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SC Students Start Tumblr Blog
October 20, 2010
With an estimated 3.3 million daily visitors-up 50 percent from its numbers in April-Tumblr is one of today's most popular social networking sites, and seven Sterling College students are hoping to use it to share their real-life experiences at the College with prospective students.
"I would have loved a site like this before I came to Sterling," said Emily Zerger, a transfer student in her first year at Sterling. She and six other students, Megan Walker, Kelly Johnson, Jon VanVeldhuizen, Connor Griffin, Ryan Corwin and Nathan Ehresman, will be posting blogs, pictures, links, music, short updates and videos in an effort to give prospective students the "real perspective of actual students at Sterling."
"Before I came to Sterling, the College had an ‘SC Peers' site, but it wasn't really what I wanted," said sophomore Kelly Johnson. "I wanted to meet people already here who were doing what I would soon be doing."
"Prospective students are making college decisions based on social networking," said SC Web Marketing Manager Sarah Contrucci, who created the site, www.weareSTERLING.tumblr.com, and recruited students as bloggers for it.
Each of the student bloggers feels like he/she has a unique perspective to share. Some of them are transfer students; others began their college careers at Sterling. One, Megan Walker, grew up in Sterling, went away to college for a year, and then decided to come back. Some went to public high schools, some to private, and some were home-schooled. They are involved in a wide range of activities. Some are from Kansas; others are from out of state. But their differences were not the only reason they were chosen. "These students are able to express themselves well, and they are also able to be honest and real," said Contrucci.
And they like to write. "This is a good challenge for me," said Zerger. "This will force me to use my creativity."
Before they could get begin posting to the site, the group had some decisions to make: what kind of template and design did they want for their site? how often should they post? and, most difficult, would they remain anonymous?
They decided to identify themselves and their posts. "The site is very organic, with all the posts available in the order they were submitted," said Contrucci. "But with signed posts, visitors will know which student has written each post, and visitors can follow the ‘story' of one particular blogger if they want to."
Which means that prospective students who visit campus may recognize these bloggers. "I'm actually kind of excited for that," said Griffin. "It's like making a name for myself through my writing-while I'm still in college."
The bloggers have already enjoyed reading each other's posts, and they look forward to getting feedback from other SC students. "I like the interactive element," said Johnson. "I'm looking forward to seeing what people comment about."
"It will be great if they have suggestions," said Walker.
The student bloggers know this will be good experience for them, but they are also glad to do it as a service to the College. "I've really enjoyed my time here," said VanVeldhuizen, "and I really want people to know about SC and how great it is."