It Ain't Just Berkeley

· Weblog Concepts

My referrer logs today show a link from a handout (in-progress) on weblogs from a course called Introducton to Information Design at Saginaw Valley State University in Michigan:

One of the ongoing assignments for CM 541 is to keep a weblog. As stated on the syllabus, the point of the weblog is to provide a personal/professional view on the world wide web. You should post your weblog on Blogger or another blog host, or design it yourself and post it at SVSU’s site.

Before setting up your blog, read the recommended articles about weblogs (on the course web page) and examine 10-20 weblogs. Start with those recommended, and then move from one to another by association. Throughout the term you should compile a list of favorites (not too many from 541 student weblogs) on your list of permanent links. Weblogs should be up and running by week 4 and should continue at least through the final class period.

Design of the weblog should reflect your persona and your sense of good informational design. You should decide on a theme or consistent set of topics for your weblog, reflected in the weblog’s name.

Throughout the semester there will be periodic assignments coming out of class discussion and reading, but the following are categories of topics you might consider:

  • Recommended web sites. What have you found that is of interest? (Reasons might include design, content, topicality, or just something that strikes you funny. Those you want to be routinely available should be present as permalinks.)
  • Commentary on what’s going on in class or in your life.
  • Ways in which the internet resembles / differs from other media.

I note some drift in the denotation of the word permalink. The course instructor seems to use it above to mean something like a permanent link on the sidebar of a blog, as opposed to a permanent link URL referring to a specific blog post. That’s one jargon item to watch.
I’m also noticing more people linking to this site as “Radio-Free Blogistan” (with a hyphen). Not that I care as long as the link works. (A variation on the old “just spell my name right” saw.)
I know blogging has been light here the past few days. I’m in the midst of a slight blogging fast right now, while digesting and processing a lot of other stimuli, feedback, and information.
For one thing I have a new project I’m working on, currently under wraps. It promises to cut into my available blogging time for the next few months, but it’s not unrelated to all this, so I think the time offline will pay off even for readers of this blog.
I also thinking of building a FAQ list because I’m starting to hear a lot of the same questions about blogs over and over. On the other hand, they’re not all questions. Some are just statements or quotations you hear a lot. I don’t want to call them Frequently Uttered Quotations because that may limit the appeal of the features. But may just “frequent utterances,” shortened to blog-fu?
Lastly, I’ve been following two LJ-mediated conversations, one on Scot Hacker’s move to MT (he has mixed feelings already) and one on the weblog hype phenomenon. I’ll at least throw the links up here when I get done with my current task, and add some commentary when I can.