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Student Bloggers


Entries from April 1, 2008 - April 30, 2008


Getting Started with Wordpress - Student Blogging Series

It's a common misconception that everything "white-boxed" is unprofessional. (White-boxing on the Web is when it's apparent you are using another service rather than hosting it yourself.) That certainly was the case in the "Web 1.0" world; you wouldn't host a personal and professional digital business card on a GeoCities account.

For some reason or another, the evil overhead of white-box accounts seems to have disappeared. Fits is simple, professional, and accepted. I like visiting a blog that ends in "" It makes me feel at home. And for 95% of students, the free version of the site will get you everything you need.

If you want to remove the white-box, it will be a few bucks. Buy yourself a domain name and redirect it to your blog. You just added three points of professionalism to your blog.

Best of all, doesn't lock you in. If you eventually decide to host your blog on your own server (like we're doing with HackCollege), it's super easy to export all of your old posts. Bringing them on to your new blog installation is as simple as an import.

Virtually Ad-less does such an amazing job of serving up ads, that most users of the site don't know that the site even has ads. Matt Mullenweg, the genius behind the product, says this every chance he gets at conferences.

And it's true. serves ad to some single-digit percentage of visitors. Only what it needs to stay afloat.

Why is an ad-free environment important? Ads tend to scare readers away or deliver the wrong message; that message being "I am exploiting your interest to make money for myself." In the case of you, you are the biggest loser: you don't get the revenue from the ads and you lose readers.

Now Learn Some HTML

To be a successful blogger, you'll need to learn some simple code. HTML is that code. You can start blogging without knowing a lick of it and just use the buttons found inside of Wordpress. As time marches on, you'll need to familiarize yourself with HTML code. How else will you understand other bloggers' nerd jokes?

If you're looking to get a headstart on learning HTML, pick up a book (gasp) or head over to the W3School's HTML Tutorial.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post titled "Use Twitter."

You just read a post that's part of the student blogging series. To check out other posts in the series, please visit


The Case for Student Blogging - Student Blogging Series

If you aren't already convinced, you need to start blogging. Right now. Stop reading this post and visit and sign yourself up. Then we'll talk. Let's kick things off with a Common Craft video:

If you haven't heard our pitch yet, read on.

Every Student Needs to Blog

Blogging is an ugly word. It sounds like "clog." People associate it with flamers and politicians and Fox News and LiveJournal. Blogs are seen as a place to whine or an extra source of white noise.

Blogging, though, will change your life. In more ways than one. It has for the staff of HackCollege, at least. HackCollege has been going strong for nearly 2 years now. After all this time, there's still one thing we're lacking: regret. We chose to start a blog about lifehacking in college.

We've changed a little bit over time. If you have a passion, you need to blog about it. (I hate the word "passion.") Passions usually align with your major, or maybe they don't. Whatever you know or want to know more about, you need to blog about it. Blogging changes the way you think; you become much more critical of the world around you. And no matter how bad you are at writing, you'll learn. I'm still working on the writing thing.

Because of the blog and not the podcast, we've been approached by multiple larger organizations. It's awesome. Starting a blog establishes credibility and gives you something to do.

But There are So Many Blogs Out There

There's an oft-quoted statistic that "a blog is created every 10 seconds" or whatever the fuck. It's stupid "conventional wisdom" and utterly inconsequential. How many of those blogs created ever publish 5 posts, or even 2 for that matter? Let's not even talk about spam blogs, i.e. splogs.

And writing on a blog is only 50% of blogging; the other 50% is networking. You can blog in a vacuum, but you won't make it past 10 posts.

Blog Ideas

While there's plenty of lifehacking student blogs out there these days, there are a few relevant student blogs that have yet to be invented. Here's a quick list of blogs that haven't been done (well) yet:

  • Student Business Blogs. There are a few in existence, but none of them really whet our appetite.

  • Art Blogs. Where are they? We need some creative influence

  • et al. The family should be huge!

