Read & Respond week 14 – Our Work

For this week, we’re going to take a look at our own work. I’d like you to read through the first two weeks of posts by one of the other groups. Assignments are as follows:

For your responses, which you’ll post as a comment to this post as usual, I want you to identify the following:

  • How well does the group live up to its About page?
  • Which posts were the strongest (and why are they strong)
  • Which posts were the weakest (and how might they be improved)
  • Overall take on the blog and how it displays the group’s online journalism skills
  • What you’d suggest (general ideas; specific posts) for the rest of the semester

Post your responses by 11:59 p.m. Monday, April 15.

15 Responses to Read & Respond week 14 – Our Work

  1. First, I would like to lead off that My Reputation is probably my favorite group blog. I believe the group does an amazing job of highlighting the stereotypes of students at WVU and focuses on very recent events. In their about page they mention not only talking about WVU but the state as well. Many of their post are only WVU centered though, but they all do a good job of highlighting those reputations. I believe their strongest post is about the comment section on WVU students. I may be biased because I talked about that situation for a while after it happened so I was very intrigued on the subject. But the support with the screen shots of the comments really added depth and starting off with the negative comments then turning to the positive ones made for a good setup. The post about the ethnic diversity at the University has great charts and quotes to go with it, but believe some more text would make for an even better story! The blog is very up to date with current events and why now is the biggest question in journalism. For this rest of the semester I would recommend continuing to keep up with current events. Also a lot of students stay in Morgantown over the summer, maybe a post could be about why! All in all you guys are doing great!

  2. Holly Fry says:

    The Morgantown Bender blog has been really enjoyable to check every day. I think the about page defines that they’re mostly going to write about the bar scene, but also goes into more nightlife aspects. Their posts do use this as a starting point and really goes on to explain how these all connect to nightlife. A couple posts seem to be more about just the party culture, which is very important to who WVU is as a school, but it could also go more into how we are more of a school than just a party 24/7.
    The campus carry post was really strong because it had plenty of links and was long enough so you could actually get into what the article was about. Another strong post was the pedestrian safety post because it had a lot of great statistics and information. This post also had multiple visual aspects which made scrolling through enjoyable.
    A weaker post was the what I wish I knew post because while it did link to nightlife, there wasn’t really a time peg, and was also just three tips for college. The advice was kind of cliché because you hear it all the time anyway. It also had one link and one video, so it was more of just a long comment on another blog if anything. Another weaker post was the drinking prices post, mainly because it had no links at all. It was a quick and easy read but it should have included the promotional tweets as well.
    A lot of the posts seem to be more in a list formation with few links and not many pictures. The posts are short which is good for a blog, but also a lot of the posts seem to be saying the same thing over and over, framed with new headlines.
    Incorporating links into the pieces seem to be a little bit of trouble because they need to be hyperlinked to significant words instead of just putting the link on a random word. Another suggestion would be breaking up the bigger pieces of text with visual aids, so the article seems longer if you’re struggling to come up with what to say.

  3. I think that The Morgantown Bender does a great job at covering a lot of highly-discussed issues on campus, such as Campus Carry and pedestrian safety. The one thing I would suggest to strengthen the topic would be to take out the line underneath the title, where it says, “A blog dedicated to all the highlights and lowlights of nightlife in Morgantown, WV”. I think you set out with the idea of focusing on nightlife, but now your stories are much broader and translate into many other areas of student life. I would try to come up with a new line that all of your articles can fall under.

    One post that stood out to me was the post on Uber safety from April 9. The story was extremely timely considering the recent death of a USC student from a man posing as an Uber. It listed the reasoning for the article right away, and it created a local story out of a national story. I felt that It was well-sourced. I also felt the timeliness of Hailey Spicer’s April 4th campus carry article really contributed to how it worked for me. Not only did she interview a WVU student on how they felt about the article, but she extended to include a quote from a national interview from Teen Vogue, which emphasizes the fact that the issue of gun control is widely out of hand.

    One article that might benefit from a little more depth was the article from April 3, “What I Wish I Knew”. I think the idea is good and has potential, but if the article is going to be majority-based on her own opinion and experience, I think it needed a little bit more length. I would like to see it in a different format from the list. Also, the video at the end is sort of disconnected from the article, so I would’ve chosen to include it somewhere between the text. I also wanted a little more from the April 10 article on underage drinking. I think the topic is a very good one to discuss, but the article did more of explaining the fact that there is underage drinking on campus (which is pretty well-known). I would’ve liked to see your take on this; what should the school stop doing or keep doing to control this?

    The group has done a really good job at pulling from timely news stories to source their articles, and I do enjoy the overall theme of the blog. I think reading national news is more interesting to begin with, so I think it’s really impactful that they’ve connected a lot of national sources to their posts. To continue, I would like to see clearer positions on topics, rather than just telling me that something is happening.

