Writing in Digital Environments

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Blog Analysis: The Pioneer Woman

Pioneer Woman

Today we will discuss the Blog Analysis project, audience, purpose, context, ethos, and your About and Welcome pages that are due next Tuesday. We will use The Pioneer Woman’s website/blog as an example for our discussions today.

  1. First, open a Word document and write a one-paragraph (no more than one double-spaced page) summary of Amanda Fortini’s article on Ree Drummond and her blog. What is Fortini’s assessment of Drummond’s persona/ethos? Include at least two examples from the article. Put your name on your summary and submit it to the Canvas Discussion forum (WTL #4) or print and turn it in.
  2. When finished with the quiz, read The Pioneer Woman’s about page, and then skim the most recent posts on the site (they are highlighted in the scrolling photos on the homepage). Then explore other sections if you have time.
  3. Review the mini lecture (in the ‘Class Notes’ Page of Canvas) on the design plan approach to production and analysis: focus on statement of purpose and production strategies.
  4. Get into groups of four to analyze the site according to the guidelines for the Blog Analysis project. Focus on statement of purpose and production strategies. Choose someone to take notes for the group. The note-taker will share the group’s analysis with the class. You will return to this group Thursday when we examine visual and written arrangement.
  5. Login to your WordPress account and go to your blog dashboard. We will create a welcome page and set it as the homepage for your site.
  6. Upload our design plans to the Canvas Assignments page
  7. Wrap-up and questions



Design Plans w/ 3 Qs

3 most important questions graphic

Here is today’s class agenda. We are getting to the heart of the matter now and starting in on our semester-long projects.

Finding Your Passion:

  1. Composition as Design (file found in the Class Notes Page of Canvas)
  2. Watch: Gary Vaynerchuk’s Web 2.0 Expo NY talk
  3. Complete Vishen Lakhiani’s Three Most Important Questions activity as preparation for writing your design plans
  4. Review the Design Plan project and how the Three Questions activity serves as your first step in that project.
  5. Review the Website and Blog Project
  6. Work on drafting your design plan


Use the Three Questions activity to write your design plan (due Tues. Sept. 6)
Read: Reid, Why Blog?
Read: The Web Writing Style Guide, Introduction (p. 2-24)

Web 2.0, Intro. to Rhetoric, and Sherman Activity

Keep calm, you're going to do fine this semester. Everything is all right.

Welcome back! You’ve made it to day two of class. 😉

We have a lot to do today, so let’s get to it.

Web 2.0 (10 minutes)
First, we need to answer this question: what is Web 2.0 and what does it have to do with the work we will be doing this semester? The video we watched last time by anthropology professor Michael Wesch will help us answer it. Go to Canvas and answer the question (WTL #1) posted there. We will often have a Write to Learn (WTL) to open the class so get in the habit of checing there at the beginning of class.

Rhetorical Situations and Design Plans (15 minutes)
Let’s start by using Seattle Seahawk Richard Sherman’s post game interview to review some of the rhetorical terminology that you will read about for homework.

  • What is the purpose of the post game interview?
  • Who is the audience for such interviews?
  • What are the conventions of the post game interview genre?
  • How did Sherman break those?
  • What is the social context in which his interview is being judged?

These are the kinds of questions you need to answer when analyzing or composing a text according to the Design Plan Approach to Production and Analysis. You will use this approach when crafting your semester-long Design Plans next week (due Tuesday, Sept. 6).

Homework assigned:

What is the Connection Economy?
Read: The Five Canon’s of Classical Rhetoric
Read: The Design Plan approach to production and analysis
Read: Seth Godin’s Six Assets that Matter in the Connection Economy
Begin thinking about your own Design Plan. Be sure you understand the directions of the assignment and read through its corresponding links.
Writing : Respond to a classmate’s Canvas Discussion forum post. Find your response to the question “What role does the web play in your daily life?” and respond to the person whose response is immediately below yours. If you are last, respond to the first person listed.