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Bloggers type on travel, ND

Rohan Anand | Friday, September 28, 2007

Blogging has become a popular means of mass communication, and some Notre Dame students are joining the millions of Internet users who maintain personal Web sites.

Seniors Rob Arseniadis and Chris Wilson write a blog about Notre Dame football and basketball. They created their blog – www.rakesofmallow.com – in July 2006.

Arseniadis said the concept of “blogging” didn’t appeal to him until he realized he could make it humorous while maintaining enough hard content to keep readers interested.

“Really, our main goal was to get opposing fans mad at us – which we have,” he said. “Honestly, we just wanted to design a site where viewers can get a student perspective on our sports teams, and we do basic things to keep them coming like adding photos or YouTube videos.”

Sophomore Aldrich Anderson also has his own blog. Anderson travels frequently to the Philippines to visit his relatives. For him, blogging serves as a way to document his journeys.

“Especially for those who are obsessed with memory like me, maintaining a blog while abroad eases the fear of forgetting a spontaneous conversation with a local, a breathtaking scenery, or a cultural insight you have gained while away from home – all of which involve a story worth sharing with others,” he said.

Anderson said he tells students who travel abroad to explore the idea of blogging. People miss out on inspirations when they don’t document their thoughts and experiences.

Some students said it will probably take a few more years before they feel comfortable posting information on a public domain.

Junior Apurva Aslekar, who is studying abroad in Toledo, Spain, said he keeps a daily journal of what he does in Europe but prefers a safer means of communicating with friends and family.

“The dangers of the non-private nature of a blog are precisely the reason why I prefer sending out a mass e-mail to posting a blog,” Aslekar said. “I don’t include any details that I consider personal within the context of my mass e-mail, but if I were to post even impersonal things on an Internet blog, it would bother me if people I didn’t know were reading what I’m going through.”

While Anderson and Arseniadis said they are not bothered by any presumed dangers, they both control the type of information they put on their sites.

“I don’t attach my full name to the blog, and I don’t want employers to see it,” Arseniadis said. “I still feel like it is kind of a nerdy thing to do, so I don’t spend more than 20 minutes per day updating our site, just to keep it as a hobby.”

Anderson said he keeps in mind that blogs are designed for a public audience.

“As with all other forms of speech, just be cautious of your content,” he recommended to students considering their own blog. “Don’t think those stories of your cultural sensitivities and adaptability will get you that internship after boasting on the same post of your late-night arrest at that local pub.”