Assignment #8: Best of the Blogosphere

As a final stage of your preparation for blogging excellence, you’ll be taking a look at blogs that ARE excellent (that’s not the same thing as the most popular blogs). You’ve been teamed up (see below) and assigned a category from this list of 100 exceptional blogs. Choose a blog from your category (each category has 10 choices), making sure it’s got meaningful content and is regularly updated. Your goal is to identify WHAT makes this blog good, whether it’s about U.S. Politics or Funny Cat Pictures. Tell us how it does what it does, and what we can steal learn from that.

Here are the teams:

  1. Mind-Meltingly Awesome Blogs & Websites: Joe & Logan
  2. For Guys: Dillon & Steven
  3. For Girls: Sierra & Carley
  4. News & Current Events: Abdulaziz & Collen
  5. Viral Sites: Mike & Lauren
  6. Super Interesting Blogs: Sara & Paige
  7. Technology: Alex & Karly
  8. Design, Art & Photography: Kristen & Renata
  9. General Lifestyle: Ryan & Matt
  10. Boredom Killers: Chad & Tyler

In next week’s classes, each pair will do a 5-8 minute presentation on your blog. Teams 1-5 will go Monday, and teams 6-10 will go Wednesday. You’ll need to address the following (providing on-screen examples):

  • Basics: Explain the blog, its content, its design and its voice. What does the About page tell you? Is it a stand-alone blog, or affiliated with a larger publication?
  • Audience: Who is this blog for? How do you know? How does it connect to that community?
  • Metadetails: What posts get the most hits? Has it been in the news? Does it advertise?
  • Overall: How well does the blog do what it sets out to do? Show some of its strongest posts (and its weakest)
  • Takeaway: What ideas from this blog can you incorporate in your own?

This should not be stressful (no, really). Approach the blog as a reader first and a student second. Think about what we’ve read thus far in providing your critique. What are your blog’s strengths and weaknesses? What can you and your classmates learn from it for your own projects?

NOTE: There will be no Read & Respond for this week. Instead, read your chosen blog!

Due: Presentations will be in class on Monday, March 2 (teams 1-5), and Wednesday, March 4 (teams 6-10). Extras such as handouts, audio/video, or lasers are not required, but are certainly welcome.

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