Beginning in two weeks (Monday, March 30) and continuing through the end of the term, you’ll create, maintain, and promote a group blog that tackles a local and contemporary trend, topic, or theme in a “journalistic” way. You will:
- Provide original content through your own reporting and analysis
- Connect with and engage your “community” of interest
This is a team project requiring everyone’s strengths. The result should be a robust and engaging addition to your portfolio that will set you apart in the job market. If everyone does their own thing and there is no cohesive focus to the blog, you will do poorly.
Don’t. Just don’t.
There will be no restaurant, local entertainment, advice, or graduation-themed blogs. Unsourced lists are frowned upon. Do not use clichés such as “eclectic” or “something for everyone” – define a focus and an audience. Posting recipes will be cause for execution.
You will be judged on the frequency and quality of your posts, comments, and other demonstrable contributions to your online publication. In addition, if your teammates report you’ve become a significant asset (or weakness), that matters as well.
- Individual posts: Every person is expected to post at least once per week. Your groups must each arrange and follow a posting schedule to ensure regular updates throughout the week (Monday-Friday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.). If you miss your deadlines, you will get lowered (or no) credit for that post.
- Weekly budget: Every Sunday (beginning March 29), your group will email me a single budget for the current week and following week. It will include the following:
- Current week: Which stories are you going to run, when (day, date & time), who will write each, and a brief description of each story.
- Following week: Same information as above.
- Longer term: Identify which big or longer-term stories you are pursuing.
- Promotion: What will your group do this week to publicize your blog and connect to a larger community? (This might involve posting to social media but should also involve HOW you post – experiment with time, wording, etc.)
- Weekly memo: Each person will send this every Sunday (beginning April 5)
- Post: Provide details and a link to your work.
- Comments: You will make 5 meaningful comments per week (not all on the same day!), divided between your group blog, other class blogs, and some outside blogs of interest (which is good way of attracting like-minded bloggers to your site). Link to these in your weekly memo.
- Added Value: A plain-text post adds only one level to the conversation. That’s not enough. I expect to see you using your skills with links, images, maps, audio, wikis, and more, as well as integrating the site and its promotion into other social media like Facebook and Twitter.
How You’re Evaluated:
Each Sunday (beginning April 5), each student will send me an e-mail memo with links to your posts and comments from the previous week. You’ll also include short updates on your experience from the past week and your blogging plans for the week ahead. I use this to grade your quality of work, so if you’ve done more than post, tell me about it!
You’ll get a grade for each week’s worth of work, which includes your weekly post, contribution to the group memo, and any extra work you do (note this in your memo). If you like to think in terms of points, imagine that I score in roughly the following way:
- 40%: Content — Is it interesting? Relevant to your blog’s focus? Fresh?
- 30%: Connection — Quality and relevance of the link(s) you included in the post
- 30%: Mechanics — Grammar, spelling, punctuation and appropriate style
- Bonus points! … for HTML, outside comments, etc.—beyond-the-call stuff. If you’re the editor-in-chief or have other special duties, let me know!
Because you’re each only expected to post once a week (more is allowed), I’ll expect the writing and ideas to be especially sharp – we’re not looking for long reviews. What matters more than the number of posts is the overall quality of the body of work.
First due dates:
- A blog concept statement and list of five possible ideas for your first posts (from each student) – due as a single six-page packet in-class Monday, March 16
- Your group blog’s URL and About page with a focused mission statement – must be posted (email the URL) by the start of class Wednesday, March 18
- First budget: Email me this list of topics and dates for your first two weeks of postings (see above for explanation). It’s your first week, so this may change, but it must be thorough and complete – due Sunday, March 29
- Your group’s first post: Must be posted between 9a – 4p, Monday, March 30
- Group 1: Abdulaziz, Renata, Kristen, Lauren, Collen
- Group 2: Carley, Sierra, Karly, Mike, Logan
- Group 3: Chad, Alex, Paige, Sara, Tyler
- Group 4: Dillon, Joe, Steven, Matt, Ryan
One more thing:
In addition to creating a blog, you’ll need to add all your group’s members as authors (you may all be administrators or just choose one member for this role). Follow these steps:
- In Dashboard, select “Users” from the left bar
- Under “Invite New,” enter the new user’s preferred email address
- Choose the new user’s role (contributor, administrator, editor, or author)
- Click “Add user”