Read & Respond week 6: Group blogs past

In preparation for your group blogs (into which you’ll be sorted this week), you’ll be taking a look into the past. There’s two sets of readings I’d like you to choose from:

First, read one of these:

Morgantown Problems (2013), Morgantown Nightlife (2017), or Transpo in the Mo (2018). These are three of the most engaged group blogs produced in this class, and I want everyone to have a look (especially Morgantown Problems’ Panera post and its resulting comment thread).

Then, skim at least TWO other previous group blogs from this list:

Move-in Morgantown (2010)

MountainEats (2011)

The Eclectic (2011)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Morgantown (2011)

Graduation Preparation (2012)

A “J” in the Life (2012)

Mountaineers Connect (2012)

#gradschoolproblems (2012)

Morgantown Man Cave (2013)

Meet Me in the Mountain State (2015)

A Gentleman’s Guide to Morgantown (2015)

Wild But Not So Wonderful (2015)

Humans of Morgantown (2016 spring)

Morgantown Matters (2016 spring)

Morgantown Underground (2016 spring)

The New Motown (2016 spring)

Business of Morgantown (2016 fall)

Morgantown Notes (2016 fall)

Mountaineer Munchies (2016 fall)

Conserve the Wild and Wonderful (2017)

Morgantown Diversity (2017)

WVU Women’s Health (2017)

Old & New in the Gold & Blue (2018)

Bleeding Blue and Gold (2018)

Wild and Weird (2018)

Your response will focus on the blogs (one from the first group and two others) and what they did. What are they about? Is there a clear focus? What are some of their strongest posts? Weakest? (yes, you have to pick one – be constructive) Finally, and most importantly, what would you have done differently, and how does that influence your own group blog plans? Your response is due as a comment to this post by 11:59 p.m. Monday, February 11.

20 Responses to Read & Respond week 6: Group blogs past

  1. I really enjoyed reading through some of the group blog’s themes and ideas. I think group blogs are a good way to take a broad subject and really extend it into multiple different subjects. For example, the Morgantown Problems blog was a very vague topic, but they were able to talk about everything from the resignation of President Clements in 2013 to the racial discrimination of the Daily Athenaeum’s “Top 5 Most Influential People” list.

    I first read several articles on the Morgantown Problems blog. I first read the Cupcakerie post, since it was the first article to show up. I felt that this article could’ve had a little bit more of an edge to it, as it came across more like a news article rather than taking a stance on something. I also felt this way about the article about when President Clements left WVU for Clemson. However, I also felt there were many articles that were great examples of how a blog can be used as a platform for opinions. For example, the article that highlighted all the negative parts of E. Gordon Gee’s background was informative, but it had an edge to it that made the reader feel more compelled to read. Likewise, the article “Five Reasons Why You Should Hate the New Panera on High Street” literally lays out an opinion in the form of a list. If it were me, and I was writing a blog called “Morgantown Problems”, I would definitely be trying to write most of my articles with the angle of disagreement.

    The second blog I skimmed over was “A ‘J’ In the Life”, which covered a wide range of ideas all related to what journalists and student journalists face all the time. What I really enjoyed about the blog was the fact that they used different types of posts to spruce up the page. Rather than all the posts being informative and straight-forward, they varied their posts with interviews (like “From the J-school to the Real Word: An Interview with David Ryan) and reflection posts (Like “Making Connections as a Journalist Will Be Vital in the Future). The biggest weakness of the page (in my opinion) is the layout of the page. I felt that it was kind of bland, which is fine—but I felt like the articles were lumped so close together that they just kind of blended together in a confusing way. I probably would’ve found a them that really highlights the hedes of stories so that they grab the reader’s attention.

    I also read “Old and New in the Gold and Blue”, which I felt like was a better example of how a page’s layout can influence the reader’s focus on the content. I felt like the hedes were also really compelling in their word choice, and they also provided enough information as to not be too vague. I really enjoyed “Ruby, a Gem in our Backyard,” because it was sort of vague, but its tone made the reader understand that the story would be about how Ruby Memorial Hospital has been such an influential part of West Virginia. I guess I felt the weakness was the theme was sort of confusing. I felt like the page’s title was extremely vague, and I just assumed that the page was about medical things after reading the first few articles. However, when we shifted to articles about Lyft and Uber, I started to question the page’s main focus. I probably, would’ve renamed the page with something that would attract more people from the target community.

  2. I chose to look at the Morgantown Problems group blog from group one. As the title states this blog was dedicated to exploring topics and issues that our college town faces. It focuses on showcasing and giving a voice to the local life of Morgantown (meaning both the good and the bad). As mentioned within the assignment, the post on the negatives on the “new” Panera on High Street gives a different look into the idea of chain restaurants entering into the town and about the Panera company overall. The article on the Cupcakerie was one of the weaker posts I would say, due to both its vagueness and not really facing a issue or concept for the town. Another topic that I found important to this blog was the High Street food vendor ordinances. The addition of the video was helpful to the short post and gave a voice to the one street food vendor this would have effected. Other topics that were useful to this blog included the homeless post as well as the post on how the DA created a list of the most influential persons that came out to be all white males.

    The next blog I skimmed was called Graduation preparation that was suppose to cover all the things needed for survival of May 2012 (playing off the Mayan calendar predictions and surviving school). The first post that came up was called “Freshman Advice” and the second was called “The End of the World (But Not Really)” which already confuses me on what I am suppose to learn from these posts and this blog as a whole. Other posts such as first impressions or how to handle the graduation blues is closer to what they were hoping to put forward but still did not deliver what was promised. And was not done as well as the Morgantown Problems blog. Very different levels were shown between these two alone.

