A campus blog created by the Office of Communications this past fall has had trouble gaining visibility among students. WesLive, which provides updates on events, campus news, and greater community happenings, is the University-sponsored version of student-run blog Wesleying, according to Student Communications Intern Daniel Atzmon ’10.
WesLive shares many aesthetic features with Wesleying—a “popular tags” box like Wesleying’s “Tag Cloud,” a red and black color scheme, and a handwritten header.
“The school wanted to create their own outlet through which to distribute information,” Atzmon said, whose job at the Office of Communications is to inform students about WesLive. “There is open access to anyone within the University community. Alumni, professors, and students are free to post about events, news and anything else pertinent to the Wesleyan community.”
In recent years, the University has made a concerted effort to increase communication, especially in new media sectors. Many campus services now have Facebook pages and Twitter accounts, including Olin Library’s Scores and Recordings, WesWings, Red & Black Café, and Residential Life.
“This blog is on the forefront of what university websites are aiming for,” Atzmon said. “There are so many websites or pages that are affiliated with the University—for example professor’s blogs—that students are not exposed to. The goal for WesLive is to eventually consolidate all these sources down to a single website, making it easier for the University community to access the vast resources that are available for them.”
The administration is a few steps behind the student body—the popular student-run blog Wesleying has established itself as a source for campus information since its creation in 2006 by Holly Wood ’08 and Xue Sun ’08. Regular Wesleying contributor Zach Schonfeld ’13 said that the blog’s success is in part due to its independence from the University—which could limit WesLive’s chances for success.
“One of the things that makes Wesleying great is that it’s entirely student run and does not even receive funding from the University,” Schonfeld said. “Students are therefore able to express their concerns without any administrative interference.”
According to Atzmon, one of the reasons for the emergence of WesLive was the opinion that Wesleying was slightly anti-administration.
He pointed to the links that are listed under the title “University Propaganda” on the site.
Schonfeld said that Wesleying is not anti-administration but simply unaffiliated with it.
“Any given post on Wesleying reflects the views of that individual blogger and not Wesleying as any sort of collective entity,” he said. “Readers and commenters sometimes seem to think we all convene before every post, which is ridiculous. Different contributors come to the blog with totally divergent experiences, opinions, and prejudices, and that’s a great thing.”
Atzmon still hopes that students will be receptive to the idea of a University-run blog.
“All we’re looking for now is greater involvement and enthusiasm on behalf of the students, faculty, administration, and alumni,” Atzmon said. “It’s all about sharing and caring.”