Blogging Goals for 2008

Achieve 3 - photo by Woodsy 

With three months on the clock and over 100 posts, TheUniversityBlog has been an enjoyable project for me that’s gone from strength to strength.

And there’s plenty more to come too.

Thank you for all your support so far.  It’s exceeded everything I’d imagined by a long way.

The Christmas break is underway for most of you now, just as it will be for me at the end of this week.  A university without lots of student activity is a university that inevitably closes for many of the staff too.

Therefore, Friday 21st December will be my last day of posting until the New Year.  I’ll be back to the posting as of Friday 4th January, so I hope to see you back then.

Once the Christmas break is over and we all get back into the swing of things, I plan to take the blog further, mainly with regard to its promotion and organisation.  My aim is for as many students as possible to have knowledge of TheUniversityBlog.  Then it’s their choice whether or not to visit, natch!  At the moment, only a select number of students are aware of this place, which is obviously a shame.

At least they’ll have a large back catalogue of posts to catch up with when word gets out…

I’m writing about my aims today because of a post over at Daily Blog Tips.  The site has got a new group writing project, focusing on everyone’s “2008 Blogging Goals“.  I thought it a great excuse to explain my plans and thoughts for the coming months.

So here goes…these are my goals:

Greatest Goal II - photo by scottwills

1. Inform universities of this blog

I’m taking this site seriously and I want people to know it’s available.  I write about academia in the UK to help students make the most of their time studying.  If universities are aware of this, it gives them another source of writing to refer students to if they need to know about something.

2. Let Student Unions know about the blog too and engage with them to find out what students are looking for help/advice with.

Following on from my first aim, it would be crazy to ignore the actual Student Unions.  After all, I’m writing articles for students, about student life!  Not only will the SUs know how I can reach out to students, but they’ll also be able to tell me the important issues on the minds of students.  These things change, so the only way to keep up with it is to listen first-hand about what’s going on.

3. Write posts well in advance of publication

After having been struck down with illness twice in quick succession, my regular posting on TheUniversityBlog took a beating.  This didn’t make a difference in terms of visitor numbers (they went up!!), but I was annoyed at myself for not having a backup plan.

Therefore, I hope to get a lot of articles finished in advance over the coming months.  Then I’ll be ready for posting no matter what.  Queue evil laugh…

4. Set aside more time to communicate with other bloggers, academics, students, influential people.

When I started TheUniversityBlog, I thoroughly enjoyed speaking to others to get interviews and opinion.  I was unable to continue spending dedicated time on that, but I miss it and will be incorporating some of this communication time into my plan.

I also want to do more guest posting and establish a stronger link between bloggers in similar territory.

I’d finally like to hear more from individual students, past and present.  The focus will be on advice they would pass to others, how their lives have been changed by university, and what they would like to know more about.

5. Link my work in Higher Education with this blog

So far, I’ve spent very little time focusing on my own development within HE.  I’m only a couple of months into my first position within academia, so it’s no surprise that I haven’t made full use of this link yet.  But I’ve certainly learned a lot already and it’s great to be in this position.

My final blogging goal is admittedly a vague one, but it’s an important one.  There’s a lot of scope to give TheUniversityBlog greater depth and I’m working toward understanding how I can take it to the next level.  Getting back into the thick of HE can only enhance the possibilities for this blog.  So watch this space!