Jerz: New Media Projects (EL405)


19 Oct 2006

Blog Portfolio 1

Agenda items for each assigned reading; your development journal, in which you give regular informal updates (with links and screen shots, where appropriate), and offer support and feedback to your peers.

What is a development journal? Here are some examples of entries that might make up part of a development journal. I'm asking for a detailed, regular development journal for Project 1 and Project 2, but for this portfolio I'd be satisfied with just a few entries.

Submit your portfolio by posting the URL in a comment on this page.

Update: More blogging details added, at Stephen's request.

Because EL405 is more of a studio workshop than a discussion seminar, the most important texts we will encounter in this class are the new media creations that you will be working on. As with any class there are assigned readings, but the contents of a typical "how-to" chapter in Flash Journalism probably won't offer up much intellectual material for debate.


  • The Cover Entry: Post a blog entry that contains links to all the entries that you plan to submit for your portfolio. For the benefit of an outside reader (that is, someone who doesn't know what a blogging portfolio is), introduce each of these links and explain why they are significant. (For example, see "Favorite Blog Entries: Journaling Mode.")
  • The Collection: Your blogging portfolio is supposed to be a collection of your best weblog entries. For the purposes of this class, a "good" blog entry is one that demonstrates your intellectual engagement with the new skills you are developing -- even if you feel those skills are coming slowly and your blog is more of a rant than a list of accomplishments. I will accept a bulleted list of entries, but please write for an audience that does not know or care about your homework requirements. (Thus, no boring titles or links such as "Chapter 4 Blogging.").

    1. Coverage. Ensure that you have blogged something for each of the assigned readings (for a C-level grade, at least brief agenda items for each assigned reading; for a higher grade, demonstrate your intellectual involvement with the assigned readings). If we read more than one chapter from a book, or several short articles, I would accept a single blog entry for the day, as long as that entry addresses common themes that you find in multiple readings. (If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me.)
    2. Depth. Some of the "coverage" entries you selected above should also demonstrate your ability to examine a concept in depth. Do some original online research, and link to the precise pages where you got ideas that helped you formulate your ideas. If you prefer to use a library book, quote a passage that you found interesting. Here are a few examples (from a literature class) of a blog entry that goes above and beyond the standard "what I thought about the book" blog entry: Fitting in in the Diamond Age and Forced Reading-- Beloved Character.
    3. Case Study Blog Entry: Choose one of the case studies in Flash Journalism, and write a "richly linked blog entry." (By that, I mean simply a blog entry that uses links, not just as add-ons or throw-aways, but a blog entry in which the links are a deep, integral part of both the structure and the content.)
    4. Interaction. Of the "Coverage" blogs entries included above, some should also demonstrate your ability to use weblogs to interact with your peers. For instance, you might disagree (politely) with something a peer has written; link to and quote from the peer's blog entry, then carefully (and respectfully) explain where you disagree. Rather than hurl accusations in order to make the other person look bad, cheerfully invite the other person to explain their perspective. Quote passages from the texts your peer has cited, or find additional examples that help unveil the truth. (These may or may not include some entries you have already included among your "Depth" entries.)
    5. Discussions. Blogging feels lonely when you aren't getting any comments; you will feel more motivated to blog if you enjoy (and learn from) the comments left by your readers. Your portfolio should include entries (which may or may not overlap with either the "Interaction" or "Depth" entries) that demonstrate that your blog sparked a conversation that furthered your intellectual examination of a literary subject.
    6. Timeliness. A timely blog entry is one that was written early enough that it sparked a good online discussion, before the class discussion. A timely blog entry might also be an extra one written after the class discussion, if it reacts directly to something brought up in class. The blog entries that you write the night before the portfolio is due won't count in this category. And don't try to change the date in your blog entries -- I know that trick! ;)
    7. Xenoblogging. "Xeno" means "foreign" or "guest" so xenoblogging (a term that I coined a little while ago) means the work that you do that helps other people's weblogs. Your portfolio should include three entries (which may or may not overlap with the ones you have already selected for "Coverage") that demonstrate your willingness to contribute selflessly and generously to the online classroom community. Examples of good xenoblogging:
      • The Comment Primo: Be the first to comment on a peer's blog entry; rather than simply say "Nice job!" or "I'm commenting on your blog," launch an intellectual discussion; return to help sustain it.
      • The Comment Grande: Write a long, thoughtful comment in a peer's blog entry. Refer to and post the URLs of other discussions and other blog entries that are related.
      • The Comment Informative: If your peer makes a general, passing reference to something that you know a lot about, post a comment that offers a detailed explanation. (For example, the in the third comment on a recent blog entry about the history and culture of print, Mike Arnzen mentions three books that offer far more information than my post did.)
      • The Link Gracious: If you got an idea for a post by reading something somebody else wrote, give credit where credit is due. (If, in casual conversation, we credited the source of every point we make, we'd get little accomplished. But since a hyperlink is so easy to create, it's not good practice -- or good ethics -- to hide the source of your ideas.) If a good conversation is simmering on someone else's blog -- whether you are heavily involved or not -- post a link to it and invite your own readers to join in.

    8. Wildcard: Include one blog entry on any subject -- related to the course material or not, serious or not -- that you feel will help me evaluate your achievements as a student weblogger.

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Comments

What project should the development journal cover in this portfolio? If Game? TGF2? Obviously we haven't started Project 1 or 2, so I am assuming it is neither of those at this point.

Also, in regard to the assigned readings, should we just have entries about the texts, or about things like the Strong Bad E-mail and the Adventure Dwarf texts?

Posted by: Leslie Rodriguez at October 16, 2006 3:24 PM

When I wrote "I'm asking for a detailed, regular development journal for Project 1 and Project 2" I guess I should have said, "In a future portfolio, I will ask for a detailed, regular development journal for Project 1 and Project 2," because as you note, we haven't started either project yet. So yes, a few entries regarding your progress on Inform 7 or TGF2 would be fine.

And yes, every text I asked you to look at, including the Strongbad animation and the IF games, is a valid subject for a "coverage" blog entry.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at October 16, 2006 5:25 PM

Thank you for the clarification. =)

Posted by: Leslie Rodriguez at October 16, 2006 8:50 PM

What is a "coverage" blog entry? Maybe you should outline all the parts of the blog portfolio to clarify what we need. The hyperlinks are nice to show us 'how' to do a development portfolio, but they didn't specify 'what' goes into the portfolio.

Bulleted details like we received in other classes were helpful.

Posted by: Stephan Puff at October 17, 2006 10:52 AM

Okay, I've expanded on the assignment. Does that help?

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at October 17, 2006 11:23 AM

Dr. Jerz,

I already made a couple entries about project 1 for my developmental journal. Will you accept it this time?

Posted by: stormy at October 17, 2006 1:05 PM

Absolutely, Stormy. But anyone who has not really started the development journal need not worry. We will get to it.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at October 17, 2006 1:17 PM

Here is the link to my blog portfolio.
http://blogs.setonhill.edu/LeslieRodriguez/017304.html

Posted by: Leslie Rodriguez at October 17, 2006 7:56 PM

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/MikeRubino/017298.html

Posted by: Mike Rubino at October 18, 2006 2:53 PM

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/KarissaKilgore/017355.html

Posted by: Karissa at October 18, 2006 10:33 PM

Here's a link to my blog portfolio entry:

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/ChristopherUlicne/coursework/017354.html

Posted by: ChrisU at October 19, 2006 11:48 AM

whoops! almost forgot to post this before I left for class...

http://blogs.setonhill.edu/StormyKnight/017365.html

portfolio link.

Posted by: stormy at October 19, 2006 1:32 PM
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