Saturday, March 21, 2009

Student Blogging While I Still Can

I had hoped my next blog post would be something related to my comprehensive exams that I took Monday, but I have yet to hear a peep about how I did on those. I suppose my graduate committee decided to make patience and anxiety elements of the test.

However, I studied for hours on end, and I remembered when and how I wanted to cite all of my sources and wrote as many quality answers as I could in the short amount of time allowed for each one. Therefore, I am guessing that my time as a Master's student and subsequently a college student at all will finally come to an end in less than two months. I might return to academia and pursue a Ph.D. someday, but it definitely will not be in the next year or so, as I hope to make my full-time professional debut.

I say all of that to say this — I soon will just be a blogger and not a stublogger. Because of this realization, I know that I must blog as a student while I still can. After all, though I've been able to find my niche and blog mostly about PR and media in recent months, I have still strayed enough to do some comedy and blog warring from time to time. Of course, once I'm no longer a student, some of these posts not related to my professional career might be seen as unacceptable. Maybe I won't care and will blog freely anyway, but somehow I can't help but think my style will evolve once again throughout the next year.

Now what better way to go out with a bang as I make the transition from stublogger to alumnus than to be featured on the one-and-only Student Bloggers Web site? So, I decided to set out on a quest to have this post featured there because (A) it might be the last time Relatively Journalizing gets featured on a site for students and (B) I haven't been featured on there in a little more than a month and am always trying to get publicity.

Now, I can't say that Student Bloggers hasn't shown me some love, as I've been featured on there numerous times, including for this post and this one. But I can't help but think the founder and lead editor (who was the only editor at the site for much of its existence), Alex, who also happens to be a friend and colleague at Virginia Tech, had something to do with that. Now, I know it would be unethical for Alex to feature my blog each time I post, and he probably wouldn't ask the new editors who have come along (one of whom has linked to my posts before) to do such a thing either. Regardless, getting coverage from the site has been more difficult as the number of student blogs increases and so does the number of editors who don't know me and who probably don't actually read every blog on the list (or even the actual featured post?) each time they update (as was evidenced by this post being featured one day).

So, I thought, how can I put my research skills to use in one last attempt to be affirmed a stublogger before becoming an alumblogger? The answer is simple: the tried-and-true method that every graduate student has come to love — the content analysis. Of course, I'm too lazy to actually count much, so I decided to do more of a rhetorical analysis and keep it qualitative (the academic equivalent to keeping it in the family for some).

By crafting a blog post that mirrors other featured posts, I should theoretically be able to become a featured post on Student Bloggers! It's genius! Let's take a look at the most-recent featured posts from the site:
  1. Prophase? or Anaphase? from A post about the author's realizing that movies don't always portray real life realistically (and as a bonus, the author is suckered into joining a Greekish organization).
  2. A thought about college identity from generic-looking LiveJournal site: The author suffers an identity crisis about which of his alma maters to be more a part of (when really, the answer is simple — whoever is doing better at football that year).
  3. The first of many "I graduate SOON!" freak outs from LFar Blog: The author discusses how good she is with fluids.
  4. Tip links were also provided with ways to save you time and take the class you always wanted.
So in order to be featured as a stublogger, I need to (A) have an epiphany about something obvious, (B) be dramatic, (C) say something that could be taken out of context and (D) write something that will help people better themselves as students. And I think by now I have done all of those things by (A) figuring out what it takes to be a featured stublogger, (B) making a much bigger deal about it than could ever be warranted and (D) providing a template future stubloggers can use to write featurable blog posts. That just leaves (C), but I've always been a fan of leaving a hole in things to touch on later when I have a few free seconds.

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