Guidelines for Econ 3522 class blog

About the Econ 3522 class blog

Updated on 2016-1-08

As stated in the syllabus, one of the requirements of the course is regular participation in the class blog. I have created such a blog at tuecontheoryofnetworks on the popular blogging service WordPress.com. Course rules and guidelines for this blog follow.

  • Each post you make should be your original creation (I am aware of other similar blogs online and can easily detect plagiarism). One blog in particular to know about is that of a course on Networks offered at Cornell University, which you can find here. You should monitor that blog closely, both in order to be inspired and in order not to accidentally or otherwise post material from the Cornell blog to ours. Do not fear, there is a tremendous amount of material you can find online every day that has to do with the topics we will cover in the course.
  • Your posts may not contain material copyrighted by others. Refrain from posting images and other media unless you are certain the images or media come with an appropriately permissive license, such as a Creative Commons license. When unsure about this, do not include media.
  • Each post you make must cite at least one online source and then discuss how this source related to the material we are covering in the class around the week the post is made. Please take care to select creditable sources; not everything that can be found online can be trusted, as you are well aware, I am sure. Use your own judgment; this will be an excellent exercise to improve your ability to tell apart nonsense Web sites from worthwhile Web sites.
  • I hesitate to impose word-count limits, but generally speaking, a post of less than, say, 200 words, is too short to make a cogent point pertinent to the course. Comments can be shorter than posts, of course. The typical length of a good blog post is, according to economics blogger and University of Michigan economics professor Miles Kimball, four paragraphs.
  • I will grade blog posts and comments on blog posts based on
    • Relevance to course material,
    • Coherence,
    • Clarity (this includes using English correctly!), and
    • Incisiveness.
  • To make life considerably more livable than it would otherwise be for me, I request that you email me the link to your post or comment as soon as you make it. This way you will ensure that I will not miss it and record a zero for that two-week period.
  • I am aware that you may or may not wish to be identified online by name as a member of this class (although I do not expect that you need to do so, as there should be no need to post any material to the blog that might be damaging to your reputation; to the contrary, a good showing on the blog can only be an asset to you down the road). Here’s what needs to happen at the start of the semester to set us up on the blog:
    • As the administrator of the blog, I will add each one of you as an author in the first week of classes.
    • To do this, each of you will need to email me your name and Temple email address in the first week of classes. If you wish to post under a pseudonym, then send me that as well. If you happen to have a WordPress.com account name, please send me that along with your name and Temple email account.
    • When I receive your email with this information, I will make you a user with “Author” status. This means that you will be able to create and edit posts on the blog and post comments, which I will get to moderate.
  • Once you start posting, I expect to see one post every two weeks and one comment on another student’s post every two weeks, at minimum.

I will give a demonstration in class on our first class meeting to show you how easy it is to make a post to the class blog, as well as to edit posts and make comments. The help function on wordpress.com is also very user-friendly. Finally, I stand ready to help you as needed; just send me email if you get stuck.

Note that participation in this blog costs no money. The blog is public: I want you to be proud to show your contributions to the world, not just to me in order to get a grade! You have to admit, participating in the wider networked conversation online is a natural activity for a class on networks!