It’s a coincidence that the official launch of the Lehman College Blog takes place on Valentine’s Day. These two events, however, do share something in common. When you get to their true meaning, they are both about the idea of deep human connections – and for me, that’s why blogs are significant. Time will tell if our experiment with this blog is successful, and to some degree, the answer rests with you!
What makes blogs and social media so powerful and why did we initiate Blogs@Lehman? Jeff Bullas, a social media consultant, suggests ten transformational possibilities generated by the connections made through these technologies. Several are consistent with our decision to launch the Lehman blog: we can learn more from each other; creativity and inspiration can be unleashed; we can be more authentic by speaking in own voices; and anyone can contribute. To this last point, leadership in the digital age is something that we strive for at Lehman. Digital leadership requires that students, in particular, actively participate in shaping the direction of new media. A focus on digital literacy is a key reason why students come to Lehman for the Journalism, Communications and Theater program, supported by an outstanding new Multimedia Center and our collaboration with BronxNet.
According to Wikipedia, it was a Swarthmore College student, Justin Hall, who was one of the earliest bloggers. In 1994, Mr. Hall and other pioneers started “personal web blogs,” writing about the emergence of the Internet. Think about 1994 for a moment… It’s the year that Apple released its first Mac. At Lehman, 1994 marked the opening of the APEX, Lehman’s terrific sports and recreation center. It took 10 more years for another college student, Mark Zuckerberg, to launch what would become Facebook.
Blogs have grown tremendously since 1994 and current estimates indicate that more than 156 million blogs can now be found on the web. Of course, blogs continue to change and grow with the emergence of micro and social blogs like Twitter and Tumblr and more recently, the visual social network, Pinterest.
Clearly, the convergence of blogs and social media has played a significant role in our lives and our culture. We’ll continue to see these technologies, and our reaction to them, evolve in the years ahead.
What are your thoughts about this evolution?