This is just half an idea, one that I will toss out before I forget it, and then I will comment on student essays, I promise:
I’m not sure how I stumbled across this, but there is apparently a book available in the UK called 2005 Blogged: Dispatches from the Blogosphere. To quote from the blurb on the amazon.uk web site:
Famous bloggers like Belle du Jour and the Baghdad Blogger have already secured lucrative book deals thanks to the quality and vibrancy of their writing. But there are literally tens of thousands of bloggers who have not yet made the move to print. “2005: Blogged” provides a complete round up of the way the blogging community covered the major events of the year.
Anyway, this got me thinking: what if there was a way to put together a journal– maybe print, maybe electronic– that was kind of a selection of different blogger’s entries, perhaps arranged around a topic? This publication could reproduce those blog entries and even encourage the original writers an opportunity to go into more detail in the form of an “article” or “chapter” of some kind.