Starting a New (Blog) Chapter

Last week I met with the director of my master’s capstone project (if you don’t know, this website is the said project), and as is predictable during these meetings in graduate school, I came out of  it with a lot more work to do.

While the director said my blog is good, the critique was that it was not frequent enough and that my topic was not as focused as it could be. Many of my entries end up turning into journal pieces rather than academic blog posts about the Communication discipline. While incorporating personal experiences is certainly acceptable and adds credibility to my posts, I need to have a more specific academic focus.

The viewer statistics of this blog tell us the majority of my current audience are people who seem to be doing research on communication concepts, such as college students who are currently in Communication classes and use my blog as a source for their papers/presentations. The goal is to increase the daily view count (the current average is about 60 views a day) and to do this by focusing on the audience that seems to be looking more for communication-related posts and less for personal stories from me.

Thus, starting now, the following changes will be in effect:

  • Blog posts will increase from one time a week to three times a week. I will strive to have a weekly “theme”, making sure that all three posts somehow relate to that theme. The three posts will vary in length and depth, and will be organized as shown below. The organization was based upon the online habits of most people during the North American work week.

Mondays: Longer post about a communication topic relating to the mission statement; same style as all the posts over the past year.

Wednesdays: Weekly communication theory / concept post; a very short post translating a specific communication theory / concept into terms everybody can understand.

Fridays: A “fun” post (video / photo / etc.) which will relate to the weekly theme.

I have thoroughly enjoyed working on this blog and plan to do so even after this project is completed (May 2012) by sharing my experiences in Turkey this summer and re-focusing the theme of the blog a bit, but for the next two months it will be very focused on specific communication topics, while still incorporating the “voice” and writing style I have used thus far!

I invite any comments and suggestions you have for me, and as always, I am happy to accept guest posts if you feel like writing something or contributing to a piece! Blogs are by their nature public, so I am happy to incorporate other voices.

See you next Monday for the first official “theme week”!

Message in a Bottle: Part III (SoS)

If you have been reading this blog for a while you will recall that I had two automatic posts this past summer (entitled “A Message In A Bottle” and  “Second Message In a  Bottle”) because I was on a trip to Turkey, Serbia, and Bosnia for a few weeks and did not have time to post. This is the third automatic post as I am again on a short trip to Serbia. This should be posting Tuesday morning, but it was written this past Saturday before I left the states (so I apologize if I am missing any huge world events that happened in the past few days!).

To have some fun with this theme, below is the song “Message in a Bottle” by The Police. Oftentimes when I read things such as blogs I am also listening to music, so I thought I would offer this for those of you who want some background tunes while you finish reading this :).

Got Theory?

Although I am currently on a trip, I have already written about my love for travel and why I do it so I will not repeat myself again. If you are interested in travel I do recommend checking out all three posts I link to above, though. They all deal with travel in some way and I connect them to the academic topics of this blog, which (broadly speaking) are international mass news media and media and technological convergence. Speaking of this blog, I am going to use the rest of my space today to “send out a SOS” (see song above) in regards to a major component of this project.

Yes, for those of you who do not know yet this blog is not just something I am doing for fun but is in fact a significant aspect of my capstone exit project that will decide whether or not I graduate with my master’s degree from Northern Kentucky University (see here for more). While I have loved writing with a vague sense of direction over the past few months (and I think I will continue to write on here even after I graduate and I look forward to having more freedom on my topic choices), I will have to focus in much more specifically on theoretical components over the next few months so that I can defend this blog as a legitimate exit project for my communication program in May 2012.

When I say “theoretical” I mean that I will have to pose a few research questions and potentially even come up with a hypothesis of some sort. For example, I might choose to pose a research question about how individual identity and opinions  can be shared with the world via an online blog and thus end up studying my own use of this blog from that perspective. Or I might pose a question about how online blogs can help to (or not) facilitate productive and significant discussion of important media issues and thus potentially create a virtual “public sphere” of sorts. I have a lot of ideas running through my head on how I can turn this blog into a theoretical master’s degree exit project, but I could always use more.

If you have any suggestions/ideas/thoughts/comments of any kind for me that would help with this project I invite you to contact me individually or to make some comments below! I will of course do 100% of this work myself and am not trying to take an easy way out by asking for topic suggestions, I just know there are some ideas out there I have not even thought of and that might end up being amazing research topics not only for my personal project here, but for projects in the future that we could work together on.

On that note lastly I would like to offer up an opportunity to have guest authors on this blog as well. If you are interested in the topic at hand and would like to write something up (or use something you have written already) contact me and we can arrange it! This blog is not just about me, it’s about the topic at hand, and having some more voices talking about that topic would only help.

Until next week.