One of the most widely practiced forms of new media is blogging, a form of communication with an audience where the most recent updates appear above previous updates. Blogs are incredibly diverse in both authorship and audience. In 2003, there were only 1 million blogs in the world, but today it is estimated that there are more than 150 million blogs, posting more than 1 million entries per day. More than one third of internet users read blogs. Now it’s your chance to practice blogging.
During our course, you’ll be asked to keep a blog in which you will explore new media and offer your thoughts on the new media you use. For each blog entry, you may submit your response as a written blog post, a recorded audio podcast, or a video blog (vlog). Be creative!
You will submit a blog entry in weeks 1, 3, 5 and 7.
For each of the four entries, you will need to do the following:
- Select a new media site to try, preferably one you have not used before. New media sites might include social networks like Facebook or Twitter, photo sharing sites like Instagram and Pintrest, video sharing sites like YouTube and Vimeo, discussion forums such as Reddit, or special interest web communities such as Above Top Secret (for space alien enthusiasts) or FanFiction.net (for fan fiction enthusiasts).
- Use your chosen site for 3-4 days and make observations about your experience. How difficult was it to sign up or to log in? What did you like? What did you not like? Did you find it to be easy to use or challenging? Did you feel welcome?
- Produce a blog post in which you review your chosen piece of new media and evaluate it. Describe it for your readers, explain what you see as the positive and negative aspects of the piece of new media, and conclude by either recommending or not recommending that others explore this piece of new media as well.
- Your post should be 1-2 paragraphs in length (if written) or 2-3 minutes in length (for audio or video).
There are specific requirements for each module’s blog. For this activity, you will blog your thoughts on social networking.
- For your first blog entry, observe a social network site such as Facebook, Twitter, Academia.edu, LibraryThing, etc. and explain how the social network helps people to connect. Explain whether you feel it is effective.