Read & Respond (and Out-of-Class Assignment #6) – Week 7

Hi bloggers. Sorry about the cancelled class this week. Grades will be updated on eCampus by the end of this week, and we’ll have a nifty project on mapping in our next session for you to look forward to (or dread, as you see fit). For your next readings, though, we’re going to look at something a little different.

Each other.

Yes, it’s the dreaded peer critique, where you’re expected to provide substantive opinions on your classmates’ work. But fear not! I’ve been reading through your work, and I promise you that every one of your personal blogs has some unique strengths … as well as a few weaknesses. And therein lies the assignment. It’s kind of a hybrid of a readings assignment and an out-of-class assignment, so the points possible (7 total) will be higher to reflect that.

For this read & respond, you will read TWO of your classmates’ personal blogs: The one listed ABOVE you on our course blogroll, and the one BELOW you. So, for example, Ben would read Autumn and Breanne’s blogs (Anan, who’s first, would read Autumn and Sarah; Sarah, who’s last, would read Anan and Ali Young). There are two parts to this assignment, so be sure to do them both.

PART 1 (5 points total): In your response, you will do the following:

  1. Describe the blog and what it does.
  2. Discuss what you think is the blogger’s strongest post (and provide a link to that post). Be sure to explain why it’s strong.
  3. Discuss what you think is the blogger’s weakest post (and provide a link to that post). Be honest but constructive!
  4. Provide two suggestions for ways that the blog could improve.

Don’t forget to do all these steps for each of the two blogs you’re reading!

PART 2 (2 points total): After these have been posted, you must reply (in a comment) to each of two posts about your blog.

There are two deadlines to remember:

  • Your initial post (reviewing two blogs) must be posted as a comment to this assignment no later than noon Monday, February 20.
  • Your two responses to the two reviews of your blog must be posted as replies to those comments no later than noon Tuesday, February 21.

Happy reading!

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60 Responses to Read & Respond (and Out-of-Class Assignment #6) – Week 7

  1. amarie1025 says:

    Part I:

    For Anan’s Blog:
    1) Anan’s blog revolves around the Chinese culture here at WVU and internationally. Her posts educate you on the historical culture, what is going on now, and what it’s like to be an international student at the University.
    2) I really enjoyed Anan’s post about the “Double Seventh Festival” and I thought it was one of the strongest posts she had. It was a bit lengthy but it was interesting enough where you didn’t lose interest half way through the post and she gave you a great background to it!
    3) One of the “weaker posts” was harder to find but it was the the recipe post. “Let’s make dumplings!” was a fun way to incorporate Chinese cuisine but it seemed kind of random on a page full of other useful information.
    4) I think the blog is great overall, but maybe if there were different pages because there is so much variety, I think it would just give it a more structured look. Also, include past memories with your current posts. If you are an international student you should talk more about that too.

    For Ben’s Blog:
    “Wild West Virginia”
    1) Ben’s blog is a great blog for so many different types of people. Whether you are interested in learning about photography, looking at photography, or just love nature. He takes you outside to the greater spots of WV through the inside of his camera lens. Not only does he just take great pictures and adds his own commentary, but he teaches you how to make a great picture yourself! I thought that was really cool.
    2) I really loved the post about camera angles because it shows great work while giving you a descriptive tutorial. The slideshow was a really neat idea too. It gave the post just a little more “umph” instead of using the standard still photos posted one by one.
    3) It was really hard for me to find a “weak” post for Ben’s blog as well but IF I had to choose it would have been the more recent ” West Virginia Photo Op” It had great commentary, but there was a lot of talk about why WV is a great place for photography but there were no examples in that specific post!
    4) If there were any changes I would make I would just say use more pictures because the creative side is there. Also, talk more about different cameras or tools photgraphers use to help people reach their potential in photography.

    • Thanks for your critique! I really do want to add more of my own work to my posts. Getting original work is sometimes kind of difficult to produce on a regular basis, especially with this unfortunate, dreary weather. Come spring, I will definitely be adding more. Also, I think talking about the technical side of photography is a great idea.

    • Anan says:

      Thank you for your suggestions:) I’m trying to make my blog more interesting by adding more pictures, videos and dividing one long post into several ones to make it a series. I actually find some topics about the things happening in China which recalled me my memories in my hometown from the blogs in my blog roll. I’ll do it latter. Thank you!

  2. For Erin’s blog:
    1. The blog is deduced to animal news in West Virginia and the nearby states. It is a source of information for all news involving animals – whether that may be ethical issues, educational issues or rights.

    2. My favorite post was “W.Va. looks to regulate exotic animals.” (http://erinfitzi.wordpress.com/2012/02/05/w-va-looks-to-regulate-exotic-animals/) You took a very prolific story and turned it local very easily. The blog was short, to the point, and very informative. I like the added links; I think they help moved the blog post along. And I think it was something simple and helpful.

    3. The weakest post, in my opinion, was the “foie gras and factory farms” (http://erinfitzi.wordpress.com/2012/01/23/foie-gras-and-factory-farms/). It seemed forced, out of place, and lacking the local twist that the blog prides itself on. Of course, it’s hard to find local twists for everything, but the point of this blog post was lost on me. If it could have tied in somehow to the state, I think it would have been stronger.

    4. I think the content and the ideas of this blog are quite strong. But to improve, I’d say the blog sometimes serves as an aggregator for animal news in the nearby states. While that’s great, I think adding a personal touch would be beneficial. And things beyond just animal news would be interesting. Maybe a list or two of where people can adopt pets, etc. Things that are interactive will make people interested, rather than a list of news.

    Another suggestion I would make is to add more images! 8 out of the last 9 blog posts are void of any visuals. And when it comes to pets, who doesn’t want to see a cute, cuddly animal? I think it would help break up some of the text and allow the user to digest the information more easily.

    For Breanne’s blog:
    1. The blog is about the martial art of Taekwondo at West Virginia University. It provides a forum for students interested in martial arts to communicate through this blog and contains information that may be of use to those individuals.

    2. The post that I enjoyed most was the “Healthy Choice – Stress Relief.” (http://kicksomeclass.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/healthy-choice-stress-relief/) Not only was the text broken up into small paragraphs, which made it easy to read, but it also provided some really helpful information. I like knowing the benefits of this art. As an outsider, I’m curious why people would do this. This simple, easy to understand post sums up some benefits, and I think that would be really useful for people interested in participating. I also like how you talk about the benefits, but you also put your personal experience. That makes it very easy to relate.

    3. The post that seemed the weakest to me was the “Healthy Choice- Psychosocial Debate” (http://kicksomeclass.wordpress.com/2012/02/11/healthy-choice-psychosocial-debate/). I really like the subject content, but since I’m not as familiar with the debate, I was looking for some information to back you up. You have one link to “studies,” but not much else. I didn’t realize this was an existing problem, so I was looking to see if someone was maybe quoted as saying martial arts lead to violence. Or maybe some sort of example showing a movie scene that perpetuates this myth. And some examples with your own experience at the end would’ve help substantiate this claim, too.

