Archive for the ‘Blog instructions’ Category

You might be wondering what to blog about now that the semester has barely started. Here are some ideas:

  • Goals and intentions for the class – what do you hope to accomplish? What do you hope to get out of this experience? How do you plan to work?
  • Goals and intentions for your blog – similar, but just for the blog.
  • Excitement/apprehension – what are you excited about regarding this class? What are you apprehensive about?
  • Blog recommendations – are you already reading blogs that are relevant to class topics? If so, write one or more blog posts and recommend those blogs to classmates. Explain what is the focus of the blog, and what kinds of information we can find there.

As you get started on setting up your blog for TECH 621, it’s important that you understand how blogs work. If you are familiar with terms such as blog, blog post, permalink, trackback, RSS feed, and understand the distinction between tags and categories, you’re good to go.

But if these terms aren’t clear, please make sure you read about them and understand them. Some older posts I wrote can help you:

During the Fall 2010 semester, I’ll use this blog mostly to communicate with students enrolled in CGT 512 – see the course website for more information.

I will post a lot of relevant information here – about your assignments, as well as brief additional readings on topics related to computer interface usability.

So, it’s very important that you follow this blog closely. You can click the top right “Sign me up!” button to subscribe to this blog and receive each new post in your email. Or, if you use an RSS feed reader daily, grab the URL to subscribe that way.

If you need a refresher on RSS feeds and RSS feed readers, they are explained in an older blog post.

Or, watch the much niftier video below, that wasn’t available back when I made the screencast:

Get your own blog at Need help figuring out the wordpress dashboard? All you need to know is on – but if it’s not, please ask me!

Some helpful tips:

Now that your Twitter accounts and your blogs are set up, it’s time to spell out expectations for using them.

Some of you have used Twitter and blogs before, some of you haven’t. While that might impact how comfortable you are with the technology, in some ways, for this class, you may be starting afresh.

Here is my overall intention that should guide your use of these tools for class purposes:

In CGT581, I hope you will use Twitter and your blog to learn about using social media for productivity, to document your learning & reading, and to connect with people you can learn from.

Let me break this down for you:

1. Use Twitter & blogs to connect with people you can learn from.
I’ve helped you identify some people who work and write about enterprise 2.0, and recommended you subscribe to their blogs, read them regularly, and follow them on Twitter. Connect with these people by commenting on their blogs, blogging about what they wrote, and engaging with them on Twitter. Extend your Twitter network to include these professional contacts, in addition to the people you are already following.

2. Learn and document your learning.
Use your blog to reflect on what you’ve learned from someone else’s blog post and to link to the original post. Use Twitter to disseminate links to blog posts relevant to class (whether your own or someone else’s). Use Twitter and commenting to discuss class-related issues with your classmates. Show me and each other what you’re reading and learning online, and help each other discover interesting resources. For example, if you discover a blog or a Twitter user we should all follow, write a post about it. Explain what the blog is about, or what the person does, and make a brief argument why we should follow them. Provide all necessary links.

At the end of the semester, when I evaluate your social media participation, this is what I’ll be looking for:

Blog – between 16-20 blog posts, spread out evenly throughout the semester. The blog posts may contain your original ideas, but they should be in response to something you read online – whether a professional blog post or a mass media article. Your post should include links to relevant resources. Remember, we’re not using blogs in this class for navel gazing. We’re using them to point to interesting resources, comment on them, help others find them. Your posts need not be lengthy. Anywhere between 250-400 words is fine.

Twitter – I’ll look for two things: posting relevant links and engaging professionally with people both inside, but especially outside, of class. So, your funny banter or comments about the football game won’t count (though you’re welcome to engage in them – they do help you build & maintain relationships), but comments about using social media in the workplace/for productivity and posting relevant links will count. I will also look at your list of people you follow, and make sure you are following professionals in the social media space. If you believe your current Twitter account is not suitable for networking professionally, feel free to create a new one, and let me know (I don’t think this is the case, but it’s entirely up to you).

Blog comments – I will need to see the comments you have posted on other (professional, not personal/entertainment) blogs about social media & productivity. You can use Backtype to collect your comments (be careful, make sure you give all the info it needs to pick up your comments & you let me know your username so I can follow you) or you can start a new page on your blog where you link to the comments you’ve posted. You can follow these instructions, posted by a fellow teacher. Ask me in class about how to write meaningful comments on blog posts.

