The scoop on the Lawence blog

Regina Siefert

A lot of us know about Internet blogging. If we don’t do it ourselves, we know someone who does, and maybe even make fun of them. For those rare breeds that have no idea what I am talking about, blogs – Web logs, that is – are journals posted online for the world to see. In many cases, blog entries are mindless rants or a recap on the person’s day. Others are forums for news and current events.
So what does this have to do with Lawrence? Starting around March of this year, the Admissions Office began to throw around the idea of creating a Lawrence blog for prospective students to read. “The admissions website does a lot really well,” said Jacob Allen, assistant director of conservatory admission, “but it was missing the student life aspect.”
To solve this problem, Allen and his colleagues brainstormed what they thought their blog should be, and who should write in it. “We took recommendations from all sorts … other students, staff.” Allen said.
They also took applications, which after inspection yielded a group of 25 candidates. Those 25 were interviewed, and the blog group was selected. “We originally thought of using two freshmen, two sophomores, one junior, one senior, and one super senior,” said Allen, “but we ended up with two freshmen, two sophomores, two juniors, and one senior.”
They chose a very diverse group – one that they hope will represent international students, conservatory students, non-conservatory students, students from both coasts, and Wisconsin residents.
Eric Armour, a junior biology major, is one of those representatives. “We write about what our week is like, and what it entails both academically and socially,” said Armour. “Along with our entries, we submit two pictures each.”
Armour said that the Admissions Office did not specifically tell them what they were prohibited from writing about. He’s sure, however, that they hoped the blog writers would be positive and responsible and refrain from writing about sex, drugs, or alcohol. “I don’t think I would want to talk about that stuff, anyway,” Armour confessed.
Allen said that blog contributors were also asked not to “sell” Lawrence to the prospective students reading the blog. “We really want it to be an opportunity for readers to get an impression of what life at Lawrence is really like,” said Allen. “We decided not to do a traditional blog where a person posts whenever they want, because we figured that in general a person’s attention span is minimal. Making it weekly is still blogging but a little more formal and easier to read.”
The first blog entries were submitted Thursday and will be written on a weekly basis until the end of the school year. The rough drafts of the blogs will be reviewed, edited for grammar and spelling, and posted on the website at “The students get paid for six hours of work per week, keeping in mind that writing the blog may take longer some weeks, and others may take much less time,” Allen says.
When asked how much the hourly rate actually is, Armour smiled and said, “We get paid well.