The Prodigal Altar Boy

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Blog Improvement Plan (Part 1)
Well, I’m at the end of the Capstone Course and the final assignment is to:  
Submit a two- to three-page paper providing a brief rationale of the following components used in the creation and development of your Blog:
    • Purpose
    • Design
    • Content
    • Audience

I’ll break the paper down into 4-5 posts, starting with the design.  The design portion was interesting because we had peer reviews of our blogs.  The comments were helpful, and I tried to incorporate as many as I could.  An issue, as you’ll read, came up in the peer review suggestion to widen the appeal of the blog’s design contrasted against the professional advice to increase blog effectiveness by going for the niche.  I’ll provide all of the references in the last installment.  Enjoy.

I chose the grey 3D block background and black text boxes to evoke a formal, serious look for the blog.  While that impression serves as a backdrop for the content, which will range from serious, when discussing the communication theory behind TQ’s exploits, to the ridiculous when exploring those tactics, I recognize peer review of the blog’s need for color and personality.  Since the reviews tell me I achieved my impression goals for the blog, the next step is to use enough color to push that background into the background and let the colors of widgets and posts move the content to the forefront.  I have already added a background picture to the title banner as well as additional pictures to the “Places and Spaces” slideshow.
Post length was another common issue in the peer review. Therefore, in addition to following Rowse and Garrett’s advice to increase page ranking and granularity by breaking long posts into series (Rowse & Garrett, 2008, pp. 87-92), I will break down the video on the blog into what Reiss calls “mobisodes,” episodes designed for web-enabled smartphones, releasing one episode per week (Reiss, 2010, pp. 244-247).
Besides color choices and post length, an additional peer comment was a desire to see more of my personality in the blog.  This is a very astute observation, especially given my goals in light of Faidman and Levelle’s observation that people fund people, as opposed to ideas.  Putting more of my personality into the blog is a way for the audience to get to know me and taking a cue from my review of peer blogs, I will add post-relevant polls to future postings.  I posted additional pictures to both the “Spaces and Places” and “Tools of the Trade” slideshow widgets.  “Spaces and Places” ties to personality in that it shows photographs of the places I have been.  As production continues, more of the pictures will relate to locations in the documentary.  The “Tools of the Trade” slideshow needs captions, which I will add with Picasa, to give context to the equipment displayed in those pictures.