Assignment #3: Start Following

So far, you’ve introduced yourself, determined a focus for your blog, and made your first posts. This week, you’ll 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?
    • Remember: No advice blogs, no reviews, no profile-only blogs, no whatever else I decide is off-limits (I’ll tell you if it’s you)
  • 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 individual bloggers 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 can NOT be general, non-blog sites (e.g., although you may link to an individual blogger on such a site (no more than one from a site) as long as you justify why that writer is an excellent source for you. You have to find people and communities that are talking about what you want to talk about!

Part 3: Identify issues to cover

As we’ve discussed this week, you need to get out of the way and cover your community and the current issues that concern it. After reading your bloggers, you must identify five timely subjects or issues that could serve as the focus of one (or more) of your upcoming posts. Each must include at least one link to current discussion on the subject and explain what the focus of your post could be.

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)
  • Write a blog post explaining (in 1-2 sentences each) each of the five issues you’ve identified and how you might cover each in an upcoming post – don’t forget to include relevant links for each! (5 pts)
  • Yes, this will count as one of your two weekly posts, but only if you actually write a post with a meaningful beginning, middle and end. If it’s just a bulleted list with no actual writing or description, you won’t earn this credit. (5 pts – one of your weekly posts – for compelling, coherent writeup)

Due: 10a 4p, Monday, January 30 (NOTE: Time updated due to class cancellation)

  • To receive credit for this assignment, you must post a link to your post (with a short description) in a comment to this blog post.
  • Your blog post MUST be made on Monday!

18 Responses to Assignment #3: Start Following

  1. Rebecca Toro says:
    A couple weeks ago I sat down and wrote a list of possible topics for my blog. I then went online and found blogs related to the topics I want to use and then found specific blog posts on those topics. I hope to expand my research on these topics to create an informative and relatable post.

    • My blog post is about what I am trying to achieve on my blog and what kind of stories I want to write about. Listed are 5 ideas for stories that I feel are diverse while also being in the same category.

  2. Cara Devenney says:

    My blog is about how to deal and manage with anxiety naturally, rather than taking medication or spending loads of money on a psychologist. I picked these specific five points for my blog because I want to clarify the differences and issues in which my audience may be confused about. I also feel like the issues I picked are important to know because it targets one’s health, and one should at least be aware more about the illness.


    My blog is about New York sports teams. Therefore I wanted to pick topics which are relevant for New York sports right now, and is that they really haven’t been winning in anything lately. I picked several ideas and topics that I believe to be entertaining and timely and can tie into the current state of New York sports.

  4. crnolder says:

    I found this assignment to be super helpful because find blogs within my community really showed me what topics are currently being covered, how different blogs post to their readers, and what unique features some of the blogs have!

  5. miaswanegan says:

    Doing this assignment helped my broaden some of my originally set ideas as well as come up with others. I am super excited to keep up with the blogs I followed as well as learn from their posting tendencies.

  6. lindseybaatz says:

    There is a lot going on recently in terms of travel. I think I could write multiple posts on the current events. Even though the travel ban is overwhelmingly the main topic of conversation, I also found a few other topics my community is discussing.

  7. ashleyconleyyy says:

    There’s always a bunch of entertaining and compelling things going on in the sports world. With the NFL season coming to a close and March Madness quickly approaching, social media is super fun for sports fans right now.

  8. The theatre scene has been dealing with some legal issues recently. Also, it’s unsurprisingly difficult to find timely Broadway news that doesn’t feature “Hamilton” in some way.

  9. dshedrick says:
    My blog post outlines some potential upcoming post ideas as well as the shift in the scope of my blog from Sexuality in the Media, regarding pop culture and the like, to a more politically charged focus. This is due to the current political climate and global events that are affecting women’s rights, sexuality, and various other aspects that are within the initial scope and inspiration of my blog.

  10. This blog post is in reference to controversies in the gaming community. Some of the issues I have chosen to touch on are new and some are issue that have been relevant for decades, but have yet to be resolved.

  11. This assignment helped me to scour my community in search of some topics that could help me create a few more posts. I found it extremely useful in acquiring some interesting discussions points for my community. Since my blog is about playstation 4 gaming and diversity I was able to find some topics that could relate to both although finding timely relevant material about gaming and diversity was a little challenging.

  12. zamuhammad says:

    This assignment I will be covering the Wvu Gymnastics team as the take three wins in their quad meet. Also, they received their season-high of of the year 196.3, upsetting the #7 teams Denver University!

  13. Clutter Mama says:

    This assignment was helpful in pushing me to explore the minimalist community, giving me a little more insight into the perspective of those that I am following. My post highlights some recent posts in the community and how I can apply it to future topics for my own blog. I also tried to encourage readers to share what they wanted to read about.

  14. Haley says: This is about the struggles and issues within the weight loss community

  15. I apologize that this comment was late. Apparently I couldn’t read below the bold print. The post I did is on current issues in the pet owner community, and how the blog can be used to further examine them.

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