Pitch your group blog ideas

For the final third of the semester (weeks 11-15), you will be maintaining focused group blogs. In preparation, and to identify similar interests, each of you will propose a group blog concept and a list of potential stories. I’ll use these to determine group assignments, which we’ll go over next week. You’ll be reading through some group blogs on the sidebar for next week’s read and respond, so you might want to get a head start on those now.

Post a comment (to this post) with a pitch for a group blog concept by 10 a.m. Wednesday, September 28. This must contain the following:

  • A one-paragraph description of a group blog concept focused on some aspect of Morgantown life (no activities calendar blogs!). Other regions (e.g., West Virginia; other cities) can also be your focus as long as you’re able to cover them.
  • At least FIVE story ideas. Use complete sentences and address why this story matters. For example: “A few years back, downtown Morgantown saw an explosion of eCigarette shops, but today many of these have closed. Is vaping on its way out?”

In addition, read through the comments by 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2. Post at least one comment to a description that you’d be interested in contributing to, and let them creator know what you’d bring to the table.

33 Responses to Pitch your group blog ideas

  1. Beyond Craft Beer says:

    For the group blog weeks, I would like to focus on fashion in Morgantown and potentially how it compares to the rest of the state. W.V. does not have a reputation for being fashion forward, but there are many great shopping options and creative spaces to design clothing in Morgantown.

    1. New boutiques/local shops opening around Morgantown. This matters because local matters. Readers care about this town because they live here and providing a map of shopping options around town would be really useful.

    2. VS PINK Campus Representatives. I would like to 2 blog posts to each of the reps and do a profile on them, as well as understanding how they incorporate clothing and fashion into their community service as representatives for the university.

    3. Creative Arts Center costume design. I would like to cover the design studio where people make costumes for shows at the CAC. This would be awesome because it is local, always happening and not over-covered.

    4. I would like to cover a few posts on donating/consigning clothing in Morgantown. I could include Plato’s Closet, Goodwill and so forth. I want people to know their options, where the best deals are, and how to help those in need by donating clothing to them.

    5. SustainU is a clothing company that is made entirely in the US and uses 100% recycled materials in their clothing.

    Here is the link to their website: http://www.sustainuclothing.com/store/

    They would be important to cover because they are a not so typical clothing outfitter in Morgantown that not a lot of people know about.

  2. smarino92 says:

    I think a group blog would be beneficial to do a blog on local music. Think about it,3 or 4 people all with different tastes in music, we could all have like a “beat” of the kind of music we like, like metal, punk, hip hop, DJs, whatever, and they collaborate and write about local music. Also it would help us branch into music we might not necessarily like but would like to know more about. It’s something I deff would enjoy doing, I love music it’s my favorite thing.

  3. alexaciattarelli says:

    I think it would be really interesting to do a group blog on healthy eating, thinking, and living. The blog could feature exercise journals, mental health practices, local classes, ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and stay fit while on a budget. I would like this blog to be useful to college students and young adults that don’t have a lot of money or time to contribute to their lifestyle habits. Having this topic be a group blog could offer viewers a variety of perspectives.

    Some blog topics that I think would be a great start:

    1. A list of local shops with great discounts and deals on food and produce would be beneficial to anyone on a budget. In this post, I would also include websites and apps with coupons to get the most for your buck.

    2. I would like to cover local businesses with workout classes at a variety of times, for reasonable prices, and for anyone ranging from beginners to experts. I think students and locals just assume that big, well know recreational facilities are the only options for them. But, if you look online, some people do classes out of their homes – for free!

    3. Optimizing your time is one of the best practices in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If you make use of each minute of your day, you will avoid leaving yourself with zero time to reflect, meditate, or just relax. I think it would be interesting to do a blog post on how to make the best use of your time, with calendars, apps, reminders, and more.

    4. In practicing becoming healthy, a lot of people lack motivation and turn to online forums, advice columns and websites like Pinterest for advice. I think it would be interesting to have a group blog post that provides legitimate advice and motivational pages to the audience, as opposed to just Pinterest pictures and inspiring quotes.

