Reading Mike's interesting post, I'm reminded that I have omitted several things when discussing the blogs, especially the graded blogs.
1) When you write a graded blog entry, for the sake of clarity, I'd appreciate it if in the title or first line you clearly indicate that it is a graded entry.
2) My current intention is to make my comments on graded entries public (barring highly negative comments, which I try to avoid anyway), but to keep the actual grades private, and email them to you. I am not married to this idea, and could be convinced to move towards either public grades or towards keeping comments private.
My theory is that one major barrier to transparency and at least perceived fairness in most writing classes is that you only see your own papers my responses to them. Here, you will get a sense of the class as a whole and my responses to everyone, with only the actual grade being withheld.
While this opens problems, I think it will do more good than harm to you. After a couple weeks, I'm open to trying something different, depending on your collective wishes.
3) Since this is a blog, and you are supposed to interact with one another, you certainly may reference one another's posts, including in graded entries. To pick Mike as an example: his framing of humanity as slaves to nature is something other people could work with, either to build on it or to critique it.
4) At least for this first batch, I'm going to hold off on grading and commenting (other than my highlighting of Mike's closing idea as one worthy of pursuit) until everyone is finished, so I get some sense of where everyone is at.