    4. The first thing I noticed when I came to the blog is that it is a lot of long text and isn’t exactly visually inviting. But this is a simply fix! Throwing in some visuals – photos, videos, etc. can help break up the text. Adding subheadings can help make the text more digestible, as well, which you did on one post very nicely. (http://kicksomeclass.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/healthy-choice-stress-relief/)

    As an outsider, the other thing that could hep me get into it more is if there were more specific titles for each of the blog posts. For example, the one you posted on February 17 says “Age appropriate” (http://kicksomeclass.wordpress.com/2012/02/17/age-appropriate/) which is fine for someone who is reading your blog constantly, but for me, I had to read the first sentence to know what you were talking about. Many people won’t read past the title if it doesn’t intrigue them. So maybe instead of saying “Age Appropriate,” you could try something like “How young is too young to begin martial arts?” And who knows, that may even be more friendly to search engines and get you some more hits!

    • erinfitzi says:

      Thanks Candace! I feel like I burn myself out with the super long and well thought out posts. I really hope to buckle down and find things I can make local. I will definitely use more images (I like the cute and cuddly too). I guess I’ve just been trying to find harder news things and less frivolous things, although I’ve done a few due to lack of ideas.

      • Breanne Hill says:

        Thanks Candace! I feel like I am lacking in things like photographs, but every time I think about posting some, I worry about plagiarism possibly being an issue. Honestly, I’m not sure if it’s ok to post pictures I didn’t take myself. Or maybe post anything I want but with some kind of attribution? Not sure. Anyway I also like the idea for more specific titles and keeping new readers in mind. It’s easy to forget things like that after you’ve been wrapped up in your own writing for a while.

  3. Mary Power says:

    1. Marshal’s Blog is about jiu-jitsu and health effects, training, and his recoervy from a knee injury and surgery. I’ll be honest when I say I don’t have much knowledge or previous interest in the subject personally though I certainly feel a bit more knowledgeable after reading his blog.
    2. My favorite post was his post about the inside of the knee. The pictures are engaging, the video helped me understand what was going on for real, and it invites response.
    3. I really had a difficult find having a least favorite or finding places for improvement. The writing is strong, the blog has a community it reaches out to, and there are images and personality. The only post I had little interest in was the audio books post but if this was my interest I’d be pumped about it.
    4. Overall I think the blog is great. I’m not very knowledgeable about the subject but clearly you are and you have passion for it and it comes through in your blog.

    1. Matt’s blog is about the struggle of nightshift workers. It covers health aspects of night shift as well as the impact it has on lifestyle. As someone who has worked night shift I had some interest in Matt’s Blog concept.
    2. My favorite post was probably talking about what shift work is. The umbrella of people shift work impacts is a good audience to point out and reach out too. Its strength is that it identifies where his audience could come from.
    3. The posts that were just tips left me waiting for something more but were informative.
    4. The tips were kind of impersonal; what would drive me to read them from you over in a book? We talk a lot about how journalism is becoming interactive and blogging is at the forefront of that. With that said I’d love to see more attempts to engage the audience and start discussions about tips and how they are personally applied.

    • Thank you for the feedback, Mary. I very much appreciate it. Just as a clarification: the free audio book post was posted before the class started, so it’s a bit outside of the themed posts for this class. I appreciate your comments though.

    • Thanks for the input. I know that those posts that are just lists were pretty dry. I actually went back today and added more to them so that they were more interesting and had a personal connection.

  4. Ali Young says:

    Part I:

    Michael Carvelli’s blog revolves around West Virginia University sports. It offers many predictions and highlights of recent basketball games. In addition, many stats are included, which keep readers up to date with what’s going on if they’ve missed the latest game.

    Michael’s strongest post is “Carey’s team putting together special season.” It’s a very detailed post regarding the women’s basketball team, which is significant because they lack recognition when compared to the men’s team. He emphasizes the team’s strengths and weaknesses and in the end puts them in a positive light by mentioning their success of beating nationally ranked teams.

    I think Michael’s weakest post is “Just another day at WVU, right?” It has a brief introduction to an important event (the settlement of the Big East Conference). I think there should’ve been less quotes and more of his own opinion because I’d like to know more about what he thinks. There are many news outlets covering what Oliver Luck and President Clements has to say about the Big East joining the big 12, so I would probably read about that elsewhere.

    As far as improving the blog, I would try to focus on more sports than just the popular teams. I enjoy reading about basketball, but I also like hearing about other teams too (that are in season). In addition, I would try to include more pictures. He seems to be very knowledgeable about sports, but does he ever go to the games? It would be nice to see some action shots or videos.

    Sarah Cordonier’s blog revolves around what it means to grow up in a big family. She puts great emphasis on the positive aspects of having several siblings, but also discusses the hardships that accompany it.

    Sarah’s strongest post is “Making Small Homes Fit for Large Families.” I enjoyed reading this post because it not only gave information, but told a story. She related her life experience of growing up in a large home to someone who wasn’t fortunate enough to do that. She offers good tips about how families can live more comfortably even if they’re overcrowded.

    It was a hard decision picking Sarah’s “weakest post” because she thoroughly writes every post. If I had to choose, it would be “Family Dynamics and Birth Order.” Compared to all of the other posts, it wasn’t as in depth and didn’t serve as a “first hand account.” Instead, the post explains how people perceive children who are born first as opposed to last. That’s interesting, but it doesn’t grab my attention as much as how her mother managed to take care of so many children or how they afforded things financially.

    There’s not much I can say about how to improve her blog because she makes it work very well by taking so many different angles on the topic. The only thing I would suggest is to try including pictures of her with her own family. It would be interesting to see it tie in with what she’s talking about. Seeing her as a child with all of her siblings would serve a greater effect while reading the posts. Also, take the reader away from home by writing about a vacation experience. Reading a funny story always enhances the story.

    • (1)Anan Wan’s blog is a great resource for both international and domestic students at WVU who have taken an interest in Chinese culture. Many of these blog posts describe some aspect of Chinese traditions, festivals, and food. Also, cultural events are announced and analyzed, providing readers with an idea of what WVU is doing to cater to our international students and domestic students who are interested in foreign cultures. (2)I think Anan’s strongest blogs were from January 20th and February 3rd. Both of these logs have great pictures that help describe what the blog posts are explaining. They also have links that either provide further information, or help define or clarify things that one wouldn’t necessarily know, if they weren’t a part of this culture. (3)I think Anan’s weakest blog was the one from February 14th. Although the blog described a very exciting love story, there’s nothing visually appealing about it (expect for the appropriate way in which the paragraphs are divided. I would like to have seen pictures to accompany the tale. (4)I really enjoyed reading through all of Anan’s blog posts, so there isn’t anything I can say to improve on. I think it’s great that cultural events are announced and then discussed, and I love the pictures that come with them. Anan discusses how this cultural group on campus relates to larger issues, like how Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping visited the U.S. I know your focus is China, but I would say that branching out a little more into other cultures will add a little bit more flavor to your blog for WVU international students.

      (1)Ali Young’s blog covers the very broad topic of student health. I think this is important because so many students get caught up in classes and/or social lives that they start to disregard their health. A lot of us think we’re young and can do whatever we want, but at some point these decisions are going to take a toll on our physical and mental health. Ali addresses a number of issues related to health that students face on a daily basis. She also provides links for more detailed information and access to websites that students will want to have, if they’re ever forced to deal with some more serious issues (whether it’s their own issue, or that of a friend/loved one). (2)I think Ali’s best blog is from January 26th- “Physically Fit or Couch Potato”. This blog gave Ali’s personal insight to a problem that many people face. The blog discussed resources that students who are facing weight gain issues can go to (classes at the rec, etc.). It also provided statistics on dieting and gave suggestions for how you can get in a workout that doesn’t feel like work. (3)I honestly can’t pinpoint a “weakest” blog for Ali. I think she could stand to use a few more visuals in her posts, but they are consistently informative and have touched on larger-scale issues that are issues for individuals and individual universities. And this trails into (4) because I think she’s doing great. I learned something new in every one of Ali’s blogs and I really appreciate statements like “STD’s are permanent, while moods are only temporary.” In fact, her blog has pointed me in the right direction to deal with some personal issues of my own. As I said, I’d like to see more visuals, but I enjoy her insight on health and her links are good at leading to more useful information. I wish all college students had access to this blog.

