The idea I have in mind for the blog I am going to design is based off fitness and lacrosse. I’m interested in doing a day in the life of a lacrosse player and student at a school like Dickinson. One idea I also had in mind was featuring other lacrosse players from different schools and having them answer a couple a questions or post pictures of their journey. I think this could be pretty cool to collaborate with other kids from different schools. I also could talk to other kids on other sports teams and see what its like to play a different sport here not just lacrosse. I want to show the behind the scenes of what it means to be a lacrosse player at Dickinson but also a student first.
One blog that relates to what I am thinking of doing is called https://www.theplayerstribune.com/ This blog allows all professional athletes to tell a story, their experiences or just thoughts with the online world. For example when Derek Jeter retired he wrote a post thanking fans and explaining what it was like to play for the Yankees.
Another blog that I have in mind is called http://insidelacrosse.com/ It offers insights on the lacrosse world as well as different college and pro teams. It allows players at all levels to keep in touch with the game and know what’s happening within the community. There are a lot of videos and highlights as well as pictures and interviews. This is one thing I want to incorporate into my blog in terms of design and layout. Have a lot of pictures and videos to show examples of what I’m talking about or who i am talking about because maybe not everyone who is reading will know about lacrosse. Yes I want to gear it towards people who like sports and lacrosse but I think adding in a tone where I could attract classmates that are non-athletes would be beneficial. For example, giving comparisons and showing we do share common interests or ideas. Also, that we go through the same sort of things on campus cause we are students. Ex: Caf struggles, school struggles.
I am going to design a blog that is going to act as a survival guide to weekends at college. A lot of the time, mostly as a freshman, I found myself spending a lot of time just wishing for something to do during a Saturday afternoon. It is so easy to find yourself secluded by staying on campus. I wanted to get out of my dorm room and enjoy the area around me. The only problem is I did not know what was in Carlisle, PA or close by areas.
I am going to make a blog that will be a guide of the hidden gems around and in Carlisle, PA. Places will include hiking trails, bodies of water, orchards, etc. I will use photography done by myself or my friends to illustrate our trips to these places and make my blog interactive. In addition I will take videos and edit them to make my site more multimodal with sounds and real footage.
I am very into clean-cut and simple designed blogs. I imagine a white or black background that makes my images pop. I want my images to be the most prevalent thing. I want to have thumbnails with a story written behind them. A reader will go over the image and read a snippet and hopefully clicks on the thumbnail and reads the article of information and tips. I do not want a structured flow on my blog. I want my audience which will be mainly Dickinson College Students to feel a sense of ease and realize this is just a casual blog on tips of what to do when you’re bored and have time on your hands. Blogs http://www.prevalent.com and http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ are two examples of designs of blogs that attract my eye. My blog is of course going to be different as I won’t be interviewing people (as it does on HONY) but rather exploiting the hidden beauties of the area around us.
I want to make a Blog that is relatable to my peers. Everyone loves a guide to campus hacks and this is a great subject to exploit.
There are several blogs out there that grab my attention. One type in particular is the kind that gives me different content to look forward to daily. The best way to describe the blogs I enjoy are lifestyle blogs. They have various segments and techniques that make each post different from one another, yet they all form together to be part of one concise blog. Whether it is their layout, use of images or even links to the items they are talking about, I always find myself intrigued in the post. It is interesting to read posts on what some people believe to be the healthiest breakfast to start your day, or fun and easy skin care routines. All of these concepts, as cliche and shallow as some may consider them, continue to keep me coming back for more. Here are two examples of lifestyle blogs that I have come across and learned to love.
One particular blog I enjoy reading is A Cup of Jo – this site is filled with various posts written by Joanna Goddard. This mother of two has been in the journalism industries for years and has worked for some of the biggest names like Cosmopolitan and New York Magazine. She expresses her personal stories and clever ideas to share with readers in hopes that they will relate or use these ideas as well. One thing this blog does exceptionally well is organize the site to work efficiently. The home page opens to the latest post as well as shows multiple links to the main categories posts may fall under. This makes the blog site easy to navigate regardless of who comes onto the page. I enjoy it because it is very attractive to read and the layout is modern.
