First up two great photos from my Writing the Message Online students this week, one artistic and one very well framed – thanks to Adam Capper and Saffron Coe for these. A good illustration of the types of good pics that can be taken from a mobile phone.


And now for student blogging news:

For the past six weeks I have been eagerly surveying #msg11 on Twitter for the first signs of blogging life from my first year journalism students at Hallam.

There has been little activity and for a while there I had hashtag envy of Philo Holland’s second year students who were avidly tweeting the hashtag #jpp11.

But good things come to those who wait. Like many of the trends on Twitter there was a sudden flurry of activity last Sunday evening when student Shaun Ackroyd posted a URL link to his hyperlocal news blog Fev Freepost including the module hasgtag.

I retweeted it and encouraged other students to follow Shaun’s example. Obviously competition suddenly got hold of them and next thing I knew a stream of #msg11 tweets were coming through with associated tiny url links to the user’s blog. And the #msg11 tweets have continued to tumble in since.

The students were encouraged to pick their own theme whether it be news orientated or a blog sharing opinion and analysing debates. And there is a great range so far with topics including:

There are some catchy and apt blog names as well, such as The Fairy Blogmother, The Gooner, Kicking It All Off, Subbeautyo and Music Is What Feelings Sound Like.

Great stuff from everyone, and apologies if I have missed anyone but you need to get tweeting with #msg11 to get my attention.

Here are a few pointers for everyone who is blogging:

1. Don’t just write your own opinion, include an array of views and present a balanced argument and informed debate

2. Attribute any sources that you get information and quotes from whether it be via a website link or in words

3. Be aware of copyright issues – more details on Blackboard

4. Have lots of links to the rest of the web

5. Break up the text with crossheads, bullet points, photos, graphics and video (following copyright guidance)

6. Be interactive and encourage people to take part and come to your blog

7. Make full use of other mediums to promote your blog – tweet,  text, send emails, post on other people’s Facebook walls, be a shameless self-publicist!

8. Look at what other students are doing and  give one another feedback

9. Take your own photos wherever possible

10. Check your copy for correct spelling, punctuation and grammar, then check it again, then ask someone else to check it a third time

Keep blogging and keep tweeting…