      • Please ignore this; I wasn’t paying attention while I was posting it and it ended up here, instead of on the commentary section for the Read and Respond. Sorry…

      • Anan says:

        So glad that you enjoy reading my blog! And thank you for your suggestions. I would like to add more visually appealing factors like photos and videos and write more posts about other foreign cultures in my posts, but sometimes they’re not easy to get. As I’m from China and most of my friends here are Chinese, so the topics of most of my posts are about China. I know there are lots of culture events held by other countries, but it’s a little bit hard for me to get the information. But I’ll try! Then, I’m quite busy this semester, so I can’t attend each of these culture events. I think maybe I can ask my friends who can attend to take some photos for me and tell me the details about the event, and I would use them as the sources of my posts. Thank you!

      • Ali Young says:

        Thanks, sarah! I really appreciate you praising all of my hard work. I try to always write about not only health issues, but what might captivate us as students. I’m going to start using my phone to take pictures because it makes it look so much more appealing. Sometimes it’s hard to make it work because I cover health and it would require going places, but I can certainly add more of my own photos on some of the posts. Your feedback was very helpful and encouraging!

    • Thanks, Ali! I appreciate the commentary. I’ve been considering putting in photos/information about my own family, but thought that was being too personal or not appropriate for this class. But, since you mentioned it, I think I will start trying to better incorportate it.

    • Hey Ali,

      Thanks a lot for the feedback. Honestly I’ve been trying to figure out ways to get more visuals in the blog. I think that makes it a lot easier/more fun for people to read. Glad to hear about the things you liked and I appreciate you telling me where it can improve, I’m definitely going to use that to try to get better.

  5. Ali Young says:

    For whatever reason, I wasn’t able to link their posts to this comment! I tried twice :/

  6. greerhughes says:

    Erin F.
    Erin’s blog is about animal news in West Virginia and the states that surround it (With a great title of “Cats What She Said… Love that).

    I think that Erin’s strongest post is that she acknowledges that there is a lack of content regarding animal news in West Virginia and makes a point to let the reader know that, because of that, sometimes the content will be based in places other than the West Virginia area. She does a great job at providing plenty of links to other sources and gives credit where credit is due. This is my favorite post of Erin’s.

    My only criticism here would be that there is not a strong visual component to the blog. I understand that animal cruelty is not the brightest of subjects, but sometimes a strong visual message can say a lot in this context. Especially when dealing with cruelty to animals and their suffering. This post could benefit from some pictures of exotic animals.

    So here are my two friendly suggestions. 1: Maybe include more stories of factory farming in the area. There are lots of factory farms in our neighboring states and I think that would parallel with this blog nicely. It’s not pleasant, but its an important topic that could be discussed here.m1: Add more photos! They can be cute ones, or gross ones, or ones that make you uncomfortable, but I feel like this blog would benefit from a strong visual component.

    Hunter H.
    Hunter’s blog is about the mixed martial arts scene in West Virginia, but more specific to Morgantown.

    I think the layout of Hunter’s blog in general is great. One of Hunter’s strongest points is the layout and look and feel of the blog. It’s really easy to read and navigate. It’s well-written and easy to follow (and that’s coming from someone who knows nothing about MMA).

    My only criticism about any of the posts is that they would benefit from more photos. I think this post would be even better if paired with a picture.

    My two suggestions would be to 1: add more photos! And 2, maybe a photo at the top of the page instead of the word, “CoalFist” (although I really love that name). I’m sorry I had less to say about your blog. I think it’s really great, but I know NOTHING of MMA so it’s hard for me to suggest things about a subject to which I have no knowledge.

    • thecoalfist says:

      Thanks Greer! I was worried with such a complicated sport as MMA that first-time readers might be a bit lost, but it is encouraging that even someone with no prior knowledge can follow my posts.

      As for the suggestions, they are greatly appreciated and I will certainly start incorporating pictures more into my posts.

      Thanks again!

    • erinfitzi says:

      I’m glad you think the title is at least kind of funny! Do you know of any factory farms in nearby states? I’ve been trying to search and find some, but the thing is they don’t really advertise they are bad to animals. I agree my blog is very visually boring, so I’ll try to add more pictures to tell the stories. I feel like I spend all my time on one huge post during the week and the rest are lame.

      • greerhughes says:

        Your blog is NOT visually boring. I’m sorry if I implied that it was. I still think it’s great!

        There are lots of factory farms in Ohio. I think both Tyson and Purdue have factories there. And in PA too. I’m giving up on this hyperlinking thing, but this is something that I found: http://www.theoec.org/LandFactoryFarms.htm. GOOD LUCK! Keep up the good work 🙂

      • erinfitzi says:

        Thanks! I did yours but it’s not showing up yet 😦

        Sorry it was late! I totally forgot about it since we didn’t have class.

  7. greerhughes says:

    I had the same problem as Ali – couldn’t link to their posts 😦

  8. Matt Murphy says:

    Matt Krausa:
    “The Midnight Writer”
    1) Matt’s blog is about the experiences of a person working in the third shift, and advice on how to deal with problems unique to those working when everyone else is asleep. It also works to help those who have never experienced the 11-7 shift understand what it’s like to be such an employee.
    2) My favorite post is Why does the night shift affect you?. Compared to other posts, it doesn’t have quite the amount of information as the posts more comprised of lists, but I like how you give information on the body’s circadian rhythm and then tie that information to your personal experience. That’s what gives the blog potential…not just giving the facts, but tying a bit of your own views or experience in with that information.
    3) I think one of your weakest posts is What exactly is shift work?. I guess first, where is all this information coming from (there is some cited facts, but many aren’t). Also, I imagine most people know what shift work is and the types of jobs associated with that schedule. So, instead of listing only facts, maybe try to relate you post to yourself. Like, do you not like shift work? Why?
    4) There are a few basic ways I think you could help out your blog. The first is probably post more often, or at least on somewhat of a schedule. Then, people will know to look for new posts on your blog. Second, there are a lot of grammar and spelling errors in your titles and posts. Make sure you glance over your post before it’s published, since anything with a lot of mistakes like that reduces credibility. Finally, not only cite your sources, but link to where you got that exact fact from. Your blog has a lot of great potential, and is a topic with which not many people are familiar. Find a way to use that to your advantage (like maybe set your blog to post during the third shift to emphasize the topic?).

    • Thanks for your input. I actually have been going back through some of my older posts and editing them. At the start of the semester, I was trying so hard to not make it a my crazy life blog that I left out all of the personal connection. Now I’m adding a personal connection to all the facts and lists that I post.