    The last blog I skimmed was the Wild and Weird site. This blog site focuses on the mysteries and folklore that surround various places in West Virginia. It takes the idea that WV is hidden from most of the U.S. and actually has a lot to make it stand out. I think articles that were done well and stuck to the topic was the post of the vacant floor in towers dorm. Another article done well is the Local Legends Sparks National Buzz. This takes a in-focus topic that brings something national to a local view. Not that these next posts were well done, but I was slightly curious when skimming how they were incorporated to the idea as a whole (This includes the Hashers article though I like the podcast added).

    I think the first and last blog I read are how I hope my group blog will in the end turn out. I think coming up with a broad topic that allows a lot of different posts to be written while being able to go deep into certain topics is important. One thing I may have done differently from a few of the weaker posts I have pointed out is to try to create a more fluid blog where all topics and posts go with the theme and work together.

  3. Holly Fry says:

    The blog I chose to look at of the first three, was the Morgantown Nightlife. Their posts are about the topics surrounding nightlife that can sometimes make your mom call and worry about you. Whether it’s drinking and getting home safely and what even classifies WVU as a party school, this blog is connected to topics that are on the fun aspect of college. They used outside events and news updates to keep the blog relevant to other people than just Morgantown residents, though the special connection does make it easier to read. They do clearly seem to focus on nightlife, though it also does talk about restaurants and other things you can do in the day. One of their weakest posts was “Turmoil around the country but maybe not in Morgantown…” because although they used plenty of links to defend their statements, they connected it to Morgantown at the last minute. The link text they used wasn’t very strong like “this article,” and “this one”. I also would have explained more of what the service was that they were writing about instead of making you watch a video or link you to what it is. One of the stronger ones was the most recent post “How are the top party schools chosen? Find out here” While it still had some style preferences that left me wanting better, the layout clearly showed what the post was about, why it was relevant and what all the link connected to. It was almost a listicle format which is always easier to go through and I think that really helped their post.
    Another blog I chose was Wild and Weird. Their blog focuses on some of the creepy or odd things not just around Morgantown but also around West Virginia. The articles were easy to read and understand and the headlines made you want to click the stories. The strongest blog post I saw from this was “Ever wanted to legally jump off a tall bridge for fun? Here’s how you can”. They went into the history of the New River Gorge and also included great pictures that really made you want to go do this activity. They also used plenty of links and videos so even if you are too scared, you can still enjoy seeing others jump off as well. One of their weaker posts was “How a ghost may have come back to solve her own murder.” It took too long to get to what the headline promised, and the voice of the article seemed very casual and more laidback than the other voices through the blog. Also, while it had a good number of links, there were only two pictures and no other media to get involved with.
    The third blog I looked at was “A Gentleman’s guide to Morgantown.” While it didn’t seem to necessarily tackle “Gentleman’s issues”, the posts were written really well about Morgantown in general. The voice was casual and easy to relate to as a college student which was also one of their goals. A strong post of theirs was “Alan Lindsay: Morgantown’s “Black Sheep” driver.” The interviews they gathered and the in-depth information made me really interested in the guy as I’ve never really experienced a taxi ride in Morgantown. The writer really made me root for him, and the story written. Though it didn’t use many links ass it was more of a profile story, it was very well done and thorough. A weaker post of theirs was “The PRT: Is it more painful than personal?” because at least to me, they could have had more sources. Most of the information had a lot of numbers that could have been backed up better. The rest of the story was very strong with quotes and history. That was one aspect that could have been improved on. Looking at all of these blogs made me realize that this will definitely be an interesting experience working with other bloggers to create content that is cohesive, yet still has our own voice. Previously planning for the group blog I had thought it could be easier kind of combining our blog ideas we had now into a new blog but as I read through these it became very apparent, we’re all going to have to creatively come up with something we’re all enthusiastic about.

  4. The first blog I looked at was “Morgantown Problems” from 2013. This was really interesting to read since I didn’t come to WVU until 2016, so the problems I have seen, are much different than what the town saw back then. This one was talking about issues within the town, clearly stated by the name. These issued included diversity issues, local businesses and our brand new president at the time, Gordon Gee. The focus was clear and they really got their points across in their blog posts. I took the suggestion and read the Panera article and I would have to say it is their strongest post because there’s so much passion behind it, and based on the comments, their goal was successful as students were then debating on if they should go to the new Panera at all. However, I believe their weakest was their last post, “Buy Local This Valentine’s day: The Cupcakearie” It felt like an advertisement and didn’t really have anything to do with their overall blog theme. As well done as this blog is, I just don’t like how everything is very negative. Granted, that is what they were going for but it overall just felt very angry, I wish they would have counteracted the negatives with some positives.
    The second blog I looked at was “Mountaineer Munchies.” I was attracted to the name and thought it was fun. The blog was about what people eat in Morgantown and how it connects with our culture as a school. I really enjoyed this blog. One thing that brings people together, is food. They managed to connect food to almost every aspect here at WVU including sports, night life and locals. The focus was clear. To me their strongest post was “West Virginia and their Hot Dogs.” The did an awesome job with pointing out some great places to get a hot dog backed by articles, videos and tweets. There weakest post, in my opinion, was “WVU Men’s D1 Club Hockey Team.” Within the first few paragraphs I couldn’t understand why they were talking about the hockey team. Then they finally started talking about the nutritionist. After that it just felt like they were listing off places and calories.
    The final blog I checked out was “Wild and Weird.” Again, the title is what caught my attention with the play on words. First thing that caught my eye was the set up, I was able to scroll through the posts and read a quick summary before I decided which one I wanted to dive into. I ended up reading “A Vacant Floor of WVU Resident Hall is Shrouded in Mystery: What the Wild Stories Say About Rumors on College Campuses” The set-up of this post is very strong, and would say it’s their strongest post. They grab the reader’s attention by talking about rumors of towers being haunted to moving into how rumors can seriously effect a campus culture. The focus of the blog is very on point as they talk about legends, haunted places and spooky stories. The weakest post in my opinion is “Ever wanted to legally jump off a tall bridge for fun? Here’s where you can!” It felt very much like an advertisement and wish they would have added in some eerie facts!

