Imagine my joy when I read a story in Sunday’s Herald News about the University of Massachusetts’ Dartmouth campus joining the blogosphere:
The blog carries the title “World Class. Within Reach” and includes posts on students studying abroad, news reports on enrollment costs and a message from the chancellor. Links brings viewers to housing information, an online application and ways to meet faculty and students.
“We’re trying to talk via the channels they’re listening to. More and more students communicate via the Internet and those vehicles opposed to direct mailings or catalogues,” said university spokesman John Hoey.
While currently hosted on Google’s free Blogger platform with the worldclasswithinreach.blogspot.com address and not a custom URL such as, say, umass.edu/blog, I’m sure things will change soon. After all, something is better than nothing; and nothing happens overnight.
Here’s a screen shot of the UMass Dartmouth blog‘s opening image and the most recent post. Notice an ongoing poll in the sidebar, and the bold blue color:
Browsing around the University of Massachusetts system, I see that UMass Lowell is trying hard with an Admissions Department blog but has a long way to go, UMass Boston has a blog network, UMass Amherst has an in-house solution enabling students, faculty, and staff to blog, and the system itself bills a blog as UMassOnline.
Did I mention UMass Dartmouth’s library has its own blog, in the form of a very well-made news feed that enables commenting?
For instance, here’s a blog post from September about new chairs the library wanted to purchase. See how pictures of the current and prospective chairs are displayed, and comments suggest the chairs to buy. Very clever, and something that easily enables students to be involved in collegiate purchasing decisions!
The Dartmouth campus is also on Twitter at @umassd:
Like the blog showing a blogspot.com address and not a more “professional” address, I’m sure this Twitter feed over time will be more active and not merely broadcast items. But again, something is better than nothing, for like Hoey said in that newspaper quote above, the kids don’t want advertising.
If only my college days included this stuff. I was writing about the benefits of the Internet in 1996 for my college paper. Man, how times have changed.