  4. I think this group does a great job of keeping their theme consistent throughout the blog and within their different posts. The focus on night life as well as the ongoing issues of WVU play right along with what they described on their about page. They have posted a plethora of topics revolving around the campus, Morgantown, and university issues.
    Some posts that I feel did well in the past two weeks were the “Fears of Campus Carry”, the one on pedestrian safety, and I feel like the Uber one could have been strong but just missed the line. The Campus Carry post seemed to be the only one with a productive amount of links to help readers understand the concept. This author incorporated quotes and and even a timely aspect with the recent suspect shooting. While the pedestrian safety one had no links they did add videos and tweets which I felt helped the piece. There were a lot of facts in this piece and information on some of the past incidences. The Uber article would have been better if it wasn’t just a re-reporting of what people knew. It had good information and tips and just needed I feel a larger connection to the people and students of Morgantown.
    Some of the weaker posts included the one titled “What I Wish I knew…” There is only one link and one video in the entire piece. It is very opinionated and less factual. At the start of this project, Professor Britten literally said this was not the type of posts he was looking for. I think some of the biggest downfalls of this blog is their lack of links and visuals. If a number of their posts just dug a little deeper, tried for a timely aspect, and added more links all their posts would instantly go up a rank.
    A lot of posts were quite short which isn’t a bad thing but some I feel could be lengthened to explain more and give their blog more authority on the subject. I do think their ideas are great for staying up to date on things happening around the world and around Morgantown. They have been pretty timely and connect to things happening in the news. I feel like there is a lot of potential for the Morgantown Bender blog and I do enjoy reading their posts each week.

  5. Cody Nespor says:

    I think the strongest feature of Arts in Appalachia is their variety of content. Basically none of the posts overlap one another and I think that’s a really good thing, especially for a blog about art where I think a lot fo the posts could start to run together. I think the strongest post I read was A Green New Art, and I also really liked Fallout From the Traditional Forms of Art in Appalachia. These to in particular did a really good job of exploring a specific topic and why I liked them the best was because they used a lot of visuals. With art being the focus of the blog, I would always prefer to see the art they talk about rather than read about it. I think the weakest post was A Blank Canvas on Recovery. I think it was very “here is a thing” as Dr. Britten would put it. There were also no visuals which, as I said, I think is really important for a blog about art. Overall, I think the group’s strongest posts are the ones that explore more of the culture around Appalachian art or talk about new developments in Appalachian art. I think the weakest ones read more like history lessons and aren’t especially interesting for someone not from the area like me.

  6. I think so far, the Arts in Appalachia blog has done a pretty good job at living up to it’s about page. They seem to have definitely found their focus. In my opinion, the stereotype focused posts were the strongest. Those were the ones that seemed like they had the biggest variety of content and links. I feel like the the weaker posts are the ones that are more general, the ones that are just loosely focused on art in general. I liked seeing and reading about the more specific topics.

    Overall though, I think the site is solid. They have a good main idea and agenda that they all collectively push for, I think they’re doing a good job. I like reading about specific artists, I’d like to see more of that. Maybe some bio posts or something like that? It’s always interesting to learn about an artist’s process and backstory.

  7. haileyspicer says:

    I love that the about page says, “Welcome to our green house.” I think the group definitely lives up to its about page. All of the posts showcase environmental issues happening in West Virginia, but also motivates and educates others to take the necessary steps to help save the environment! In my opinion, the strongest posts were Morgantown Ducks are not all in a row because I feel that a lot of students could really connect with that story. The other strong post I enjoyed was Saving Money While Saving The Earth, because people need to know that not only will going green help save our earth but it can also save you money. It was cool how Shyla tied the two together and it made the story more interesting! Overall I think this group blog is right on track and they are covering great stories for their topic!

  8. The Almost Heaven, Almost Green blog has been enjoyable for me to read throughout the last couple of weeks. I think the overall concept is super informative and educates readers about what they might not be aware of. The group definitely lives up to its About page and all that the blog will be discussing throughout the semester. The group does an excellent job at pitching stories about local and national environmental issues. The strongest posts were “Schools Strikes for Climate Change” and “Recycled Materials and Clothing: This Season’s Best Fashion Trend.” Both these posts provided significant graphics and information on the topics. It was visually appealing, exciting, and informative to the reader. The weakest post was “Flooding the Country Roads.” I thought the title was catchy and the information was interesting, but it lacked length and content. More information, in text links, and graphics could have benefited this post. It was difficult for me to pick the worst post because I thought the group did not really have one. I believe the group did a great job at explaining their topic and providing insightful information. For the rest of the semester, I suggest running more stories about local environmental issues because I think it makes the blog more appealing since it is run by students.

