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Biola bloggers prove to be effective recruiters

Junior M. Brandon Lee spends many of his work hours in his pajamas.

A member of the Biola Ambassador program, he spends a portion of his work hours blogging and the rest of them making calls to prospective students. Lee, along with other Biola bloggers, describe classes, professors, events and random college life activities in their posts, giving prospective students a glimpse of what Biola offers.

“Our culture is shifting to an even more online savvy lifestyle,” Lee said. “We have our Palm Pres, iPhones, laptops and so on. With Facebook, Twitter and other social networking Web sites out there, it would be silly not to have blogs that provide an easy...social contact point for any current or potential students.”

Biola’s blog program follows the examples of other colleges that have begun posting student blogs on their sites as a marketing tool.

Amherst College, Bates College, Carleton College, Colby College, Vassar College, Wellesley College, and Yale University all have student blogs, according to a New York Times article.

Sophomore Chris Mellon, who blogged for Biola last year, said the program in general is a good connecting tool for prospective students.

“The whole point of the Ambassador program is to provide prospective students with a ‘real-life’ current student who is on the same page,” he said.

Mellon has personally witnessed the success of the blogs.

“The coolest thing is meeting new students this year that come up and say they read my blog,” he said,

Due to technical problems, this year’s blogs for Biola are not currently accessible from the Biola Web site. IT and Biola bloggers expect the blogs to go public within the next two weeks, and hope the blogs will continue to successfully draw in new students for fall 2010.

Freshman blogger Elizabeth Mosquera said last year’s blogs played a role in her own decision to attend Biola.

Sophomore blogger Marielle McGee said she blogs about what she would have liked to have known before she started college. The transition was easier than expected, she said, and professor-student relationships were closer than she thought they would be. She blogs to encourage students to not be so afraid of the college life.

Blogging isn’t always a breeze for Lee, however.

“It’s actually hard to find things to blog about,” he said. “I’ve had to come up with some crazy stuff like how to freeze a lock off with compressed air. I’m implementing a system where I create blog ‘series’ where I can blog about various pranks you can do, concert or CD reviews, and even an ‘About Me’ series.”

Lee encouraged readers to leave comments on his blog or contact him with ideas on what they’d like to see him cover.

“The blogs are a personal touch,” McGee said. “People like to hear from students, to hear from peers. It makes the university-student relationship more tangible.”

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