What Makes A Good Blog?


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            The term blog is a blending of the words web and log. (Blood, 2010). Posting a log on the World Wide Web became knowing as blogging. The individual who participates in such actions then grew to be known as a blogger. Bloggers post regular entries of observations, depiction of events, as well as videos and images. Some blogs deal with a particular theme, like Hip Hop music or Mexican restaurants, while others are just the random thoughts of the blogger.  As I observed different blogs online, I learned that a blog must look pleasing to the eye, allow visitors to interact with the site, and must have quality content of interest.
            In the Communications Capstone course at Ashford University, my classmates and I have been assigned to create our own blog. The purpose of the blog is to create a compilation of representative work completed throughout the Ashford University Communication program that demonstrates professional achievement. It is an electronic portfolio, which will display what we have learned as students of communication. As we entered the fourth week of class, we were instructed to view three of our fellow student’s blogs and to write a critique of each. This particular assignment gave me an opportunity to view my blog in comparison to others.
            The first blog I reviewed was by classmate Robert Brown and was titled Robert’s Blog with a web address of http://robert-weiser.blogspot.com/. Robert’s blog had a good design that utilizes colors that worked well together. He choose a blue block backdrop for his various posts, with an image of the sky with large white clouds as the background. There was also a great usage of photos to enhance his already well-written blogs. While visually his blog did a lot for me, the site was lacking in content and it did not allow for any interaction besides the option of leaving comments.
            The second blog I viewed was titled Who Knew? Write On Caron created by Caron Carus with a web address of http://writeoncaron.blogspot.com/. Of all the blogs created by my classmates, this was the best looking one.  Caron created her blog with her visitors in mind. She has a YouTube bar that allows those viewing her website to search for videos as well as a feed of CNET stories with relatable topics. Caron designed her blog differently then most by placing her personal information on the bottom of the page, opening up the side of her site for so much more. She also had a more content then the other blogs I viewed, giving me much more to read and enjoy. The only thing she needed improvement was visually how her post looked. She lacked any images inside her blogs to break up the lengthy amount of words. With that simple change, her blog would begin to look very professional.
            The last blog I visited was started by Justin Meeks and goes by the title of NFL and NFLPA Dispute: The Fans Courtroom with a web address of http://nflfanvoices.blogspot.com/. Justin took a unique approach with his blog by focusing his blog on a theme. He choose the topic of the NFL disputes between the players and owners. This blog has the potential to be a popular site to visit if it used correctly.  The idea of using content to attract a particular audience is great idea. Public Relations Specialist Sherrie Bakshi (2011) suggest that when starting a blog it is good to write about a topic that you love (¶4). In doing so, you will attract like-minded people. This blog lacks content and a strong visual presence though, hurting it from becoming as popular as I believe it can.
            After viewing the three blogs, I decided to make some changes to my own. First, I decided on a new template, for a more attractive visual statement.  I then added a new tab that explains the purpose of my site. The audience I am seeking is those who are interested in communication theory and those who will be interested in my style of writing. Last, I moved information to different areas, allowing more space to add content. I still plan to make my site more interactive with eventually creating a YouTube page that I will link back to my blog.
            I truly believe that within the last four weeks I have created a blog that is beginning to look and feel like the professional ones I have encountered online. In my blog there is content from previous classes at Ashford University, assignments from my current Communication Capstone course, and written work I have completed as a freelance writer. It is important to remember that like any other website, blogs must be visually attractive as well as have content that visitors will find interesting. What separates blogs from others places online, is that visitors can leave comments and interact with the site. To make a blog truly professional these components must be considered.
References
Bakshi, S. (2011, January 31). What Makes A Good Blog. Retrieved April 4, 2011 from http://comprehension.prsa.org/?p=2660
Blood, R. (2010, July 26). Weblogs: A History and Perspective. Retrieved April 4, 2011 from www.rebeccablood.net/essays/weblog_history.html
Brown, R. (2011). Robert’s Blog. Retrieved March 31, 2011 from http://robert-weiser.blogspot.com/
Carus, C. (2011). Who Knew? Write On Caron. Retrieved March 31, 2011 from http://writeoncaron.blogspot.com/
Meeks, J. (2011). NFL and NFLPA Dispute: The Fans Courtroom. Retrieved March 31, 2011 from http://nflfanvoices.blogspot.com/

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