Friends and colleagues,

Let’s discuss an etiquette or style or guidelines or goals for this Profs’ blog that could be condensed into a paragraph or two and posted at the top of the page.

What do we want from this? How could it help us as teachers?

I have a few musings.

Some goals and guidelines that we’ve all bought into would make it easier on Steve , who wouldn’t have to spend a lot of time posting things himself… or persuading people to let him do so!

We should sign our pieces. Initials would be fine for those in the department–yes?–but full name, with an email address, for outsiders? Who are the outsiders? Alums? Please identify yourselves. To whom is this forum open? I’m not fussy, I’d just like to know.

We should avoid posting anything we wouldn’t want our students to read, right?

We should always indicate the sources of the articles we post, and provide links.

It would be nice if, when people post news stories, they didn’t take up acres of space, but were uploaded as PDFs or Word documents or something. [See “More” note below.] We could have a tech help box or something that would explain how to do that. I can’t figure it out myself how to do that, with a cursory look! Maybe our webmeister could help with this.

I also think it would be great if we agreed that we should generally post with an introductory comment that invites a discussion. Or not. In other words–as most people have done already wth your early posts–we should make it clear, What do we want to have happen by posting something? A post without a set-up is hard to react to.

Generally, I would think we’d be looking for information (resources, links, etc.) that might be useful to us as teachers, or to break open a topic to comments, discussion. A laugh is great too. (I’ve offered to dance in the video of Karen’s rap tribute. Where will it go from there?)

In addition, i am interested in examples of good convergence/multimedia journalism; fancy new software that might be used in web journalism; funky,  innovative, and useful new web sites; and case studies of ethical dilemmas, especially in the Wild Wild West  of the World Wide Web. Of course I’m always interested in what colleagues are working on, the conferences people they are attending (especially those I might attend), etc.

It would be nice, eventually, to have postings grouped by topic, so we could look back and find helpful posts. I can imagine, for example: Ethics…. Foreign reporting… Citizen journalism ….. The future of newspapers. … Good multimedia journalism…. The goods and evils of blogs… I see there’s a tag button just below this posting box. I will explore the possibility of uploading a tag cloud [DONE], but that’s a little beyond me right this minute. Like a lot of things.

Finally, perhaps we can find a way to make it easier to post something–or at least explain how. It’s not hard, but I would think a link on the home page directly to this “admin” page would make it that much easier.

But please, ladies and gentlemen, why not brainstorm how this might be be used?

I’m not convinced blogs are always, or even very often, journalism–a topic for another day–but they’re certainly a great tool!

Best, David P.