    5. Finally, I think it would be beneficial to have an at home list of workouts. In today’s day and age, it seems that people have no time for anything; especially when it comes to making trips to the gym.

    • Beyond Craft Beer says:

      I think this is a great idea. I have a passion for staying healthy and finding the perfect balance in a fit life. I think I would bring some insight to different training, eating and ways of thinking in order to be healthy physically and mentally.

    • I would definitely be interested in this blog idea. I think it would be extremely relevant and hip. Many people would find it interesting/beneficial and there would be several current issues and events surrounding the topic to cover.

    • lmalexander1 says:

      I think this is a great blog idea and is kind of similar to mine. I think it is extremely hard for college students to stay healthy in college, but they can with the right help and guidance. Thats exactly what this type of blog can provide and I think its a great idea.

  4. carlyperez5 says:

    I think it would be interesting to have a group blog on all things High Street. High Street is constantly bustling with people whether it is mid-day or at night. This topic is important because high street is a huge part of Morgantown. This blog could cover anything from the businesses on high street, to how the street contributes to student life here at WVU. Some story ideas I have in mind are as followed:

    1. How much do high street shops rely on WVU students? Is there a major decline in sales during the summer vs. when school is in session? If so, how does each business cope with the decline in funds?
    2. I don’t know about you, but I never understood why the Buffalo Wild Wings on high street went out of business. Did other bars offer a better Sunday football watch spot? And why have smaller, local owned shops done better business than a chain restaurant?
    3. Most people have to have at least one shop on high street they haven’t ever been in and are relatively curious about. This group blog could have a weekly series featuring a hidden gem shop many might not know about. The group could collect information on who owns it, what the shop offers, when and why they started the business, and how long they have been in business for.
    4. Food, food, food, who doesn’t love food? High street is packed with an assortment of cuisines. Do most students go for the classic pizza and sub shops, or are they less afraid of the cultured food than we think? We can also take a look into the food truck life, and how they attract crowd.
    5. Night life! Lets be honest, high street thrives off of night life. As basic as it may sound, what is night life like? Not everyone partakes in night life, and those people may be curious as to what it entails. Other things such as how high street is monitored at night, and what the most popular places to go to are could be included.
    6. I know a sixth option wasn’t necessary but I feel that life on high street should be included. So what exactly is it like to live on high street? Pros and cons?

  5. ostarabanova says:

    For a group blog assignment, I would love to write about international students of WVU. There is a food court inside the MountainLiar where flags representing the home countries of various students at WVU are displayed. It’s pretty fascinating, thinking that somebody came from a different continent to study at WVU.
    1. A few of my classmates and I could cover such topics as, how did they learn about WVU prior to coming to Morgantown and why they chose to come here?
    2. Moving to another country at the young age is scary and stressful. We could talk to some international students and ask what difficulties they have adjusting to a new place, language, culture, etc.
    3. We could cover topics and issues about diversity at WVU and how international students contribute to that. We could incorporate internationals professors as well.
    4. We could talk about how international students see everything from their perspective or through their eyes and maybe we could compare their vision with the natives.
    5. We could incorporate pictures and videos of international students talking about the countries they come from and sharing their culture. This could be educational for all students at WVU, as learning something new about other cultures is always fun.
    Although I was born and raised in Ukraine, WVU does not consider me an international student, so my perspective and experience could be completely different from those who come to United States specifically to study at WVU.

  6. kameronduncan says:

    I’d like to do a group blog about small, unique businesses in Morgantown. Since Morgantown is primarily a college town, businesses have to be able to cater to several different kinds of tastes, interests and demographics. This can create different kinds of restaurants and shops, some that you’d never see in more conventional environments or even bigger cities.

    1. Does the choice to stay open late really make that much more money for the restaurants on High Street (and also the ones that deliver well into the night)
    2. What kinds of businesses will you find only in Morgantown, and why is that?
    3. Do large corporations like Walmart hurt the smaller places that sell some of the same things?
    4. What does it take to have a successful business in Morgantown from the ground up?
    5. What are some WVU students’ favorite unheralded small businesses.

    • I like the idea of a group blog that focuses on a small, unique businesses in Morgantown. We discussed in class that some places even close during summer time. It would be interesting to cover how they manage to stay in business and what makes them special.

