What Do I Do with My Blog at the End of the Semester?

1. “I’m happy with what I’ve done, but I don’t want to continue.”

Great. Write a final farewell post (Post #20) letting your readers know you are done — or are at least taking a break for a while. Link to some of your best posts so they can see your “greatest hits.”

You can leave your blog where it is. Future students will see it and get inspired. You can link to it for internship and job applications.

2. “I don’t like my blog. I’m done with it. I don’t want anyone to see it.”

That’s fine. But DO NOT DELETE your blog right now. It has all of your work for the semester. Many things could happen in the coming weeks. I could lose my grade book. The school could screw up your grade. You could decide to challenge your grade. Or you may change your mind and decide to pick it up again. So don’t delete it.

Please make sure it stays public until May 31. After then, you can password protect it – meaning only you or other people who have the password can see it. For instructions, see the instructions for Setting Your Blog to Private.

After you have received your offical grade from Rowan, you can delete it. Here are instructions for how to delete your blog. If you delete a blog you will not be able to get it back.

So don’t delete it until you get your official grade and are absolutely sure you want to eliminate your blog.

3. “I love my blog. I want to continue it.”

Good. Go for it. Give yourself assignments. Nurture your audience. Make your blog what you want it to be.

4. “I love my blog. I want to continue it. But the free version of Word Press is limiting.”

Fine. You have a few options.

You can purchase a Word Press upgrade starting at $15 a year. There are various options to fit different needs – domain names, more space, upload audio and video directly, etc. Carefully research them before you spend the money.

You can try some other blogging software to see if you like something else. Blogger, TypePad, OnSugar, or LiveJournal might be better suited to your needs.

You can also buy a space with an Internet hosting company. They will give you your own domain name and (which can run about $7 a month) and still use WordPress to run your blog.

You should check out http://wordpress.org/ — that’s .ORG, which is different than .COM. I suggest that you get a host that allows for automatic instillation of WordPress. They give a list. WordPress.org offers plenty of options – plug-ins, templates, etc. Many news sites – including NYTimes.com, Wired, CNN, and People – use WordPress to run their blogs.

5. “I’m not sure what I want to do.”

Fine. Follow the instructions from #1.

6. Wait. Isn’t there more online journalism than blogging?

Of course. But you have learned more than just blogging this semester. You have been introduced to some important concepts and have tried some standard formats – ie linking, slide shows, maps, audio, short video clips – used at online news organizations.

And in a few years, all of this will be out of date. So keep educating yourself.

Keep up on what is happening in the online news world by reading Web sites like Cyberjournalist or Media Shift (…there are plenty more).

Teach yourself some new skills with tutorials from sites like Knight Digital Media Center or News University (…there are plenty more).

Get an online news internship and learn on the job.

Keep taking courses outside of your primary area of interest – or even outside of the Communications College.

And whatever career you choose or job you find – keep learning, keep educating yourself, keep challenging yourself.

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