Student-run blogs such as Wesleying and Well Dressed Wes have enjoyed growing popularity and press time in the past year. However, there are many other, lesser-known blogs written by University students that touch on a diverse range of topics, from celebrities to fashion to music.
As lesser-known blogs are flourishing, the more established Wesleying blog, run by Xue Sun ’08 and Holly Wood ’08, has also been steadily gaining readership. In December 2006, the site was averaging 750 unique visitors per day. Currently, the average is well over 1,000 visitors a day.
Another sign of its increasing popularity, Wesleying recently won U.S. News & World Report’s college blog (Paper Trail) award for Best Alternative Media Outlet. Its competition included a Columbia University blog and two Harvard blogs. Visitors to the website voted on the various blogs. Wesleying ended up with 45% of the vote, with Columbia’s Bwog coming in second place.
“I was absolutely terrified by the prospect of going up against Harvard and Columbia and was definitely not expecting to win, but apparently Wesleying has an exceptionally rabid readership because we kicked their asses,” Sun said.
Fashion commentary blog Well Dressed Wes, started by Shane Lynch ’07 and Maude Bass-Krueger ’07, has also gained popularity in recent weeks.
“Apparently, Well Dressed Wes has become an adjective, as in people will say, ‘Whoa, that baby-doll dress and fur combination is so Well Dressed Wes,’” Lynch and Bass-Krueger wrote in an e-mail.
Faking Good Breeding, a blog by visiting student Meghan Greenhalgh ’08, a visiting student from Smith College, also focuses on fashion and beauty. Her blog’s tagline is “fashion, beauty and pop culture, from a thinking woman’s perspective.”
“My goal is discuss these topics intelligently, without looking down on the average woman’s needs and limitations,” Greenhalgh said.
There certainly exists a cohesive online community, as evidenced by the creation of the blog Well, You’re Dressed Wes. Written by Joe John Sanchez ’07 and Emily Greenhouse ’08, the blog is an spoof of Well Dressed Wes.
Sanchez also writes a blog entitled It’s the Money Shot! He is the sole contributor to this blog, although it developed out of another one of his blogs, TotesUmbrellas, written in conjunction with Katie Brown ’06, Justin Holzwarth ’08, and Katey Rich ’06.
It’s the Money Shot! is a music blog that aims to share Sanchez’s eclectic and underground music tastes. He is not one of those pretentious music nerds, though.
“I always worry that my blog makes me come off as some hipster doucheface,” Sanchez said. “I’m not. I will admit with no shame that I listen to Carrie Underwood and Fall Out Boy.”
Over winter break, Sophie Pollitt-Cohen ’09 began her blog, The Ultimate Reality, as a collection of jokes that were rejected by her bosses at her internship at VH1’s Best Week Ever.
“In retrospect, [that] might not have been that good of an idea, since clearly they weren’t using [the jokes] for a reason, but the blog is really more for myself than anyone else,” Pollitt-Cohen said. “Because I’m that egocentric.”
The good news, however, is that Pollitt-Cohen’s blog, focusing on funny links and videos, has increased its readership four-fold, going from one reader to four readers.
In an entirely different vein is the blog How to Break Stuff written by Evan Simko-Bednarski ’07, along with Gavin Robb ’07 and Matt Montesano ’05.
“[We blog about] everything from how to fix your car or bicycle to how to judge the structural integrity of a building or select a respirator,” Simko-Bednarski said.
One of the most valuable parts of blogging, according to Simko-Bednarski, is the creation of an independent media source, something for which Wesleying was recognized.
“It gives one the ability to reach an audience previously possible only through networks of megawatt transmitters or printing empires,” he said. “And in so doing, news and information becomes more personalized, more idiosyncratically presented, and all the richer for it.”
Besides the ability to share one’s opinions with the world, blogging has other perks as well.
“My favorite part about blogging is that I can do it in my underwear,” Sanchez said. “Seriously.”