This fall, I began campaigning for myself to win an executive board position for North Quad’s Hall Council. This position served as a student body representative who could be turned to as a source for addressing complaints regarding the residential life. This person could also serve as someone who could enforce change based on these complaints and suggestions. While part of an election like this is essentially a popularity contest, it is also important to express your visions and qualifications to the greater mass.
When it comes to reaching out to the public or, in my case, three hundred students, it is not viable to personally talk to each and every individual. The best way is to utilize media in the form of the writing to emphasize why I should be elected. From my experience of student elections, I see two clear and common options: publish a detailed essay in a public area or create a funny, but meaningless flyer to be plastered “Big-Brother-Style” on every corner of the building.
The problem with essays or any form of formal writing, really, is that all my effort may become a big turn-off for people to take the time to read. Many students would prefer closing their eyes (to recover from their all-nighter yesterday) than read about my many goals and qualifications as a member of their important, life-changing hall council. However, I also did not want to leave a pestering impression left by those who put up countless, tree-killing flyers with cheesy slogans and jokes that will be over-read for the next month or so until the janitors finally notices them and takes them down.
Ultimately, I stuck with something in between: a short 50-word song based on the rap theme song of “Prince of Bel-Air”. There is value in a well-written essay that should be lost as in flyers. At the same time, flyers capture people’s attention wonderfully and efficiently. And this idea worked, or at least is what I attribute to as my reason for winning the election. Its humor and briefness captured student’s short attention span. At the same, this was a serious parody and I made legitimate points. Or maybe it was coming up an idea like this in the first place that made people see me a qualified, innovative, and decent-smelling leader.
In my introduction to writing minor class, I once again experience the important of medium in writing. In the class, we tried the traditional writing style in the form of essays. We also tried producing writing in the form of blogging, or posting our writing on the internet.
What I learned from this experience is that publishing your writing on the internet makes your writing exponentially accessible. It gives people the chance to read your words over and over again, 24-7.
As I explained with my election, throwing a simple, 500-word essay at a typical college student may scare him or her away. It may not grab the amount of interest as a photo follow by a funny caption. As exemplified by the current craze of memes, students react quickly, willingly, and may thoughtfully to the later and actually become inspired to create similar ones of their own. Furthermore, as exemplified by twitter and the stagnant newspaper industry, it is seemingly important in this fast-paced era for both the writers and readers to express ideas and concepts quickly and accessibly. In others words, concise ideas and concepts are seemingly more powerful than elaborate arguments and descriptions.
There is a lot of potential for new media to grow and establish as legitimate sources of information and understanding. Perhaps with the help of new media, more people have access to information over essays. While I am discrediting the value of traditional essays in the standard of academic writing and publication, new media writing in the form of blogs can express an idea so quickly in pictures, videos, and Google translator. Its ability to acquire quick updates, comments, and publication has the potential to be more powerful than writers because it rules out the barriers of editors and inaccessibility.
For myself, I have found this key difference between blogging and essay-writing to motivate myself to write more often. As soon as I realized that five members of my class has read my post in comparison to only one person, the teacher, who has read my essay, I found myself more motivated and inspired to write for my blog. Blogging has now enabled people a chance to express in words with additional forms of media never thought of before. To me, blogging is like 3-D movies to silent film or a cassette to music video. No longer do we have to describe in ideas in only words.