This is Opus Magnum's 300th post. It makes for as good of an anniversary as I can come up with--it is at least a significant milestone for us.
Just over a year ago, I was assigned to start developing a blog for the Opus College of Business to look at business in the Twin Cities, the great work of our students and faculty and how these intersect. I didn't know how it would go. Would people even read the blog? Would they contribute or comment? Would it be too restrictive and just be a marketing mouthpiece for the college?
We started out slowly with some simple posts and commentary and have grown to where we are today: a steady stream of (mostly) original content 5 mornings a week from a wide variety of contributors including faculty, staff, students and alumni. We're building a conversation about the Twin Cities and business.
We developed some fun columns like Jargon Genesis--which looks at the origins of business-lingo--and "Take it from me"--which provides some funny admissions advice. We had posts from China, Uganda and Chicago. We had a movie review, a political debate, a discussion with the President of the Minnesota Twins, a look at quality of life in the Twin Cities, and plenty of caffeine talking about the Caribou Coffee brand. We considered the beauty benefit of the skyway, the business impact of snowstorms and changes in Girl Scout Cookie sales practices. Students have shared their experiences, their research and their life lessons. Meanwhile the Opus College of Business earned AACSB Accreditation--I'm not saying all these posts had anything to do with that but...there's got to be some correlation.
Our readership has grown, too, up to more than 1,000 unique visitors a week to the site and dozens of RSS and e-mail subscribers. Because we know that this on-lineaspect of the UST community is a good representation of our on-campus community and we want to to increase our reach, our team has begun conducting some research on popular content and what our readers want with surveys and focus groups--and discussions with whomever we can stop in the hall.
We're stepping up our marketing efforts to spread the word about the blog (and our other social media channels). I even added a plug for the blog on my business cards. Late in the spring our success was recognized with a Promotional Excellence Award from the National Association of Graduate Admissions Professionals (NAGAP). We're also seeing a return on our investment in the blog, with new students telling us they appreciate the insights into our community--and even offering to contribute content.
My goal for the next 300 posts is to spur more discussion and dialog with our readers. What you you want us to focus on? What was your favorite post from the past year? Let us know. Oh, and happy Valentine's Day! Maybe we'll mark this as our blog-anniversary (blogaversary). I'm sure there is plenty to discuss around the business of love, too, so it could be fitting. With that, I'm off to a vacation in the other St. Thomas (I'll be toasting this milestone from the beach).