New blogging trend becomes part of curriculum

New blogging trend becomes part of curriculum

by Ashley GressStaff Writer

Forget Facebook and Myspace. The new wave of online technology is blogging. From political figures to movie stars, these days everyone is starting a blog. Now with the help of the Communications Department, Simpson students are learning how to blog, too.

Blogging, short for web logging, is a new form of communication where anyone can share his or her thoughts with people around the world. A blog can be about anything that you’re interested in, from world news to entertainment and even your personal life.

“I think that blogging is a good way to stay in touch with technology because pretty soon everything will be on computers, senior Katie Nelson said.

Blogging has been around for a long time, but it has become very popular with the assistance of famous blog sites. “The Drudge Report” is one of the most popular blogs. This political blog was the first media source to break the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

“Blogging is the skill to have,” said Brian Steffen, professor of communication studies. “Print media, radio and TV are all starting to take advantage of blogging.”

Steffen started requiring his students to blog at the beginning of the school year. This semester will be his third class where he expects his students to blog. He requires the students to blog once a week on a topic pertaining to the class.

“Blogging is slowly starting to catch on because students understand the value of doing this,” Steffen said. “At first, students were only doing the bare minimum required for class, but now students are blogging multiple times in a week.”

Blogging is just the beginning of the new curriculum that Steffen is trying to implement in the next three to four years in the Communications Department.

“We are creating a curriculum that will embrace this new form of media,” Steffen said. “We are planning on having the students create their own videos, podcasts and youtubes.”

If you’re interested in creating a blog yourself, here are some tips on how to do it. One way is to go to to start your own blog for free. You could also go to Google and type in “free blog” and numerous websites will pop up, offering you a free blog site.

The key to a great blog is to write about things that interest you and keep it personal. Remember, other people will read it, so you always want to proofread before you send it out for the whole world to see.

“To have a great blog, you have to be smart and be a smart writer,” Steffen said. If you’re interested in just checking out blogs, there are several places to look. The majority of newspapers, TV stations and any other form of media have blogs created by the journalists who work there. All you have to do is go to their main webpage and they should have links to the journalists’ blogs.

“Blogging is a helpful because you can form your own opinions on issues that you normally wouldn’t think about,” junior Beriet Bichel said. “It makes you pay more attention to the news and be more critical of it.”