TEJ 2016 Assignment 3 Brief: Creating your own blog. Due dates: TBA Value: 30% total (Part 1: 10% Part 2: 20%) Word length: 1500 words maximum (500 per post) This assignment is worth 30% of your overall marks for this subject. Task: The aim of this assignment is to develop your digital reporting skills through blogging. While we are open ended about your topic to an extent, we do insist that all blog topics must be signed off by your tutor and must meet the following benchmarks: • Your blog will track things that are actually happening. If you’re into microbreweries and you know that there’s some interesting new beers popping up in Gippsland, make that your mission, and say why you’ve embarked on this quest. You’ll need to use Google or other search engines to figure out if someone’s beaten you to it. As it happens, however, when I google “Gippsland microbreweries” the results seem promising. However, a blog about the imagined lives of people buried in the local cemetery, while potentially interesting, does not fit our criteria. And remember, you will need to set up a Twitter list for the blog (see below). • Blogs must have a suitable focus. Want to do a blog about AFL? Join the throng of thousands. Unless you have a unique focus or are going to be the best in the business, think of another topic. Part 1: The ‘About’ Page The first assessed post, your “About” page, will state the mission of the blog and say something about you that makes reference to your studies, and to your interest or expertise in the topic. This post could then turn into an “about” static page. We recommend that your page should be about 300-500 words in length, and suggest that if you are including an image, a photo of you would in most cases be the best option. The more posts you do, the better, but what we’re assessing here is your mission statement for the blog. Examples of About pages will be provided in the lecture. Part 2: Topical post and Twitter list Topical Post This must be a fresh post that is topical for your blog. It must be posted (that is, published) between May 26 and June 1 (at noon). You will be assessed on the following criteria (and I’ve incorporated some tips in here): • The extent to which the blog post develops the core themes of your blog. How interesting is the post for your intended readers? What does it offer them that they can’t get elsewhere? What research have you done to develop the post? Have you been using Google News Alerts to develop story ideas? • Web features such as your use of visual or graphical images, hyperlinks (you must include at least two) tags (at least four), and an invitation for comments or some other form of audience participation from your readers. This should go beyond “get in touch”, and the call to participate must include a link or contact form that makes it easy for anyone reading the post to submit a comment without having to navigate to other sections of your blog. • You must also assign a category to the post. If you haven’t already set up categories on your blog, here’s a useful guide. • The quality of your writing. Bad grammar and spelling errors will be penalised. Twitter List You will write a post outlining the mission of the Twitter list you’re curating (the blog wants to keep track of microbrewers in Gippsland, for instance, and you’re following all the brewers and the pubs where the beer is sold), and write about your choices of who you’ve followed (the list must follow at least ten other Twitter handles). This post must include a hyperlink to the list displayed prominently. As mentioned above, check out this upstart article as a guide. 1. What you need to include: The Twitter List post should include some general discussion about how you’re using Twitter as a news source, as well as comments alongside each of the Twitter accounts that are listed. The aforementioned upstart article provides a useful model. 2. How many Twitter accounts should I include? We recommend around 10. Don’t make it less than 10 or no more than 15. 3. How long should it be? The whole post, including the discussion and the commentaries about each of the Twitter accounts must be between 300 and 500 words. You’ll be penalised if you go outside of this range. 4. Roadtest your list before writing about it. It’s really important to be able to speak with authority about how useful your list has been. Can you point to a post you’ve written that was spawned by a tweet from one or more of the accounts that you follow? 5. Make sure that you use hyperlinks in the Twitter list. These can either be presented as in the upstart article mentioned above, or as follows: Guardian Australia – The Australian online edition of the now global UK-based news outlet. It’s a good idea to consider whether you should set your hyperlinks to open on a new page (as I’ve done here). To do this, click the “Target Frame” option and then pick “New Window” from the drop down list. If you do use this format in your Twitter List post there’s no need to include @GuardianAus in the text of the article. If not, then you must hyperlink from the Twitter handle like this: @GuardianAus. Submitting your work Before submitting, please do a screen capture of any pages that are to be assessed (use Print Screen on a PC and COMMAND SHIFT 3 on a Mac). Save this file as a Word file and then at the bottom of the file please add the URLs of the pages you are submitting. Then attach as instructed and hit the submit button. Submit both your URLs with your submission, which must take the form of a single Word file that includes both the Twitter List and Topical Post. And you must save the file with your full name and assignment details, eg. Jill O’Leary Assignment 3 Part 2. A reminder that the WORD LENGTH: 300 to an absolute maximum 500 words for EACH POST It’s really important that you follow these instructions carefully. If you have a problem and can't submit for technical reasons, please email your tutor at the time you are trying to submit, along with the Word file that you are trying to submit. If you don’t include the Word file in an email by the submission time you will receive a late submission penalty.