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MIT staff blogger Chris Peterson SM '13

Be A Blogger 2015! by Chris Peterson SM '13


It's summer in Cambridge, which means three things:

1) I'm slow-cooking ribs at least once a week

2) My Google search history is basically variations of "where to buy industrial sized vats of SPF 50"

3) It's time for those of you who might want to be bloggers to TAKE THE PLUNGE

What does it mean to be an admissions blogger? Here is the opening paragraph from the blogger training manual that Lydia and I send to all the new bloggers during blogger training:

The mission of the blogs is to allow our bloggers to express to the world what being a student at MIT is like.

You should interpret this mandate expansively. We want you to write about the formal admissions process (essay tips, interview advice, etc), but we also want you to write about things you do at MIT. Admissions officers can write about holistic admissions authentically. We can’t write about what it’s like to be in a Sadoway lecture, or planning stuff for REX, or UROPing, or deciding how to pick your classes, or a really cool new thing you learned today in class, and so forth.

The day-to-day experience of your life at MIT is a perspective only you can provide, so you should feel reasonably free to write about things you do, think, and experience while you are here. Beyond that, we will not tell you what to write or what not to write, with one golden guideline: don’t get the blogs shut down.

MIT operates by setting a very high standard of admission to the academic enterprise and then offering those who clear the bar substantial creative autonomy to independently pursue whatever they think is interesting and worthwhile; the blogs are a specific example of the general case.

At a high level, we are looking for bloggers with good judgment who can write clearly and regularly to help communicate to their readers something about what it's like to be an MIT student. Note that I say 'write.' Over the years, we have had many, many bloggers who have deployed pictures, cartoons, and video with wonderful, adorable, beautiful creativity. But fundamentally, the blogs remain a written medium, and students who have a demonstrated track record of (or in their application demonstrate the potential for) writing consistently and well tend to be the most compelling candidates.

Bloggers are expected to blog at least twice a month. New bloggers will also spend at least 3 hours a week "in residence" in the admissions office during normal business hours, to a) help new bloggers structure writing time into their schedules, and b) make it easier for them to ask staff and student workers for clarification on matters of fact (policies, procedures, etc) if they're responding to questions or comments. You will also be inducted into our grand global conspiracy of nerds who write about MIT on the Internet and learn the secret blogger handshake and stuff. 

If this sounds like something you might like to do, then head on over to Slideroom and fill out the blogger application, due July 31st. If anything isn't clear, let me know in the comments or via email!