Welcome to WordPress! You’ll be building your own blogs with WordPress in this course, and I’ll be using this blog for most of my communication with you. I’ll still use Blackboard to post course documents, but your weekly assignment info will be posted here.
To keep up with posts about the class, you should add this page’s feed to your RSS reader. If you don’t have an RSS reader yet, I recommend you sign up with Google Reader. It’s free and easy and will be a nice way to organize and keep track of the different blogs you’ll need to follow for this class.
First off, “WordPress” can refer to two different things. Read this for an explanation: WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org. We’re starting with WordPress.com and will be migrating to the downloadable WordPress.org software in a few weeks. As you explore WordPress this week, you may want to check out the “New Here?” and FAQ sections of the WordPress.com site.
You’ll be creating two blogs for this course: a class blog that is used to respond to these weekly assignments and a final project blog. The final project can either be a bog dedicated to a topic of your choosing or a personal/business portfolio that uses WordPress as a content management system (CMS) and includes some sort of news/blog section (see Blackboard for more info).
Deciding what sort of blog you want to create for your final project is going to require some research. Spend some time this week browsing Technorati and Google Blogsearch. Look at the types of posts you see in the different featured categories.
We’re going to get more specific later, but for next week, decide on a general category for your final project blog. You can use the category headings on Technorati as a guideline (Business, Entertainment, Lifestyle, Politics, Sports, Technology). Find at least three blogs in that general category that you either already read or think you might like to read (if you don’t read many blogs yet, pick some interesting posts on Technorati and Google Blogsearch and then look at a few other posts on the same blog to get a sense of the typical content). If you wish to create a portfolio for your final, find three examples of portfolios with attached blogs.
Once you’ve settled on your three exemplary blogs, create a post on your class blog in which you provide the following information for each blog:
- Title of the Blog
- A link to the blog’s main page (not to an individual post). You can link the title.
- What is the blog’s subject matter? Summarize as specifically as possible. Does the blog have a general or specific content focus (e.g., pop culture=general, accordion music= specific)?
- Are posts composed of mostly original material or of links and references to things posted elsewhere?
- Roughly how often are new posts published?
- Does the blog have comments? If yes, are there many or few?
- Are there ads on the site?
- Does the author make use of categories?
- Does the author make use of tags?
ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR YOUR POST:
- Your class blog needs to use both categories and tags. Read about them here and here. Create a category called “Weekly Assignments” and put the post in that category. Add any tags that you think are appropriate for this specific post based on what you wrote.
- Send a ping to THIS post. This is very easy to do with WordPress. Here is a good explanation of what trackbacks and pingbacks are. Here are very simple instructions on sending a ping in WordPress. [Note – I have to moderate pingbacks to this site, so your ping may not show up for a day or so].
Your grade will be calculated as follows:
- Blog links and commentary (1 point each = 3 points)
- Appropriate application of category and tags (1 point)
- Pingback to this post (1 point)
Be prepared to discuss one of these blogs with the class next week (your choice).