  9. Matt Murphy says:

    Matt Wolford
    “Matt’s Cyberspace”
    1) Matt’s blog is aimed to cover news and developments related to technology, particularly Apple. The blog also looks at different rumors in the industry.
    2) My favorite post for your blog was Could we finally be getting the real iPhone 5?. This isn’t really because of the news you have in this post, but the way you presented it. The idea of the iPhone 5 seems to have been floating around for awhile, so I like that you didn’t dwell on that actual phone itself. Instead, you focused on the expected changes and what you liked about the new iPhone, versus just talking about the product itself.
    3) I had a hard time finding the “weakest” post, but I think I have to go with What does Google’s new privacy policy change?, not because of the content you have, but I think you could have elaborated a bit more on the actual implications of Google’s privacy policy change. For example, I use Gmail and other Google services every day, but what exactly are the downsides of the new policy? What’s the other side of the argument? Like I said, it was hard finding one post in particular to be the “weak” post, but since this is a more contested issue, I think you could have done more with it. I’m still being nit-picky though.
    4) To improve your blog, I would do a few things. First, I would start categorizing your posts; as in file all the Apple-related posts together, etc. This will make it easier for readers to find content they want. Second, I like the use of images in your posts, keep doing that. Play with the design and placement of those images within the post. Third, nearly all your posts are on interesting topics, but to keep people wanting to visit your blog, I think you ought to flesh out those posts a bit more as far as writing goes. What are other bloggers saying about the issue at hand?

    Hope this helps!

    • mwlfrd says:

      Thanks for the comment and critique, I will definitely try to make categories as you have suggested and also move the images around a bit to keep my posts different.

  10. Matt Murphy says:

    Greer and Ali – try this site: http://www.w3schools.com/html/html_links.asp

    You can copy and paste the example and change the important stuff. That way, you know you won’t miss one simple thing that screws up your entire comment – like I did last week.

  11. Breanne Hill says:

    For Ben’s blog-
    Ben’s blog is all about discovering the beauty of West Virginia’s wilderness through photography and all the ways you can make your photography style more unique and interesting.
    Ben’s strongest post (http://wildwestvirginia.wordpress.com/2012/02/10/camera-angles/) is all about camera angles and the way they can drastically change the artistic quality of a photograph. This is a strong post because it provides some useful information about how different angles can be used for different purposes. I like photography, but even as a person indifferent to photography or nature, I could see this as an enlightening blog to read. It also has a really nice, large series of photographs that are engaging and interesting to see. This is also a lengthier blog than many of his other blogs.
    Ben’s weakest post (http://wildwestvirginia.wordpress.com/2012/02/08/snow/) is about snow. It is rather short and has little information that would draw me in. It seems like this particular post has information that is not new to me or unique on the web.
    I would suggest making each blog post longer as many of them are very short and don’t contain much information. My other suggestion would be to provide more photographs within the blog rather than as links to other sites- it’s somewhat tiring for a lazy reader to go back and forth between different pages.

    For Candace’s blog-
    Candace’s blog is about providing information about local cuisine. She writes about her dining experiences at places throughout Morgantown and also about dining in general.
    Her strongest blog post (http://candacelately.blogspot.com/2012/02/valentines-day.html) is about Valentine’s Day. I love the fact that she called several restaurants to ask about their specials for the romantic holiday. This is the kind of thing that I would subscribe to her blog for and that would be genuinely useful to just about anyone. I also can’t think of a better place to find similar information online. I can easily see how people would want to check her blog regularly for some research into new restaurants before trying them out.
    It was hard to find a blog that could be called, “weak.” However, I did find that the formatting in her blog about seasonal fruits and vegetables was lacking somewhat. (http://candacelately.blogspot.com/2012/02/february-seasonal-fruits-and-vegetables.html) For example, there is a loooong bullet list of fruits and veggies in season. Bloggers might be exhausted with her blog by the time they read through that list. Also, the chart is a bit small and hard to read.
    My first suggestion would be to try breaking up bulleted lists into sub-lists or more than one list so it is not so visually overwhelming. For example, divide up the list into one for fruits, and one for vegetables. My other suggestion would be to check a preview of her blog before publishing to see if charts or other visuals might be hard to see.

    As a final suggestion for both bloggers, Candace and Ben might both benefit from some final editing before publishing their blogs. I noticed a few spelling/grammar errors. I can’t link to posts either but I did copy and paste them.

    • Hey Breanne! Thanks so much for the feedback. And you’re right about the formatting on that blog; I was going for something simple and easy to scan. But maybe cutting back on that huge list would be helpful! And if you could email me (Candace127@gmail.com) or leave a comment to know about the grammatical errors, I’d love to fix those haha. Thanks again!

    • Ben Scott says:

      Thanks for your feedback. I know what you mean about my somewhat short posts. It honestly does kill me that some of my posts are so short but I just sometimes run out of info you know. I definitely plan on adding more photos and spring comes and when the weather is more agreeable.

  12. Anan says:

    For Sarah’s blog:
    Sarah’s blog is mainly about her experience of growing up in a large family, and both the positive side and the problems of large families. She talks about a lot of her own stories and how her family operates comparing to the smaller families.

    I really like Sarah’s blog, mainly because I’m the only child of my family, and most of my peers are the same with me in China. That’s so interesting for me to know about the large families. Most of Sarah’s posts are very specific and have lots of information. I think the strongest one is “the art of coupon clipping”. It not only introduces a detailed way to save money in large families, but it can also be useful for everyone. That’s so fresh to me. I like her way to combine pictures with videos, which makes the post more interesting and appealing.

    It’s so hard to pick a weakest one, as I believe Sarah spent lots of time to write these posts and had thoroughly researches in each topic. If I must choose, I will say the “parks and recreation”. It’s really interesting for readers to know the story about Sarah’s family, but I think it would be better if this post can include how other large families go for recreation.

    First, I think Sarah can find some stories and examples from other large families, which can make her blog more interesting and more comprehensive. It also can help her to expand this topic. Then, I’m not sure whether Sarah knows the Family Plan policy in China, and this policy makes me the only child of my family. Maybe Sarah can find it helpful to compare the different situations of Chinese small families and the American large families.

    For Autumn’s Blog:
    Her blog revolves around the beauty and health things of college girls, which includes celebrities, events, food, skin care etc, either local in Morgantown or nationally.

    The theme and the design of her blog are so cute, and they suits the topic of her blog very well. They’re easy to read. I think the strongest one is “vegan variety”. I’m actually an ovo-lacto vegetarian, so this post attracts me most. The website she linked is useful and has a lot of information about vegetarian and how to have a better vegan lifestyle. But I think there might be something wrong with her link, cause it links to a wrong place and I have to find the correct link myself.

    The weakest one is “Grammy Awards”. This post looks more like a tweet, and it’s a little bit short and doesn’t have much information and enough thoughts. It would better if it can be deeper and more specific.

    First, I think if her post with more pictures or videos can make her blog more attractive and interesting. Readers would like to read more visually appealing blogs. Then, Autumn’s blog can be more popular if it can have more contents, more personal thoughts (not just introducing) and longer posts.

    • Hey Anan! Thank you so much for the suggestions. I hadn’t even thought about other countries’ rules on the number of children they’re “allowed” to have. I’m definitely going to use it as a blog topic!

  13. For Autumn:

    1. Autumn’s blog is a place for women to go and get general information that women would like to know, which includes health tips to celebrity news.

    2. Although many of the posts were very good, I think Autumn’s best post was this one. It gave the bloggers perspective, a link to research, and then had a link to her health page where she gives tips on living a healthy lifestyle.

    3. Finding a ‘weakest post’ wasn’t easy. I think Autumn’s weakest was this post. I would have liked to see more commentary from the blogger. Also, maybe tips on how to smile even when you don’t feel like it would have been something good to add.

