Last week, Ryan Paugh of Employee Evolution gave me the idea to write a post about why more college students aren’t blogging. Immediately, I accepted the challenge and started pounding out a post. Seven-hundred words later, I realized my post had turned into a rant. While it felt great to vent about my lack of peers in the blogosphere, I wasn’t sure the post would actually benefit anyone, so I saved it in my files but never posted in on my blog.
Now that some time has passed, I find myself still thinking about the issue, but with a little less… fiery anger, if you will.
So why aren’t more college students blogging? I can only think of two people my age who actively blog, and one of them I made do it because he is the Student Body President and I’m the Director of Marketing and Public Affairs, which means I can force him to try new marketing programs whenever I want.
The buzz in the industry is that blogging catches attention, enhances your writing skills, builds an online social network, and, ahem,
affects the hiring process.
But that doesn’t seem to be enough incentive, so what keeps students from blogging? I’ve made some assumptions, but please, feel free to add to it!
- Lack of time – College students have hectic schedules, and after long days of classes, studying, and interning, the last thing they want to do is spend time blogging. This is my advice: posts don’t have to be long! Some of the best are less than 250 words, in fact, readers’ attention spans are short, so no need to write lengthy essays! Also, you can blog as much or as little as you want—it’s about quality, not quantity.
- Lack of ideas – Many of my peers say they don’t know what to write about. I suggest finding someone’s blogroll and following it for a while. Interact with the bloggers—leave comments and participate in the various dialogues. This will not only give you ideas, it will also get you active in the community. This can help in the “lack of time” category, too (two birds with one stone, anyone?). Kudos to my classmate Tory for being a pro at this. Even though she doesn’t blog right now, she is involved in the blogosphere, which keeps her up-to-date on industry trends and earns her some much-deserved recognition.
- Lack of Knowledge About Blogging – This one kills me. College students could potentially have some of the most fascinating blogs as they are constantly presented with new ideas in their classes, activities, and social lives, but they don’t blog about it because they “aren’t really sure how.” WordPress and Blogger are fool proof, so log in and start writing!
- Apathy – The last reason is that many students just don’t care. Unfortunately, there isn’t much that can be done about this, but I hope as more students are rewarded with jobs, internships, and scholarships they will find some value in this medium.
It’s upsetting that more of my friends and classmates don’t blog, and not just because I’d like a larger readership (ha), but because I know the importance of social media. As Chris Clarke said, blogging no longer makes you exceptional—it’s expected.
Well, that’s my take, but I’m interested in what you all think.