Your First Assignment

Here’s your first assignment: start your own blog! The easiest way to do that is to sign up for a blog at Just click on the orange “create your blog now” arrow and fill in the blanks.

(If you’re already an experienced blogger, you might want to set up your blog on, the blog service I use for all my class blogs. It’s a little more complex, but it has more features. The good news is both services are free.)

blogger1.jpgOne of the first things you’ll need to do is pick a name for your blog (e.g., Cynthia’s blog, Kelly’s Jour61 Blog or Media Maven) and select a color and design. Feel free to have some fun with it.

As you set up your blog, carefully consider how “public” you want to be before filling out your “profile.” For example, you can choose not to show your real name or email address on your blog — and that’s probably a good idea. You can use an alias to serve as your “display name” (that’s the name that goes on each blog “post” to show who wrote it — for example, I use “cynmc” as my display name). You can upload a photo or icon…or not. You can provide some personal info … or not (FYI, I mostly don’t).


Once you’ve got your blog set up, click on “posting” tab in the dashboard to write your first comment. You’ll see that it’s a lot like writing an email. You get a slot for a headline, a box to write in, and tools for editing and formatting what you write. You can write right in the form, or write what you want in Word and copy and paste it into the form.

Note: Sometimes text that’s copied and pasted from MS Word brings in unwanted formatting that makes your blog post look funny. If you run into this problem, highlight the messy text and click on the “Remove Formatting” button (circled in red below) in your blog’s format bar.

So … here’s what I’d like to do for your first blog post: introduce yourself. You don’t have to give your full name if you’d prefer to stay somewhat anonymous, but tell a little bit about yourself and briefly say what you’d like to get out of this class … and maybe what aspect of the media you’re most interested in. Just a few short paragraphs will do.

Oh, and make sure to email me the web address (URL) of your blog so I can find it. (For example, the URL for this blog is:

If you run into problems, don’t panic. If you’d like some help getting your blog started, just come in during my office hours, or email me, or call me.


5 responses to “Your First Assignment

  1. I use both platforms; I also have some Blogger blogs.

    I’m using WordPress here mostly because of the pages feature — makes it easy to keep class materials (like the syllabus) and blog posts together and accessible to all. I also like WordPress’ ability to support multiple users and track posts by individual users (that’s especially helpful when I’m having all students in a class post on one class blog, as I did last semester on this blog).

    However, I find Blogger is a little easier to use when you’re just getting started, so I suggest it for first-time bloggers.

  2. Pingback: Welcome to Journalism 61 « Journalism 61

  3. Pingback: Journalism 61 « Dona Nichols’s Weblog

  4. Pingback: How to use this blog/website « Journalism 61

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