September 13, 2018
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 no Briggs chapter for this week; instead, you’ll take a leisurely read through what has come before. Read the following:
First, read one of these:
Morgantown Problems (2013) or Morgantown Nightlife (2017). These are two 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)
The Eclectic (2011)
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Morgantown (2011)
Graduation Preparation (2012)
A “J” in the Life (2012)
Mountaineers Connect (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)
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. Sunday, September 16.
September 6, 2018
This week is about all things Twitter, so Briggs’ chapter on microblogging fits nicely with a platform where you’re limited to
140 280 characters or less. You’re probably familiar with microblogging but may never have heard the term – many of you have been doing it for years (did you know?).
Twitter’s the most widely known venue for microblogging, so poke around in some of these how-to links:
Getting more into the realm of journalism and mass communication, consider these suggestions and warnings:
Finally – don’t skip this step! – you need to get ON Twitter. You’ve got four things to do:
- Create an account if you don’t have one (or want to use a different one for class), and make sure it is public (not hidden).
- Follow at least 10 people and tweet at least five times. Try using some hashtags (#) and tagging (@) some people.
- Follow me (@thebobthe) so I can follow you back.
- Tweet something useful to our class to our course hashtag #WVUblogJ
As always, post your response as a comment to this post (and finish your Twitter duties) by 11:59 p.m. Sunday, September 9.
August 30, 2018
This week, we’ll be talking about connections: The in-person links that create crowds and the digital ones that create, well, the Internet. Briggs talks specifically about “crowdsourcing;” the term “the wisdom of crowds” was popularized by James Surowiecki, but it’s been around for a while. Some take issue with the idea that crowds actually have any particular wisdom; a crowd, after all is just a thrown rock away from a mob. Here’s a little tune on the subject from Nova:
Moving on to links and linking, consider some ideas from these posts:
Since there’s no class on the Labor Day holiday, you have until 11:59 p.m. Monday, Sept. 3 to make your responses to this post. Keep it concise, relevant, and don’t forget to integrate Briggs!
August 16, 2018
First, an overview of how these will typically work. Just about every week has an assigned reading from the Mark Briggs textbook, Journalism Next. In addition, I’ll typically put up a post here (usually by Thursday afternoon) with some links to online readings. You are required to post a response to these readings no later than 11:59 p.m. on Sunday. You’ll post your response as a comment in reply to the Read & Respond blog post (like this one).
Your response MUST address the week’s Briggs chapter and should add some elements from the online readings. You don’t need to cite all the links, but you need to connect them (or other examples) to Briggs for full credit. Keep these short and to-the-point (they’re only worth 2.5 points), but do cover your bases.
Now on with this week’s assignment.
As the syllabus says, you’ll be reading Briggs’ introduction. As you work to develop your blog’s focus, Briggs offers some suggestions. Chief among them: “It’s not about you” (remember: “Nobody Cares”). What can you write about that gets beyond yourself and meaningfully adds to the ongoing conversation? See what examples you can draw from the links below to bolster your ideas.
The Case Against News We Can Choose – this is a classic piece by Ted Koppel that gets into those filter bubble and Daily Me issues we discussed
After that, pick a few blogs from this list. The content might not be your interest, but look at the structure: How do they use sources, and what kinds of sources do they use? How do they build their stories? How visible is the author’s opinion and voice? Are they single-authored or group blogs?
For your response, consider the questions above. I’d like you to identify some techniques from the blogs you’ve read and discuss how they could be applied to your first post. Be specific – even though may not have settled on a concept yet, write about some of the options you’re considering and suggest what you could do for a first post.
You will need to respond to these readings in a comment on this post no later than 11:59 p.m. Sunday, August 19. A few things to make sure of:
- You’ll ordinarily be posting from your WordPress account, but most of you don’t have one yet, so however you choose to post, make sure it’s clear to me who you are (so you can get credit).
- Specifically address the readings, but don’t just summarize – build on them!
April 20, 2017
Here it is: Your final read & respond! This one will be easy. You’ll be assessing your own work, based on the material you provided me. Based on the following examples, you’ll be voting (via this Google Forms ballot) on the following categories:
NOTE: If your name doesn’t have links, you need to provide them to me!
Group Blog Honors
Note: You can’t vote for your own group unless otherwise indicated!
The Groups (group-selected posts are linked):
1. Best Post on a Group Blog (can’t vote for your own post, but can vote for a post by your group)
2. Most Improved Group Blog
3. Best Group Blog Overall
Personal Blog Awards
Note: You can’t vote for yourself!
The Personal Blogs (best posts provided by you)
1. Best Post on an Individual Blog
2. Most Improved Personal Blog
3. Best Personal Blog Overall
Nominate another blogger for a “Most/Best ____” category (e.g., Best use of GIFs, Most Likely to Proofread Everyone’s Work)
Nominate yourself for something at which you think you excel (e.g., Best Interviewer of Homeless Persons) or perhaps are notorious for (e.g., Most Likely to Get Caught Texting)
The usual deadline applies, but you don’t have to respond as a comment. Instead, complete the ballot on Google Forms by 11:59 p.m. Monday, April 24 (note the extended deadline).