Thursday, September 7, 2006

Blog or Perish

Professor Katie King makes a point to her "Introduction to Online Journalism" class at George Washington University

I had a great time and very little to do to get Katie King's Intro to Online Journalism class up and running with their own blogs. Katie has made blogging central to her instruction and grading system: to qualify for an "A" a student must publish at least one blog entry per week.

"These are not personal journals, but public writing by the student about the journalism industry," the course description says. "Students will use the blogs to report on and analyze themes and ideas presented in class, as well as to post writing assignments."

So, in this introduction course Katie has confronted her students with a very recent and compelling truth: Writers have at their disposal, for the first time, not only a printing press but an efficient means of delivery to anyone, anywhere.

In the era of blogging, writers are obligated to blog. I look forward to reading what the class does.

To any of the students who might be reading this: here are a couple of things I thought of later:
  • At the risk of again harping on about RSS, you ought to consider making the feed to your blog public, and subscribing to each other’s blog. There are some bad feelings by Facebook users over the service's unilateral decision to send alerts to friends when users update their own sites. But peer review, including posted comments and/or questions by your classmates, may be an interesting motivator.
  • Someone asked whether content was available from the Creative Commons organization. Not exactly, but they have a search interface to look for CC-tagged content via Google and Yahoo and on flicker and blip.tv.
Thanks again for being so attentive and receptive. Good luck! Please don't hesitate to email me any questoins, and I hope you will share your blogs with me.

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