As became the mini-trending topic on Twitter yesterday, I have decided I would like to teach an elective at Annenberg. Beyond the obvious reasons I think teaching at USC would be a mutually beneficial situation (I craft young minds, young minds learn to kill bears), there is also the fact that I believe we can prove there is demand. That is why I want you to post comments, email Jerry Swerling (firstname.lastname@example.org) who is listed as a contact for a PR position that I am not qualified for, and show your demand for Guerrilla Blogging to become an elective at Annenberg.
While I’d be open to doing the course both in the Fall and Spring semesters, I think this should be a Fall only elective, something exclusive to returning to campus, kind of like football season. I think the attendance in the class will be highest during this time as Arrogant Nation is a force to be reckoned with and will demand lessons on bears, where they live and how to take them down.
Realistically, I would like to provide a civic service. Let’s be honest, there are millions of journalism majors in the world and realistically, all of them are not going to get hired at dying newspapers or to be on air talent. This does not mean someone with passion and writing talent cannot carve their own niche. Blogging is available to anyone.
So what would I teach you? I’d parlay my advertising agency experience and social media karate and combine it with my lethal USC School of Cinematic Arts (we called it film school back in the day) storytelling training to help students find their own voice. I’d teach them how to properly plan a posting schedule (which they could abandon later). I’d share what to do when you get a cease and desist letter. I’d teach them how to engage brands and other bloggers to force their relevance upon the community. I’d teach them how to monetize and shake things up. We can talk what platform you should build your blog on. We can discuss social listening and how to leverage social networking. Even better, I’d teach them how to parlay their blogs into valuable career-related experiments. And yes, I’ll talk a little football when the lecture ends if anyone wants to stay late. It will be crazy arrogant. If you come for the lectures, you will leave with guerilla tactics and hopefully, a blog worth reading.
At this point, I’ve spoken at a handful of USC events and more on the way (like this one on Monday) and through the breakout sessions realize that there’s a voice USC students could use. It’s this voice and it sounds like angels singing and playing 90s guitar solos at the same time. I am not preoccupied by anything other than the desire to empower students to start something unique and build a following. At the core, blogging is justifying why your writing matters at the most organic level. I’ve been in the trenches fighting off all enemies for years now digitally and now I want to share my tactics to young future tastemakers. It’s a message of hope and arrogance.
So, for all of you who wanted this to happen, perhaps send an email on my behalf, or throw a tweet out there, a facebook status, hell, scream it into the cubicle next to you. Maybe next time your lit teacher asks, “what did Plato mean when he explained this theory?” you just respond “He meant we need Zack teaching a class so I can enjoy college”.
I love my school. I love my readers. I don’t care what the gig pays. I just want to do something awesome. Who is with me?