Your first project in this course is to establish a domain on KSC Open, set up and design a functional course blog, and write a thoughtful and engaging blog post each week of the course.
During the first week of class we will talk about choosing a domain name, the blog you install in your domain, and some of the issues with writing in the public domain, including audience and genre, privacy, agency and control, copyright and licensing. We will also play around in the open-source application you will be using in this course, Word Press.
Each post that you publish will be syndicated to the course blog. This will allow everyone to read your writing. Say what you have to say. 1000 words is a general target for your writing each week, though many of your posts may be longer, a few shorter. We will work together on creating functional categories and tags for each post, as we will end up with a few hundred posts.
Use embedded links to relevant materials and resources, as well as media, in your posts. Use your own images. Visit Unsplash, a community sharing site with over 200,000 free do-whatever-you-want high-resolution photos. Or use the Penn Libraries Public domain Images portal for access to other image archives.
Consider moving the content of your blog out into other social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) We will talk about individualizing your domain beyond the process blog for the course.
Your course blog will become an archive of your writing this semester. It is also a portfolio, and I will encourage you to curate work along the way, writing and rewriting the posts as you build your understanding of the literary and cultural production we are engaging with this semester.
The most important piece of advice I can give you, as a teacher of writing, is to take yourself seriously as a writer. I care (and others care) about what you feel and think. But you need to also care. If you want to develop as a writer, and I hope that you do, it is imperative that you invest time and effort into the writing you are doing in the course. Another way of saying this is that the writing you do on the blog, open and available to all, should be as rigorous and creative and engaging as any other writing you do, whether in school or in a professional context.
We will have two or three individual writing conferences during the term, and we will be conducting writing workshops almost every week of the semester. I am also available at any time to talk with you about your writing, by email or in my office.