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Wesleying is a blog dedicated to stories and news relating to student life at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. All of its content is written by current Wesleyan undergraduates.

Founding

Wesleying was founded on August 23, 2006 by Xue Sun and Holly Wood, both members of the class of 2008.[1] They were hoping to create an online space that brought together the Wesleyan community, which they considered fragmented at the time. Wood says that at the time of Wesleying's founding, both Sun and she were "really detached from official student life"[2] and did not know what was happening on campus.

One large part of Wesleying's mission is that the blog is not affiliated with the university in any official capacity. This idea has been a cornerstone of the blog since its development, as it allows students to voice concerns without administrative interference. [3]

In 2007, Wesleying won the award for "Best Alternative Media Outlet" from The Paper Trail, a segment of the Education section of US News and World Report.[4]

Wesleying Today

When Wesleyan is in session, Wesleying tends to get anywhere from 7,000 to 9,000 views per day during the semester, hitting 10,000-12,000 views on extremely busy days. The most recent record number of views in one day was 16,748 on October 29, 2012, when classes at Wesleyan were cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy.[5] The most views for the blog in one day was 42,085 on May 6, 2009 when student Johanna Justin-Jinich was murdered inside the campus bookstore.[6]

Many have attributed the success of Wesleying as an unofficial "news source" for Wesleyan to the fact that the blog reports in real time.[7]

Subsequent leadership

After Sun and Wood graduated in 2008, Justin LaSelva from the class of 2009 and Ashik Siddique from the class of 2010 took over leadership roles of Wesleying.[8][9] Once Siddique graduated, Zach Schonfeld from the class of 2013 took over as the leader and managing editor of Wesleying after "casually inheriting" the blog from Siddique.[10]

Influence

Over the years, Wesleying has grown into a new outlet for important or controversial Wesleyan events, as well as national or global emergencies. The blog covered an incident of Fountain Avenue in 2008 when police swarmed a party on the college campus;[11] the 2009 on-campus shooting;[12] the snowstorm that overtook New England during 2011;[13] and the Newtown shooting in 2012.[14] Claire Potter, blogger for the Chronicle of Higher Education and former Wesleyan professor, praised the Wesleying staff for their reporting on the 2009 shooting, calling it "smart, concise, non-sensational, and informative."[15]

The Middletown Eye reports that it "might never have opened, if it wasn't for the inspiration provided by the intrepid bloggers of Wesleying."[16]

In addition, Wesleying has been cited by several publications including the New York Times,[17] Buzzfeed,[18] Gawker,[19] Stereogum,[20] Inside Higher Ed,[21] MSN[22] and other sources.[23][24][25][26]

Content

Wesleying features an assortment of event posts; featured pieces about Wesleyan students, faculty, administration, and alumni; opinion pieces (typically written by Wesleying bloggers); and liveblogs. The blogs also writes pieces on the vibrant music scene on campus, as well as articles about Wesleyan's history.

Wesleying encourages members of the Wesleyan community to send in event submissions for campus happenings (like student group meetings, conferences, and other opportunities open to students) and tips (which usually include articles about Wesleyan or projects that alumni are currently working on).

Style

Another cornerstone of Wesleying's mission is to give the blog "personality" and not make it as formal as the typical college newspaper or other publications. Bloggers usually write in first person and write in their own voice.

Display names

Wesleying writers take more informal ownership of their work by using display names on the website which they create themselves. Some writers on the blog use names that are easy identifiers (Zach Schonfeld goes by "Zach" as his display name), whereas others go for some degree of anonymity (some writers go by names such as "pyrotechnics" or "abatar").

Liveblogging

A popular feature of Wesleying that has become more prominent over the past couple of school years is liveblogging. In a liveblog, bloggers are able to spontaneously write and post thoughts on an event as they come. The Wesleying staff has liveblogged presidential and vice presidential debates,[27] elections,[28] sporting events,[29] school-wide fora,[30] and even everyday events, like hanging out in the library[31][32] or at weekend brunch.

