I just survived it again—the one weekend every year when I completely forsake my family, fresh air, and my mountain bike.
What am I doing that merits such devotion and sacrifice? I’m marking all of my 50 to 75 Advertising students’ first blog posts for my Writing for Marketing class. It’s the only time this semester that I’ll be marking all of the blogs in one week.
It’s a killer. But it’s a chore that I generally enjoy, and this year was perhaps the most gratifying yet.
That’s because my hunch that this is an unusually driven group of students seems to have been correct.
Usually, the first round of blog posts yields a thimbleful of excellent posts with the majority still in the “much room for improvement” category. Hence, it’s usually easy to craft my Top 5 list.
This year, I struggled to whittle down about 20 superb posts to 10. Indeed, behind the browser window in which I am currently writing this post sit about 12 open tabs displaying student blogs; I’m still trying to pare down Week One’s best posts.
My faves aren’t necessarily the ones that received the top marks. That’s because it’s relatively easy to do well on the first post. For this one, students merely have to introduce themselves and their feelings about blogging. It’s next week that they’ll have to start demonstrating critical thinking while writing about advertising and marketing issues. They’ll have to voice opinions and back those opinions with examples and clearly cited evidence.
Sure, my favourite posts this week had to demonstrate clean writing and follow my checklist for visually appealing blogs. But they also had to show a powerful voice, enthusiasm, and some genuine reflection on the topic at hand.
So, without further ado, allow me to introduce you to my Top MCOM5 blog pics of the week:
Can’t stop, won’t stop (trying to sell you stuff)—Jason Manuge warns that those racy rock star stunts, such as Miley Cyrus’s recent twerking escapade, are carefully scripted performances engineered to brainwash consumers into buying stuff.
I have a dream—Tina Ciccarelli writes about how she hopes to make a difference through her writing.
Lock it up and throw away the key—Sarah Chapman writes about her discomfort and her excitement about blogging, a medium that can be seen and critiqued by the world.
Not your average tweet—Ciera Jones compares blogging to tweeting.
The apostrophe. A tough piece of punctuation—After a writing lesson in my Writing for Marketing class in which we examined the proliferation of punctuation errors on public signage, Patrick Sauve marvels that global corporations can make such shameful errors.
Intelligent swearing?—Emily Mainland reflects on how swearing in social media, particularly in one’s own blog, could harm one’s career. Her points are well argued.
Does your self-image hold you back?—Kassandra Deguire reflects on how blogging might help her attain a truer self-image.
This world is seriously crazy, but I’m going to reach out to it anyway—Sara McLeod writes about the risks and rewards associated with using social media and writing a blog.
Bathroom humour and an English accent—Sky Bonner writes about how over-the-top advertisements that some might consider tasteless can be very effective. Learn from Sky about Poo-Pourri. Yes, you read that right.
Take a step into my world—Jake Brennan writes about how he hopes to combine advertising and marketing with his love of fitness. His eight-week blog, he says, will be all about describing the connections between the three.
I would have also liked to have included two other bloggers’ posts: those of Ryan Maybee and Aaron Hartman. So here they are for all of you who wish your stereo’s receiver volume could be cranked past 10 to 12. Meet Ryan in And we’re off! and Aaron, who blogs about her first drop of “blogahol.”
If you enjoy any of these student posts, please share them on Facebook or Tweet them. Or repost them elsewhere. Or leave comments.
I know these students would love to hear from any of you.