Hello Readers! I could use your help, if you would be willing. For my class final I am to analyze one of my classmate’s blog. Jesse’s blog is titled, “Northland College Men’s Hockey”, and aims to provide regular updates to friends, family, faculty, alumni and current students so they can stay connected to the team.

jesse's blog home page
Click here to see Jesse’s blog!

The questions my professor asked me to respond to are in bold. Do you agree with my assessment? Check out his blog for yourself and let me know what you think in the comments!

What is your neighbor’s blog about? This blog focuses on the Northland College Men’s Hockey Team. The blog aims to not only keep up with games and the overall progress of the season, but also to inform the reader of what happens before game-time. Jesse does this by writing about preseason preparation, practices, and player profiles.

Here is a video I found on YouTube that explains  more about the daily routine of a Northland College men’s hockey player. Maybe a bit dramatic, but  hey, it’s fun.

How do you describe the style or approach of the blog? The blog uses a simple and conversational writing style, which makes it easy to readers to follow.  Sometimes it almost feels more like Jesse is talking to you. Jesse incorporates engaging and action-oriented adjectives into his writing, which paint a more vivid image in the reader’s minds. Jess also uses adjectives to make what could be seen as ordinary facts interesting, which will be explained below.

What are the overall strengths of the blog? A strength of the blog is that it is written by an insider. Jesse, the author of the blog, is also a member of the men’s hockey team, giving him direct access to players, practices, team travel, and all sorts of other “behind the scenes” happenings that most do not have the opportunity to be part of. Another strength is Jesse’s word choice. His sentences help convey information in a subtle way to readers.  Consider the following excerpt from his blog, Northland made the 13 hour trip to Adrian but were unable to pull off the upset against Adrian and dropped both games to the Bulldogs.From Jesse’s word choice in this sentence we learn that the game took place far way (“13 hour trip”), Adrian must be a high ranked team (“upset”), the team lost (“dropped”), and that the mascot was the Bulldogs (“Bulldogs”). Jesse could have just said “The team played against Adrian and lost”, but his word choice gave the reader much more detail and information, along with a more interesting sentence to read.

How does it appear to the audience? The blog may come off as a big “sportsy” to readers, which I will explain more in “suggestions” section.Almost all images are of hockey players. The blog also appears very clean with minimal visual clutter.

jesse hockey pic
A picture from Jesse’s blog.

What are two key pieces of information you learned from reading the blog? I never knew that Northland College had a Men’s  hockey alumni weekend, but Jesse gave me all the details in his blog. Another key piece of information was that Wyatt Garagan’s favorite food is chicken and pasta. Why is this a key piece of information? Because it is a personal detail that isn’t directly to Wyatt being a hockey player. It is something I never would have learned from attending games, reading news articles, or looking at the game programs. Aside from actually talking to Wyatt or his friends, there really isn’t a way for me to find this out other than reading Jesse’s blog.

What were your two favorite blog posts? Why?

“5 Things to Bring to the Hockey Games” – This post was easy to skim/read, and would have been helpful to me four years ago when I first started at Northland College. I had not been a hockey game in my life before, and knowing what to expect would have been good. Fortunately my friends told me to dress warm!

“Meet Wyatt Garagan” – Like I said above, it is information I can’t really get from many other places.

What suggestions do you have for your neighbor about her/his blog?

The blog is very hockey-focused, which makes sense as the blog is about the hockey team.  However, I think the blog could be enhanced by adding much more information about the players outside of the realm of hockey. Talking about these students as hockey players, while important,  is expected. Talking about them as individuals outside of the team is unexpected and intriguing. For example, what are their hobbies, their majors, aspirations post-college?  There was one post about a specific player that did start reveal more, but I would suggest going even further.

Similarly, much of the imagery on the site is of the hockey players in uniforms. I would suggest having more photos of the players in “street clothes” and just around the college campus – off the ice. It is difficult to tell “who is who” when the players are suited up, and it feels less personal. Images of the players outside of the hockey context would help illustrate the depth of each player as an individual and could help dispel the thought that “hockey players only care about hockey” (as opposed to academics, other hobbies, social issues, etc.).

What were your neighbor’s two most effective Tweets? Why?

jesse tweet 1jesse tweet 2

The tweet on the left gathers opinions from the “crowd” which can be valuable information that isn’t something you can just “google” to find. The other tweet alerts readers to something happening right at that moment that may be of interest to them.