Pick an idea and start writing today. Your knowledge should be far enough to get you writing your first post, sans code.

Fellow Student Bloggers

Best of all, you can start off with friends. There's already a family waiting to accept you with open arms. They include:

Note: I know I'm missing a ton of folks. Email us if you would like to be included in the list.

Check back tomorrow for our post "Getting Started with Wordpress."


We're Giving T-Shirts Away!

And yes, there is a catch. You have to start following us on Twitter and religiously watch the podcast. For now, the contests will be lightning-fast and last only a day or two. We already gave away our first shirt to @KushalP for his post suggestion in the last episode! Awesome! We'll give one away each week on average.

Click to view the entire HackCollege T-Shirt slideshow

So sign up for Twitter and start following us!


Student Blogging Series Online Tomorrow!

We hinted at in today's episode 25, but the student blogging series will be going online tomorrow!

It will feature posts about the case for blogging, why students in particular need to blog, and interviews with some successful student bloggers. Stay tuned!


HackCollege Podcast Episode 25: Crazy Thursday


The guys shoot earlier this week on a crazy Thursday with a lot of friends around and give away their first T-Shirt!

Topics this week:

  • Student Blogging Series
  • Facebook Chat
  • Scott2K shows us Solitaire
  • T-Shirt Model Shots
  • T-Shirt Giveaway Contest
  • Huge Radar Party

Music this week:

This episode's sponsors:


HackCollege T-Shirts with a Model

We took some shots the other day with one of our friends in the HackCollege T-Shirt! We think that they turned out pretty well. We like objectifying women.

Blatant sexographies aside, we would also like to remind everyone that our shirts are made by Homeboy Industries. Homeboy helps recently incarcerated (and unincarcerated?) people get back on their feet. As their motto says, "Jobs not Jails." Every shirt purchase is that much more. Buy your T-Shirts with pride!

Click to view the entire HackCollege T-Shirt slideshow


Head over to to get one for yourself!


A Semi-Formal JuicyCampus Debate

You would think that this week would be national JuicyCampus week or something. Last night at LMU, a senior girl hosted a debate and panel about at LMU.

Here is the video of the debate.

One thing that has always been neglected in the JuicyCampus debate at LMU is the slightly potential that JuicyCampus can be used for good. When there was a shooting a little while ago just outside LMU's pearly white gates, JuicyCampus was the first source to provide accurate information about the incident. The hivemind beat Public Safety; it beat the campus newspaper to the digital scene.

Banning the site wouldn't work thanks to things like Tor. Boycotting the site would be pointless because of its persistence at other schools. JuicyCampus is on its way out; conventional wisdom tells me people don't check it nearly as often as they do. And JuicyCampus is finding it tougher by the day to find advertisers.


Get Your Summer Music Festival On, 2008

With Coachella happening this weekend in the desert of southern California, the music festival season (known to some simply as "summer") is here. Music and college are often closely associated; the same goes for music and weed and also weed and college. There must be a connection there somewhere...

HackCollege covered and did some live blogging last year from Coachella 2007. Check out the past posts:

Summer music festivals are a great way to blow off some steam, spend some hard-earned work-study money and forget about the world. Here are a few tips for the festival-goers.

Choose Your Festival

Coachella is for the most part sold out. There are still other festivals happening around the States throughout the summer. If you are looking for an excuse for that road trip of yours, here it is:

All of the festivals this year have solid lineups appealing to just about everyone.

Do the Usual

There are a few things that

  • Sunscreen. Do it. Skin cancer will never be in style.

  • Bring lots of cash. You'll be outside and thirsty. You gotta have some way to pay for that bottled water. Keep your eyes out for bottle recycling programs at each venue.

  • Digital camera or Flip Video. For the festival(s) that I might be going to this year, I will be bringing along my Flip because stills are so passé.

  • Friends. Bum drinks off of them!

  • Energy bars. A good energy bar is probably tastier than festival food, better for you, and will keep you going longer. Booyah.

Let us know which music festivals (if any) you are going to in the comments!