What the heck is a blog anyway? For hundreds of examples, check out this list of Top Ten lists:
Some blogs cover a wide range of issues in a given country, like the Angry Chinese Blogger. Others have a narrow focus, like the Border Reporter, which covers drug violence along the U.S.-Mexico border, and Uncommon Sense, which is about political prisoners in Cuba.
No More Slavery, the FSC Anti-Bullying Task Force, Preventing Lost Children, Survival, Much Love Animal Rescue and other sites focus on causes. Here is Havana has a literary flair. There are blogs about every topic imaginable.
- Pick a country, then decide on a focus. Examples: Sexual exploitation in Thailand. Human rights violations in China. Censorship in Cuba. Organized crime in Russia. Protection of the environment in Costa Rica.
- Don’t rush to pick a URL. Figure out your blog’s focus first.
- A narrow focus is often more effective than a general one. Blogs that don’t have a sharp focus sometimes have a harder time getting noticed.
Your assignment for Monday Jan. 24 is the following:
- Set up your WordPress blog.
- Add a biography and photo of yourself to your blog. File bio as a page, not a post. Read about the difference between pages and posts.
- Rather than emailing me your URL, please type your URL address in a comment at the end of this post and hit reply.
- No posts are required for this assignment.
By the start of class on Jan. 24 (unless you have an excused absence)
Your biography should be at least 100 words long. Keep it factual and informative. Make sure it is clean and does not contain grammar or spelling errors. Add links to groups or institutions that you mention.
Insert a photo of yourself into the bio. Use a sharp, clear photo of your head and shoulders. Your face should be visible. If you do not have an acceptable photo, shoot one. Do not use a photo that shows someone else’s arm or head or other distracting elements in the picture. Do not use any party pictures. Use a photo that you would like a potential client or employer to see. See my bio to get an idea of photo size and placement.
In your bio and elsewhere on your blog, please do not use an alias or fake name to identify yourself. Use your real first and last name. That gives more credibility to your stories and your comments than a nickname or an alias.
This assignment is worth five points. You will get points taken off for the following:
- Spelling and grammar errors – 1 point
- Failure to meet biography specifications (word length on biography, using posts instead of pages) – 1 point
- Failure to use real name – 1 point
- Broken links – 1 point
- Failure to file bio as a page
- Unappealing presentation (overlapping text and photos, wrong sized photo in header, etc.) – 1 point
- Name or title that is not appropriate as part of a professional portfolio – 1 point
- Failure to set up your site by the assignment deadline – 5 points (no loss of points if you have an excused absence)