I’ve been working under the assumption that a blog is only a blog if it lets readers post comments/questions. But spending a whack of time researching the blogosphere as one of our company’s social media analysts, I occasionally stumble across “blogs” that I don’t think deserve that label. Apparently, by the strictest definition of the word (i.e. Web + log) a blog can be just that: an online journal, no way to write in the margins of the logbook. All talk, no action.
Hmm. No comments = no conversation, that’s what I think. I mean, what is a comment-less blog but a glorified electronic brochure?
Oops, these are not “blogs”, but rather testimonials from 17 students in 13 faculties, beautifully packaged and carefully written. “It’s the only place I’ve ever wanted to go to school!” “First year is terrific!” .. you get the point. Glowing endorsements and squeaky clean anecdotes. What they don’t have is:
- Comments, trackbacks, or any form of feedback.
- Any contact info – nary an email.
- An invite from the school’s blog network to would-be bloggers (as I’ve seen done by other schools, such as the University of Western Ontario).
- Any links to a Facebook group, Twitter account, YouTube video, MySpace page… isn’t this kind of social media and networking what college-age kids are all about??
Hey, if the University for Manitoba wants to run online testimonials, at least they could use a more hip format, such as the videos of students at Seneca College. (Alas, you can’t talk back to a video, but it beats static words and photos!)
To see a real student blog, check out the musings of this computer science student at the University of Waterloo. And he’s got the metrics (traffic, number of comments, volume of incoming links) to prove it!