    4. Overall, I think the blog is doing well. Personally, I’m a visual person so I think visuals would be a cool thing to add to this blog. A photo here and there can really help break up your text. I would also like to hear more of Autumn’s commentary. It’s good to show the science/proof of what she’s talking about, but then adding how it affects her or how she does what it is she’s talking about would be interesting, and possibly help readers to use the information she’s giving them.

    For Breanne:

    1. Breanne’s blog is where people can go to learn about Taekwondo, from problems this particular martial art faces, to general news and training tips.

    2. Of all Breanne’s posts, I enjoyed this one the most. I enjoyed her commentary on the subject and the links she provided were very informative. She also gives information about bullying programs that parents can send their kids to, which would be very helpful to parents that have kids being bullied.

    3. Finding a weakest post again wasn’t easy. I think the weakest post was this one. While it was very informative, I felt that there was a really great chance to use visuals to demonstrate what she was talking about. This post also seemed (at least to me, a non-martial artist) to be kind of technical, so I think links that describe what she’s talking about or links to examples of what she’s talking about would have been a good additive.

    4. Not to sound like a broken record, but I again would like to see more visuals in this blog. With martial arts, you could put some really neat photos or even just a “step-by-step” graphic to show how to do something. I think another good thing Breanne could add to her blog would be examples of how she is using what she’s talking about. For instance, when she talks about conditioning, maybe had what she personally likes to do and tips for her readers. Some readers may want to start training, conditioning, etc., but just don’t know how to start and advice from someone that has experience can be extraordinarily helpful.

    • Breanne Hill says:

      Thanks Ben! I’ve noticed a few common pieces of advice between you and Candace, which means I should probably really work on those. I guess I have been getting too technical on occasion and I really need to step back and take a fresh look at my posts from a non-martial artist’s perspective. I can see how words like, “stances” and “forms” might be unclear to some people. As for photographs, I’m still unsure about how to properly give credit for photographs you find online. Most of the photos I would use would not be my own work because I generally don’t have time to take them myself. Maybe Dr. Britten will go over that?

  14. 1. Describe the blog and what it does.
    Katie Sloane’s blog chronicles the nervousness of a soon to be college graduate. Katie’s blog attempts to capture the complexity of this experience, explaining the fears and apprehensions of students in her position while offering advice—often pulled from experts—on how to navigate those tumultuous waters.

    2. Discuss what you think is the blogger’s strongest post (and provide a link to that post). Be sure to explain why it’s strong.
    My pick for Katie’s strongest post is her explanation of an Elevator Speech. My criteria for strongest post is simply the post that most interested me. Many of Katie’s posts are much longer and more link heavy than the Elevator Speech post, but the uniqueness of the post made me want to read it more than any of her other content. I had not heard of an Elevator Speech before reading Katie’s blog, and at a business meeting on Sunday the idea of an Elevator Pitch came up frequently. Had it not been for Katie’s blog, I might have missed a beat in the conversation and fell behind. This sort of useful, unique content is why people read blogs.

    http://katielsloane.wordpress.com/2012/02/12/whats-your-elevator-speech/

    3. Discuss what you think is the blogger’s weakest post (and provide a link to that post). Be honest but constructive!
    Katie’s weakest post, in my opinion, was her piece on students using social media to promote themselves. This is a relatively new field of study, and the ever-changing landscape of social media can often be difficult to navigate, especially if your goal is to use social media to market yourself. Social media marketing and branding is a challenging task rife with nuances.

    Unfortunately, Katie’s post on social media doesn’t really provide any tactics or strategies for using social media to find a job or to make yourself more appealing to employers. One could safely assume that the average college student is aware of his or her social media options, but what next? What are some cool hacks for using social media to find a job? What about the kid that took out a Google ad for six different companies? Whenever the CEO of a company Googled himself, the first sponsored ad said something to the effect of: “Hello Mr. CEO, my name is soandso. Hire me.” He eventually got a job doing this.

    http://katielsloane.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/social-media-our-greatest-self-promoter/

    4.Provide two suggestions for ways that the blog could improve.
    1) Reconsider the design of your blog. The small font and the light color scheme make the blog somewhat difficult to read. The easier it is to your read your blog, the more content I am likely to read. Play with the templates and the settings a bit and see if you can find something a bit more user friendly. On that same front, spice up your blog with some pictures and videos from time to time. A few of your posts linked to YouTube videos, so why not embed them? That way, I can read your content and watch a video without ever reading your blog.

    2) Cite more experts. A lot of your posts have a strong guru vibe, which undermines your credibility a bit because you’re a college senior telling other college seniors the best way to get a job. You just don’t have that expertise. Admittedly, this is a tough topic to find interesting sources on, so I understand your dilemma. Career advice is often incredibly generic (go to a career fair, register on LinkedIn, gee thanks, never thought of that), but if you do some significant research you could probably dig up some interesting gems. Relying on those experts more so than your own experience will give your blog a lot more appeal.

    1. Describe the blog and what it does.
    Mary Power’s blog is about being domestic and crafty and the history of being domestic and crafy, from what I can gather. While the name “Contemporary Attempts” is a good one, I do not completely understand what a contemporary attempt is exactly, and the about page didn’t clue me in. This may be a common phrase or term in the craft world, but I’m in the dark.

    2. Discuss what you think is the blogger’s strongest post (and provide a link to that post). Be sure to explain why it’s strong.
    Mary’s strongest post is her post on flirty hair pieces. While I don’t have much need for flirty hair pieces, this post was vibrant and well-written. The pictures added a lot to the post and really brought the content to life. This, in my opinion, is one of the best things about craft blogs. It’s cool to see a piece of art come together, even if you have no real intention of making a flirty hair piece. This post shows the true potential of Mary’s blog, and it shows the quality of content that Mary can produce.

    http://contemporaryattempts.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/flirty-hair-pieces/

    3. Discuss what you think is the blogger’s weakest post (and provide a link to that post). Be honest but constructive!
    Mary’s weakest post would have to be her post on being sick and eating chicken noodle soup. Unfortunately, I’m not sure why I would care that she was sick (while it is definitely sad and my heart goes out to her). The post briefly mentions some potential science behind eating chicken noodle soup, but she doesn’t share any of that insight with me, which is a pretty big missed opportunity. Mary also could have done a post about homemade chicken noodle soup, a how-to guide of sorts. As it is, the post is mostly filler, something to fill an assignment. Mary’s other posts show that she clearly has a lot of talent, so I can’t help but feel duped by this particular post.

    http://contemporaryattempts.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/chicken-noodle-soup-for-the-awkward-soul/

    4. Provide two suggestions for ways that the blog could improve.
    1) Hone in more on your strengths and post less filler. It’s very clear when you give a post some serious effort, and that effort pays off. You have a serious knack for crafting, and you could have a really strong blog if you focused on it. It’s a bummer that crafting is time consuming, and I realize that’s a significant challenge to overcome when you’re trying to post at least twice a week. If you can come up with a strategy for planning and developing your content, I think you have a shot at having a high quality and engaging blog.

    2) Show us some video! You’re putting together these nifty crafts, so show us some step by step photos and maybe even film a video of your crafting techniques. Your topic choice lends itself perfectly to a slew of multimedia. Take advantage of that in every way possible. Again, I realize that developing this sort of content is time consuming, but the payoff is rich, high quality posts.

    • Oh, I wish WordPress comments could be previewed and edited.

