Assignment #3: Find Your Community

So far, you’ve introduced yourself, determined a focus for your blog, and made your first posts. This week, you’ll identify points of contact that will help you stay in touch with your community of interest.

Part 1: Refine your focus

Last week, you created an “About” page with your blog’s mission statement. Now that you’ve had a chance to write some posts in this area, refine your “About” page and add some depth. Remember these points:

  • 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 (nobody cares). 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 (don’t worry, I’ll tell you if you’re doing it)
  • 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.
    • Think of yourself as the intersection of a Venn diagram with at least 2-3 circles
  • 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 individuals to follow: At least five bloggers and at least five social media accounts. Each of these should be a spiritual cousin to your own – they do something related to what you hope to do.

  • Blog Example: Dead Frog is Todd Jackson’s blog about the comedy business.
  • Social Media Example: Josh Marshall is the editor of Talking Points Memo. He tweet regularly about political coverage.

A few cautions: These can NOT be general, non-blog sites (e.g., @NYTimes,, but you may link to an individual blogger on such a site as long as you justify why that writer is an excellent source for you. The point is not to link to news sites you already know, it’s to find people and communities that are part of the conversation you want to join!

Part 3: Identify issues to cover (and the actual assignment)

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 sources, you must identify five timely subjects or issues they’re talking about that could serve as the focus of one (or more) of your upcoming posts. Each must include at least one link (more is better) 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/accounts to it (5/10 pts for Assignment #3)
  • 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 item! (5/10 pts for Assignment #3)
  • This post must have a meaningful title, not a label (please don’t just call it “5 issues”) – you need to write more than just a list. At the very least, you’ll need an intro and a conclusion explaining why these 10 things go together. The end results should look more like an actual post than a class assignment! (5/5 pts for weekly blog post)

Due: 4p, Wednesday, Jan. 30 (due a day early so we can review in class)

  • To receive credit for this assignment, you must add a link to your post (with a short description) in a comment to this blog post.
  • You can post on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday as long as it’s up by 4 p.m.

17 Responses to Assignment #3: Find Your Community


    This post talks about 5 different Super Bowl ads (to be ads) that are already making headlines online before the official commercial is even shown live during the game. Some are funny and light hearted, or are being used to bring light to another subject, while others have already brought up controversy with audiences on if it should be shown.


    This post talks about 5 different artists from the past who are still thriving today. I plan to discuss the positive and negative effects these celebrations of the past can have, along with their overall impact on the community.

  3. adamjpayne says:

    This post I compiled 5 trend-breakers and trend-setters that popped up this week and connected them to one another. Some are big steps in representation and others are small nods at change, but I picked them all because with each I could expand on them and analyze them.

  4. Holly Fry says:
    My post is about why we as a society need to talk about death more and how to do that. Each of the issues is either current topics of conversation or a way to get people interested in talking about how death affects us, by hopefully adding some fun.

  5. shananelson says:

    In this post, I compiled the 5 most talked about issues right now in the diversity and representation aspects of film. Some of the issues highlight the amazing things happening for representation in the media, and others are a haunting reminder of why there is still work to be done.

  6. Cody Nespor says:

    This post compiles events from both the silly and serious sides of gaming and how people are reacting to them. It shows how much funs people have with video games and also the kind of good that video games can do in bringing people together.


    This post talks about 5 different issues college athletes deal with on the day to day basis. It applies to almost all athletes, and many issues have been going on for years. Some of these issues are just now getting recognized to get the resources the athletes need.

  8. dmconwell says:

    This post talks about the five issues there are with celebrity endorsements. We live in a time where social media rules all so this blog deals with some of those issues.


    This post discusses five different areas in college that students face, whether it is positive or negative. There is more to college than we think and I hope to take a deeper look at the different situations.

  10. deanmarrazzo says:
    This post talks about 5 different events that have the potential for a good story regarding pregame/athlete fashion. Of these 5 different topics some have taken place, are currently unfolding or have yet to happen. This leaves room for the stories to grow.

  11. this post talks about if meat and dairy are essential to our diets. their are many different facts out there about this topic so I have 5 specialists facts and opinions on this issue.

  12. sadiejanes says:

    My post is called “#MeToo: A Look at the Current Conversation” and covers 5 issues relevant to the #MeToo movement right now. I came most of these through activists’ Twitter accounts and feminist blogs. It’s a pretty even mixture of stories that impact the entertainment world and the political world.

  13. briannaherscher says:

    I focused the topics included in this post on the injustices that African Americans are facing on campus and in life in general. I covered widely talked about stories such as the Lawrence Crosby incident along with the recent hate crime of actor Jussie Smollet. I wanted to focus this on the injustices that minorites are facing and how we can be the change that our world needs.

  14. haileyspicer says:

    My post is called “Thick Girls Living In A Cruel World” and it covers 5 different issues that celebrities and plus sized models face in the fashion industry.

  15. It’s no secret that women have a lot on their plate. Between abortion rights coming under fire, to more and more young girls seeking asylum for protection against their abusive families, roughly half of the world’s population has so much to worry about.

  16. Patrick Downey says:

    My post explains five different stories that are currently troubling the sports world. Posted on the due date, just forgot to comment to the site.

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