  5. haileyspicer says:

    Morgantown Nightlife was the blog I chose from the first group. I was immediately intrigued by the name because night life at WVU is one of the reasons I love this school. This blog talked about why we are considered one of the top party schools and some of the things that contribute to that. In my opinion, “How Is The Top Party Schools Chosen?” was one of their strongest posts because WVU is a party school and it was interesting to really break down the reasoning as to why we gained that title. It not just because we drink all the time, believe it or not, many other factors go into deciding the number one party school. It also talked about college festivals, Uber, graduation celebrations, basically all things college. One of their weakest post was “WVU Student Damages” I felt as if they could have went into greater detail about the damages and couch burning incidents that have taken place on our campus. Overall, I really enjoyed this blog and became aware of a lot of things I did not know before.
    The next blog post I focused on was “Mountaineer Munchies”. The blog name is what caught my attention. I am a food lover and always looking for new and delicious places to dine in Morgantown. This blog talked about tailgate fan food favorites, our famous pepperoni rolls, late night food for students, and new and up and coming restaurants to try! Their strongest post was “Football Feasts”. It had great visuals and connections for mountaineer fans to get excited about. It included tweets from former and current wvu students talking about their food and drink experience at football games. It showed how incredible are school spirit is from a food perspective.
    The second blog I enjoyed was “Graduation Preparation”. Considering I am graduating this semester, I was emotionally invested in this blog. It talked about giving freshman advice, who graduating is not the end of the world, transitioning into your career, and graduation blues. I enjoyed all of the posts, but the strongest one was “Freshman Advice”. I really enjoyed this post because It was entertaining and humorous to read the advice from wvu seniors. I wish someone would have given me the same advice when I was a freshman! The weakest post is probably the fast track for nursing success because it doesn’t apply to everyone.

  6. First I read the “Morgantown Problems” blog, about how residents in the Morgantown area can solve their day-to-day problems. I thought the idea of the blog was pretty focused, there was a wide span of subjects but it still worked for what they were going for. I thought the strongest posts were the ones that were more WVU focused. Like the Gordon Gee piece, the Diverse Look piece, the parking problem piece, the tobacco piece, etc. The weaker posts were the ones that seemed to be about less important issues, like the street hot dog salesman one. This post was a lot shorter compared to the others with less information. The only thing I would’ve done differently is made it more student-based, I feel like that’s a good target audience, especially students coming from out of state who don’t know the area. I’ll consider using students as my target audience with my group blog.

    Next I read the “Morgantown Man Cave” blog. I thought it maybe could’ve been a little more focused, I get that it’s main idea is basically dude culture, but there’s a lot of different subjects talked about over the course of the blog. I thought the posts about intramurals and music were strong, they did a good job of reaching out to students and really enlightening and possibly directing them toward something they’d like. That seemed like the goal and I think this blog achieved that. I thought the weaker posts were the “tips” focused ones, like the partying advice post. I just feel like it’s an overdone subject and I cringe a little bit when I see blogs like that, it feels like I’m getting lectured reading it. I think I’ll probably try to avoid tip-focused posts with my group blog.

    The last blog I read was the one titled “Wild and Weird”. Probably my favorite of the ones I looked at, I thought it was the most interesting. It did a good job of staying focused and true to the main idea. I also liked how the website was laid out, the theme was good looking and easy to navigate. The posts that I thought were the strongest were the ones that had a scary element to them. The mysterious stories are the posts that peaked my interest the most, like the vacant floor post and the ghost solving her own murder post. These ones seem to fit the focus and work the best in my opinion, I just feel like the more weird, brutal, frightening subjects attract the most attention. Most of them were pretty interesting and scary, but the posts I thought were a little weak were the ones like the “no justice in the eyes of his peers” case. Compared to the others this post had a sadder tone rather than a frightening one, not that that’s a bad thing, I just feel like the other blog posts worked better with the main focus. I may try to stay away from writing sad posts in my group blog, because I know I don’t like reading about depressing stuff, so I’m sure some others probably don’t either. Unless the blogs main idea involves a somber subject matter, I just feel like it’s better to stay away from that type of post.

  7. I chose to read the Morgantown Problems (2013) blog and overall, I can say that I enjoyed the blog and all that it contained. Being a WVU student made it easy for me to connect with what was going on in the blog as well as understand the content the blog displays. As mentioned in the blog, the Panera Bread posting stunned me quite a bit. I first thought about how crazy it is that the Panera Bread on High Street was once brand new to all WVU students. The different takes on why or why not students thought a Panera Bread should be there were all valid arguments. The focus throughout this blog is quite clear because all the points brought up are about the problems of Morgantown and how they affect the community. Some of the strongest posts that stuck out to me were the Starbucks post, Panera, homeless people, and DUI’s. There was plenty of background information as well as research to back up these posts and I enjoyed reading each one of them. I understand that these blogs are older, but I would have structured the blog differently and made it more visually appealing.