    • KLSloane says:

      Thank you for your feedback, Marshal! I am glad that you found my Elevator Speech post intriguing and useful. It is a great feeling knowing that my blog has actually helped someone. I did not know about elevator pitches until last semester when I had to create and perform my own in front of my Public Relations Writing and Applications class. After the assignment, I realized how imperative having your own pitch is, so I figured other college students and young professionals should also know about it.
      In terms of my social media post, I suppose I was offering a few sites for college students to give a try, and see where that could take them. Personally, I have seen a drastic difference in my networking capabilities and job opportunities since I have hacked into this rapidly growing realm of the Internet. However, I am grateful for your insight on this entry because I think it could bring me to another more in-depth, and useful, post. Originally, I was worried about talking about myself too much, and; thus, I refrained from explaining the benefits that I have personally reaped from utilizing these sites.
      I will take your suggestions to heart and look at my blog’s content and style. Since the commencement of this blog, I have definitely learned that talking about approaching graduation and how to prepare for it is a much easier task said than done. I too have realized that hard facts and statistics need to be incorporated into my entries, so I can assure you that my future posts will feature more extensive research. On another note, I have been frustrated for quite some time about the pictures and YouTube videos that continuously have failed to embed into my entries. Thankfully, a couple of days ago, I finally realized what the problem was and have started to spice up Blueprints ever since.

    • Mary Power says:

      Marshal, thanks so much for your comments! I’ve been working on video and hope to do a post including it in the next few weeks (I’m a broadcast kid so I’m a bit harsh on video and won’t put it up if it isn’t perfect.) Sorry if my chicken noodle soup one duped you- you were spot on with my mostly filler issues there. I’m glad you liked the visuals for the flirty hair pieces even if they aren’t going to be an accessory you rock :]

  15. Ali’s blog

    1) Ali’s blog centers around the topic of student health. It’s a pretty interesting topic because I don’t think that’s something I’ve seen a lot of on the Internet and it’s really cool reading about it since it’s something that I really haven’t gotten to see a lot of while reading the other sites I usually read.

    2) There were a few posts on her blog that I really felt I could relate to, and I think that’s why I felt they were my “favorites.” The “Physically Fit or Couch Potato” one was interesting to me because it’s really hard trying to do a lot of things to stay in shape while your in school when you also have to focus on classes, work, etc. I liked that this post gave a lot of info as far as things you could do to help avoid these problems. Another one I liked was the “Appreciation of Cooking” post because, as someone who misses home-cooked meals a lot, I had no idea WellWVU was offering those classes and that might be something that I might be interested in looking into so I don’t have to have fast food quite as much.

    3) Honestly, it was hard coming up with a weakest post for this blog because I felt they were all pretty informative. I think the couple posts that I might have liked less than the other ones were because I really didn’t relate to them. For example, the post of tanning wasn’t as interesting to me because I don’t do it, and same with the post about smoking.

    4) I think to improve the blog, it would be cool to have some more pictures. There were a few posts that didn’t have it and I think to put some cool photos related to the post in there would make it a lot easier to get people hooked right away.

    Matt’s blog

    1) Matt’s blog focuses on tech news and rumors. It’s a really cool topic to cover because technology changes and gets more advanced every day it seems like, so there will always be something for him to write about that will strike the interest of some people.

    2) The post I enjoyed the most was his post about the iPad 3 on Feb. 9. As an iPad 2 user, I honestly wasn’t sure if the upgrades that were going to be on the newest version of it would be enough for me to get it, and after reading his post about it, I really doubt I’m going to get it. With that said, the information in the post was great and it helped me figure out a lot of stuff about it.

    3) In my opinion, the weakest post was the one about “The Daily.” I understand that there really wasn’t a ton to talk about with it, but the post could’ve probably used more than the two paragraphs that were in it.

    4) Kind of related to my third part of this comment, I really think this would be better if it had more of your opinion in it. I’ve had the same problem in my blog and am going to try to change it as soon as I can, but I feel like by putting your opinion (as a consumer of this kind of technology), it might help people who are reading get hooked a little easier. Other than that it’s a great blog with a lot of informative posts.

    • Ali Young says:

      Thanks, Micahel! I appreciate you recognizing that there aren’t that many student health blogs out there. (I wasn’t able to find many when I did my blog roll.) I’m also glad you were able to find new information regarding what’s going on around campus through my blog. It makes me feel like what i’m writing about is important. I plan to include more pictures in my site to make it stand out and catch the readers eye more.

    • mwlfrd says:

      Thanks for the feedback. I definitely will consider putting more of my opinion in my posts. I think you are correct, maybe I would get more readers if I stated my opinion and what I think about a product.

  16. thecoalfist says:

    Greer’s blog revolves around the ever-expanding world of iPhone photography. I’m an Android snob, so I didn’t even look at it. (kidding) Her blog is fantastic, in my opinion. It’s a great topic and with more and more people buying smart phones and using them on a regular basis (oftentimes replacing their digital cameras), the blog is a great place for new and experienced users alike to get some tips.

    My favorite post of hers.

    To be fair, a lot of her posts look similar and are similarly informative, but I like this one because it offers specific advice for how to, essentially, be more popular and take more “effective” pictures. That is really the point of all the social media in our world today (to garner attention and to inform), and this post does each very well.

    My biggest criticism is, like I just mentioned, a lot of the posts look the same. She utilizes several pictures (of course, it’s a blog about photography), but it gets to be a bit much to look at and is overcrowded. I do not have a specific post to exemplify this, but her Blog in general shows this.

    My two suggestions for Greer would be:

    1) Restructure the pictures in such a way that it isn’t as hard on the eyes. Maybe link to pictures more so they’re not all cluttering the page?

    2) Keep up the great work :). (but don’t be afraid to include Android photography haha)

    John’s blog follows extreme sports with an emphasis on winter sports. He reports on national news stories and is always up to date with what is happening in the world of extreme sporting.

    My favorite post of his.

    This is my favorite post of John’s not because of anything in particular, I just like the video. Honestly, his posts are mostly the same; they contain a national news story followed by a multimedia component. I like this video the best because I find it truly incredible.

    This is, then, his weakest point in my eyes as well. His format is a bit predictable and rarely focuses on local stories. He does a fantastic job reporting national stories, but I fail to see the tie-in to a local audience. It may be there, but if an observer doesn’t notice it, that is a problem. To illustrate this, I cannot point to a particular post but rather the blog as a whole.

    My two suggestions for John are:

    1) Make more of a connection to a local audience. I know next to nothing about winter sports, but I assume there is a way to incorporate WISP or another nearby resort to the stories.

    2) Try switching up your format. I know it is comfortable to do what you’re doing (and you do a great job at it), but it is a bit tiresome to see the same format for stories, however excellent the content may be.

    I do really enjoy the blog and it opened my eyes to a lot of the extreme things we are capable of today, but I think it could benefit from those two suggestions. Keep up the great work man!

    (Dear baby Jesus, please let those links work…)

    • greerhughes says:

      Thanks for the feedback, Hunter! To be completely honest, I didn’t even realize how monotonous the posts can appear. Maybe I need to change the layout and change the way the photos are displayed. That seems to make a lot of sense to me! Thanks again for the kind words!

  17. mwlfrd says:

    For Matt Murphy’s blog, “Explore U.S. 40”

    Matt’s blog focuses on the U.S. 40/National Road and all the places that are located along it. He has made a post for different lengths along the road from it’s beginning in Cumberland, MD. He has posted about restaurants, inns, and other attractions from the past and present that are found along this road.