Another blog I enjoy is for a younger based lifestyle blog readers – Lauren Elizabeth is a blog created and updated by a girl, you guessed it, Lauren Elizabeth Luthringshausen, who lives in Los Angeles and lives as an actress and online personality. Her lifestyle is very different from mine in many ways. Our schedules, income, and social life differ so it can be hard to read and relate to the posts. Her oh so glamorous lifestyle brings entertainment to my days spent in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Although this blog is hard to relate to, I continue to read it for it’s aesthetic layout and it’s entertaining post topics.
For my blog, I would like to work on creating a website designed to provide crucial information on court proceedings that relate to millennials and college students, while at the same time, offering a sarcastic and tongue-in-cheek spin on said issues. In practice, then, I would like to pitch a project that is essentially SCOTUSBlog meets Supreme Court coverage on The Onion.
I would like to work on this project for three reasons. Firstly, the work of our judicial system has recently begun to bear substantial influence on the lives of people my age. One need only look at the evolving case law on privacy rights, electronic searches, and issues such as reproductive rights and birth control. Secondly, in spite of this increasing importance, there has not been a corresponding rise in relevance amongst my generation. Too many of my peers pay remarkably little attention to court decisions, and among those who do, it is often only in the form of the CNN headlines they are exposed to while eating in the Caf. Finally, I think a key component of this judicial apathy is the somewhat dry reporting it receives. Simply put, following a bunch of old people in robes who are never televised, and are relatively removed from traditional civic engagement, is boring (or so I’m told). By offering a humorous spin, however, I think this problem can at least partially be alleviated. For example, try not to laugh at this! By proceeding in this manner, I think I can make an interesting outlet for critical and topical developments.
It is the year 2017 and everywhere you look you can find a blog catering to your interest. Blogs can be about literally anything, ranging from fashion, travel, food blogs to politics. Anyone can write a blog as well, but what makes a blog good is its audiences. Bloggers write their blogs to capture the attention of their viewers or readers. Unless you are writing a blog solely for yourself with the intention of never having anyone reading it, then you care about whether your blog is keeping the interest of its subscribers. There are 2 key things that come to mind when thinking about what makes a blog good.
The first is image, image, image:
The layout of a blog is a key component to how successful the blog will be. In Lance Hosey’s article Why We Love Beautiful Things he says “that good design often in very subtle ways, can have such dramatic effects. After all bad designs work the other way.” Readers are attracted to well-designed blogs because humans’ beings are instinctively attracted to beautiful things. Beauty can capture its audience and keep them captivated. If a blog is poorly designed they lose the ability to keep their readers as engaged as possible. A bad design has the capability of ensuring that readers will be distracted, lose interest or decide not to read your blog at all due to the poor design. That is why the layout of your blog matters, to keep the interest of the readers you should keep their eyes as well as their minds satisfied.
Another key component of what makes a good blog is it usefulness to the audience. In Sean Morris’s article DIGITAL WRITING UPRISING: THIRD-ORDER THINKING IN THE DIGITAL HUMANITIES he says that “ Our writing is in a state where every text begins at meaningless, until it finds harbor and use elsewhere, becoming meaningful only by association.” I believe that Morris is saying that a blog is only as important as its audience. It finds purpose in the use of its readers. If your digital writing is not being viewed and read by others than your writings are essentially not important. In the digital world, you are writing not just for yourself, but for the audience. The audience determines the importance of your writing. Remember you want to keep your audience engaged.
In the end two of the most important components of a good blog are the audience and the design. There are other key component to a good blog, but these two things are high up on the list.
Welcome to the year 2017, where news papers and discussion forums have been replaced by the Millenial’s virtual alternative: the blog. If you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade then lemme fill you in on what you’ve missed. Blogs are online sites, usually ran by a small group or individual, dedicated to writing about a wide array of topics from cooking to American football in a casual, informal fashion. If you are like any of the 3.2 billion people who use the internet daily you’ve stumbled across a blog or two before. And with mega-outlets like Barstool Sports and Buzzfeed ruling the digital world, you’re probably well aware that not all blogs are made equal. So let’s talk about what makes the difference between having a kickass blog or just a glorified online journal.