    The first group blog that I picked to analyze was “Graduation Preparation.” This blog stuck out to me because initially, I was going to base my entire blog on college and the different aspects. I thought that the headlines were helpful in letting the reader know what exactly to expect. The different topics that were discussed were resourceful, informative, and playful. The posts were not too boring and kept the reader interested without dragging on. They were a great length and the humor in the posts helped get me through the material. I thought that the blog could’ve been organized better as a whole and consistency with images could have helped improve this blog.

    Lastly, the second group blog I chose to analyze was A “J” In the Life. This title stood out at me and I immediately gravitated to it. I thought all the information was very informative and I connected to it because I am a journalism student. The strongest post I thought was “Making Connections As a Student Journalist Will Be Vital in the Future.” It was full of useful information for my classes and kept me interested. The graphics were a bit poor, but that can be fixed easily. I would have worked more with visuals to make the post more appealing!

  8. Cody Nespor says:

    I read Transpo in the Mo from the first group and the first thing that stuck out to me was the headlines. All the headlines were clever and catching and I imagine they played a part in the blog’s popularity. Just from the start, I imagine having catchy headlines is a great way to increase traffic on your blog. Especially when the topic of the blog isn’t something overly exciting, like traffic. Exciting headlines can pull people into a read a story that they might otherwise skip over because it otherwise sounds boring. The other thing that stuck out to me was that all the stories on the blog seemed to have good relevance to their audience. Most of the stories had a fairly clear connection to something that was happening at WVU at the time and would again help to get people to read it when the stories are about current events. My favorite articles were Beechurst Blues, because of how in-depth they were able to go into a fairly simple problem and The Transpo Backyard Brawl because I think it was just a really good idea for a story and it ended up being really good and fun to read. The one thing I think they should have changed is including more polls into stories. I thought the polls they did do added a nice layer of depth to each story and I think they could have utilized that a bit more. I think the big takeaways from this blog are to play to your audience. The catchy headlines, relatable topics and overall funs stories were probably why this was one of the more popular blogs. I also think I learned that sometimes you can do a story that is just a fun idea, they don’t all have to be hard-hitting news.

    From the second group, I looked at Humans of Morgantown. Right off the bat, I don’t think this blog has enough variance in the types of posts they did. Basically, all the posts follow the same pattern and are fairly similar to one another. That makes going back and read a few in a row really kind of boring and uninteresting. I think the best post is the one about Nick Sordillo, but that just might be because he was pretty interesting. They got really good quotes from him and incorporated other media pretty well. The worst one might be Adell Crow, because it’s pretty short and there’s nothing really going on in the post, just one picture of Adell. From this blog, I think I learned the importance of doing different types of articles to keep the blog feeling fresh for readers.

    I also looked at Business of Morgantown. I was again drawn to the headlines right away, but this time I think they were pretty bad. They were all fairly vague and not really interesting. Just from the headlines, I could never really tell what each post was going to be about, so I think that might lead to people not wanting to click on the posts to read them. They did use a lot of pictures, which I think is good for a blog like this, and they used a lot of maps to show where the businesses they were talking about are, which I think was a really good idea. Anything that can add context to a post I think is a good idea and the pictures and maps did a good job of that. The Election Day Specials post was my favorite and the Craft Beer in a Small Market one was my least favorite. The election day post was interesting and relevant to the time it was posted and overall seemed like a good idea. The craft beer one was a little uninteresting and I didn’t really see the point in it. I think this blog just strengthened my feelings about having good headlines and adding media to add context to posts.

  9. Patrick Downey says:

    The first blog I chose to read was called “Morgantown Night Life”. From the title I assumed that the blog was going to be about downtown Morgantown and drinking, which it pretty much is. All of the posts are centered around going out in Morgantown in one way or another. Some more relevant to nightlife than others. For the most part, I enjoyed reading the articles. I personally find it interesting to read what people have to say about the whole party school stigma that WVU receives and this blog is basically all about that. Some of my favorite articles included the one about how schools are ranked in regard to best party school. The post went in depth on all the factors that play a role in the ranking process. I also really liked the post about being 21 years old in Morgantown. I thought it was funny to read about what using a real ID vs a fake ID entails in Morgantown. A post that I found weak was the one about Uber. I didn’t really find it interesting and didn’t think that it was relevant to the main point of the blog. Sure, Ubering is a big part of going out but I still didn’t think it was as strong or relevant to the other posts. I really like this blog but if I were to do one thing differently it would be to make sure that every post is about Morgantown Night Life in some way. I feel like most readers will be expecting all the stories to be relevant and some of the stories such as the one about music festivals, 4/20, and Uber should be more in context. In regards to my own group blog I will be stressing the importance of relevancy.

