Intro to Blogging Post

As my last post indicated, this is the course blog for MSP 4541: Mobile Media, Spring 2014.

What is a Blog?

A blog (short for web log) is an easy-to-modify website that lets authors (you all and me) post short entries. Blogs also offer the ability for viewers or authors to comment on blog posts (a feature that we will be using extensively). On the blog, the most recent entries appear at the top of the screen. Check out this video by Common Craft for further explanation of what a blog is and why they matter.

Blogs can be private (only authors and invited others can read the blog) or public (anyone with the Internet can read them by going to the url). This course blog is PUBLIC, which means anyone can read our posts and follow any links that we embed.

Because this blog is PUBLIC it will remain online after this class is over. Don’t post any names, language, photos, or material that you don’t want current and future employers, partners, friends, professors, or co-workers to associate with you.

Following this blog:

In addition to your posts on course material, you are expected to read your classmates’ posts, so you should make sure to check it regularly. There are 2 easy ways to do this:

1. Save this blog to your “Favorites” or “Bookmarks” in your web browser. Then make sure to check the blog on a regular basis. The problem with this option is that you must remember to check it.

2. Subscribe to the blog’s RSS feed in an RSS reader of your choice. For a very short and thorough explanation of what an RSS feed is, check out this video by CommonCraft. Feedly my RSS reader, and if you don’t already have one, I recommend this one only because it is very easy to navigate.

What constitutes a good digital essay?

For this course you are posting two digital essays per semester on this course blog. These essays are more formal than many blog posts you are used to seeing.

These essays will be written in response to a prompt that I will post a week before the essay due date. Your essay should address all parts of the prompt and draw together material from our course readings, cultural productions/visual media, and class discussions.

While posted online, essays for this class should be written in a professional tone and include complete and syntactically correct sentences as well as academically-appropriate spelling, punctuation, and citations (in other words, the same things as if you were turning in these posts as papers in class).

In each essay, you will link to one online visual cultural production that you find on your own–this may be a YouTube video, a blog post from another blog, website, news story, photograph, etc. You should make sure to explain in your post what that visual cultural production is, who produced it (proper citations, remember?), and how it relates to the prompt and the rest of your post. In other words, integrate that visual cultural production into your post and analyze it, the same way you would cite and analyze a sentence from a scholarly article.

If you have any questions about using the course blog, just let me know. Happy blogging!


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