blogging guidelines for all courses

[amended from Delia DeCourcy]

Blogging should be concerned with the regular examination of ideas in a substantive way and provide concise arguments that convey a unique view and voice. Make clear to readers that there is substantial thought behind the ideas presented. Reference specifics, including text, hyperlinks, video, images and audio, as means of support.

Find new ways of saying what you think you want to say. This may mean incorporating a collage of images with your text, plugging a Youtube video in the middle of a post and/or including a sound clip. Push yourself to explore the ways you can get at ideas through the use of different media. Images, sound clips and video snippets need explanation, too. Don't just stick them in a post and expect readers to understand why.

Your blog is a place to further explore the ideas we discuss in class, write about related concepts of interest and ask questions about those ideas and concepts. By semester's end, your blog should contain an extensive record of your intellectual expertise for the course.

Basics
  • Posts should include several paragraphs of text, but not exceed 600 words.
  • Comments on other students' blogs should be completed within 48 hours of the blog post.
  • When using images, sound and/or video, cite the source at the bottom of the post in the form of a hyperlink.
  • Always include an interesting entry title
  • Use paragraphs, correct grammar and check spelling. Proofreading couldn't hurt either.
  • Comments on other students' blogs should be thoughtful and substantive. In terms of length, think short paragraphs (or long paragraphs, if inspired), not just a sentence or two. This is a conversation. Please engage fully. Ask questions, disagree with respect, bring up new ideas, point to other examples that support the blogger's point.
Content
  • Relevant to course material.
  • Prioritize depth over breadth (focus on one idea rather than six).
  • Pursue ideas beyond the scope of class discussion and readings that are specific to your interests. This should include relevant articles, websites, videos and podcasts discovered on your own.
  • Revisit prior ideas and reconsider them.
  • Experiment with different media.
On...
  • Structure: Get right to the point. There's no room (or need) for warming up. Write your post. Go back and read it. Cut anything out, especially at the beginning, that isn't directly related to the argument or central point you wish to make. Posts should be focused.
  • Credibility/Authority: Employ the use of examples to support claims and broaden exploration, sometimes in the form of images, hypertexts, weblinks, audio and video. Cite sources.
  • Voice/Tone: Reflect a consideration of the blogging audience (members of the class, instructor, etc.) by striking an appropriate and engaging tone. Have a consistent tone from post to post. Employ a unique voice that reflects your personality, evident in content, organization, diction and sentence structure.

Tragedy

One of the many tragedies of existence is that the only species that’s equipped by nature to have back-and-forth conversations between generations resists such conversations with all its might.

Obscurity

We haven’t seen it yet, but there’s going to be a generation that comes up where the new trend will be complete anonymity. It’ll be cool to have never posted anything online, never commented, never opened a webpage or a MySpace, never Twittered. I think everyone in the future is going to be allowed to be obscure for 15 minutes. You’ll have 15 minutes where no one is watching you, and then you’ll be shoved back onto your reality show. I think Andy Warhol got it wrong.