    The second blog I read was “A Gentleman’s Guide to Morgantown” which is pretty much just a blog that focuses on all things WVU related, so it’s kind of vague. When I clicked on this blog I assumed that most of the topics will be directed at men, based on the title, but pretty much all of the posts are related to females as well. I did enjoy a lot of the stories. I really liked the post that was about the kinds of beer that students drink and there were some pretty interesting statistics. I found the article about how over-crowded the mountainlair is to be especially interesting. This blog was written in 2015 and the mountainlair is still very crowded, which is pretty funny to me. The article about the graduation rate was also interesting because the writer talks about how the a lot of his friends ended up dropping out or transferring which I also have noticed with my own friends. One post that I thought was weak was the one about E. Moore hall and how it is haunted. I thought that it dragged on for awhile and lacked the same level of interest that the other posts have. If I were to do one thing different about this blog I would have included more pictures, videos, and tweets. It may be because this blog is a bit old but I feel like it could have been a little more visually appealing. I will make sure that my group blog is filled with pictures and videos and will be as interactive as possible.

    The third blog I chose to read was “Morgantown Man Cave”. I picked this one mostly because I wanted to see how it compared to “A Gentleman’s Guide to Morgantown” and it is pretty similar. I think that “Morgantown Man Cave” appeals more to guys then the gentleman’s guide but girls would definitely still be interested in a lot of the articles. One of my favorite articles was 6 tips on partying in Morgantown. It was interesting to see what the author had to say about having a good time, while still being safe, which he did a good job with. I also the article about WVU’s manliest classes which is probably the most relevant post based on the concept of this blog, and it was interesting to read. I also like the very descriptive article about WVU’s new ticketing system. It was also interesting to read about this because it was written in 2013 and the system is still pretty much the same. If I had to change one thing about this blog I would have made it a little bit easier to navigate. I don’t like how you have to click on the article to read it, I think it’s easier to just be able to scroll down the page. I will keep in mind the theme and style of my blog when I am creating mine.

  10. dmconwell says:

    The first blog I read was the “Morgantown nightlife.” This blog was about how schools are ranked among the top party schools. There was a clear focus on how different websites put schools into these categories. There strongest points were the links they attached to each part of the blog. This allowed the reader to read in-depth in the article. The only weakness I saw was the ending of the blog. I don’t think the ending was strong. The only thing I would change is the middle of the blog got a little bland. There needed to be some media or something to make it better. I also liked their post about fall fest. I thought adding an interview in there made it better because you got a students point of view. One of their weaker blogs was the WVU student damages I thought they could’ve added more to make it better.

    The second blog I read was Mountaineer Munchies. This post was about the different foods in Morgantown. My favorite posts were the hot dog and football tailgates. I thought they had really good content and were written well. I thought their weakest post was what is morgantown missing because many people don’t know what cookout is, so why would they read the article. The survey that was conducted didn’t survey enough people.

    The third blog I read was a Gentleman’s guide to morgantown. I thought this was a cool blog. One of my favorite posts was A drinking town that might have a drinking problem. I liked how they had media content and stats to back up what they were saying. My least favorite was graduation what next. All they did was write a blog post with no content in it, so it was boring to me.
    When writing group blogs I think it’s important to have organization and good content so people are interested and want to read your blogs.

  11. I chose to read “Morgantown Nightlife” this blog intrigued my attention because Morgantown nightlife is something I do participate in. After reading the post “How is the top party schools chosen?” I have a full understanding on how this decision is made. I believe this is a very good post because it is very organized, almost like a bulleted list but not. The length is perfect, long enough so the reader is able to understand the way these top 10, top 20 and top 50 party schools are chosen but not to long to where I got bored. I also found this post very informative. I was under the impression the top party schools were chosen strictly on drinking and out right raging and maybe making it on the news (spruce snow day). Now I know there are many other factors that come into play like, the acceptance rate, admission, and majors. After reading this post I have a much better understating on how schools are chosen to be “party schools”. I believe this was the strongest post.
    The second blog I picked was “A gentleman’s Guide to Morgantown” even though I am a female I was interested to read this because sometimes I wonder what goes through guys head here and at this age. The post I liked the most was “overcrowding in the Mountainlair. Is it only going to get worse?” this grabbed my attention because this post was written in 2015 and im certain the crowding only got worse. I also liked in this post how it was tied back to the student rec and he also shared his opinion on how to fix these issues. adding in quotes from students who have had issues with the overcrowding was also very relatable and made me want to read more.
    Finally, I read Morgantown matters and the post I liked the most was “WVU sells alcohol on “Dry Campus?” Ive always wondered if it was allowed, I love the part of the post where she talks about how the students not taking the university seriously because they do provide the option of buying alcohol. I have to agree with that but with the students she interviews they enjoy having a drink and working on homework. I also like at the end there was an option to tweet your own opinion or thoughts about this post. Moving forward with my blog I have more of an understanding and want to draw the reader in the way these posts did to me.

  12. adamjpayne says:

    The first blog I read was “Morgantown Problems” and immediately I was impressed by how many readers were responding to each blog posts. Dozens of students were either agreeing or arguing about almost every post and that’s notable in and of itself because it showed right from the start: who is there audience (Morgantown students) and do they care (clearly, yes). The posts fluctuated between news/informational/interview-based, snarky opinion-based writing, and serious flushed out issues all to do with problems in Morgantown. The strongest posts and a big asset to the blog was the posts that had similar themes but expanded them in new ways such as homelessness, new building plans, and diversity at WVU.

    The others I chose were Morgantown Diversity with its focus on promoting diversity and giving edgy commentary on inappropriate behavior (my personal fave Cinco de No No), and A Gentlemen’s Guide to Morgantown with blend of bro-ing out and real Morgantown issues and happenings. The strongest, or at least most unique I read came from Morgantown Diversity with “What It’s Really Like To Date An International Student” because it took what could have been a simple interview and made it into a heart-breaking and compelling story that instantly made me attached to their story.

