I recently had the opportunity to speak at a conference in Boston sponsored by our Internet Service Provider, Whipplehill, on the topic of blogging. I was invited because Chuck's Corner is a unique example of a school blog. I started doing this in 1998, which was several years before the term "blog" was coined; I've posted well over a thousand times, and the number of "unique visitors" to the site annually exceeds 70,000. The session explored a variety of different blogs, each with a different purpose, targeted audiences and style. I made this point: if you write about what's happening in the present, you are liberated from the curse of shelf life that plagues magazines, brochures, many newsletters and static web text. One way of staying in the present and attaining degrees of authenticity and transparency is to post lots of pictures. If you post lots of images, they'll be imperfect (compared to brochure material) which is perfectly fine, because the page will be replaced with more new material very soon.
Another powerful trick to blogging is that you can imply some of the key messages through imagery without stating those messages in ways that sound trite and overused. Take, for example, the tired, universal claim of "academic excellence." You can write about interesting-yet-trivial everyday experience--such as an exercise in an Economics class--and imply the excellence with images.
When people read about "experiential learning" or "close relationships" in an admission brochure, it's just meeting an expectation. Suggesting these qualities without claiming them is--I believe--more credible.
Then there is the matter of "social tone" or "ethos," which can be relayed directly by blogging in the present tense.
As my co-presenter, Whipplehill's Peter Baron said, "Show, don't tell."
A high quantity of images, even if imperfect, yields authenticity and credibility.
Claiming "academic excellence" in static print is so common as to be trite. Better to suggest through imagery.