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 lose your grade. You could decide to challenge your grade. Or you may change your mind and decide to pick up you blog again. So don’t delete it.

Please make sure it stays public until Dec 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 official 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.

If you want to keep learning and practicing online journalism, I suggest you move your blog to your own Web host (costs about $5 to $7 a month) and use WordPress.org — that’s .ORG — which is different than WordPress.com.

Here are some basic differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org

WordPress.COM

  • Free
  • Must have .wordpress.com in URL
  • @ 70 Themes
  • Dozens of plug-ins/widgets
  • Can’t modify CSS
  • Can’t upload audio or video directly
  • Used by average people
  • You must stick with basic template

WordPress.ORG

  • Free, but you have to a Web host
  • Claim your own URL
  • Thousands of themes
  • Thousands of plug-ins/widgets
  • Can modify CSS
  • Can upload audio and video directly
  • Used by average people and news orgs
  • You can make it your own

So if you are interested, visit WordPress.org which has a lot of tutorials.

I also recommend educhalk.org a great resource for learning how to build a Web site using WordPress.org.

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 formats of online journalism – ie HTML, CSS, aggregation, blogging, slide shows, maps, audio, timelines, video.

And in a few years, all of this will be out of date.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

Teach yourself some new skills with tutorials from sites like Knight Digital Media Center, News University, and 10,000words.net. Assign yourself Journalism Grads: 30 Things You Should Do This Summer. If you don’t know how to do something, Google it. Someone else has already learned how to do the same thing and has written about it.

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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