Remember, social media engagement is a large portion of your course grade, so you need to take it seriously and invest the time it requires. I don’t expect you to know how to do all this – so please ask me questions.

I need to make sure you’ve read and understood these instructions, so please post a comment or ask a question in the comments below.

P.S. – thank you again, Kyle, for the nice image in the blog header!

I was just about to write a post about how to plan and write a successful blog for class, when I realized… it’s already in the syllabus!

I’m pasting below the relevant part from the syllabus, in an attempt to direct your attention to it.

Comment on this post within 10 hours (ask a question, or somehow indicate you’ve read the post) to be entered in a drawing for a small prize.


Each student will write a personal blog (readable by only class members, or open – your choice). The blog will be professional, which means you’ll write about work (and a bit of work-related fun), not your personal life, food and movie reviews (unless they’re relevant to your work).

Your blog will have 2 categories of posts:

1. Required topic blog posts:

  • notes on readings – YOUR takeaways – What are the 3-5 points that are important to YOU? What did YOU take away from the reading? What did it mean to YOU? How is it relevant to YOU? What questions & critiques do you have?
  • notes on social media tools – identify, write about, and review social media tools you come across.

2. Elective topic blog posts:

  • Ideas, thoughts, opinions, commentary on anything you see/read/hear that is or can be related to class and/or your work. For example, you may view the videos I posted on the Ning network, and write your thoughts about them. Or you can post your thoughts/opinions about something that was discussed in class, something that happened, etc. You can post videos, photos, etc.
  • Some mix of personal or humorous posts ad spice to your blog and show your humanity and complexity. Just keep it work-appropriate 🙂
  • Questions, fears, unfinished ideas – blogs are most interesting when they document your thinking process rather than when they show a finished, polished “final paper.”

Keep the writing simple, concise, clear, and grammatically correct. Remember, this is (part of) your online resume.


Here’s some more detail about what I expect you to write about on your blog for COMM 355:

a.    Online discoveries & resources – These kind of blog posts link to interesting blogs, blog posts, PROpenMic discussions, and any other interesting PR-related content, tools, and resources you discover online. In addition to linking to the content, provide a brief description of what it is and a brief argument why it is useful to PR students. Use these blog posts to document your online engagement described in points 1-3 above. Here are examples that my students wrote last semester:

b.    PR examples – whenever you identify examples of PR, write about them on your blog. Describe what happened, and evaluate it: Was it good or bad PR? Why? Provide links to relevant material and related online conversations. See how PR student Erin Sanders did it last semester.

c.    Other – you are welcome to write other posts about public relations (your thoughts, reactions, responses, etc.) – just make sure they are insightful and useful to other students. To see examples, browse the blogs linked in the blogroll on the right, or see Madison Fisher’s blog (btw, she is the  Clemson PRSSA – Public Relations Student Society of America – president)

PR online

Posted: May 21, 2009 in Blog instructions

So, you’re taking an online summer course in Principles of PR (PRinciples). You’ve ordered the textbook, and once it arrives it will be a useful resource. However, if you want to learn about PR, there’s more to it than the textbook. There’s a lot going on in the PR world online, and it’s all accessible to you – for free.

So here’s a brief introduction to the online PR world. Take a dive in this semester, so you can see for yourself what PR people do and think about.

A lot of PR people keep professional blogs. You can learn a LOT about PR by reading PR blogs. I recommend that you go out on your own and find interesting blogs, then write on your own blog on PROpenMic to tell us about your online discoveries. To get you started, go to my professional blog, PR Connections, and scroll down to find the blogroll on the right side. Start by reading regularly 3-5 of those blogs. Subscribe to them in Google Reader, so you get each new post as it is published. This semester, you will be required to read blog posts and comment on them. Here’s some advice about writing a good comment.

A lot of PR people hang out on twitter – that’s why I asked you to set up a twitter account. Twitter is a wonderful way to meet PR people and to network with them. So go ahead and set up a twitter account for yourself, and read these posts to help you get started. Once you set up your account and learn how to use it, I’ll help you find people to follow on twitter.

This semester, I’d like you to get not only book knowledge about public relations, but also to network with PR pros online, and to learn hands-on from their experiences. Then, you’ll use your blog on PROpenMic to share with the class what you’ve found online, what you’ve read, and what you’ve learned.