I must be losing my edge.
I don’t remember this annual Top 5 beginner blog ranking being so tough to write. If memory serves, there were usually a few posts from first-year St. Lawrence College Advertising and Marketing Communications students that really stood out, and there was previously a clear hierarchy when it came to quality.
But not this year. This year I’m stuck. Amongst the 50 or so first posts for our blogging assignment, it’s been hard enough to narrow my faves down to five. And that’s as far as I can get. All of the top 5 employ creative, articulate, clean writing, and they more or less satisfy the 5 key requirements of my course rubric:
- They are 250 to 400 words in length and reflect on the topics stipulated in the assignment.
- They have an attention-grabbing headline and opening paragraph.
- They’re broken up into bite-sized paragraphs.
- They seamlessly embed cited or licence-free images with wraparound text.
- They cite their sources and back up their claims using multiple hyperlinks.
So here are my top 5 favourite first AMC student blog posts in no particular order:
Siobhan Gillespie—If there’s one thing very evident from Siobhan’s first post, it’s her ability to grab attention. No one could argue that her headline (“Three posts deep in the blogging trenches”) and her introduction (“I was that kid that would pull the Band-aid off reeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaally slowly.”) don’t pull you in. Siobhan keeps the reader’s attention throughout with scannable formatting techniques and—bless her!—she conscientiously cites the source of her photo even though her image’s licence may not require it by law.
Danielle Forget—Did I mention that I just love an attention-grabbing intro? Danielle starts her post with a startling statistic. She tops her post with a well-placed—skillfully cited through a hyperlink—banner image that stretches aesthetically across the entire post. She also makes use of a numbered list and bold-face text to make her post imminently scannable and easy on the eyes.
Branden Graf—I love the effort Branden has put into employing images. Most students provided the minimum single image. But Branden has two embedded into his blog and a photo of himself at the top of his post. I like the personal effort. I also love Branden’s intro, which kicks off his post with a brief history of blogging.
Jacqueline Wright—It may have something to do with the clean theme Jackie chose, but this post is a winner particularly because of its eye-appeal. It’s sharp and clean and meets my rubric’s requirements, but it’s also thoughtfully written with a smoothly embedded image with wraparound text and copious hyperlinks.
Danielle Cormier-Serre—Danielle (yes, there are two in my class) also knows how to grab attention. I love her simple “you-view” headline: “How to be the best blogger you can be—a guide.” Danielle also masterfully embeds an image with wraparound text and employs headings and subheadings to make her content invigoratingly scannable. She also backs up her claims with hyperlinked sources.
Sarah Villeneuve—Last but definitely not least is Sarah’s blog entitled, “Entering the blogosphere.” Like Danielle, she effectively uses headings to draw the eye and to create variety in the look of her post. And she has embedded an image with wraparound text. I also like Sarah’s call to action: “But what do you think? Is there something more important that would make my blog, or any blog, better?” Thank you, Sarah. I hope you get some feedback.
If you can find the time, I’m sure these students would love to hear from you. Visit their blogs, leave comments, and let them know what you think.
And if you like what you see and you’d like to read more, here are some other excellent bloggers that were on my shortlist but whose posts didn’t quite make the top 5: Jenna Brisson, Regan Druce, Rodrigo Moran, Valeria Puchetti, Elysse Tomlin, Kim Cormier, Georgia De Abreu, and Megan Ouellet.
Visit their blogs or feel free to comment here and let us know what you think of our new student blogs. Meanwhile, I’ll be curious to see if these lists of top bloggers change or grow by the end of April and who will win Blogger of the Year at the annual AMC Greg Awards.