In my continuing series of me asking for advice from smart people as I return to teaching, has anyone ever taught or taken a college (or other) class in which a class blog was used? What did you think of it? Was it an interesting and/or useful tool?

I am teaching a required class for non-majors on a topic many of my students (mostly juniors and seniors) won't really have any experience talking about or thinking about analytically. The focus of the class is supposed to be discussion and their direct experience with the class materials. My big fear is that it will be difficult to get them talking, and I thought that creating a class blog might help. I will have 25 students, so I was thinking of assigning one or two to write a blog post for each class, assigning 2-3 others to write responses, and asking everyone else to read it all. Then we could hopefully use their writing to stimulate conversation in class. One thing I'm not sure about is how open-ended or specific the assignments should be.

Anyone have experiences/thoughts they'd be willing to share?