(A Kickass blog ^)
There’s a saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” but everyone has been guilty of doing exactly that, so the first great way to ensure an awesome blog site is to have an awesome layout and design. In his articles, Why We love Beautiful Things Lance Hosey explained, “brain scan studies reveal that the sight of an attractive product can trigger the part of the motor cerebellum that governs hand movement. Instinctively, we reach out for attractive things; beauty literally moves us.” In other words, the design of a blog has an immediate impact on the reader reception of the site. But the beauty of site’s design also affects the context of the blog’s posts. Hosey sheds light on the Golden Rectangle and its relation to people’s ability to read and retain text. “a Duke University professor demonstrated that our eyes can scan an image fastest when its shape is a golden rectangle. For instance, it’s the ideal layout of a paragraph of text, the one most conducive to reading and retention”. Human of New York is a shining example of a site with incredible web design using rectangles for every post and providing readers with vibrant pictures to look at. Not to mention its one of the most visited blogs in the world.
But a good looking design isn’t enough to ensure a blog’s success, the subject matter is just important. Brian Carrol in Writing for Digital Media identifies carve out a niche as another great strategy towards building a successful blog. Blogs with specific and well-pointed topics of discussion tend to fare better than those with broader subject matter. Blogs are typically used to provide quick, interesting information and readers generally like to have an idea of what posts will likely be about when they visit a blog site. For example, Cuteness Overload has attracted a massive following by almost exclusively posting articles about our cute furry friends like this guy.
Despite most of their post being informal and largely nonsense, sometimes all the world need is pictures of adorable animals and when people are in need of a cuteness overload, they know exactly which site to visit.
Finally, a blog should be able to develop its own community. While pictures and interesting topics are important, making readers feel like they’re are part of the blog shouldn’t be overlooked. People love to feel apart of something greater than themselves and blogs often offer the perfect platform to do so. Brian Carrol explains that blogging is an “expression of community” allowing people to congregate and discuss the topics that matter to them. Providing a comment section for readers to offer feedback is one of the best ways to get them involved.
So before your fingers start firing away building your perfect blog keep in mind:
The design of a site goes a long way, make it pretty and remember those rectangles
Stick to a specific topic to drawn in an audience
Establish a sense of community within your blog so readers keep coming back for more
Follows these guidelines and maybe you could be running the internet’s next big blog site!
What makes a good blog? This is a question that we have talked about for the past few weeks and I don’t think there is just one correct answer. One can go on the Internet today and legitimately find a blog on just about anything, however just because these blogs exist, doesn’t mean they are well done. Using the readings from the past two weeks, here are some of the things I think make a blog good.
In Digital Writing Uprising: Third-Order Thinking In The Digital Humanities, author Sean Michael Morris talks about the importance of collaboration on the Internet. The more we take advantage of this ability to collaborate, the more purposeful our writing becomes, which is something that I agree with. Morris’ next point is one that also resonated with me and that was the fact that “Today there is no value to our writing except as it is made useful”. It’s important to remember that when writing a blog, it only means as much as the audience thinks it means. If it has no audience, then it is useless, so it’s important to remember to target an audience when writing a good blog. Barstool Sports is a good example of a blog that targets a specific audience, with their main followers being young adults and teens, which are into funny sports content.
In Organic Writing and Digital Media: Seeds and Organs, author Pete Rorabaugh talks about the importance of growth among digital writing. He mentions how there is not one “right way” to evolve, but rather “growth is determined by the encouragement and critique of the community”. This is something that I definitely believe. I think for ones blog to become successful they need to be able to handle both positive and negative feedback in order to grow and evolve their blog into an even better version. If a blog leaves no room to grow then it will fail almost immediately, especially in todays world where interests are constantly changing.
With the growing presence of technology in our everyday lives, blogs and other digital writing are becoming our main source for news and opinions. Along with the growing need for digital information the volume of information is increasing. With all the information available to us the tactics bloggers use to draw our attention are very important towards the success of the blog.
A great strategy on how to create a successful blog from Brain Carrol in Writing for Digital Media is to carve out a niche. He mentions focusing on a narrow topic and using your own expertise in a subject to write about. Barstool Sports is a great example of finding a niche in the market and exploiting it. Barstool’s edgy coverage of sports and pop culture are stark contrast to the dry sports media.
Another great strategy towards creating a successful blog is having great design. Lance Hosey in his article Why We Love Beautiful Things cites a study that states our ability to read things faster when in the form of a golden rectangle. Not only does the golden rectangle improve our ability to read but it draws us towards it. From my personal experience, I will leave a website if the text and pictures are visually unappealing. An example of a site the has excellent layout is Buzzfeed. Buzzfeed uses pictures to draw readers in. Not only is the layout good for that article but the surrounding advertisements for other articles on the side. I often find myself lost in a wormhole of articles.
