MCO 2342 (Let’s get serious about blogging . . .)
Dylan Kissane, writing for DOZ.com, comments on the “5 most important trends in blogging for 2016.” He notes that blogs began in the late 1990s and after nearly twenty years have continued to evolve and inform the world of marketing (and public relations) today. Blogs also continue to be used for personal purposes like online diaries or platforms for specific topic discussions (sometimes called filter-blogs). In fact, Kissane notes that in 2006, blogging might have appeared on a resume under “Hobbies and Interests” but today in some cases, blogging is “a legitimate career choice for talented content creators” and might now appear on a resume under “Work Experience.”
So, as blogging becomes more professional and integral to marketing, journalism, and public relations, here are five trends that students should consider identified by Kissane:
- Bloggers are “influencers”–Kissane notes, “Bloggers today . . . draw together text, images, online video, knowledge of pop culture and trends, business savvy, powerful and extensive social networks, and the skills to bring all of this to bear in a dynamic zeitgeist to deliver value for their audience, advertisers, and themselves.”
- “Size matters”–Kissane quotes a survey (data, key findings, analysis) of “1000 leading bloggers” from Orbit Media Studios noting that the size of blog posts are increasing and finding that in 2015 the average post length was “900 words.” Further, Kissane believes that to be successful in an “over-saturated content world” professionals will need to “constantly write . . . content with depth . . . that people find useful and inspired.”
- “The end of comments”–Kissane discusses how high-profile bloggers now turn off the comment feature and encourage readers to use social media for their comments. This eliminates bloggers having to manage their readers’ comments, but moves the discussion to Twitter or FB, where commenters will include the URL of the blog post as well as reach a wider audience.
- “Great Graphics”–Kissane argues that bloggers/influencers will “use text less and grphical elements more” including “infographics, design elements and icon sets, and images designed for sharing on social networks.” He believes images will be key to the blog post and not just an add-on.
- “The Era of Engagement”–Kissane states that traffic analytics related to blogs will shift from number of clicks to engagement rates (the amount of time readers stay on the site and whether a post creates “dozens of discussion on social media.”
Kissane concludes his article by arguing that blogging is here to stay and “will continue to evolve in its role as one of the most important content creations, publication, and distribution strategies for businesses and individuals online.”
Photopin.com to get free photos:
What counts as “writing? Kathleen Blake Yancy asks in her CCCC 2004 address “Made Not Only in Words” (qtd in Claire Luktewitte, editor for Multimodal Composition: A Critical Sourcebook, 2014). So, what do you, students, count as writing?
Jeff Rice his text, The Rhetoric of Cool, says students should be composing with all means and modes available to them. What means and modes do you, students, feel comfortable using to communicate?
Claire Lauer quotes Cynthia Selfe and Pamela Takayoshi (2007) remarking on the changes in communication modes from text-based products to multimodal compositions and how teachers should be placing an emphasis on preparing “intelligent citizens who can both create meaning in texts and interpret meaning from texts within a dynamic and increasingly technological world” (Multimodal Composition 24).
Gunther Kress (“Gains and Losses: New Forms of Texts, Knowledge, and Learning”):
- Modes of representation: words, sounds, images, animation, color
- Media for representation: books, computers, radio, TV, paint brushes, canvas, human voicesThe questions Kress asks us to consider include what are the best mediums, modes, and media for us to use to express the content we are creating for a specific or general audience.
Blog, Wiki, or Website Free Technology for Teachers, Richard Byrne, June 16, 2014
Blogging provides writers and researchers with many benefits (from “Welcome to Blogademia” (2016) by Jolley, Goiffait, and Davies), including the following mentioned in this article. Blogs are a . . .
- Way to “make notes”
- Way to “develop a writing habit”
- Way to “refine your writing skills”
- Way to “share and formulate ideas”
- Way to “explore a new research area”
- Way to “consider new methods or techniques”
They also mentioned Tan Lin et al.‘s (2007) naming of “blogfolios” as a vehicle by which students and others use blogs as a method of learning to “collect, select, reflect, project, and respect” their own and others work (Barrett, 2003).
Blogs allow the writers and their audiences to enter into a dialog (asynchronously) and to build knowledge dialogically.
Especially helpful for first-time bloggers were Jolley, Goiffait, and Davies’ “First Steps – Tips on Blogging” (286) that provided the following key pointers:
- “Purpose, audience and style go hand-in-hand”: If you want to reach a wide audience then write in an “accessible” and “easy-to-understand” style. If you are writing to a specific audience, then research that particular group of people and adopt their register and vocabulary. [As we have discussed in class, you can research particular audiences via Twitter, FB, or other social media blogs.]
