Or, What Comes Before the Beginning
By Friday, February 11, you will need to submit a proposal or pitch for the blog you plan to develop over the course of the semester. For this assignment, you will produce a 1-2 page document that gives the name and URL for your blog and lays out the concept and project for what you hope to build. Explain what you plan to do, how you imagine you might do it, and who you see as your primary audience. What kind of voice or persona will you use? How do you plan to introduce yourself and your blog to the blogosphere? Will your approach be serious or silly (by which I mean not unserious or trivial but comic, satirical, or parodic)? Will you have a narrow, specific focus (like, for example, tracking the use of unnecessary quotation marks), or will you aim to be topical and eclectic (holding forth on topics as varied as, say, politics, pop culture, and basketball)? The structures and conventions of blogging are so fluid that you will have room to maneuver within any concept or framework you might choose, but it’s important to do some thinking in advance about how you want to present yourself and your space. A blog is a world, after all. What kind of world do you plan to bring into being? As I said on the first day of class, good blogging emerges out of passionate interest and lively writing, so you should look for ways to blog about the things you care about most and know best. That will keep you motivated to do the painstaking work of building your blog and its audience.
Need help and inspiration? Begin with chapters 3 and 4 of Rebecca Blood’s The Weblog Handbook for solid practical advice. Keep reading around in The Bygone Bureau’s “Best New Blogs of 2010.” Check out some of the blogs produced by students who took this course last semester by clicking around in the blogroll (right sidebar, “Terrapin Brain Trust”) on the fall course blog, which was also called Writing for the Blogosphere.
Still not sure? Raise questions in class. Come by my office. Talk to UTA and blogger extraordinaire Michael Kahane, whose blog will teach you a lot and make your mouth water.
Send me your pitches as an attachment by e-mail by 5 PM Friday, February 11.
For added inspiration, here’s a photo of one of the best pitch men the world has ever known, Mad Men‘s Don Draper. Good luck, bloggers!