Josie Ahlquist’s higher education blog came highly recommended to our list from hundreds of shares on Twitter, where she is active as @josieahlquist. We chatted with Ahlquist this week to learn a little bit more about why she started writing and what’s ahead for her blog.
EDTECH: Please describe the theme of your blog.
AHLQUIST: I have a number of areas that I write about, including social media in higher education, leadership and a personal page called Epic Living. However, in getting to that point, my blog has been an evolution.
EDTECH: What made you want to start writing your blog?
AHLQUIST: I first started it as a personal blog where I set out to write every day for 50 days. I began this a week after I left my full-time job to attend school full-time.
After producing those 50 posts, I discovered that the most popular ones were when I wrote about my doctoral research interests and social media expertise in higher education. These posts are a blend of strategy, scholarship and challenges for higher education leaders, especially those in student affairs. Also, as a woman in technology, I have sought to highlight everyday inspirational women in a series called The Doers. Finally, I continue to post personal pieces under a category called Epic Living, named after a project of my husband’s on YouTube called Epic Rap Battles of History. Life is pretty epic lately, so I highlight the adventures of it.
EDTECH: Do you interact with your readers?
AHLQUIST: That’s one of my favorite parts of being a blogger. I respond to comments that come across on my blog, but the majority of my interaction is on Twitter. Every time someone shares a post I have written, I respond with a energetic “Thank you!”
In writing many of my posts, I also ask my Twitter followers to respond to a question or prompt, which I highlight in the post.
EDTECH: From your perspective, what's the biggest technological challenge higher education institutions face today?
AHLQUIST: We need to be actively preparing college students to be strong leaders in a digital space, equipping them with tools and skills to use social media for social good. This should be included in academic curriculum, as well as co-curricular programs such as new student orientation and student leader training.
EDTECH: Read any other IT-related blogs?
Look for more Q&As with other Higher Education bloggers from our Top 50 list in the coming weeks.