    • carlyperez5 says:

      I really like the idea of making a group blog about the different businesses in Morgantown. I think we could even broaden this topic to all of high street. The two ideas really do mold well together.

  7. I think a good group blog topic would be animal welfare or rights in Morgantown and possibly the whole state. West Virginia has some extensive laws regarding animal abuse, and it could be interesting to see if such diligence actually goes into animals issues. Many people have pets and connect with animals, so it could draw a large number of people. Plus, a lot of different areas can tie in to animal lives.

    1 Locally-owned pet stores like Animal House have strong community ties, but have to compete with chains like Petco. Are they struggling in comparison? Does a strong community background ensure that animals are treated differently.

    2 Animal adoption agencies like Homeward Bound and Animal Friends of North Central WV participate in lots of local events to connect with the community. Does this give them an advantage over less active shelters?

    3 No kill and kill shelters become what they are based on several factors. Could we find out what factors have led to the distinction for local shelters? Are there ways or reasons to change that status?

    4 Finding out what establishments in the area are pet-friendly and how that affects their business would be a great topic for pet owners. In the same vein, we could find out which restaurants offer vegan/vegetarian options as many have those restrictions for reasons on animal welfare. Are animal issues a real concern for businesses?

    5 Some adoption agencies have foster programs where people temporarily take in a pet, instead of having them stay in a shelter. Profiling someone who fosters animals and getting their input on the practice could be interesting. What are the pros and cons of this? How does that affect one’s life? Are animals better behaved in foster systems?

  8. I would like to focus on the food aspect in Morgantown, because there are so many different choices. Also, there are food places continuously opening and closing, catering to all kinds of different people. It would be interesting to see what places work and why the places that shut down did not correspond well with people. I would also like to see what the new spots have to offer and what differenciates them from other food places.
    1. With the new Indian cuisine restaurant, Bombay Grill, being opened, what are some other ethnic restaurants around town?
    2. What are some local restaurants around Morgantown that are successful?
    3. What are some local restaurants around Morgantown that have failed?
    4. Night life is a part of Morgantown culture, which food spots thrive from students at night and does their business do better later at night?
    5. Local restaurants vs. chains (such as McDonalds, IHOP, etc)

    • kameronduncan says:

      I think that the idea of a local food blog is one I’d like to work on because there are so many unique places to eat here in town. The number of restaurants can be intimidating to someone who is new in town, so having somewhat of a guide to seeing which ones are worth going to can be helpful. I like your idea of seeing which places are more successful at later times, because of how big nightlife is here in Morgantown.

    • jayrudolph says:

      I think that food would be awesome to write about because we have a great variety in town. I think this could go hand in hand with the local businesses.

  9. Ryan Decker says:

    For the group blog I’d like to do something sports related. I think it’d be interesting to look at how WVU sports other than the football and men’s basketball teams go about getting people to show up to their games. Because, even though some of the other sports are more successful, they don’t get nearly the support or the press that the major two get.

    1. Talk to the hockey team about their promotional strategies – chalk messages on the Woodburn steps, signs around campus.
    2. Talk to the women’s soccer team about what it means to nearly sell out every home game, and be the most successful team on campus, yet still not get the admiration they deserve. This even with a pair of Olympians on their team.
    3. Find out why the men’s soccer team doesn’t get the same type of crowds the women’s team, despite playing at the same time of the year and around the same days of the week.

    • I think this a great idea considering there are a lot of different strategies for getting more attendance. I cover the Women’s Volleyball team and they have had Hawaiian night(if you sport Hawaiian style gear you’re admitted free). They have also had book drives, where you bring a book and get a food discount. I think it could also be interesting to write about the relationships some of these teams have with local food places. For example Qdoba and Panera offer discounts with some WVU ticket stubs. Lastly, this a great idea because it could work well splitting up the group to different teams for comprehensive coverage.

  10. rmsurella says:

    A group blog I would like to do is Morgantown high school and local sports. I think that there is already too much media coverage of WVU athletics so we could find some good story material like:

    1. The Morgantown bowl… Morgantown High School vs. University High School’s annual football game for hometown bragging rights in October

    2. Dana Holgorsen’s son Logan is the sophomore starting quarterback for Morgantown High School, perhaps we could interview him about his first year as a varsity starter.