  9. I think My Reputation and it’s writers are doing a great job with the blog so far. All of the posts are really consistent to what appears on the About page, being super central to WVU, Morgantown and WV life. I especially like Sadie’s post, “Race and Relation” because it was so well written. The fact that she followed up on the story after it died out in everyone’s minds, and with comments from Greek Rank was awesome. I think they connect really well as a team and the blog as a whole is really strong. Another story that could be really interesting to cover is why is there such a huge disconnect between WVU students and the townies.

  10. dmconwell says:

    I think Almost, heaven, Almost green’s about page lives up to their reputation. They explain what their blog is about and why they are writing about certain issues. Some of the best blog post that stood out to me were the Ducks in a row and schools on strike for climate change. I thought these were very well written and timely subjects. I think each group member does a good job of providing timely subjects and do an even better job of keeping you engaged. Their page’s design represents their blog post well and overall I think they do a very good job.

  11. My reputation is definitely my favorite blog to read each week. The posts really live up to their About page. They do an excellent job covering WVU and Morgantown. The post that stood out to be the most was the Barstool one. It was well written and Cody use of videos really tied the whole post together. I don’t think this blog has had a weak post yet. this group works very well together and produces great content overall. They do an outstanding job of implying tweets/videos/graphs/etc to each post. They are definitely using everything we have been learning in this class to create content, and it works well for them.

  12. Sadie Janes says:

    I really enjoy reading Arts in Appalachia because the writing is strong and it consistently opens my eyes to what’s going on in the art scene in my home state. I think the group does a great job of living up to their About page, which is super detailed. They mention specifically the need to showcase life in Appalachia without feeding into stereotypes, and I think this theme is incredibly important in the Shelby Lee Adams story. That story, “Photography of Praise or Poverty” is one of their strongest in my opinion. Because it’s an arts-focused blog, I think there should be a definite balance between written and visual elements, and this story does that really well. I don’t really know much about the art scene in WV so I don’t know if I’m really qualified to suggest a post here. My hometown (Clarksburg, WV) just restored this beautiful old movie theater downtown even though our downtown has been a little of bit of a mess lately because of the opioid crisis. I went to see an old movie there at Christmastime and the place was sold out. Maybe a story about that restoration and how much it means to the community might be a good fit for your blog.

  13. My personal favorite blog is Almost Heaven, Almost Green. I enjoy this blog every week and im curious to what the members will come up with. The strongest and my favorite post is “A future for Straws” I personally think this is really good because its very timely. I see more paper straws everyday and bloggers and people I follow on instagram post very often about metal straws. It is something I took an interest in because I have already been hearing about it. I love the about page on this blog, the welcome to our green house is very cute and just makes you want to continue reading. I do think this blog lives up to their about page and they are posting exactly what they said they would. I truly did not see a weak post in this blog, it is very obvious they put a lot of work into each post. Overall this is a very good blog and they put a lot of good stories into this. For more ideas coming up I would suggest maybe doing like a environmentally friendly skin care products and just things of that nature.

  14. deanmarrazzo says:

    I think that the Morgantown Bender does a good job of living up to their about page. They set out to discuss nightlife in morgantown and do this often. I think it is nice how this isn’t the sole topic covered. I feel that would get a bit redundant. By writing posts about other topics such as “Does warmer weather mean more crime in Morgantown” and “Uber Safety” it mixes it up for the reader.
    One great post is the “Uber Safety” one. Due to the unfortunate events that had just taken place it had great timelines. Because so many college students are using uber in Morgantown it was very relatable and had important information.
    I think a post that could use a little work is “Drink Prices and Cover at bars effect where students go.” The idea of the post is really good and there is some really good stuff in here. But I feel like this could have been a good chance for some links to their sites or social media. Maybe see what people were saying on twitter.
    Overall this is a good blog to read. I think that all of the writers have a very different writing style and approach to each of their posts. This makes it very lively and different each time. One suggestion could be to use more hyperlinks. I think sometimes just having them there makes text look better.

  15. lyndseymoran says:

    I believe Arts in Appalachia is a strong group blog that certainly lives up to its about page! Just a small detail that I enjoyed on the about page is how they included the writers’ twitter handles. However, the group blog twitter account still states “coming soon” on the about page.
    I remember when I first heard of the group wanted to cover art in the Appalachian area, I was equally nervous and excited. As someone who is not educated or involved in the art community, I wondered how the group could generate 25 separate posts regarding the subject.
    However, the group was able to create a variety of post that showcases the amazing art around the Morgantown community and the state. They did a great job at differentiating their posts, so it did not feel monotonous; the posts were enjoyable and educational.

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