The ability to form a community is another aspect in making a good blog. Brain Carrol writes “Blogging is an exercise of expression, making one’s views public. Increasingly, though, blogging is also an expression of community, allowing individuals to communicate and congregate.” This sense of an online community resonates with me. There are many good places to communicate with one another but I believe Reddit is one of the best. In Reddit there is a thing called a subreddit. A subreddit is a place for you to post about a specific topic to a community of other people interested in that same topic. Not only can these people view your article but they can voice their opinion on the same topic.
There are many different strategies towards creating a good blog but I chose these three. Feel free to let me know which ones I missed out on in the comments below.
With thousands of blogs out there, some are still more famous than others. Such blogs like TechCrunch and Buzzfeed take the cake when it comes to being a successfully ran blog. So, what makes these blogs so special? From what I can tell, the BEST blogs truly cater to their readers. The best blogs pamper their readers in multiple ways from their design, writing, inclusion, and easy accessibility.
Most of the best blogs have a greatly designed website. They pull in their readers with their colors and format. For instance, TechCrunch boast an intriguing yet simple logo with a bright green color. It instantly captures your attention. The logo screams “tech” when you see it. From its broken block letters and imperfect C for crunch, it interests you because it looks different yet cool. Lance Hosey said it best, “Great design, the management expert Hamel once said, is like Justice Potter Stewart’s famous definition of pornography—” you know it when you see it… we reach out for attractive things, beauty literally moves us” ( Hosey). Successful blogs know how to move you from google to their site. Whether they are good or not, they capture your attention through their design.
Great blogs capture their readers through design but they maintain this audience through their personable technology on their site. Sites such as TechCrunch and more are designed to lessen the work of the readers. Everything is organized perfectly from news, video, events, and it even has a search bar. Readers do not have to do much on these sites because the sites already do it for them. These sites act like most of today’s technology where they simplify their consumers life. Sherry Turkle writes about technology, “Some people are looking for robots to clean rugs and help with the laundry. Others hope for a mechanical bride.” (Turkle 86). Not only do they make life simpler but they also help them feel included in the blog by having comment sections and suggestion boxes. Readers are guided on today’s blogs as far as where to go and what to see.
Lastly, the most successful blogs make their articles easy to read and relate to. Blogs help with this by summarizing everything and citing. Pete Rorabaugh writes that “ Digital writing is both compiled and original” as he explains how writers don’t necessarily write for themselves anymore. It is strictly for the Digital world and those that engage in it. Rorabaugh also writes that great writers need to be sure to have citations and that “citations can’t be delayed… outside writers should begin citing sources …where students can quickly collect links.” (Rorabaugh). It seems writing in the digital platform is for the readers satisfaction and to maintain their interest. Good blogs keep their readers in mind by writing about the things their readers are interested in hearing and citing information.
Ultimately, the best blogs are cool looking. They are easy to navigate and they offer a quick read for the everyday reader. They will keep you coming back for more this way.
I don’t believe there is a specific way or structure on how to create a good blog. All blogs should be different and have their own unique way of writing. However, I do believe that all blogs should include important things such as layout and communication with the readers.
In one of our readings, Why we Love Beautiful Things, Lance Hosey explains how readers are attracted to colors, shapes, and patterns. He says, “Instinctively, we reach out for attractive things; beauty literally moves us”. I can relate to this because my attention is drawn when I see colors and shapes in a blog. It attracts my attention and I become motivated to continue reading. Another key point Hosey talks about in his reading is the importance of the golden rectangle in the layout of a blog. He explains “how our eyes can scan an image fastest when its shape is a golden rectangle”. We can see these patterns and shapes when reading a book or reading an article online.
Another key point that I want to go over is communication. The blog should allow readers to interact and to share their opinions. This is important because it allows the readers to discuss about the topic and allow growth between the community. In the article, Organic Writing and Digital Media: Seeds and Organs, Pete Rorabaugh, explains how writing should connect and allow outside participation. He says, “Growth is determined by the encouragement and critique of the community”. He also highlights the importance of free-writing. Instead of trying to write your blog in order, you can start with your body paragraphs by just coming up with ideas and writing down key quotations from research. They can be re-ordered later. And writers get feedback on their drafting as it unfolds.