    3. Clay Bailey is the quarterback at University High School, and is also the son of the school’s athletic director, Jeff Bailey. A feature story on their relationship might make for an interesting post.

    4. Traditionally, downtown and suncrest are the feeder districts for Morgantown High School, while Westover and Cheat Lake are the feeders for University. Families can decide which of the two schools they prefer to send their child to, however. I would like to do a story where I interview the parent of an athlete at at least one feeder school who plans to send their child to the school they feel better suits their athletic ability.

    5. Morgantown High School is very old, but it’s 4,000 person capacity football stadium is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen at a high school. University’s football seats 4,000 as well but only on one side of the field. They plan to add a riser on the far side of the field for the opposing team’s fans, which will seat 2,000 more spectators.

    • Ryan Decker says:

      High school football would definitely be a cool group blog to work on. I know a lot of people from the Eastern Panhandle of WV come to WVU, and that is where Martinsburg High School, which has been one of the best football teams for the past two decades, is located. Three current players on the WVU team are also from Martinsburg so it would be cool to do stories on them and see how high school football affected them.

  11. lmalexander1 says:

    I think it’s extremely hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle in college. With the meal plan and the food offered on it, the drinking that goes on, late night eating after drinking, and finding time in a busy schedule to make it to the even busier REC, staying healthy in college is quite the challenge. Students would benefit from a health lifestyle blog that point out where to eat healthy on campus, what hours to go to the Rec so you aren’t fighting for a machine, and so much more.

    1. The REC is packed at almost all hours of the day. But, there are those select few hours where you don’t spend more time waiting for a free machine than you do working out. When is the best time to go to the REC?

    2. For those of you who don’t live in the dorms and like to cook, buying local is the healthiest choice for you. The farmers market is outside the Lair every Thursday and here’s what they offer.

    3. It can be extremely hard to eat healthy on Meal Plan, but it’s very possible. What spots and select foods are the healthiest for students on eating off a meal plan?

    4. You alcohol consumption is adding more of that weight to you than you think. Shots have more calories than some desserts do. But there is a way to smart drinking, here’s how.

    5. That light night eating is not doing any good for your health. When Sheetz is open 24/7 and is just up the street, I know it’s hard to resist. But there are ways you can do it.

    • rmsurella says:

      I like to think I’ve made great strides in eating healthier over the 3 years since I’ve gotten here. I was always conscious of what I hate but my biggest complaint my first year was that I could never seem to find a meal on campus that didn’t require me to eat something fried. Also if you live in a dorm I have no idea how you are expected to bring water bottles into your room, which is just an absolute necessity. Even if you have the freedom to make your own food, a lot of choices people make in the belief that they are healthy are not at all. For example a lot of people I know will eat microwaved oatmeal without realizing that it’s actually very bad for you. I think I could be a good contributor to this blog.

  12. jayrudolph says:

    I think Morgantown food would be a great group blog. Morgantown has been known for food spots that don’t last very long and for some spots that have stood the test of time. I think that covering all the different types of food around town would be great. We can even intertwine some of what the town does to help students get food and eat better.
    1. University Meal Plan expansions. How will this help the students?
    2. High Street Bar/Food hidden gems. Which spots are great but don’t get as much publicity.
    3. Old town greats like Fish bowl. Cover a story about fishbowl and how they survive.
    4. Best spots in town to watch the footballl game. Why is this where everyone goes?
    5. The key to success in Morgantown how to survive in this dog eat dog economy.

  13. michalalynn says:

    I think a great idea for group blogs would be focusing on food in and around campus for incoming freshman and transfer students.

