Ouachita Baptist University will host its second annual BlogAbout Sept. 6 in honor of the university’s 125th anniversary Founders Day. Members of the Ouachita community both on campus and around the world are encouraged to participate by sharing their Ouachita stories on their blogs and through other forms of social media.
“I am really excited about this year’s BlogAbout,” said Lori Motl, OBU’s director of admissions counseling and 1993 OBU graduate. Motl and several other staff members served as organizers of the event. “I am hoping it will be a real celebration of our 125 years of serving students. Blogs and social media have become such important communications vehicles in our lives and I love the idea of sharing OBU through those media.”
The BlogAbout began last year as a way to encourage alumni and current students to share about Ouachita in the social media vehicles they are already using. Dozens of Ouachitonians participated, and many of their stories are shared at www.obu.edu/blogabout.
“I love that the BlogAbout gives us a chance to connect with alumni and for them to connect with each other right where they are,” said Keisha Pittman, an OBU development officer and 2003 OBU graduate. Pittman also served as an event organizer.
“I know when I start talking about Ouachita, I start remembering the best days of my life,” added Pittman, “and when I engage in conversations with people who went to Ouachita, we are instant kindred spirits no matter what years we attended.”
As part of Ouachita’s yearlong celebration of its 125th anniversary, the BlogAbout has expanded to include Twitter and Facebook. Ouachita’s social media pages, http://twitter.com/ouachita and www.facebook.com/ouachita, will present new topics for discussion each day of Founders Week, Sept. 5-9.
Motl said that the Twitter and Facebook element “opens the conversation up to an entire new audience. It takes the message from a narrative blog to a 140-character thought, so we are covering both spectrums. It’s an exciting twist!”
In addition to asking participants to share about their favorite Ouachita memory specifically on Founders Day, bloggers are invited to share about other Ouachita topics each Tuesday in September. Other BlogAbout topics include favorite faculty or staff members, favorite student life experiences such as experiences with clubs or organizations and what Ouachita means personally or how it has helped individuals get where they are today.
“I love seeing stories about people’s first encounters with Ouachita, developing relationships with peers in their dorm room who later stood by them through stages of their life,” said Pittman. “It’s about discussing the professors who mentored us and taught us in the hallways between the classrooms, about remembering TWIRP, intramurals, standing in the end zone cheering on the Tigers, studying late into the evening in the student center and bonding during late night Tunes practices. When I read others’ stories, it makes me think of my memories and takes me back to the place that I love – Ouachita.”
Participants are invited to post the BlogAbout badge on their blogs as well as on their Facebook and Twitter pages. It is available at www.obu.edu/blogabout. The site will also list links to participating blogs; those interested in being listed should email Lori Motl, OBU’s director of admissions counseling, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Brooke Zimny