Congratulations to everyone last night for setting up a blog! You’re all journalists now, believe it or not (at least according to Dan Gillmor). That’s all it took. Are you feeling empowered? Are you feeling like you’re part of the conversation now? So how did the first heavy-duty class go?
I know I threw an incredible amount of information at all of you in a short period of time, from time-shifting to folksonomies to tags. (and we had lots more we didn’t get to). We’ll cover more on the craft of blogging in coming weeks, so don’t worry if you’re still feeling a bit lost. When you email us your blog links and Twitter accounts, tell us if you have any problems/questions/confusion so far. For next week, you have a boatload to do:
1) First things first: Check out this breaking news about Justin Bieber on Twitter.
2) Email us the link to your blog so I can start reading and can add you to the class blogroll so you can start reading each other. A reminder that each week’s blog posts are “due” by midnight on Tuesday the day before class to give us time to read them and choose some points for in-class discussion. Also, since this is our first email communication, make sure to tell us in your email whether you want us to use any email address other than your designated Georgetown.edu email address. If you have a personal or work email you’d prefer we use to communicate with you, let us know now.
3) Make sure to also email me your Twitter handle so we can begin following you and following each other. Start reading some blogs this week (our top tips are on the syllabus) and start posting items—almost anything could be relevant on the Twitter links, from news articles to YouTube videos to favorite podcasts. Use the hashtag #mppr850 or you won’t get credit for a link.
4) Get blogging! Take your new blog out for a spin and kick the tires a bit. I expect a lot of this is going to be difficult at first, so feel free to ask lots of questions via email or give a call. Next week we’ll spend a lot of the class on blogging tips, voice, tone, and what makes a good blog entry. Also keep thinking back to Gillmor and the Cluetrain Manifesto, which along with the “Long Tail” and “Here Comes Everybody” (we’ll get to those soon) will be the foundational texts of the class.
5) For your blog entry this week, remember the question: how many theses does the Cluetrain Manifesto *actually* present? (hint: it’s not 95). For this and all future “response blogs,” please start your blog title with “WEEKLY #1:” and then the title of your post. In future weeks, use “WEEKLY #2:” and so on, through #12. This is to delineate for us which blogs are in response to questions and which ones are free-form blogs.
6) If you don’t have an account on Google, please make sure to set one up before class next week, i.e., make sure that you have a gmail.com address. You won’t have to use this for email, although it’s the best of the free email programs on the web.
7) Don’t forget, of course, to do your reading. Scott Rosenberg’s history of blogging will seem a bit repetitive of We the Media in certain places, but it’s got a ton of information packed into it. You’ll learn where blogging came from, how different people broke barriers along the way, and where blogging is going. Some questions for you to think about: Do you see links between the rise of blogging and the Cluetrain Manifesto? Reading the history of blogging, are you beginning to see why I think this is more a philosophy and less about new shiny, tech tools? What can you learn as a new blogger from those original path-blazers?
As we used as a rallying cry on the Dean campaign, “To the blogs!”