Blogging assignment

We’ve talked around blogging for the first couple of weeks of this class. Now it’s time to go deeper, or at least get our feet wet in preparation for the semester project to come later. So, between now and next Friday’s class, I’d like you to do the following:

1. Pick a topic of particular interest for you and set up a blog to cover that topic. This is more of a “beat” than a diary. Pick a current issue/topic that’s relevant beyond you personally.

2. Build your blog using WordPress. It’s a pretty intuitive system, as you may know already, but spend some time running through each of the menus and categories to become very familiar with how it works. Play around with various blog designs, and try to create your own personalized page header. 

3. Populate your blog with at least 4 posts (although more is better) over the next seven days, mixing up the lengths and styles of posts. Try to make one post no more than 50 words, while another may go as long as 300 words. How do you write a good post or maintain an attractive blog? Some ideas here and here. Also, you’ll find some good suggestions from Mindy McAdams and her class assignment to blog … but, not to worry, I won’t be grading your posts so rigorously. But I will be looking for the right ingredients in your work.

4. Add visual elements to your blog: embedded html video from YouTube, for instance, or an embedded slideshow of photos. Post at least one photo (of your own, or from the Web) and write a caption for it.

5. Add widgets—the add-ons that go in the sidebar of the blog, and can be anything from RSS feeds to hit counters to tag clouds and much more. There are some examples at ReadWriteWeb. You also might get some ideas here. And you can embed links from Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. Try to add Google AdSense and earn 25 cents. (UPDATE: More ideas for blog widgets here.)

6. Have fun with this! Be current, interesting, on-topic, and give us some relevant links to outside material … but, above all, just experiment and enjoy yourself. Look at this as an opportunity to break into blogging, if you’re not already familiar with it, before we plunge into the semester project work a little later in the semester.

(In case you’re wondering, I’ll be grading this as part of your larger participation grade. Just show me that you can do the work and enjoy it!)

Meanwhile … this is due by Monday: In the comments section, tell us about your blog and provide a link to it.


15 Responses to “Blogging assignment”

  1. 1 Briana C September 14, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    Hey yall!
    For my blog ( ) i decided to create a place online to detail events in austin. This will be a cool way to connect people with similar social interests 🙂

  2. 2 Brittany September 14, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    Hi guys. My blog ( will be dedicated to dicussing trends, tips and fun in the world of graphic design.

  3. 3 Samantha G. September 14, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    Hi there: my blog is: (I should have thought more about my URL…

    My blog is about: upcoming, unconventional and notable artists and designers..

    It will feature artists and their work along with links to their web pages, reviews of their shows and work etc..

  4. 4 Caitlin W September 14, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    Hey all! My blog,, is about (surprise, surprise) music.

    I’ll be covering tech trends, industry trends, and up-and-coming music groups. I’m especially hoping to focus on local Austin artists, because we have SO MANY amazing musicians in this city!

    I’m looking forward to checking out everyone else’s blogs!!

  5. 5 Caroline Page September 14, 2008 at 11:35 pm

    Well, I have set up my first blog ever – My blog will be about traveling! I have traveled a fair amount, so will write about places I’ve visited and give my recommendations. It will not just be a narrative of my experiences, but provide a resource for anyone thinking about their next vacation. I will write about travel destinations close to home and overseas – hope it interests you!

  6. 6 Mollie B. September 14, 2008 at 11:43 pm

    Hey yall. My blog,, will focus on various races, training and the culture of Austin’s society of runners.

  7. 7 Holley N September 15, 2008 at 12:10 am

    Hey Y’all! My blog: , is going to be about the aftermath of Hurricane Ike. I wanted to blog about current events in general, but I am going to focus on the aftermath of the Hurricane for now. I am really interested in this topic, and this past week, I have found myself constantly looking at pictures, articles, and videos from the AP, NYtimes, and any place I can find.

    Like Caitlin, I’m really excited about seeing everyone’s blogs!

  8. 8 Jane Kim September 15, 2008 at 2:10 am

    Hey guys (I still can’t bring myself to say y’all. sorry;)
    My blog is:
    I’ve been noticing that there has been a lot more Asian culture showing up in every aspect of American culture and lifestyle, such as movies and TV shows or design and fashion. So that’s what my blog is going to be about – America’s new infatuation with Asian culture. I hope I can come up with something fun for you guys:)

  9. 9 Raquel September 15, 2008 at 2:57 am

    Hey guys!

    Well, considering a blog should be more informative than a diary, I decided to dedicate a blog to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) movement. This past week I saw so many things going on related to equality in classrooms and gays’ rights in the workplace, I’ve got a few ideas to develop throughout the week.

    The link is:

    This’ll be fun!

  10. 10 pieper12 September 15, 2008 at 4:58 am

    Hey everyone!

    My blog is basically about the Texas Country Music scene and where to dance, who to see, when to see them, and all of that news! Texas is a huge state that produces a lot of great singers and songwriters and I hope you all get a chance to take a look at my blog and maybe hit up a country-western bar by the end of the semester! I’ll be updating it with artist information, venues, etc.

  11. 11 pieper12 September 15, 2008 at 5:02 am

    Hey everyone!

    I created a blog about the Texas country music scene since hey, we all live in Texas, whether we’re natives or not, and country music is one of our stereotypes so let’s indulge in it! i’m just going to profile some great Texas country musicians, update on concert information, and tell y’all some of the best places to two-step and were to learn! Hope you like it and hope we can all make a trip down to Gruene Hall at the end of the semester!

  12. 12 Laura C. September 15, 2008 at 9:07 am

    Hello all!

    I am going to be blogging about various U.S. political news and various world issues… pretty broad. The name “Blue Dog Blog” comes from the group of Democrats in Congress that call themselves “Blue Dog Democrats” – moderate Dems. I’m all about being moderate!

  13. 13 Kristin September 15, 2008 at 9:50 am


    My blog,, will surround new technology and technology news. Enjoy!

  14. 14 jeffbechdel September 15, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    Hey everybody,

    My blog is “The Political Pulse” As you might imagine, it will cover political events that I consider important, funny, or otherwise noteworthy. Looking forward to reading everyone else’s.

  15. 15 Brittany September 17, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    Sorry about the lack of link in my original post. Here is is. My design blog

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