Story Telling: Building Community for Post-Secondary Students

As the Holidays drew to a close and people geared up to go back to work and class, I started thinking about classes, (I could have stayed in school forever – loved it!) and how I wish I had of been blogging when I was in university. Turns out there are lots of students out there not just connecting up on Facebook, but blogging, and for different reasons. I don’t have actual numbers but I talked with some post-secondary students to find out just what blogging and being part of that community means to them.

Teresa Wu blogs with a clear love of writing. She agrees with my suggestion that it does help with academic writing in that she learned to think very clearly about what she wants to say and how it will be perceived. Interestingly enough she said, “It gives me a community to bounce stuff off of, whether that’s just… pictures of my new brother’s new puppy or sharing the ways in which I promoted my humor blog.“Again, the value of community.

Writing with a purpose in mind and great enthusiasm is David Spinks. “The purpose of my blog is not only to share my thoughts and ideas on social media in hopes that people will find my writing to be valuable and communicate back, but also to complement my professional career, and establish myself in the field.” He knows what kind of community he wants to build and is doing it! His love of what he’s doing is contagious – you want to be a part of his community.

Blogging builds community. We see and hear that here, on Successful & Outstanding Bloggers. We’ve heard about it from others, and we know it ourselves to be true. We read, share our thoughts, ideas, expertise and good “finds”. We talk about ourselves. We write comments on blogs we read and share our opinions, ask questions and provoke debate. We link out, link up and search for links. We join in, build and grow. Our strategies may vary. Some choose to build community to market for public relations, or as corporate communications. Others may blog for the love of writing, to engage, share and help out. It’s all the same, really: to build a community. Just the intent may differ.

You are part of a blogging community. Thank you for welcoming me here to this one. Please share something that’s happening in your community.

Kathryn aka @northernchick

Photo credit: forever digital


  1. says

    David Spinks said it perfectly! “The purpose of my blog is not only to share my thoughts and ideas on social media in hopes that people will find my writing to be valuable and communicate back, but also to complement my professional career, and establish myself in the field.”

    Awesome! I’m so glad I read this post. If we build our own communities, and join other communities, then we’re all just one big community learning from and sharing with each other.

  2. says


    I find this to be completely true. I think that while there is a lot of talk back and forth about the efficacy of “quick/memo” type communication and the value of internet based social networking, I think that for many people, old and young, Blogging/MySpace/ETC are places where people can go to explore their creativity and the creativity of others. The shared exploration gives them a common link and inasmuch, a community.

  3. says

    SO GLAD I stumbled on this post as well. My sole purpose of starting my blog was an effort to build a community where I may initially be ‘needed’ but could, in the end, step away and the community would remain strong on its own.

  4. says

    thanks, Kathryn: I’m teaching, too, and my students are one concentric circle of my community. We are in week one of Winter session and I asked them to write an email to me with: first day impressions, hope for the class and best event of 2008. The emails were amazing! I felt good–they felt connected to me and more open to talking with me (first year college–many haven’t ever spoken to profs). THEN, the money shot was having them post their responses on our online class component: WOW! Talk about sparks flying in the next class–they were trying to figure out who each other was, connecting name to story. Was absolutely amazing. Had never done this before and will find other ways to connect-the-students with online co-sharing activities. DUH! and YAY!

  5. kathryn says

    I’m glad too – thanks for stumbling! Community works best when you can enter and exit when and if as needed don’t you think?

  6. says

    “Practice makes perfect”. I blog and teachers say that I write excellent papers. That’s not because I’m so good but because I write so much.

    Also, because a blog about the subject I major I get the chance to do extra research and connect with people who have been in the business for year. How great is that?

  7. says

    Another great post Kathryn! When I started my blog I didn’t know what to expect…would people care what I had to say, etc. I blog because I don’t like to write, but I have a lot of thoughts (okay, and I admit it…a lot to say!). I was so afraid that a community wouldn’t develop and that I couldn’t deliver. But the fact is, a community does develop and it’s wonderful! :) I love that people aren’t afraid to disagree with me, share their insights, respond to others. In fact, I love it best when people start conversing with other people and not me. How cool is that? Honestly, I can’t imagine not having all of these great blogs/communities to be a part of…it really does broaden who I am as a person/professional.

  8. says

    Here from your tweet. I am glad to be part of your blogging and tweeting community. I blog because it helps me in more ways than one, and it help me help others also. Thanks for this post.

    A Maui Blog
    Liza’s Eyeview

  9. says

    It seems the internet has come full circle. The internet was developed so that scientist could exchange ideas and theories electronically. No Bill Gates didn’t create the internet but he did take it from the binary age to the modern age. So exchanging ideas and developing communities has been what the interent is all about since it’s inception. I think a lot of people tend to forget about that and focus totally on “What Can I Get Out of It instead of What Can I Put Into It”.
    It has to be a two way street. Not just what can I sell you today nor how much money can I make from you though that is important. Approached from the opposite side of what can I help you with today and what service can I provide you tends to lend itself to a much more meaningful contribution.

    One final thought. The internet is built on links(URLs). Without links we wouldn’t have a coherent system. Links between pages links to pages links from pages. Major search engines place a lot of weight on a page/site links both internally and externally. But, links are important in real life also. Links between partners, friends, family and associates and just plain folks who get along (communities)

  10. says


    Great post and thank you so much!

    I actually edited my about section last night and spoke about the value of communicating and developing a community.

    “We are living in a time of great change in terms of the way we communicate with one another. With the growth of social media, people are beginning to communicate in ways that were never before possible. With such unfamiliar concepts comes both success and failure. By discussing our experiences and ideas through social media, we become catalysts for the spread of knowledge and can develop new, creative concepts into relevant applications. I learn something new every day from innovative leaders that share their ideas and experiences with everyone. I write this blog to return the favor.”

    It’s about building a community where we can share our successes and failures, share our new ideas and seek others’, to grow and develop together.

    It’s a very exciting time!

    -David Spinks

  11. says

    Kathryn – what a great post! This is one thing I find fascinating and get so enamored by: community. The life-blood of societies. What once was a big world, is slowly becoming smaller, now that we have the ability to connect in ways no one could have dreamed of 2o years ago.

    Community building is such an important part of not only the web, but our lives. I really appreciate posts such as this, that introduce me to people I would have never met or known about before. This of course in turn, in its own way “pays it forward” in ways we will probably never know.

    Thank you for this: shedding light once again on the true essence of blogging, to communicate, grow, share, community build and converse. And thank you for being a part of Successful & Outstanding Bloggers!

  12. says

    Thanks for taking the time to get our voices, Kathryn! I’ve definitely been able to build a community on my blog that consists of students, other writer/editor-types, etc. I encourage every young person to blog — whether it’s personal or professional really depends on the person, but either way there’s nothing like being able to reach out to and share ideas with people who care about what you have to say.

  13. kathryn says


    Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and blog with me and everyone. Really appreciated! Good to have you as part of the community!

  14. kathryn says

    Nice to meet you too Christian! Your site is awesome and reflects your belief in community as well. You are very welcome, glad we connected :)

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