    I found the post, “Mile 45 – Lone Star Restaurant, Markleysburg, Pa.” to be one of the strongest posts. It gave history of the restaurant, where it was located, all about it’s menu, and he even snapped some photos of what he ordered from the menu to let the reader see what quality of food they could expect.(http://exploreroute40.wordpress.com/2012/02/17/mile-45-lone-star-restaurant-markleysburg-pa/)

    I guess the post, “Mile 24 – Casselman River Bridge S.P.” seemed the weakest because it had the least amount of information out of most posts, but that’s not saying it was a bad post. http://exploreroute40.wordpress.com/2012/02/10/mile-24-casselman-river-bridge-s-p/

    I think this blog is excellent and I have learned from it. I noticed there were only a few posts that didn’t have many links in them and just remember that it’s important to provide links. I also like that you always include pictures in the posts, that’s always a benefit and maybe you could have included some more in a few of the posts.

    For Michael Carvelli’s blog, “Inside the Mountaineers”

    Michael’s blog is all about WVU athletics, giving up-to-date news and analysis of sporting events.

    In my opinion, the post, “Why am I excited for this weekend?” was the strongest post because for a person like me that’s not even that into sports it provided videos about the high school players and why one should focus on them and their future. (http://wvusportsinsider.wordpress.com/2012/01/17/mountaineer-shootout-preview/)

    I think that “Mountaineers Back to the Garden (with some stats)” seemed a little weaker than some of the other posts, but only because it had only link and one photo, but it did provide facts in a bulleted list which is always helpful. (http://wvusportsinsider.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/mountaineers-back-to-the-garden-with-some-stats/)

    I think this blog is very well laid out, but maybe adding more photos in the posts would improve it. Also, it’s important to have links to outside sources in your posts, so make sure you try to provide links in most of the posts.

  18. KLSloane says:

    John Simson
    1. John Simson’s blog, BlueBirdBound, claims that it is dedicated to providing his readers with information about skiing and biking and how far professional athletes push their bodies and minds to excel in both sports. However, after browsing through Simson’s posts thus far, his blog dabbles into other genres of sports. For example, his post “Red Bull Supernatural” discusses the snowboarding contest that Travis Rice and Red Bull collaborated on, and in “Frisby Flippin’” Simson discusses snowmobiling pro-athlete Heath Frisby. Also, in his first post he writes about Shane McConkey, a ski and base jumping connoisseur. Therefore, I would say that BlueBirdBound discusses various winter sports, the progression of each of those, and also highlights the athletes that have worked to make a name for themselves.
    2. Discuss what you think is the blogger’s strongest post (and provide a link to that post). Be sure to explain why it’s strong: The blogger’s strongest post is “Red Bull Supernatural” by far. I believe that Simson made a great move in stemming off of his blog’s main focus of skiing and biking and enlightening his readers about snowboarding. The post also pulls from numerous sources and puts the pieces perfectly together, which overall, enhances its content and makes it much more enjoyable to read. For example, in this entry, Simson utilizes quotes from the pro-athlete of topic, Travis Rice, a YouTube video, link to The Ski Channel and three different links for the blog BNQT. These links lead me to a video, article and site link for BNQT, which all built upon this particular post and strengthened the author’s credibility. The effort and lengths that Simson went to in writing “Red Bull Supernatural” really exemplified how much he cares about his blog and that he thoroughly enjoys the sports that he discusses. Looking at the bigger picture, all of these things combined, these are the kinds of posts that get people to read and follow blogs.
    (http://bluebirdbound.wordpress.com/2012/02/06/red-bull-supernatural/)
    3. Out of all of the posts on the BlueBirdBound blog, “Shaun White Stomping Down Records” is the weakest. I believe this because the post does not seem to include much researched information; rather, a very brief overview of an athlete. Simson does a great job in providing links, statistics and scores from other sources, but slacked off somewhat in this piece.
    (http://bluebirdbound.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/shaun-white-stomping-down-records/)
    4. One suggestion that I think could potentially improve the blog BlueBirdBound would be to reach out to the readers and engage them. This could simply be by proposing questions for them to answer, for example, what they thought of a particular post, if they had any further insight, opinions and so on. Simson could even write at the end of his posts, “Feel free to leave a comment! I would love to hear feedback from my readers!” This way he seems interested in what the public has to think and that he wants to further expand his knowledge by learning from other people. Another suggestion that I would give the author is to interview athletes in any of the sports that he has discussed in this blog. They, of course, do not have to be professionals, but people who are really striving to excel in these areas and are pushing their minds and bodies as far as they can to do so. I think that this could bring Simson’s topic down to Earth, and allow his readers to understand and relate to the blog. Both of these suggestions could lead to future ideas for his posts and allow him to really get something back from his blog, whether that be information, friends, connections or pure enjoyment.

    Marshal Carper
    1. Marshal Carper’s, Marshal D. Carper’s Blog, covers the chronicles of his recovery from knee surgery and; thus, training to get back into jiu-jitsu fighting. Besides his own knowledge and experience in the sport, Carper improves his topic by shedding light on the astuteness of experts and expands into the diets, techniques and results of all that goes into jiu-jitsu training. The blog not only promotes the sport, but also Carpers’ career as an author and as an athlete.
    2. Carper’s strongest post in my eyes is “Four Techniques That You Should Reconsider”. I loved how the author uses another blog to base his post off of, incorporates his own personal feedback, and links to that blog and four other articles to enhance his readers’ experience. (http://marshaldcarper.blogspot.com/2012/02/four-techniques-that-you-should.html#more)
    3. Marshal Carper’s weakest post is “My Ears Are Burning (and it’s not from cauliflower)”. I say that this is the author’s weakest post because the only thing it discusses is his accomplishments, which I can’t deny are quite incredible. However, bloggers do not necessarily want to read about someone else’s successes for their enjoyment. I understand that Carper is trying to reach out to his followers and fan base and foster those relationships, but the assignment is to not focus on ourselves and what we have done. (http://marshaldcarper.blogspot.com/2012/02/my-ears-are-burning-and-its-not-from.html#more)
    4. I would suggest to Carper to refrain from posts that completely focus on his story and also ones that praise his accomplishments. I only say this because they appear to be more diary-like, for example, the post “My Ears Are Burning (and it’s not from cauliflower)” that I saw as his weakest. On another note, perhaps he should gather more insight from other fighters who are also recovering from surgery and trying to get back into the fight. By doing this, it could help aide him in his progress and other readers who are going through similar injuries. It could be inspiring and give more prospective on the life of a jiu-jitsu fighter. Other than that, I think Marshal D. Carper’s Blog could take his career very far and to places he could never imagine.

    • Thank you for the feedback, Katie!

    • Okay, after thinking about your feedback some more, I think I am ready to offer a more thorough response than a simple thank you (and I am still thankful).

      Your criticism of my self-promotional post is fair, but I disagree that it’s outside the scope of our assignments. The overall goal of this course is to develop a blog that people read and read regularly. If every single post that I wrote was self-promotional, yes, the blog would be garbage and not worth anyone’s time. However, from a marketing perspective, there are appropriate times to toot your own her and doing so is actually an important part of fostering a readership (because what good is a blog without readers?).

      My post about reader mail served two purposes: it rewarded the people that took the time to promote my work, thus encouraging them and my other readers to continue doing so (because fans greatly enjoy a shout out), and it demonstrates to new fans that other people really like my work. The latter is a form of testimonial, and testimonials are a huge facet of marketing. If an occasional post toots my own horn (or points out people that are tooting my horn) yet fosters reader loyalty, I’m okay with that. Loyal readers make me money.