    And, I would have to say the weakest is from A Gentlemen’s Guide’s “Morgantown: A Drinking Town that might have a Drinking Problem” simply because they took a great headline and an astounding statistic: “According to CBSSports.com, Morgantown consumes 1% of Anheuser-Busch’s (AB) alcohol sales,” but went in the wrong direction. Rather than focusing on the drinking problem that the reader was promised, they did a report on what types of alcohol students buy and from where. While I think this was still interesting, it definitely could have just been used as a stepping stone for the bigger issue, which when making my group blog, is something I definitely want to keep in mind.

    Another thing I want to consider for my group blog is more opinion-based/edgy writing such as the Panera bread Morgantown problems because it has been something I have been hesitant to try thus far, yet I see that it clearly makes a mark on the community.

  13. shananelson says:

    Morgantown Problems is focused on problems that arise in Morgantown. Whether it is the fact that they urge people to shop locally, bring up discrepancies about the university’s president, or start a comment war about Panera Bread, this blog keys in on all of the things they deem “wrong” with Morgantown. In terms of their strongest post, I really enjoyed “The Daily Athenaeum’s List of Influential People is All-White and All-Male.” It correlates with topics that I write about on my own blog, and really, it’s always refreshing to see people get called out for white-washing and sexism. In terms of their weakest post, it’s going to have to be what seems to be their most popular, “Five Reasons Why You Should Hate the New Panera on High Street.” While they did make some good points, I just personally couldn’t find myself getting behind their argument. If this were my post, what I would’ve done differently was shift the argument and maybe focused on the problem being the fact that they got rid of desperately needed on-campus parking space to put in a restaurant. To me, it was mostly a complaint about chain restaurants. And yeah, capitalism sucks and all that jazz, but calling students “terribly misinformed” just for enjoying an $8 meal doesn’t work, and I’m assuming that’s why the post received so much backlash. In terms of this influencing my own group blog plans, it’s definitely showed me to come at future posts with a constructive voice, and to be careful, tactical, and eloquent when it comes to my arguments.

    Humans of Morgantown is a blog that does exactly what it says it does; it highlight the humans of Morgantown. Their clear focus seems to be about highlighting various people from many different backgrounds and occupations, showing the diversity that we have here. Considering my own blog is about diversity, it was nice to see other diverse individuals getting recognized for all of the positive things that they bring to the community. One of their strongest posts was focusing on the infamous WVU “onesie guy,” Nick Sordillo. In terms of weak posts, if I had to pick one for this blog, it would probably be the spotlight story for Ross Weidman. He seems to be a very interesting person, but the post in and of itself really wasn’t. The writing was great, but the only picture included was one of Nick, and if it were me, I would’ve added many more. Considering the post itself was about engineering, there are all sorts of neat visuals that could have been incorporated. It may have been an issue of not having enough time to do so, but it would’ve been really cool to include a video of Nick working on some sort of a project. When it comes to future plans for my group blog, Humans of Morgantown has shown me how to write a really neat profile post, and reminded me that people have personal stories that are just as interesting and important to read about as posts that cover actual events.

    Morgantown Notes is a blog about music in the mountain state, with a clear focus being on the local music scene in Morgantown. This blog was my personal favorite in the pool of ones I looked through, and their strongest post is titled “There’s No Place Like Home.” It’s filled with videos and pictures (even a photo of local rapper, Unkl Dadi, with MGK, which was just super neat). They even incorporated a Google maps widget in that post, which was something I didn’t even know you could do.When it comes to their weakest post, Morgantown Notes falls into the same trap as Humans of Morgantown. In their post titled “DIYM, Morgantown,” not a single photograph is included and there are only five actual in-text links. In this situation, I would do the same thing as I mentioned previously– add more pictures and links. Again, I feel like this is a missed opportunity due to the fact that this post was highlighting a music duo, and what would be better to include in that post than a music video or performance? For my group blog, “Morgantown Notes” has reminded me that links, videos, and pictures are aids in a post that are just as important as the words themselves. While the vast majority of their posts were strong, finding a lone post without any visual content was a glaring reminder of just how important it is to include these elements, and how bare a post with none of these things looks in comparison to a post with a lot of visual content. Furthermore, this blog has influenced me to look for relevant people within my community in order to add more flavor and content to a post. While Humans of Morgantown does profiles, Morgantown Notes adds the voices of the community into whatever topic they are writing about. For example, rather than just giving a review or coverage to a group, they actually interview the group and get their personal take on things. I think this is an awesome way to add authenticity to what you’re covering, and contacting people and interviewing them for posts is something that I would like to take to my group blog.

  14. deanmarrazzo says:

    I chose to read “Morgantown Night Life” as my first blog. This blog is focused on the social aspects of WVU and how students can/ do interact in their free time. I found this blog to be well organized and very topic focused. The language used in a few of the individual blogs is very friendly, personable and conversational. This strategy worked well for these pieces because of their context. I found the “Turning 21 in Morgantown: Is It Really the Best Thing Ever?” to be very well done. It broke down how to spot the subtle indications different locations use to display their age restrictions and the pros/cons of using a real ID opposed to a fake one. I would say the one aspect of this blog I would change is its focus on Morgantown, not just college life in general. It seemed that some of the posts were a bit broad/universal. Such as “Is The Nation’s Largest College Festival the Safest?” This blog wasn’t exactly about WVU and seemed to be stretching the college topic.

