W&W Project Proposal: Fictional blogging about fictional escapades of other bloggers

Title

Fictional Blogging about fictional escapades of other bloggers

Contact

eric.christenson@st.bemidjistate.edu

https://ericgchristenson.wordpress.com

Executive Description

I am going to write short fiction about myself and five other bloggers, one series of 4 stories for each, in order to receive and then evaluate their reactions. This will be in blog format as it is lightning serialized (a 4 story series per week over 5 weeks) and relies extensively on linking out.

Narrative

This project aims to create buzz in the blogosphere by posting fictional stories about other bloggers. They are to be as ridiculous as possible while remaining coherent. They will draw the subject’s attention by frequently linking to the subject’s work, sending many pingbacks and demanding a look. The stories will feature the subject as well as the author in a cooperative role to create a connection while reducing potential animosity. The expected outcome is to achieve feedback from the subject in the form of comments, and ultimately gauge their reactions. 1 subject per week, three to four stories (posts) per subject.

The process of creating this project will be cyclical, essentially repeating step 1 over and over. Step 1 is to write a short story about yourself and another blogger who uses WordPress. The idea is to make it as unbelievable as possible. This will make it more interesting as well as reassure the other blogger that you are aiming for a reaction as opposed to some less sane intent. Ultimately, the two most important aspects of this endeavor are linking out and content.

Linking out is necessary to guarantee (as much as possible) a reaction from the other blogger. By giving them several pingbacks on a broad spectrum of their work, all coming from a single post of your own, they will have to see what you are about. This is why it is necessary that the other blogger use WordPress.

Lending itself to this necessity is the writing of proper content to frame the links. The stories should be relevant to the other blogger’s own work. This shows the other blogger that you have read them, and feedback is more likely as they watch how their work fits into your fiction by way of your use of links to them.

Including yourself as a character helps to make a connection between the two of you in the context of the plot. This will further involve the other blogger as they feel they have a role to play alongside you. You can (somewhat) control the feedback you receive. Initially, the idea was to put  you and the other blogger in a cooperative role so as to reduce potential animosity that may arise out of their (hopefully initial) confusion. However, you should play to what you think the other blogger will find most interesting in order to net as much feedback as possible. Maybe that blogger would be more interested in reading a story in which you play the hero to their villain, or vise versa. Putting them in a role they don’t identify with or appreciate (even intentionally) can be more likely to gain negative or angry feedback from them.

As you post more stories about the other blogger throughout the week, their feedback will evolve as their understanding of the situation develops. It may be wise to include a subtle link to an explanation of what’s going on, so that you receive feedback other than confusion. However, doing this with the first story may reduce the impact of the rest, but never doing it may cause them not to understand or simply write it off as nonsense. The relevancy and pingbacks should help to avoid this, however.

What can be learned from this? In effect, it is a sociological experiment positioned within the blogosphere. I hypothesize that this will definitely achieve the desired feedback. What that feedback will be it is impossible to say. Confusion is likely, so the prevention of that and the other blogger’s eventual understanding is ideal. An explicit explanation directly to the other blogger may be in order once the week of stories is complete, if feedback has not been already achieved. In order to receive as much different feedback as possible, it may be wise to situate the other bloggers in as many different character archetypes as possible. I hope that I and others can learn more about people as we evaluate how the WordPress community reacts when faced with such an odd situation.

Each weekly report will be a recap of the week’s result, namely the reactions of the other blogger. The final report will summarize the feedback gained from the other bloggers and evaluate that data. How do some people’s reactions compare to those of others? How do reactions to being placed in different characters archetypes compare to each other?

Weekly Reports

Reports will be available at https://ericgchristenson.wordpress.com. If the latest report is not the latest post, refer to the categories widget.

Contract for Grade

Not entirely sure on this, but I would aim for a 250 point contract. Every post (3 to 4 a week) will be around or above the 750 word range, but honestly shooting for 1000. Every post in a week will have the same subject (one other blogger). Every week will serve as a comparison for every other week.

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One response to “W&W Project Proposal: Fictional blogging about fictional escapades of other bloggers

  1. You’re kind of playing with fire, Eric, unless you know the blogger personally, and they know what’s coming. Others have reputations they might not want to see goofed with. It might also be seen as trolling – intentionally confusing and angering people just to sit back and watch the chaos.

    Maybe others in the class would be the targets. Too dangerous.

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