Using those digi-skillz to promote bloggers, like Jason

I teach a digital communications class, among others. It’s relatively new, and I’m kinda making it up as I go along. The class was born of a need I saw to teach students how to effectively use social media, understand digital citizenship and how to communicate online and use a variety of tools to enhance that communication. My principal liked the idea, so then I had to get my butt in gear and come up with some lessons. My second section/semester has gone a bit better than the first, and I see it as an ever-evolving class where one semester can be radically different from the previous. Dynamic – I like that.

Being as the class is based on using blogs as sort of portfolios, where students’ work is posted and linked to, blogging has become our main deal. When I had to be out of the class recently for a journalism convention for my newspaper and yearbook students, I left a relatively simple assignment for the day – and gave them the week to finish along with other work. I wanted them to go blog-surfing, find a blog they especially liked and write a review of it, linking back to the blog. Brownie points if it occurred to them to give the blogger a shout-out on Twitter with a link to their review that had a link to the reviewed blog. I love communicating online.

Once in a while, pretty often, really, I do the same assignment I give them. It’s fun. I like what I’m having them do. Wish some of them liked it better.

So I went blog-surfing today. Didn’t take long after I looked at Press This under #humor to find George’s Skewed View. I enjoyed the read so much, that I went back a couple posts. The blog, actually written by Jason, is relatively young and has seen a (very) recent renewal. That means he had good intentions a year ago, then fell off. He just got back on this month. The guy should keep at it. He has a good voice, a point of view similar to my own – I call it common sense – and he likes to write like I do. I can’t resist someone who really enjoys writing when it shines through.

Jason’s most recent post examines the fine (invisible?) line between being an adult and being a kid – or is it being a kid and being an adult. Actually at one point I think he’s saying being a kid, then being an adult then being a kid. Well, you get the point, or if you don’t, go read him yourself. You’ll giggle, then nod knowingly, unless you don’t have common sense.

After reading a couple posts, I turned to my newspaper co-managing editor Skyler, who is also in my digicomm class and has fallen in love with blogging, and told him about George’s Skewed View. Skyler had discovered a blogger a couple weeks ago, The Surfing Pizza, and liked him so much that he interviewed him for an extended review of the blog for the newspaper. I found Jason’s to be in the same vein, but individual nonetheless. Check them both out if you love writing, and guys who can make sense of the nonsensical, and who, ironically, both like Cheetos.

And if you enjoy George’s View and Pizza, check out Skyler’s blog, too. He’s getting started, but has developed a blogger voice of his own. you can find him at My Teacher Made Me Do It, which I kind of did, but he’s glad.

Oh, and we bloggers LOVE comments. We like likes, but we really get tickled when someone starts a convo with us. As I’ve explained to the class, you should leave your readers with a comment or question that triggers a need to respond, thus starting a conversation.

You agree, right? How do comments on your blog affect you, and how do you recommend gaining followers and starting conversations?


About teachjournalism
I am a high school teacher of journalism, technology and reading. I advise the school's newspaper and yearbook, both student-led publications. Documenting and sharing my experiences is a way of reflecting to improve my own work and and inviting commentary so that we might all benefit. I believe, as I tell my students each year, that we all learn from each other.

2 Responses to Using those digi-skillz to promote bloggers, like Jason

  1. Thank you very much for the kind words and endorsement. Much appreciated. The name is actually Jason, George is my crazy golden retriever who I felt needed a little tribute.

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