New Party Game: Blogging
BU’s first blog bash features the people behind the posts
No one knew quite what to expect at the University’s first-ever Blog Party, hosted recently by the Howard Thurman Center. Even the versatile, eternally game Kenn Elmore, dean of students, admits to having been stumped when asked to address the group of about 20 student bloggers and their friends. Wasn’t this like a convention of solitaire aficionados?
Elmore rose to the occasion, in late February, by blogging live, bopping to the strains of hip-hop while tapping on his laptop, which was perched atop a podium. Encouraging words appeared on a big screen. “Students matter … couldn’t let the month go by without a shout-out to students.” As for the rest of the group, they were upbeat and eager to network, especially the men and women of BU Cultureshock and BU Latino, both celebrating their launch. Fellow cyber-scribes cheered bucultureshock video blogger Ahmed Ahmed (CAS’10), a biology major whose irresistible rant “C’mon BU,” a G-rated takeoff on YouTube sensation “C’mon Son,” was screened at the gathering (below).
“I love brunch and I love to write, so a friend inspired me to blog,” said Cindy Cordova (SHA’10), who posts reviews of places to brunch on her blog Brunchlove. Her favorite? “Zaftigs, definitely,” she says, referring to the Brookline deli that serves up challah French toast the size of carry-on luggage.
Patt Hongsmatip (ENG’12) started her blog last summer because, she said, “I was bored. I blog a few times a week about stuff I find cool.” Like her fellow bloggers, Hongsmatip also posts her blog on Facebook. “My name’s Pattaya, which sometimes rhymes with Papaya,” she said. “I like nice people and cool things — check it out.”
The women of BU Latino: (from left) Ana Maria Pulgarin (CGS’11), Ivi Morales (COM’12), Susana Alvarez (COM’13), Veronica Bohorquez (SED’13), and Jasmine Gutierrez (CAS’13).
Susana Alvarez (COM’13) is part of a lively quintet of Latina women who love different cultures and words. In its infancy with just a handful of posts, BU Latino will share observations, rants, and raves about the trials of Latina womanhood. Alvarez, who grew up in Chicago, writes about the rhythms of her Mexican mother’s life — “the cooking, the cleaning, all the details,” she said.
For Portia Ross (CGS’11), blogging is a way to share her obsession with dancing — not the stage and studio kind, but the party kind. “I go to parties and see the new routines people are doing,” said Ross, who launched her blog MOVE a few weeks ago. “I write about the latest dance routines and do links to them on YouTube.” A recent entry: Ludacris’ “How Low.”
Blogger success is wildly relative, but at least one BU-based blog, pocketfullofpaper gets thousands of hits a week and attracts regular readers from around the world, especially the UK. Barron Bazemore (CAS’10) started the blog two years ago with four friends of differing backgrounds and origins, from Germany to New Jersey. The blog’s mission statement: “We filter the bad music so you don’t have to.”
“We post updates daily,” said Jason Brown (COM’11), a member of the group. “The content flow depends on what’s going on that day, but we cover music, fashion, sports, and news, and sometimes the posts are more personal.” With its professional, catchy colorful graphics (they have their own photographer), the blog has a broader focus than college life, but steers clear of the celebrity scene, Brown said.
Not all the bloggers are as disciplined as Brown and his friends. Although he’s been blogging since August 2008, alum Nathan Chow (COM’09) has posted only 15 times on his creation, howtospellcollege. And yet, several posts from this “practical and supportive guide for college students” are perennial favorites, linked hundreds of times. The most visited by far is a post offering “the most comprehensive dorm packing list” in existence, according to Chow. “Every day in August, December, and January I get hundreds and hundreds of hits,” he said. “I thought it up and launched the site on my own. I never had a guide like this myself.”
Other student bloggers include Sima Kalmens (CAS’11), “Daily stories of my life abroad”; Joshua Wright (CAS’12), “An exploration of all aspects of life”; David Linhart (LAW’12), “Zeroing in on legal leverage for social change”; Natalee Ranii-Dropcho (COM’12), “Mindless meanderings and productive procrastination”; Samantha DuBois (COM’12), “A collegiette’s guide to life”; Andrea Hage (CAS’13), “A heterogeneous mixture; jumble”; Becca Gulla-Devaney (SED’13), “Sudden bursts of emotion are best expressed in written form”; Ryan Piccirillo (COM’13), “Chronicles my adventures here at BU”; and the daily independent online magazine the Quad, “We post blogs on breaking news events and more in-depth articles on a variety of subjects.”1 Comments