Assignment #3: Start Following!

January 21, 2015

So far, you’ve introduced yourself and determined a focus for your blog. This week you’ll solidify that focus and identify sources of information that will contribute to your writings.

Part 1: Refine your focus

This week, you created an “About” page with your blog’s mission statement. In class today, we assessed these focuses. Based on my and your classmates’ feedback, refine your “About” page and add some depth. Remember these points from our readings:

  • It’s not about you. Make sure your focus is a larger conversation, not a diary or “expert advice” (you’re not one) or “my crazy life” blog. How can you connect with a larger community?
  • It’s not about everything. Avoid being too broad (e.g., “pop culture”) – if you say you will write about something general like “sports,” you’ll need to spell out what a reader might get out of reading your site compared to the countless other sports sites out there.
  • It’s not just links. Links are necessary, but a successful blog needs to add something to the information it synthesizes from elsewhere. Linking to a bunch of stories about the Pittsburgh Penguins is not blogging.

Part 2: Identify sources to help you

Blogging isn’t something you have to do on your own. With your focused topic in mind, it’s time to identify some sources to help you on that path. You will identify at least 10 blogs to follow. Each of these blogs should be a spiritual cousin to your own – they do something related to what you hope to do. They may be individual bloggers or group blog sites; they cannot be non-blog sites (e.g., ESPN.com), although you may link to an individual blogger on such a site (no more than one from a site).

You’ll need to complete the following steps:

  • Add a blogroll (Links > Add New > Create a “Blogroll” category) and add your 10 blogs to it (5 pts for blogroll)
  • Write a blog post explaining (in 1-2 sentences each) how each of these blogs will inform your own blog – don’t forget to include links to each blog in your post! (5 pts for links)
  • Yes, this counts as one of your two weekly posts (5 pts for compelling, coherent writeup)

Due: 10a, Monday, January 26

  • This post must be published on Monday
  • Post a link to the post (with a short description) in a comment to the Assignment #2 blog post (this one)