When I decided to write a blog last year, I was driven in part by the large number of informative grad school blogs that I stumbled upon that were discontinued shortly after the blogger started school. They were really helpful to me as I weighed the decision of where to spend $150K and 2 years. I wanted to take my own stab at it in hopes of providing something at least equally helpful to anyone that found themselves in the same situation in the future. It wouldn’t be my first time blogging, as I had hosted several blogs starting back in college, and I really enjoy going back and reading things that I wrote from years ago; it absolutely blows my mind to read something old that I wrote, like an undergrad paper on wireless standards, and realize how unique it is to that period of my life.
Once I made up my mind on both a school and blogging, I wanted to get a unique URL for the blog (on the cheap). I wanted something that would be easy to remember, and I had hatched up a scheme to avoid the pitfall of starting a blog that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with. My plan was to post a message to all of my soon-to-be classmates in the Kellogg Class of 2011 Facebook group inviting people to collaborate with me on the blog. I’m a big fan of collaborative content-generating communities, like the one embodied by Wikipedia.
Given that premise, I ultimately settled on the “kelloggmbaclassof2011” name. Soon thereafter, I had second thoughts about my plan because I was afraid of establishing an unfavorable first impression with my classmates. After all, I was looking forward to the friendships that I would form during my time at Kellogg, and I didn’t want to hamper that by surrendering my ability to control the first impression they would have of me. Although I probably accomplished just that with my posts on the admit student’s forum, I couldn’t help myself; I was way too excited about finally starting grad school, something I had been working towards for 2 years.
I’ve been reflecting a bit on this recently, and I’ve decided that I want to emphasize the fact that this blog only represents my flawed and biased perspective of the Kellogg experience, which isn’t perfect, but is pretty damn amazing. That said, I don’t want to give up on my URL either (at least not until I’ve graduated), because I’ve challenged myself to try and get to the point where my blog is one of the top 5 results that pops up when you search for “kellogg mba” on Google (I know….it’s kind of egotistical, but it motivates me to keep writing at least!).
I enlisted my friend’s help to quickly throw together a new banner that hopefully does a better job of communicating the personal nature of my blog. The photos in the banner are of:
<ul><li> my apartment, the “Fortress of Solitude,” where I spend way too much time studying</li><li>a portion of the path that I take almost daily to get to campus</li><li>the Jive Turkeys’ “Gobble Gobble” signs from CIM, where I formed some of my earliest bonds </li><li>Professor Kraemer, who indirectly helped me remember how important soft skills were for me coming into this (I’m definitely going for a MORS major now)</li><li>and finally, one of the first pictures I took at Kellogg after driving 13+ hours with my parents to Evanston, which for the time being, is my home</li></ul>In the end, this is just my way of sharing my experience with family and friends (many of whom I’ve never met and may never meet).
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My blog's URL has definitely been advantageous, most likely contributing to my near equal split in new/old visitors and my search-related traffic, and yet, I regret going with it. I think that it comes across as way too pompous, as if I'm somehow trying to proclaim that this is the definitive viewpoint for a class filled with 500+ amazing people who continue to impress and humble me on a daily basis.