    The second blog I read was “A Gentleman’s Guide to Morgantown.” I chose to read this one because of the title. I was curious to see what exactly could be written on this topic. I found the Blog to be well written and the topics to be related to Morgantown/wvu. Although the topics were all WVU and Morgantown related I struggled to find this a guide for gentlemen. It seemed to be a bit scattered at times with its focus and I felt as though this blog could have been more hard hitting regarding some of the situations young men may find themselves in at college.

    The final blog I looked at was “Mountaineer Munchies.” This blog is focused on the variety of dining options Morgantown has. They covered sit down dining, late night snacks and tailgating cuisine. The blog post titled “Morgantown Late Night” was my favorite on here. It covered where you can find good food after going out or studying into the night. I found the writing to be well done and focused and the screenshots were a great use of space. In my opinion the weakest post in this blog is “What exactly is a fishbowl?” This post just felt as if it were a history lesson on the restaurant and its infamous dish. Although it is interesting; maybe a comparison of the fishbowl to a similar item he has had elsewhere could have added to it.

  15. From the first categories of blogs, I looked at Morgantown Nightlife and thoroughly enjoyed it. Not only was it super relatable, the blog had a very clear theme that was easily identifiable in all of the posts and all pf the authors voices. The post I really liked was about Unroll.me because not only do I use that service, I had no idea it sold my information, so I will not be using it anymore. Huge thanks to this blog for that, One post that I felt was somewhat weak was Grad Celebration, mainly because it was really short and I don’t think the idea was fully formed in the blog. The author definitely could’ve taken it farther.

    In the second categories of blog, I picked Humans of Morgantown, because it was obviously a play on the popular Humans of New York. I immediately loved the layout and design of the site. Each post was so thoughtfully written out and was accompanied with such a nice picture. I really would have liked if they’d done more or a slightly more diverse crowd, though. The other blog I looked at was Morgantown Notes. It was really interesting to read about the music that’s native to Appalachia, especially as someone that’s not from here originally. I really liked the post There’s No Place Like Home because it included a lot of great media that really helped illustrate the story. A post that I thought was a little to short and didn’t have much detail was about what a music degree from WVU will get you.

  16. sadiejanes says:

    Morgantown Problems:

    I liked the “Morgantown Problems” blog, but I was a little confused about its focus. The tag is “A Blog About Hometown Problems and the People Who Solve Them,” but then their most recent post is basically just an ad for The Cupcakerie. There isn’t really a problem identified, and for that reason I would have to rate it as their weakest post. It doesn’t fit the focus of the blog overall. I thought their post about the High Street Hot Dog Vendor, entitled “Tonight, The High Street Hot Dog Man Could Be Forced to Move,” was their best. I think the headline is a little long, but it’s surprising and I think it would make people click – especially students familiar with the High Street Hot Dog Man. The tone of this piece was great, too. The phrasing in sentences “You’ve probably heard about this” and “Yeah, your concerns have fallen on deaf ears” is conversational, which I think makes blogs more appealing. I think a conversational tone in a blog helps you form a connection with your readers. I liked “The Daily Athenaeum’s List Of Influential People Is All-White And All-Male” for the most part. There’s a bit at the end that I think hinders the story as a whole. The author starts talking about how the post was probably written late at night – evidenced by the fact that there was a typo, I guess – but I’m not sure where they’re going with that point. The second-to-last paragraph in general sort of distracts from the overall narrative in my opinion. There was a way that the author could’ve presented the DA’s side of things, but I don’t think that was done effectively here. Overall, what I’ve learned with this blog is to make it clear how my post relates to my focus, keep it conversational, and try to make sure my stories make narrative sense and my arguments are clear.

    Wild and Weird:

    The tagline for “Wild and Weird” is just “All of the weird and wild stories about the great state of West Virginia.” The About page says the focus here is on things like mysteries, folklore, and ghost encounters. I think this is a compelling topic for a blog – there are plenty of people on the Internet looking to be creeped out. My favorite thing about this blog overall are the headlines – they’re all pretty long but I would definitely click them. I think the weakest story is “A Vacant Floor of WVU Resident Hall Is Shrouded in Mystery: What the Wild Stories Say About Rumors on College Campuses.” The rumor in question is just about a floor that you cannot access in Brooks Hall – which is revealed pretty early on is just due to renovations – but the story sort of spins off into rumors on other campuses about things like sex trafficking. The overall argument is just sort of confusing. Rumors about sex trafficking are really serious, so I don’t think linking that to ghost stories makes much sense. It felt like the story took a sharp turn after talking about the Brooks Hall rumors into really different territory. I think one of the strongest posts here is “How A Ghost May Have Come Back To Solve Her Own Murder.” Again, it keeps that conversational tone. Also, both the headline and the Lede pull you in. Ultimately, what I took from this blog is that headlines should try to be eye-catching when possible and you need to make sure the topics you’re discussing are relevant to both the story you’re writing and your blog as a whole.

    Morgantown Diversity

    “Morgantown Diversity” is exactly what it sounds like: it focuses on diverse communities in Morgantown. However, and I’m not sure if it’s relevant, all of the stories aren’t directly relevant to Morgantown. I think one of the weaker blog posts is the write-up on the podcast: “How the N-Word and It’s Usage.” The headline itself is confusing, and then the author starts most sentences with “I”. Just based on this write-up, it doesn’t seem like he’s reporting on the conversation. Like we’ve talked about in class, your opinion will come through, but you don’t have to explicitly state it. One of the best is “Heineken’s New Ad Hailed as the ‘Antidote’ to the Pepsi Commercial.” This is a great example of how the author’s voice and position on the issue absolutely come through, but it’s not the focus. The tone here is also fantastic. It’s conversational and it’s funny – it makes you want to read more from that person. I’ve learned from this blog to stay away from explicitly stating my opinion and try to let it come through on its own. Also, it’s good to be funny and conversational in a blog post (if you can based on the topic at hand.)

