Each week, you will be expected to write one resource review blog post. These reviews must be posted by 5pm Friday every week. Late submissions will not be eligible to receive points. Things that are eligible subjects for review include:
- Refereed, i.e. peer-reviewed, journal articles and/or books. These are typically (but not always) the kinds of resources one finds at Google Scholar. If you are not sure whether a resource is “refereed” or “peer-reviewed” please ask an instructor. [Note: There is a new peer-reviewed journal called Ledger dedicated to these topics.] You can also find high-quality source material curated by top universities, e.g. this Stanford syllabus: https://crypto.stanford.edu/cs251/syllabus.html
- High-quality articles that appear online. These don’t have to be scholarly, but should be of general interest to people who are interested in learning about cryptocurrencies and blockchain. They might appear in traditional news sources (e.g. NYT, CNN, Wired, etc.), in more industry-focused blogs or websites (e.g. Coindesk, Bitcoin Magazine, BTC Media), or might come from the personal blog of someone in tech, finance, academia, etc. Gaining the ability to determine what counts as “high-quality” is one of the goals of this exercise.
- Some other writing, video, podcast or other informational or instructional material that fits within the theme of our blog, and is of high quality. If you’re not sure if a resource “counts,” please ask an instructor. Over the course of the class, you should develop the ability to make this judgment accurately for yourself.
Your blog post should consist of four things:
- A link to the resource along with its full citation in APA format
- A short summary that will help readers decide if they want to read the whole article
- A short review and/or analysis
- Your determination of the appropriate tag(s)/category(ies) for this resource
The summary should be at most 2-3 sentences (<50 words). It should not be just a copy/paste of the article’s abstract, but something that you wrote yourself. Plagiarizing from the actual source will result in rejection of your post. The summary should help a person decide whether or not they would like to read the whole article for themselves.
The review should also be short, i.e. <300 words. It’s fine if you go over the word count a little, but the goal here is to say as much as you can in as few words as possible. Brevity is a virtue. Your review should state clearly what you believe to be the strengths and weaknesses of the resource being reviewed and why. This, also, should help a person decide whether or not to consume the entire resource.
All of the reviews on the site will need to be categorized. The categorization scheme will grow organically over the semester. When you create a new review, you will assign it to either an existing category or create a new category. A review can belong to multiple categories. Your classmates will help determine if the categories are appropriate, or need to be changed. Categories should be relatively general, i.e. “cryptocurrency”, or “tutorial”, or “ICO.” Site visitors use categories to determine their general area of interest when reading.
In addition to categories, you should also suggest tags for your review. Tags are more specific and may contain the names of specific technologies, currencies, people, companies, trends, or events. Tags allow site visitors to search for specific items of interest according to their names. So for example, they might be interested in just Bitcoin. “Bitcoin” would be a tag, whereas “cryptocurrency” would be the category. Over the course of the semester, you should develop the ability to distinguish between a “tag” and a “category” and to use them according to the editorial style of our blog.
Your instructors may reject your review if it does not meet the standards of the class. You will receive notification of rejection by the start of the class following the Friday in which your review was posted. If you do not receive a rejection notification by then, the review is accepted. Upon rejection, you will receive written feedback as to the reason for the rejection. For your first three rejections, you will have the opportunity to redo your review to get credit for it. If you choose to redo your review, the redo is due by the Friday immediately following the rejection. After three rejections, you will still be able to do reviews, but you will not have the ability to redo them if they are rejected. The goal here is for everyone to learn and be able to live up to the editorial standards of our blog and our book. The number of redos is limited because we don’t everyone to turn in crap every week just to get it in before the deadline.