It’s been a pretty good first week of blogging from my online journalism students. After those impressive first ideas they’ve demonstrated that they understand the form in practice as well as theory.
First-time bloggers are often disappointed that the world isn’t listening as soon as they open their mouth, and I was expecting to have to advise all students that it would take time to build any sort of audience.
But when I asked them to call up their stats after just seven days I was surprised to find some were already gathering a readership: two students had had over 130 visits; another had had around 60; and a further two had around 40.
Remember, this was in just one week – their first week. And most had barely written two posts.
How had they managed this? Clearly their activities online played a part, including setting up Facebook groups, linking to other blogs, and using tags.
And since then the blogs have improved further.
Top of the class has to be Tuuli Platner’s blog on environmental news in North and South America, which includes some intelligent treatments and web-savvy research. Bloggers Influencing the Green Vote is a great example which brought a response from one of the bloggers she linked to.
Also impressive is Kasper Sorensen’s blog on water pollution stories in Europe. His serialised tactic of an ABC of Water Pollution is a clever idea.
Closer to (my) home, Alice Fanning has set herself The Great Plastic Bag Challenge on her blog about grassroots activity Ecocommunity.
And Stephanie Grant’s onerous challenge to cover environmental issues in Africa is covered at Enviroafrica, a mix of personal reflection on the journalistic process, and traditional spokesperson-led articles. She’s taken perhaps the most difficult ‘beat’ of all with gusto, and has paid attention to design – although she needs to brush up on copyright law for her images (that happens to be covered in this week’s lesson).
Other students starting to break sweat include Stephen Nunes looking at environment and education; Natalie Chillington covering grassroots environmental stories outside of the UK; Hayley Smith covering environmental stories around science and technology; and Emma Foster’s blog on environmental issues relating to business, industry and lifestyle.
If you’re able to visit and comment on any of their blogs, I’m sure they’d appreciate it.
Do you have a class aggregator for them? Greg Linch created one for his class as a public Google Reader page.
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@Anna – the online manager Azeem has plans to aggregate blogs soon.
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