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 ExampleDead Frog is Todd Jackson’s blog about the comedy business.
  • Social Media ExampleJosh 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!

Add a blogroll (Links > Add New > Create a “Blogroll” category) and add your 10 blogs/accounts to it, and write a blog post linking and describing your members (10 pts for Assignment #3)

Part 3: Build on your community

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.

Write a synthesis post on an issue combining information from as many of your blogroll members as possible (10 pts for weekly personal blog post)

Due Dates

  • 4p Monday, Sept. 9: Add a blogroll (Links > Add New > Create a “Blogroll” category) and add your 10 blogs/accounts to it (5/10 pts for Assignment #3)
  • 4p Tuesday, Sept. 10: Write a short post linking each of your 10 influencers and explaining in about a sentence each why they are relevant to covering this community of interest. (5/10 pts for Assignment #3)
  • 4p Thursday, Sept. 12: Write a blog post synthesizing (and linking) ideas from several members of your blogroll. (10/10 points for Personal Post #4)


5 Responses to Assignment #3: Find Your Community

  1. emmyrinehart says:

    Do we post the part due Tuesday as a comment here?

  2. adisonammons says:

    10 blogroll explanations:
    This blog about prisons is relevant because it shows many different sides of prison life. Throughout the blog posts I viewed thus far it shows a reflection about 9/11 addresses current issues such as higher education in prisons. This blog also talks about reform and what needs to change in the prison system.
    Todd Busset addresses current topics that are timely. He addresses the first step act, different areas and their federal prisons. Most importantly he addresses the money side of things and where its all going. I like the way he links and how relevant his content is.
    This is relevant to my blog because it is the inside edition of prison life. This blog brings the personal aspect of life. It shows what prison life is like during the experience and what really happens behind bars to a certain extent.
    Brings to life the same aspect as the link above just in a different point of view. Having two different prison experiences I think will be useful to look back on.
    I used this blog as a reference because of content. The way my blog is set up is quite similar to this. The content always talks about relevant topics such as the post about the first step act and addresses trump and his decision to pass this. I can use what Shon is blogging about and be able to relate these topics to my blog.

    This is a podcast that is about people directly impacted by the prison system.

    This truly shows the hardships of prison and the lifestyle that they endure. I think this can be something that i use these blogs to relate to current topics that are going on within the country and relate them to prison life.

    This twitter account had links to women’s issues in prison as well as addressed social media use and higher education. All which are topics I want to address.

    A local reporter from the charleston Gazette. She reports on the courtroom and legal affairs which will be timely and relevant.

    This can be used to follow new prison facility being built and keeping tabs on people being released. I think this twitter will be useful because it addresses not only issues inside the prison but what happens to inmates after.

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