Controversy

Early Wesleying controversies during the time of Sun and Wood mostly involve them posting about events that were supposed to be secret. One such incident was when Sun accidentally advertised a private Psi Upsilon fraternity party on the blog and received an angry phone call from the brothers later that evening.[33]

Most of Wesleying's most controversial posts, however, stem from events that are controversial in nature. In such scenarios, Wesleying tends to act as a commenting ground for people on both sides of issues. Such contentious happenings include the Argus "investigation",[34] the unveiling of the new Wesleyan admissions website,[35] the Matisyahu concert and subsequent fallout,[36] the Holi flier incident,[37] and an account when a senior posted about being sexually harassed by a professor.[38]

References

  1. http://wesleying.org/2011/08/23/westrospective-wesleyings-founding-five-years-on/
  2. http://wesleying.org/2011/08/23/westrospective-wesleyings-founding-five-years-on
  3. http://wesleyanargus.com/2010/04/23/weslive-new-campus-blog-official-version-of-wesleying/
  4. http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/paper-trail/2007/01/24/best-alternative-media-outlet-wesleyan-blog
  5. http://wesleying.org/2012/10/29/literal-college-survival-liveblogging-sandy/
  6. http://wesleyanargus.com/2011/09/05/meet-wesleying/
  7. http://wesleyanargus.com/2011/09/05/meet-wesleying/
  8. http://wesleyanargus.com/2009/12/08/wesceleb-ashik-siddique-‘10/
  9. http://wesleyanargus.com/2008/05/06/as-founding-members-exit-wesleying-looks-to-the-future/
  10. http://wesleyanargus.com/2011/02/11/wesceleb-zach-schonfeld-’13/
  11. http://wesleying.org/2008/05/16/livebloggin-from-fountain/
  12. http://wesleying.org/2009/05/06/breaking-shooting-near-campus-disrupts-spring-fling/
  13. http://wesleying.org/2011/10/
  14. http://wesleying.org/2012/12/14/elementary-school-shooting-leaves-at-least-12-dead-in-newtown-ct/
  15. http://chronicle.com/blognetwork/tenuredradical/2009/05/got-him/
  16. http://middletowneyenews.blogspot.com/2008/09/news-from-wesleying.html
  17. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/25/nyregion/25towns.html?fta=y&pagewanted=printhttp://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/25/nyregion/25towns.html?fta=y&pagewanted=print
  18. http://www.buzzfeed.com/hillaryreinsberg/the-strange-history-of-wesleyan-universitys-rape
  19. http://gawker.com/303126/party-on-fountain-is-the-best-wesleyan-joke-rap-song-youve-never-heard
  20. http://stereogum.com/41482/andrew_vanwyngarden/mp3/
  21. http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/11/27/spam
  22. http://now.msn.com/white-girls-no-colored-people-joke-offends-everyone
  23. http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local/Apology-Over-Offensive-Poster-at-Wesleyan-149571445.html
  24. http://www.middletownpress.com/articles/2012/09/29/news/doc50666e760c7ff382626021.txt
  25. http://www.prefixmag.com/news/watch-danny-brown-kitty-pryde-perform-together-at-/69507/
  26. http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_19362897
  27. http://wesleying.org/2012/10/16/look-its-the-first-debate-another-wesleying-liveblog/
  28. http://wesleying.org/2012/11/06/liveblogging-election-night-dear-god-make-it-stop-edition/
  29. http://wesleying.org/2012/10/20/the-wesleying-sports-desk-presents-amherst-vs-wesleyan-a-football-liveblog/
  30. http://wesleying.org/2012/11/27/liveblogging-the-bookstore-relocation-open-forum/
  31. http://wesleying.org/2012/09/19/operation-liveblogging-in-olin-library/
  32. http://wesleying.org/2012/12/12/liveblogging-olin-library-rebooted/
  33. http://wesleying.org/2011/08/23/westrospective-wesleyings-founding-five-years-on/
  34. http://wesleying.org/2010/05/03/lets-talk-about-the-argus/
  35. http://wesleying.org/2009/11/13/are-we-wesleyan-thoughts-about-the-new-website/
  36. http://wesleying.org/2011/04/05/wespeak-on-the-matisyahu-chiddy-bang-concert/
  37. http://wesleying.org/2012/04/27/no-colored-people-flyer-in-usdan/
  38. http://wesleying.org/2012/05/25/wesleyan-is-great-unless-a-professor-sexually-harasses-you/
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Wesleying, that was deleted or is being discussed for deletion, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Author(s): Mabalu Search for "Wesleying" on Google
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