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Monthly Archives: May 2006

I can't seem to make the RSS feeds work correctly. So far, only one of mine does. Correction, the one isn't working now either. I have followed WordPress's directions for adding a feed–simply copy the url and add /feed on the end. This worked for one, but not for the others.

 Where am I going wrong? What do I need to do to make this work?

I found yet another great site I'll be using in class, Spiderpro. I may need to whittle down the sites a bit, but I will definitely keep this one. Spiderpro offers 100 tips on dos and don'ts for the web, whether it's blogging or creating a site.

And I think I've changed my mind on the book. I would like to use The Non-Designer's Web Book.  I think they'll find it useful, especially in terms of central web basics, such as proximity, alignment, and color. In addition, we'll link to the online books already discussed.

Bloomberg's Wall Street's Junior Set Tells All as Banking Meets Blogging is an article I might share in class. It demonstrates the various uses of blogging, and also mentions Technorati, a site students should be familiar with as they blog.

The article points out that young bankers are blogging anonymously, and so far, they haven't faced any serious consequences. It does mention that consequences might be in their future, given the nature of the banking business and confidentiality. It almost seems like a witch hunt……

chicagoWriting used to be used as punishment in schools, but now writers are being punished. Detention, suspension for bad blogging? in USA Today reports that Chicago students may be punished for inappropriate blogging in the controversial MySpace. While I agree that we should have the freedom to post what we want when we want, I don't necessarily see this form of censorship as completely out of line.

As I've noted here, there can be serious repercussions for academics and others for blog content, up to and including lack of employment to begin with, loss of job if currently employed, and possible repercussions due to plagairism as we move into a more "controlled" digital age. The question in my mind is how far back will employers look? You betcha; I think they'll be looking at old material too.

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Being a graduate student who does blog, I was not surprised by Carolyn Kleiner Butler's "Blogging Their Way Through Acadame". Also not surprising is the fact that many graduate students choose to blog anonymously. What I found disturbing was the deliberate exposure of anonymous bloggers by other graduate students. And these outings were no accident.

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Marketing Terms offers some helpful links for bloggers, although some of the article links are a bit dated. I don't necessarily see that as a drawback. It might be interesting to let students look back at the last few years just to see the major changes withing blogging communities over the last several years. Also, if some of the students are new to blogging, the dictionary might prove very useful. Some of the links might also be helpful for students as well. I especially liked Weblogs, a site that provides a rolling list of updated blogs and current articles about blogging.

Robert Scoble tells us in A blog is not a blog unless that a blog is better than a website due to the blog's ability to promote conversation in a venue that promotes easy publication and locating blogs of interest. In addition, the RSS feed and the permalinks tend to promote a community.

And yet, while I agree we should avoid labeling something a blog that is missing some of these elements, I'm not sure that the blog is better. It depends on the purpose of the site, doesn't it?

Matt Pfeffer's Copywriting for the Web is another excellent site I'll be sharing in class….

Patrick Lynch's and Sarah Horton's Web Style Guide, 2nd edition, is an excellent site, although they do broach topics we won't use in class. Still, we can gratefully use some of it.

The text is really the nuts and bolts of site design including information architecture and graphic design. It also discusses writing style on the web, and I especially appreciated the tips in Editorial Style. I think those who aren't really familiar with Writing for the Web would find this gem helpful.

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Help! I've discussed a few texts for teaching writing for the web, but none of them are the "perfect" text. Any good suggestions?