      I would even go so far as to recommend that you show off a bit. Did another blog comment on your work? Did you get a piece of fan mail? Let the world know that people think you’re awesome.

  19. Weird… my comment to my initial comment didn’t post. And Matt Murphy’s didn’t post either.

  20. erinfitzi says:

    For Candace’s Blog,

    1. Candace Lately is about local food, culture and restaurants. It’s more specifically about food culture in Morgantown.The majority of the posts are reviews, but there are some very informative ones and some ones with news.

    2. I had sort of a tie. I liked the post about southern cuisine because it gave me insight into a food culture I hardly know anything about. I learned from it and I also got to learn more about the writer and her ties to southern cooking?eating. Another good point for this one, and for the blog in general is that Candace engages with her readers in the comment section. http://candacelately.blogspot.com/2012/02/southern-cuisine.html
    But, looking at this post in comparison of so many others, the restaurant reviews are the more consistent and perhaps more interesting aspect of the blog. The strongest component of her blog right now are the restaurant reviews, so I’m including one because she gives the reader the whole picture of the restaurant, food, service, etc. (I’m slightly mentioned also in this post, haha) http://candacelately.blogspot.com/2011/12/golden-finch.html

    3. The weakest post was probably the one about vegetarianisms. http://candacelately.blogspot.com/2012/02/vegetarianisms.html
    It’s almost like a regurgitated list and there’s no connection to Morgantown (I understand some posts are not going to be completely related). Vegetarianism is something that this community is coming more familiar with, in my opinion, and there are tons of local restaurants that cater to special diets. While recommending restaurants to vegetarians may be kind of lame, maybe linking to other blog posts to restaurants that have options for people and beef up (haha) the post. Other than that, I just don’t see the point of the post other than just learning the different kinds of diets. Even if you aren’t familiar with the topic, it’s still pretty neat to learn about. I would also suggest possibly doing a week or a few days where you dine vegetarian/vegan at a restaurant, or do home cooking (it might not be your “thing”) to see first hand what some benefits or drawbacks would be. A post this worked well with was: http://candacelately.blogspot.com/2012/02/craft-beer.html

    4. Candace has a solid base already on her blog (I’ve followed it for a while), but variety is something she’s definitely working at. My first suggestion would be to take the more informative posts and work them into something that’s useful locally. I think eventually you’ll run out of reviews because Morgantown only has so many restaurants (although I didn’t realize how many it really does have until seeing your blog), so continuing to reach out and find things in the community related to food and tying it to a greater idea would add more conversation to the blog.

    Greer’s blog:

    1. Greer’s blog is about iPhone photography! Which is so exciting! Her blog is all about taking pictures with an iPhone and how photos can be manipulated or used. She also looks at the apps used to take photos and how they look and work. Pretty cool.

    2. The strongest post was day five of the Instagram week. Firstly, this idea was brilliant and I think it turned out great and would help someone if they knew very little about Instagram. I have it, but I’ve not used it to the most potential. Day 5 stuck out because it showed your progress on what you’ve been trying, but also is a good reference point with the twitter hashtags that someone could use when tweeting an instagram photo. I also like that you put in what is happening tomorrow, so if the person were to go through each post day by day, they could check out the next “task” or thing to learn before reading the post. It’s kind of like this class.
    http://greerhughes.wordpress.com/2012/02/11/instagram-week-day-5/

    3. I’d say the weakest post was the http://greerhughes.wordpress.com/2012/02/02/camera-bag/
    According to the text you could hover over the image to see the camera she used, but that didn’t work on my computer, so this post didn’t work out the way she probably wanted. I would have liked to have the name of the camera beneath it or something. There’s also not much to grasp onto in this post, it’s all visual, which is good given the point of the blog, but I would have liked more information hear more from Greer about Camera Bag. The pictures neat, but in what context would I use a fisheye-type photo? Where would it be cool to use one of these cameras?

    4. My first suggestion would be to write more. I know photos and the camera of an iPhone are for sure the strongest thing to have with this blog, but hearing more voice and what the community is saying about it would be interesting. Where do iPhone photos work with the media industry? Can you print an iPhone picture? I love your use of screenshots to help understand Instagram, perhaps try it with the other apps? I also would like to know more about Flickr and how Tumblr are using iPhone photography. Also on the blog, some of your pictures are saying they’re not found. I’m not sure if this is my computer or a technical error.

    • Hey Erin! I sometimes forget about the reviews because I don’t count them as posts for this class. I have a list of like 50 more to try. It’s amazing how many Morgantown has! So, I usually post three times a week. Once for a personal review, and then two required posts for this class. And as far as your suggestion, I actually do have a post coming up about local restaurants that serve vegetarian/vegan cuisine! I just decided to split the post up because it was getting too long. Thanks for your tips & spending so much time digesting my blog. I totally appreciate the great feedback. And you know me too well – cooking, not my forte. Haha.

      • greerhughes says:

        Thank you, Erin! Hunter also mentioned somethings about the layout. I tried to pick a template that was more “photography” based, but perhaps one that features both photography and text based would be more beneficial. And thanks for the positive feedback! It’s always better to get an outside perspective.

  21. For Mary’s blog:

    1. The blog is called contemporary arts and it is all about different contemporary and the history of them. The blog is very easy to navigate and the post are very interesting. I enjoyed reading through them and they taught me a thing or two. .

    2. The best post Mary had, in my opinion, was called Flirty Hair Pieces. As a guy, I’m kind of embarrassed to say this, but its a good post. It gave good links to go with the information. Also, the entire post was well written and nicely put together.

    3. If I had to pick one post to be the worst, it would have to be the one called A Braided Belt. Now the post is pretty well written, but the problem I found with it was that their was no outside information. It just all about your experience and how you decided to make a braided belt. There was no link to anything in the story. But I do have to say that the belt does look pretty cool.

    4. For Mary’s blog, I would not change much. Keep teaching people how to make these different works of art. I think maybe you should bring the calendar to the start on the side so that there is a quicker and easier way for people to get to a post. Also, I would give a more in-depth about page. It doesn’t really make it clear what exactly your blog will be about.

    • Mary Power says:

      Matt, thanks for the feeback! I always enjoy hearing that my crafts aren’t bad too look at (like a little kid who wants to hang a drawing on a refrigerator). I’ll be sure to work on the about page because that seems to be an issue everyone sees. I’ll try to figure out the calendar as well. Thanks again!

  22. For Matt’s Blog:

    1. The blog is called Explore U.S. 40 and it is an awesome blog. It is all about cool places along the historic U.S. 40 highway. It is very well written and I very much enjoyed reading it.

    2. My favorite post was called Saving pieces of the past for the future. This post talked all about how we are losing historic building and architecture to commercial businesses. It goes into great depth and uses certain buildings as examples. It had some nice pictures to accompany it as well.

    3. My least favorite post would probably be changing a road’s path. It was well written but it wasn’t as in depth as most of your other posts. It was also somewhat duller then other posts of yours. It had good background information, but this information is more boring then the history of some of the other places you talk about.

    4. If I were you I probably wouldn’t change a think on your blog. I think it is a great job and I cant wait to see what else you post this semester. Maybe bring the calendar to the top on the side so that people can click on dates to get to older posts. It takes awhile to have to scroll threw all of them.

    • Matt Murphy says:

      Hey, thanks for taking the time to read through my blog. Thanks for your suggestions on your least favorite post as well. I’ll keep that in mind in case something comes up in the future!

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