Investigate the world of blogs, bloggers and blogging. Access a site and review its topics and the posts that are made by the writers and commenters. Choose for analysis one article or commentary connected with democracy (primarily politics, but it can also be about social, economic issues, etc.). A popular site for blogging/opinion articles is the left-leaning Huffingtonpost.com At the other end of the political spectrum, on the right, there is Breitbart.com Another way to find a blog is to conduct an Internet search. There was a site called Technorati that updated continually a list of the top political blogs on the Internet (this Technorati link takes you to its final list from 2014). There is also the Top 50 political blogs site (2009). Additionally you may choose an online newspaper or news magazine, many of which allow for reader comments below the posted article. Once a site is selected, find a specific topic/story, etc. that has at least 20 posts (ideally much more). Read them also for analysis. After the survey is completed on the first page – beginning on a new page (same document) – write a summary of the findings. Part 1. Using APA style (double-spaced, 1” margins, 5-7 space indent, etc.), the information should summarize the specific blog post and answer the following questions: • Are the posts generally supportive/unsupportive/pro/con/liberal/conservative, etc.? • What do the posts say (generalize comments)? • Are the posts brief, long, well written, supported, etc.? • Do the posts use profanity, are they well written, credible? Part 2. On a broader level, reflect on the impact that blogs in general say about our democracy (freedom of speech, etc.). How does this support or hinder our democratic process? Identify the pros/cons, etc. Survey Questions Blogging Survey Questions: The name of the website/blog used. The URL (copy and paste the web address) The story title. Summary of the article. Length of story. Did the story/topic/etc. have an opinion? If “yes” to the question above, what was it? How many posts were there to the story? How many supported the opinion/issue/story/topic etc.? How many were against? How many were neutral/unclear, etc.? Post a comment (optional) stating your position on the issue. (If you did not post to the blog, what would you have stated?) Provide a one sentence summary of your post.
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