    1. A post on each dining option available on meal plan-what do they serve typically/hours/how actually is the food
    2. A post talking about Food Recovery Network and how that is working
    3. A post explaining the differences between dining dollars and mounty bounty and the places you can eat now with your mounty bounty
    4. Multiple posts on Morgantown only eateries-Where you have to eat before you graduate
    5. A look at if students would rather go to local restaurants or go to chain restaurants

  14. Jaz Brown says:

    It would be interesting to do a group blog on the lives of the athlete’s here at WVU. Everybody basically knows all of the football/basketball players names by heart, but does anyone really know who they are once they leave their respective fields? We could interview a different “star”/popular athlete each week and find out their hobbies, interests, aspirations, etc. that don’t have to do with their sports teams. It would give Morgantown and their fans a chance to see the him/her in a different perspective and give them some knowledge on who these players are as a college student instead of just a player.

    1.) Interview WVU’s current QB Skylar Howard on his interests outside of football and what his plans would be if football were no longer an option.
    2.) Interview WVU Basketball star Daxter Miles Jr. and find out his favorite restuarants, school events and classes he’s attended.
    3.) Create a poll for WVU athlete’s and find out what their dream job is/was.
    4.) Find out if the majority of each sport’s team here at WVU plans on attempting/going pro or pursuing new careers once they graduate.
    5.) Interview the 2 ladies, Ashley Lawerence and Ginny Thrasher, about their time in the Olympics and if they plan to return to the Olympics and/or continue with their respective sports, as well.

    • alexaciattarelli says:


      I think you have some great ideas here. What makes your blog different from others I have read is how you would like to incorporate people. People relate to people, so an idea like this would really attract readers.

      Your idea kind of reminds me of “Humans of NY”, and that has been a huge hit. So, I think you are off to a great start here! And also, who doesn’t want to learn more about our WVU athletes? 🙂


      • alexaciattarelli says:

        On second thought, you may struggle with this topic because students can not directly interview athletes without approval from the department, so this may be a challenge.

  15. College Students and Politics
    What’s important to you as a college student when it comes to politics in our country? As a demographic, we are an extremely important part in deciding what happens to our country. A group of college students working through issues and topics that come to light in the world of politics would be an extremely interesting to read regularly if worked through properly. The blog could perhaps be better maintained if it was supporting one political party, but I believe that it could be more interesting if it went back and forth between individuals with different views.

    Story Ideas:
    1. As the 2016 Presidential election nears, college students should know about the issues that will directly affect them.
    2. Free tuition. What do we think about how free tuition would benefit or hurt our country and it’s college students.
    3. Political participation and its importance. Maybe you feel as if your voice won’t be heard or it won’t make a difference. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
    4. International relations and the ways that it directly affects college campuses. How does this apply to you?
    5. How has the digitalization of our country affected the way we interpret politics? Has it changed the way that we evaluate the issues at hand?

    • I think a good community to have a group blog about is students with jobs. Being a student has it’s own workload, not to mention extra curricular activities. Students with jobs give up a lot of free time and are busy most of the day. That kind of hectic schedule can make for a lot of interesting blog posts. Also their are a lot of different aspects to a busy life that multiple people can cover simultaneously.

      Story Ideas:
      1. Stress management techniques for students. Talk about the best ways to balance times and keep tight schedules
      2. Sleeping patterns and how sleep deprivation is a real problem among college students.
      3. Feature some popular places that students work. Talk about how jobs hire students with a lot of other obligations.
      4.Working vs working out, how students decide whether to better their finances or their physical health.
      5. How students balance their priorities. Where students rank school work, clubs/organizations, and finances. Also talking about sacrifices they have to make in certain activities.

    • I would be really interested in this. I think college students are an interesting dynamic, but are often represented in a very basic way. It would be great to sit down with the different political organizations and hear from them, as well as unaffiliated students.

  16. smarino92 says:

    I like the idea of politics, I am very politically inclined, not to mention I don’t want to do anything about Morgantown or WVU, that stuff bores me to death. We could talk to the Young Republicans or Students for Trump- I mean as well as libertarian students and democrat. I think its SO important for kids our age to be involved in politics and care about whats happening, and it’s really sad I think not a lot of people do. Also I think media would play a big part in this cause being a member of the media I can see through a lot of big news stations bs, but a lot of kids don’t have the media training you get in journalism school, so I think seeing their side and their opinion and wondering where they are getting their news would be cool cause that influences so many people on their beliefs. Also if their parents are conservative, liberal etc. Lots of ideas here.

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