Dual-Purpose Blogs

First, the nuts and bolts of set up:

For this assignment, you can choose from the following interfaces: WordPress Midd Blogs, Tumblr, and Livejournal. However, if you choose to use Tumblr, you will need to install the comments function laid out in this how to post.

Do take a little time to explore each possible interface before choosing. The modes of interaction and skill sets demanded or encouraged by these interfaces are part of our subject of inquiry, and your experience of the interface you choose for your blog will give you added insight. Plus, the blog hosting site and interface you choose may depend on what type of blog you choose to keep (see below).

There are two parts to this ongoing assignment, hence the title Dual-Purpose Blogs. Well, actually, there are 2.5 parts to it… details on the final .5 below.

The first part is more straightforward, so we’ll start there.

Blog assignment, part 1: Every week, by noon on Wednesday, you will have due one reading/screening synthesis blog post. For this post, use the readings and screening as a starting point to explore the ideas or questions of most interest to you. These posts do need to draw on the ideas and representations in the reading and screening, but they don’t need to be comprehensive summations of every argument made. Use these weekly posts as an attempt to synthesize the readings and screenings with your own interests and questions.

Blog assignment, part 2: This part is on your own schedule; you just need to have made at least 1 post a week by Sunday at midnight. Essentially, your blog will have a split personality, and half of your posts are your chance to explore the processes of blogging as described by Jill Rettberg in our first week’s reading. Choose a mode of blog that you want to experiment with, and run with it. If your blog naturally shifts in mode over time, that’s fine. If you want to shift gears entirely for a blog reboot, send me an email with a heads up as to your intentions.

Do read the Rettberg chapter before deciding what type of blog you want, but in brief summary, the possibilities span the following range:

Personal Blogs: You can narrate your everyday experiences, in full or in part; this could be done via text, photo, music, or some combination thereof. You could also create a fictional personal blog written in another’s voice (be it a TV, film, or literary character of someone else’s creation or of your own imagining.)

Filter Blogs: Filter blogs primarily consist of links to and at times assessment of other blogs and conversations in the blogosphere and beyond. Your filter blog could be quite focused in its range or quite wide.

Topic Driven Blogs: Want to explore or represent an interest, hobby, or passion? If you’d like this part of your blog to directly relate to class content, you could choose to explore or follow a millennial media text (film or film series, TV show, etc.) on a consistent basis. But you could also try your hand at a music blog, cooking blog, craft blog, political blog, etc.

And of course these categories are not hard and fast. You may find that you have a topic-driven filter blog, or a personal blog that focuses on your engagement with a particular cultural phenomenon.

Unsure about how you might want to proceed with this part of the blogging assignment? Comment here or send me an email at louisas@middlebury.edu.

Blog Assignment, Part 2.5: Commenting. Each week, comment at least once on another student’s blogs. Links to everyone’s blogs will be available at the main page of the course blog. And then reply to any comments that you receive–your reply does not have to be all that involved (especially if you happen to get multiple comments on a given week), but it’s polite to respond and helps conversations grow. Any above and beyond blog comment interactions will contribute to your participation grade.

Once you’ve set up your blog, submit the link and a brief (1 or 2 sentence) summary of your initial plans for it at the Blog Start Up assignment page here.

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