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Pre-Master of Digital Media Student Blog Celebrates One-Year Anniversary

Feb 14, 2022 By Elyse Economides

To celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Pre-Master of Digital Media student blog, lead program instructor, Aida Osian, conducted an interview with two of the program’s current students, Fang and Nima, who act as the Pre-MDM blog administrators. They explained why this volunteer work is a great learning experience.

1. How is the Pre-MDM blog looking these days? What’s new and improved?

Fang: The blog looks different from last year since we have added lots of journal entries (usually 10 journal entries per week). What’s more, students from Pre-MDM have extended the content fields of journal entries. So we have edited the categories and tags of the blog to make it more suitable for the present format. For instance, we added “How to...” and “Lessons from the pandemic” categories, and so on.

Nima: Full of engaging and highly informative content! With the start of this semester, all students began to write their first journal entries. Each week the journal entries got better than last week in terms of fluency and conceptual coherence, as well as the correct way of using grammar. Fang and I had 10 journal entries to post each week with great variety in different topics, all of which were about the common theme of digital media. Among other new changes that we have for the new form of blog this year, we can mention a variety of topics that have led us to add new categories to the blog so that we can cover all properly. The new categories also make it easier for readers to identify the specific topics they are looking for, on the blog.

2. You took the reins from Ying and Simran, last year's Pre-MDM students in charge of administrating the blog. How do you find the job? Is it easy to handle in addition to completing the Pre-MDM program?

Fang: At the start of the semester, Aida advertised this volunteer job in class. Since I am quite interested in editing and adjusting document design, I raised my hand and got the job. Personally, for me it is very easy to handle during the Pre-MDM program. Once I learned how to administer the blog, things became quite simple.

Nima: Simran and Ying built the bones of the blog very well, and at the moment the blog had very strong and good content. The transition for us was very easy. On the first day, Simran taught me and Fang all the details and vital points well, and the rest was up to us to work a little more with the WordPress environment to master it. Personally, I had no previous experience with WordPress, but my interest and eagerness to learn this job along with the appropriate basic training made it very simple. Also, the other main motivation for me was to help make our classmate’s efforts more visible. After posting the first week, everything fell into place and it became a very informative and exciting experience for us. In addition, the experience of working with Fang was very valuable to me. Fang is a very precise and organized person who is always ready to learn new things. The same courage that Fang and I had on the first day to raise our hands to apply for the job, stayed with us until the last and made us not afraid to learn. It also provided a condition for us to gain new experience along the way. I loved this so much!

3. What are your favourite pieces in the blog and why?

Fang: I love reading the journal entries since I can actually learn a lot from them. Besides, I get to know know my classmates more from their weekly entries they write. My favorite piece is from Cassie - After writing this article, I think I have something to do before I die. The reason is that I have similar concerns on social media accounts. Unlike Cassie, I prefer to pass my internet records to my family members since I hope they will use them to keep me in their memory. Haha.

Nima: It is very difficult to choose between them. Because we read all of them and every single one picked a really interesting topic. If you ask me, I say they are all worth reading, but if I want to suggest one in particular, that would be Xiao’s article “Goodbye Utopia”. From the kind of attitude Xiao has towards life and the kind of way she sees the world, this piece was very interesting to me, as it spoke of a completely personal experience. We all come from different backgrounds, but we chose a common path. The experience of sharing these thoughts and feelings makes us know and understand each other better. This mutual knowledge and understanding is very valuable to me.

4. This year we are publishing journal entries on a weekly basis. What do you think about this format? Is the tone and register suitable for the blog?

Fang: Publishing journal entries on a weekly basis is perfect for me. I also believe the tone and register are suitable for the blog, because casual register is highly used in digital media writing.

Nima: This format seems to be very successful. The fact that new content is updated on the blog every week can make readers always follow the content. I can tell you that one of the most serious fans of the blog who is always waiting for new posts is my mother! Although she knows very basic English, she copies each journal entry every week, transfers them to google translate, and reads them all. We have already debated 5 or 6 of them.

5. What do you see in the future of our blog?

Fang: The blog is a good channel for Pre-MDM students to show their opinions and voice their concerns, as well as practicing technical writing skills. I believe this blog is helpful and useful for students and I love writing weekly journal entries. One thing that I think our blog could have is the comment function. Wouldn’t it be great if you could see some input on our ideas?

Nima: This blog has a lot of potential. Both for current students and for professors as well as for future students. Writing these articles has helped us a lot to make great progress in writing, and it can continue. Professors can use this opportunity to help students engage more with field-related topics and also help them to improve their writing skills. Future students can also get a better view of what is happening in this program by reading this material. There are still many opportunities on this site to create a more dynamic environment. Also, with proper planning, we can share the content of this site more properly so that the topics raised on the blog get more views.


Want to learn more about the Pre-MDM program? Check out the Pre-MDM program page or visit the Pre-MDM student blog.