By Arielle Follett
An Algonquin professor’s learning experience has led to worldwide Internet success.
Philip Jones, a professor in the business management and entrepreneurship program, started the website Superstar Professor while on sabbatical in 2011.
After just over a year, the website has garnered 30,000 views from about 160 countries.
The website began as a way of learning how to blog, take video and make unique content.
“I wanted to experience it for myself so that I could teach my students how to use these resources to their maximum potential,” he said.
Jones soon discovered that there were very few resources out there to teach a person how to make a website, but came up with his own.
“This website just truly demonstrates the power of the Internet,” said Jen Monk, a marketing professor who enjoys the site in her spare time.
Before he started, Jones knew the first thing he had to do was find a focus.
“You have to have a niche,” he said. “If you want to garner an audience that will keep coming back, you have to give them specific content that they won’t find anywhere else.”
Jones researched and found that there were no websites for higher education professors and decided this would be his focus.
“My website is very fixated towards professors,” he said. “Students can visit it, but they’re not going to get the humour.”
Superstar Professor has an array of content such as teaching strategies, his personal opinions and insights, and funny features to add humour to the work day such as top 10 lists and cartoons.
The amusement section is by far the most popular among visitors.
“The website has a kind of instant empathy,” said Judy Puritt, a business communications professor. “Phil has a way of capturing students’ phrases, professor experiences and college lifestyle very effectively.”
Jones’ website is unique in that all of the content on the website is made by him.
“I just took what I learned and started using it. You really never know what could happen,” Jones said. “At no time in history did people ever have the power to reach out at this scale. It’s all about being a big fish in a small pond.”
“Your trading area is the world.”