I like to keep the mindset of being a student, learning from all sources on all topics I am interested. Recently I have learned quite a lot about mechanics and mechanicians from Applied Mechanics News and its sister blogs and now iMechanica.
With a job as an assistant professor, I always try to motivate my students to become future mechanicians. For this reason, I started Modeling Place as a group blog in January and gently forced my students to participate. Out of the five students I have, two actively participate by posting frequently, two occasionally post, and one dropped out quickly after one post. Together, the blog has been doing reasonably well, in terms of both quantity and quality of posts.
I learned a few tricks in handling images and got to know some interesting works in the general area of mechanics. How about the students? What benefits have they received? I have to ask them. For one, I awarded one student with a little gift as the best post of the semester. More importantly, I believe that they are reading more than they used to do, thus gaining broader knowledge and interest in mechanics and related science. They not only read the posts in the blog but also read from other sources (online or not) to find something to post. Furthermore, they have a place to practice writing. It is a big step from reading to writing, not only for foreign students I think.
It may be still too soon to tell how well this works, but the students themselves should be able to tell us more. If you are a student, I encourage you to comment on this to tell the professors what you like or don't like about iMechanica. At this stage of development, much more features and benefits can be accomodated. Your ideas could shape the future of iMechanica and benefit all students and those considering themselves as students of life.