in the academy.  New Directions for Student Services, 124, 71-87.

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10 Guiding Questions a Successful Student Affairs Blogger Can Answer:

 

  1. What is your niche?
    1.  Pick an area of focus that you are passionate about.
    2.  Think about what others are interested in reading.
  2. What is your brand?  Your identity?
    1.  Be strategic in choosing focal areas that enhance your career.
    2.  Think about the types of posts for which you want to be known.
  3. How can you be authentic in the way you represent yourself?
    1.  Acknowledge all comments and tweets.
    2.  Don’t humblebrag.
  4. What platform and technological tools should you use?
    1.  Purchase a domain name that reflects you and/or your blog content.
    2.  Pick a domain name registrar.
    3.  Pick a blogging platform.
  5. What is your blog design and what does it convey?
    1.  Pick a blog theme/design.
    2.  Think about what you want it to convey.  Whimsical?  Modern?  Serious?
    3.  Think ahead to the functionalities you want in a design.
    4. Think about accessibility and universal design.shutterstock_69881668-2
  1. How will you promote your blog?
    1.  Tweet new posts with appropriate hashtags.
    2.  Enable sharing on your blog posts.
  2. How can you unify all of our digital presences? (And do you want to?)
    1.  Cross link and weave your presence together for greater lift.
    2.  Think about which audiences your different channels target.
  3. How can you interpret your traffic data and analytics?
    1.  Determine which post topics gain the most traction.
    2.  Determine the best times to post for your audience.
    3.  Explore links to your blog and popular search terms.
  4. How can you responsibly write, cite, and give credit?
    1.  Give credit and mentions liberally.
    2.  Understand Creative Commons licensing.
  5. How can you engage the community?
    1.  Engage in conversations that arise from your posts.
    2.  Deal with negative comments constructively and don’t take it personally.

 

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Resources:

Suggested platforms for publishing a blog:

 

SAC-PodcastThe Student Affairs Spectacular Podcast

Topic: Paul Gordon Brown on Blogging in Student Affairs (12/2/2014)


 
 
How To Become A More Confident Blogger:

 

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Higher Ed and SA Bloggers:

A listing of bloggers who write on topics related to higher education, student affairs, and related topics.

Group Blogs:

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One thought on “#SAwrites: Blogging in Student Affairs and Higher Education

  1. Pingback: The Student Affairs Collective » The Student Affairs Spectacular Podcast Episode #49: ACPA 2015 with Juhi Bhatt

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