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July 23, 2008

Blogs: The Many Voices of a University

Recorded video by Ustream
Blogs: The Many Voices of a University
(go forward past the first minute)

Sunday afternoon I skibbled off to Atlantic City to attend EduWeb 2008, a conference for Web development professionals in higher education.

The critical point of the conference—for me—came Tuesday afternoon at 5:00 when I presented Blogs: The Many Voices of a University. As some of you know, I'm more of a writer than a public speaker, so I faced the challenge with a wee bit of trepidation. Many kind people told me it went well though, so I will now share it with you. If you who were unable to attend, or if you wish to demonstrate the power of blogging to your university's administration, you may watch the video and view the slides here. I've also included the presentation abstract below.

Presentation Abstract: Blogs: The Many Voices of a University

Whether marketing to prospective students, engaging the community in campus life or reaching out to alumni, our mission requires us to distribute a wide range of information that will allow our various audiences to connect with our colleges and universities. Such information could include features of our academic programs, the impact of research, faculty scholarship, student achievements, campus activities, event announcements, etc. Through the use of campus blogs we can build on this informational foundation by letting the members of our community share their own thoughts and viewpoints with the world. By giving voice to these individuals we present an inside look into their experiences, activities and intellectual pursuits.

At Case Western Reserve University we have made blogs available to all members of the campus community including students, faculty, staff and alumni. Staff members use these blogs to share information, to teach and to provide customer service tools online. Faculty use them to share both their personal ideas and as classroom tools to engage students in online discussions. Students may blog about their overseas experiences, their athletic activities or classroom assignments while alumni may discuss their careers or political beliefs. This presentation will provide examples of the various ways individuals at Case, and other schools, are using blogs and how these individual voices come together to present a richer portrait of university life.

Blogging at Case

This presentation would not have been possible were it not for the Case Blog System provided by ITS, and the rich content created by our blogging alumni, faculty, staff and students. Thank you Lev, Jeremy and the many Case bloggers who gave me something to show off at the conference!

You can learn more about blogging at Case by visiting these resources:

Forthcoming: reflections on the conference.

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Posted by: Heidi Cool July 23, 2008 11:17 AM | Category: Blogging , Content , Heidi's Entries , How-to , Web 2.0 , eduweb2008 , marketing , presentations , video

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After getting trapped an extra day on the coast due to weather, I'm home and finally watched this. The advice about skipping ahead is just because the camera went on early and during the first minute you will just hear the audience members sitting near the equipment--this was the last presentation of the day so you'll understand why they might be thirsty! (They're also great guys who were helpful in calming me down before having to speak, esp. knowing that the audience would be Twittering during the talk.)

It's odd listening to yourself—I sound far more serious than I really am— but hopefully it makes sense. If you have any questions about it, please feel free to ask.

Posted by Heidi Cool on July 24, 2008 10:41 PM

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You did a fantastic job Heidi. The illustrations were great - Admissions should do a comic book or ppt presentation "what to expect at Case" using those cartoon styled characters. Quick and easily diverse-able way to represent the campus.

Re: the q at about 42:00 I think it's a good point to track stats, alas, if only we had the time to do it! :)

Congrats again

Posted by Ae on July 29, 2008 08:41 AM

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Thanks Adam,

I forgot to mention that I created the cartoons using http://www.bitstrips.com, which is basically a social media site based on cartooning. It makes it very easy to create characters and scenes without having to draw everything by hand each time. And like other social media sites one can make friends, share cartoons, etc. I didn't publicly publish all the strips I made for the presentation, but if you have an interest in the site you can friend me there at http://www.bitstrips.com/user/1800/.

Posted by Heidi Cool on August 5, 2008 10:22 AM

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I like the idea of using the blog as a method of communicating in the academic setting. It's good to know that the academic realm is keeping up with modern times!

Posted by May on August 7, 2008 01:03 PM

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great idea! that shows how updated universities are and they truly care about students convenience.

Posted by sara on August 20, 2008 06:06 AM

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Skibbled! Thank you for using Eloiseish.

Posted by Gretchen D on September 3, 2008 11:27 AM

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i red your presentation abstract, it's very inspiring. by providing blogs to all members of a university, i think it's a good way to help marketing the university as long as the content of the blogs are mostly positives. i'll try to communicate this idea to my colleague. thx.

Posted by gregor on December 15, 2008 11:18 AM

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For some reason I can´t watch your video.

Anyway, I think blogs for everyone in campus is one that should be considered by universities. There´s something about the personal nature of blogs that brings the readers into a positive realm with the writer, if you know what I mean.

I also think that if alumni, faculty, staff and students are involved in this whole "blog world" (mostlikely interweaving personal and academe life), interacting through comments, exchanging ideas, there´s a certain cohesiveness (not sure about the word) among them.

And I don´t know about you, but when I was in university, one of the many things that I liked was just being part of that university -- there was a certain comfort in knowing a face, a common belief.. etc

Now when people in the campus are all encouraged to blog, I think this "cohesiveness" (loyalty? still not sure what the right word is) becomes even stickier.

I sure do wish my always irritable professor in college blogged.

Posted by Samantha on December 18, 2008 07:14 PM

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Posted by: hac4 (Heidi Cool) July 23, 2008 11:17 AM | Comments (8) | Trackback