Posts Tagged ‘Blog instructions’

Welcome, Fall 2014 students!

Please find here some notes about the first day of class and reminders for things to do by next class, Sept. 8.

We talked about the course and the course topics and showed our interest for each topic by “voting” for our own top 3 on the white board. I’m saving the image here so we can go back to it if needed later in the semester.


We introduced ourselves and found that we have a very diverse group of students from all around campus. Neat!

Finally, we talked about the initial motivation for the course – that of understanding the aspects of society that have been deeply changed by social media. The course topics are selected to illustrate this theme.

Here is the to do list for next class:

  1. Read the articles posted on Blackboard and fill out the reading notes.
  2. Fill out the worksheet with your own personal online identity management plan.
  3. Set up your blog on Learn how the blog works, learn the difference between post, page, tag and category. Create the categories mentioned in the syllabus so you can easily categorize your posts later on.
  4. Set up your twitter account. Remember what we discussed about (a)nonymity. Make an informed choice.
  5. Go to the wiki page on Blackboard and paste the links to your blog and twitter account.
  6. Set up your RSS feed reader (e.g. Feedly) and subscribe to this blog and to all class members’ blogs.
  7. Follow me (@mihaela_v) and all class members on Twitter.

Optional, but highly recommended:

See older blog posts I wrote that can be useful to you in this class:

(Note how my links are done: They are from text so you don’t have to see the URL, and they work. Please follow this example when linking from your blog posts. Readers should not have to see the URLs. Also bad practice: “click here.” Provide enough meaningful information so the reader knows what is on the other side of the link. This is called information scent.)

Questions about any of this? Please ask in the comments below.


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.

Research Article Analyses

Posted: January 27, 2011 in Assignments
Tags: ,

We’ll spend the next 2 weeks of the semester (Feb 1 and Feb 7) exploring research directions related to social media. Those two classes will be good times to start your Research Article Analyses (RAAs).

Remember (or see the syllabus) that you have to read and analyze 5 research articles about social media, in the context of your own interest. Each article analysis is worth 5 points, for a total of 25.

Here’s what I’d like you to start doing:

First, identify a list of 5-7 articles you are interested in reading. Make sure they are research articles – published in academic research journals. Make sure they include some aspect of social media, as well as your own area of interest. Personally, I like using Google Scholar to identify articles, then find the full text through Purdue libraries. You can also browse the bibliographies danah boyd maintains about SNSs and twitter/microblogging.

Keep in mind that your list may change over the course of the semester, and that’s OK. If you want to, publish it in a blog post.

Second, here’s what I’d like you to do for Feb 1 and Feb 7. Read one of your selected articles for each class, and write the article analysis following the structure recommended below. Be prepared to talk about your article during class discussion. The more diverse the body of articles we talk about, the more aware we will become about research directions.

Third: After Feb 1 and Feb 7, you will choose when you want to do your RAAs. Take a look at the topics listed on the syllabus. If you know you are interested in, say, community building and online communities, then you may want to review an article and bring it up during that week’s class discussion. Make sure you blog about it, following the same structure recommended below.

It is your responsibility to make sure that you have read and analyzed 5 articles before the end of the semester. You cannot cram 2 articles during one week, and certainly do not leave this for the end of the semester.

Research Article Analysis – Blog post structure

For each of the 5 articles, write a blog post that follows this structure, more or less (OK, more, rather than less):

  1. Full article citation in APA style, linked to full text if full text is available online.
  2. Purpose of the research: Explain what the authors set out to accomplish.
  3. Methods: Explain, very briefly, what methods the authors used to accomplish the research goal.
  4. Main findings: Summarize the main findings
  5. Analysis: Write your own thoughts about the article. You, could, for example, address some of the following: What does this article mean to you, is it useful or not for your research interests and current/future projects? What are the main things you wish to remember about this article? What are some of the limitations of the article? What directions for future research does this article suggest to you? Etc.

In addition to writing these, make sure you read your classmates’ article analyses. This way, you’ll be exposed to more information about social media research.

Make sure you bring up the article(s) you read during class discussion. Be prepared to summarize, explain the article, answer questions about it.

Questions? Let me know in the comments below.

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:

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.




Also, if you need help with Google reader, see these posts.

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)