Over at the blog ‘every, every minute’, I spotted a post that made sense to respond to. After nearly 2 months of writing UniversityBlog, I thought it was time to give a bit more background and talk you through my reasons for setting up this site.
1. What motivated or inspired you to start blogging and how long have you been doing it?
– I’m a recent blogger with UniversityBlog. I remember a good many years ago, when The Guardian’s IT/Technology section was pushing how blogs were going to be one of the next big things and how important it was to the Internet. I wasn’t happy with the idea at the time, although I didn’t doubt the possibilities.
It’s taken a long time for me to find a way through to having a reason for a blog. I never wanted to simply write a diary and I knew that to write something worthwhile, I’d have to be passionate about the subject. That why I decided to start this blog, because I was ready to push forward with my goals, which were and are firmly placed in Higher Education.
I had always wanted to start blogging once I’d found a purpose (one or two possibilities presented themselves, but they didn’t have that spark, so the ideas died a quick death).
I found a purpose with this blog. Starting Universityblog seemed so natural and I’m delighted to have pushed forward with the process. I strive to find the time to make it worthwhile to readers, because it’s meant to be informative, helpful, fun, and a source of various benefits. If I was writing this just for myself, what would be the point of a blog anyway really?
2. What are your goals, purposes, or reasons for blogging?
– As stated above, I want to put forward my experiences, the advice that worked for me and for others, reasons for being at uni, and anything that will make the experience of Higher Education better. Whether a student is ludicrously happy with their lot, or if they are questioning why they have bothered (or even, perhaps, if they are college/Sixth Form/Post-16 students who are considering going to uni), I aim to give snippets of advice to bring certain thoughts into play. At this point, it’s up to the student to make use of what they’ve read and I wish them every success.
My other big purpose for this blog is to embrace the different sides of university life. I’m working at a uni and I am getting to see administrative work, behind-the-scenes organisation, how a university manages to run on a day-to-day basis. I also understand that lecturers and professors have a different outlook to the view of a student. There is so much going on and everyone is different, so uni is an important place and one with so much magic.
The sky’s the limit for Higher Education. I would have been crazy not to have started blogging about it!
3. In your opinion, is your blog “successful?”
– Considering that I’ve been maintaining this blog for less than 2 months (at time of writing this), it’s been successful, yes. Within just a few days of beginning the blog, I was finding that people were interested and wanted to help. I conducted interviews with people I had never met and had no link to, yet they were so happy to help and gave a lot of input. This input helped me with a strong start to the blog and, in turn, helped bring readers to the blog.
Although I’ve done very little promotion of the blog, I have received an impressive number of visitors in the short time it’s been running. That has been such a surprise and I’m still amazed at how it’s managed to take off.
Of course, it could be A LOT more successful, but I am most interested in giving students a chance to know the blog is there and make use of it if they so wish. If there’s no interest, that’s one thing. But if I just don’t make it visible to potential readers, I’m failing to help those who may well gladly take the advice.
So it’s been an initial success, and I look forward to improving the quality of the site, as well as the number of people coming to it.
4. If you pay attention to your blog statistics, rankings, number of comments, number of visitors, etc., share some of your significant numbers.
In the first few weeks of the blog, I wrongly thought that the most popular posts would be those about general academic productivity and ‘study-hacks’. I realised that information on the uni experience is looked at on many levels. Not just for tips on writing essays and reading lots of textbooks.
There are a great number of topics to talk about, as well as many angles to focus on each topic. So I’m not worried that my flow of ideas will dry up!
I did have an initial interest in the site’s statistics, but I’ve become less interested as the weeks have gone by. I admit it’s been fun to see that several thousand people have already been to the site. Obviously those stats will include a lot of repeat visitors, but it’s pleasing to know that there must be a fair interest in UK academia. Here’s to the future!
As a final thing, I’d just like to say that various developments over the last 2-3 weeks (including new job) has resulted in my suddenly having to drop back on posting to The Student Room.
I had literally only just started making regular appearances on The Student Room and I’m convinced it’s one of the best forum sites for uni students, if not one of the best websites as a whole. I wanted to be able to reach out to people on there, as well as have a bit of a laugh, but I haven’t been able to keep up the same frequency of posting.
I hope to return to that at some point shortly in the future, but while so many other exciting things are going on, something had to give. I’m determined to find a way of getting back down to posting stuff, albeit in a slightly less time-consuming way. Watch this space! And if you’ve not seen The Student Room, watch that website!