What is a Blog?
People read blogs for two reasons: to find information on subjects they care about that is not readily available from other sources and to share insights with others who have similar interests. Blogs, therefore, create and sustain communities.
As such, blogs have filled a void in the traditional information networks (newspapers, journals, and even books) that survive and flourish only with relatively large readerships. The financial demands of sustaining a large circulation characteristic of the traditional media often leads to a filtering process and a homogenization that often ignores the interests of smaller groups. The phenomenally small costs of maintaining a blog allows these smaller groups to communicate easily with each other, to share information, and to develop common interests. In a very short period of time blogs have emerged as a vital force in human affairs although their actual effects have yet to be fully measured or even understood.
I would recommend that a student maintaining a blog should choose a subject matter of particular interest to her. It doesn't need to target a wide audience. Indeed, that strategy is probably counterproductive--there are a very large number of blogs that already serve audiences that define themselves broadly (usually, ideologically). Intense personal interest will guarantee a sustained interest over the course of a term and will also ensure a readership of similar intensity.
When Evaluating the blogs I will pay attention to the following issues:
Mount Holyoke College's Web Pages
Good IR Blogs