Students cover variety of topics on 'Michiblogs' site

By Ariana Assaf, Daily Staff Reporter
Published January 21, 2013

Peer into the mind of a University student.

In between economics lectures and calculus classes, the student has several thoughts and conversations about the basketball upset from the previous night, favorite recipes, social issues and various other topics.

Now, these thoughts can become public thanks to a blogging site run by Business junior Andy Green.

Green formed Michiblogs in the summer of 2012 as a way to showcase student creativity. The site contains 23 blogs maintained by University students, with topics ranging from art and music to accounts of students’ everyday lives, including study abroad journals, do-it-yourself projects, sports coverage and global issues.

LSA junior Heather Fendell linked her blog, "Smile and Sprinkles,” to the site. The blog was inspired by a summer internship at A+E Networks ¬ which owns channels like Lifetime ¬ but her posts are on a wide range of subjects, including baking and crafts.

“Lifetime did a lot of joint project(s) and events with various bloggers, which got me started on looking into various blogs,” Fendell wrote in an e-mail interview. “I liked the concept and thought it would be fun to have an interactive online journal.”

Fendell’s blog includes a myriad of recipes, book suggestions and, most recently, accounts of her study abroad experiences in Italy.

Business junior Alex Goldfarb started his blog “East U & Down” this summer while on a trip to Israel with the University’s TAMID Israel Investment Group, a program that exposes U.S. business students to Israel’s economy.

Goldfarb said he used his blog not only as an outlet to describe his experiences in Israel, but also as a place to write about his viewpoint on the intersection of business and morality, an idea that occurred to him while working at a non-profit organization that involved food system injustice.

His blogging reflects global awareness he said he has gained during his Business School education and work experiences. His most recent post, for example, deals with the growing natural commodity deficit and the way in which China is guarding itself against this adversity.

Another University blogger, LSA junior Yasha Chernyak, uses his blog as an artistic realm displaying his own photographs and those taken by others. He said the blogging community on Michiblogs inspired him to continue his posts.

“I would have quit ages ago, but the Ann Arbor community on Tumblr kept me around,” Chernyak said.

While Chernyak has been interested in photograph since childhood, he has been blogging for about a year and just recently made an account on Michiblogs this fall.

University alum Pat Stansik, famous for Pre-Gaming with Pat, a video blog that is popular with the Greek community, is also featured on Michiblogs. In Pre-Gaming with Pat, Stansik is seen interviewing not-so-sober undergrads as they prepare for games at the Big House. His blog, “Pat Stansik Original Videos,” includes several of his other YouTube projects.

Michiblogs has received 25,000 hits to date, Green said. He added that he hopes he can expand the site in the future.

“(I’m) eager to welcome more musicians, photographers, artists, etc., in addition to bloggers in the coming years.”