  17. lyndseymoran says:

    The group blogs I read were “Morgantown Nightlife”, “Bleeding Blue and Gold”, and “Wild and Weird”. “Morgantown Nightlife” was a blog that its primary focus was to discuss the party culture that surrounds WVU. Prior to being a student at WVU, I was aware of the stigma that appears to be tied with the university. So, the name of the blog was pretty eye catching. I like that the blog stood out in terms of its topic because of the prevalent party culture. However, the posts of the blog merely scratched the surface of the topic. I expected the blog to have “edgy” or “hot topic” posts, but it was pretty tame. An area that could have been explored would be the university’s responses to the negative PR that ultimately comes from the stigma or certain events.

    I skimmed the blog “Bleeding Blue and Gold” and the focus of the blog was to discuss the art and entertainment side to WVU. In my opinion, this is an area of the university that often goes overlooked in some aspects. The premise of the blog immediately caught my attention and the variety of posts allows the reader to find a post that they are interested in. The only problem I found with the blog was that I didn’t understand the topic of the blog until I read the about page.

    “Wild and Weird” has such a clickable and interesting title that I couldn’t resist exploring the blog. The topic of the blog is to explore the folklore and ghostly encounters that impact the mountain state. The topic is very unique and creative. The only issue I could foresee with the topic is creating posts that could incorporate timely events.

    For my group blog, I would like to find a balance between timely, edgy, and relevant topics.

  18. briannaherscher says:

    The first blog I chose to read was “Morgantown Nightlife.” I first liked the overall design of the blog and how highstreet was the header for the page, as that is where most of the Morgantown Nightlife resides as I feel this easily identified the focus of the blog. I also liked how the authors of the blog were displayed on the side of the page. After scrolling some I also noticed that the general length of most of the posts were short but interesting to read as I personally enjoy shorter posts due to my attention span. The first post titled “How is the top party schools chosen, find out here” caught my eye first because of the awkward sounding headline. I found the overall post informative as it did interest me but I do feel like it could’ve talked more about WVU’s rating as well as how we achieved that rating.

    The second blog I looked at was “Morgantown Diversity” as this blog is pretty closely related to my blog for the class now. The overall focus of the blog was immediately recognizable as it was in the blog titile. I didn’t like the overall look of the blog however the headlines seemed well thought out and interesting! The one that really caught my eye was “What its really like to date an International student.” The overall format of how the entire post was a conversation was just really cool to read and I found myself wanting more. I also love the idea of how they went out and found such an interesting relationship to bring to light. They did a great job with the overall content of the posts which made up for the lack of an interesting blog appearance.

    The last blog I chose to look at was “The New ‘Motown’.” After scrolling through a few posts the clear blog theme was definitely the music scene in Morgantown. I thought the overall appearance was simple but it worked because of the graphics incorporated into the posts. The post that stuck out to me was titled “Freak Show Sanctuary” and the format along with the headline drew me in. As the post continued with information an interview with quotes was following along in a different font and color that really looked professional. Although I myself have never heard of 123 Pleasant Street, I kept reading because they typed it in a way that made me interested. I really like interview style posts as I feel it adds a supporting voice other than your own.

  19. The first blog I chose to read was the Morgantown NightLife. I enjoyed how this blog was portrayed to every person, no matter who they are or where they come from. The first post that comes up on this blog page was the post about top party schools. I thought this post was interesting, but it really goes into detail about how these schools are ranked. Personally, I always believed that any college is going to have parties, it’s just different types for each school. Another post I enjoyed in this blog was the graduation one. I think it was neat how they got different quotes from people about their plans after the ceremony. It was cool to see that not everyone plans to go out after graduation. Overall, I think this blog reaches a very diverse audience. I believe they did a great job at touching the life relating to students, making it more interesting to read. I think this blog is a good example at how to reach a well diverse audience and to grab our peers attention to read out blogs.
    Another blog I looked at was the Morgantown Matters blog. I think this group’s idea was really cool. They wanted to reach topics that matter to students, and to the community. I think this blog overall has good headlines that really draw the reader in. You can tell what the article is going to be about with the headlines, but it makes you still want to keep reading. The first article really grabbed my attention because I personally didn’t know that WVU tries to claim that they are a dry campus. I also like how this blog gets interviews from the subjects of each post. The post about the Syrian family coming to morgantown mainly got my attention because of the headline. It made me curious to know their story. I think this post does a good job at it too.
    The last blog I looked into was Old and New in the Gold and Blue. I think the idea of this blog was a good idea. It is always interesting to see problems that are still being talked about and ones that have gotten fixed. However, my main thing about this blog is that some topics I really just don’t care about. Another thing, is that from the first few posts, it seems confusing because the reader looks at it and thinks it’s a health blog. Also, the headlines for the articles probably could have used a little more work. I don’t think that they were very eye catching. The title of the blog is catchy, but probably could have been worded differently to relate more to all the posts.

  20. […] determine group assignments, which we’ll finalize in class. Use the group blogs you reviewed in this week’s read & respond to identify ideas you think will work (and those you think NEED […]

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