- “Generate particular regular content”: People are attracted to blogs that post information regularly. [As we have discussed in class, you might write several posts in a MSWord document, edit it carefully, and then submit a post every other day or so.]
- “Get the balance right”: There is a certain tension between information content and length of blog post. These authors recommend around 500 words. [Other blog enthusiasts have reported that 1,000 word posts are now often expected because they allow for more in-dept information. My suggestion is to let your subject be your guide.]
- “Creating blog content does not need to be a solo activity”: Blogging can be done by a team of people, and you could also be invited to be a “guest blogger” for another site. [Blogging can be a fun, collaborative, and mutually beneficial experience for the participants–be open to the various opportunities blogging may send your way!]
And, once you start writing your blog posts, Jolley, Coiffait, and Davies provide “more tips” for the beginning blogger:
- Use social media to get the work out about your blog
- Link other people’s blogs to your own
- Engage those who respond to your blog posts (don’t be afraid) — network and develop your ideas further
- Deal with the negative responses diplomatically (“explain, apologize or engage with readers . . .”)
- Ignore and/or delete a “troll’s” comments
New Media Writing, Sean Morey, 2014
Exploratory Questions Chapter 1:
- What is “New Media Writing”?
- How important is audience to the composer of new media? What are some considerations you must address as a new media writer?
- Why is it important for you to learn how to read images rhetorically?
- Describe the “rhetorical tetrahedron“ —
Six Aspects: Writer, Audience, Message–Medium, Design, Genre–
Appeals: Ethos, Pathos, Logos, Kairos
Writer/Speaker: character, eloquence, style, other rhetorical choices (21)
Audience: beliefs, values, expectations, and experiences (21)
Message: information, claims, style, examples, evidence, and structure (21)
- Literacy – Electracy (Gregory L. Ulmer–literacy needed to “communicate in a digital media environment” (19)
- Marshall McLuhan, “The Medium Is the Message” (Please read this page to explore how the medium used for messages influences perceptions of those receiving that message–and the society.)
The fragmentariness of personal experience creates problems at an accelerating rate.
— Marshall McLuhan (@marshallmcluhan) April 6, 2016
How is society counteracting the acceleration of experience in life itself?
Podcast: “Slowing Down” (TED Radio Hour, Thursday, 25Aug2016).
YouTube Video: Norway Railroad
YouTube Video: Canadian Pacific RR (British Columbia)
The “Doing Disease” versus Renewal, Refuel, Replenish, Affirming a Culture of Rest–Slowing Down in Order to Accelerate [Chinese word for ‘busy’ = Killing + Heart]
Silence, Stillness, Solitude–Bec Heinrich, August 24, 2016 TEDx
Rhetoric & Human Creativity: TEDTalk about Education by Sir Ken Robinson
FOR STUDENTS: Blogging RESEARCH & Resources
“Welcome to Blogademia: On Purpose, Positives, and Pitfalls” Daniel Jolley, Gleur-Michelle Coiffait, and Emma L. Davies. April 2016. [retrieved 18Aug2016]
“Can Anyone Read the Writing on Your Blog” (jeffbullas.com, Guest Author: Diana Kightlinger)
“The Most Annoying Social Media Profile Buzzwords” (Frugal Business, Michael Schiemer Consulting)
Including: “Thought Leader,” “Growth Hacker,” and more
“What You Do On Twitter Reveals How Much Money You Make” (WP, “Wonkblog,” Cristina Rivero)
“How to Write a Mind Blowing Headline for Twitter So People Will Read Your Blog” (jeffbullas.com, Jeff Bullas)
“How to Write a Blog with Great Content Every Time” (jeffbullas.com, Guest Author: Julie Neidlinger)
Twitter, Blogging, and other writing tools
Using Twitter for Academic Research & Community Connection
Twitter Search Resources:
Most popular hashtags (Use for topic generation: hashtagify.me/popular)
What is trending on Twitter? (whatthetrend.com)
@answerme (go to this site on Twitter where you can post a question and get answers to anything–like, “what is best hashtag for _______?”
Twubs.com (research hashtags)
Tagdef.com (also use #tagdef) (Discover tag meanings, add your definition, create new tags)
Hashtag Analytics (organizes hashtags by industry/topic)
Inserting a Twitter Link
Using Embed from the menu
— CNN (@CNN) September 4, 2017
Zeega as civic engagement, journalistic reporting, and creative documentary project