When you set up a domain on the web you are creating a space for discovery and exploration as well as platform for sharing your work. At the same time, by setting up your own domain on the web, you will be thinking through the nature, form, and purposes of digital platforms, from social media to learning management systems (LMS), including the current LMS at Keene State College, Canvas.
Setting up and managing your digital domain will enliven your reading, thinking, and writing in this course. And it will engage you with the literary and cultural questions inherent in digital participation and exchange. In managing your blog, you will be exploring the implications of how you represent yourself in a public space—empowering you to move beyond the passive consumption and toward more active production of content in the digital commons
During the first two weeks of the course your to do list includes going to your dashboard and setting up a course site that will be inviting and engaging for your readers:
- Play with themes and find one that works for you
- Try out different titles and taglines
- Organize the content on your site, using widgets in the sidebar, pages, and menu
Your timely and thoughtful engagement with the Word Press application we will be using will take many forms:
- (Re)consider your theme You are welcome to experiment with different themes. Don’t worry: you can try one out and if it does not work you can always switch back to your original or default theme
- Clean up your theme delete default pages, links that are not relevant, widgets in sidebars or footers that you are not using; organize the sidebar or footer to make the site easier to navigate, making sure there is a list of “Recent Posts” so that a reader has a table of contents; try a “sticky post” that will welcome readers to your site and will be “above the fold” for visitors of your site;
- Edit your “About” page: Readers want to know who is writing. And you are in control of what a reader will know. Remember that you want to be taken seriously and so what you say (or do not say) will shape a perception of you
- Add an Image to your About page Consider justifying image left or right and wrapping text using image editor. If you choose not to use an image of yourself, choose an appropriate image that you would like your readers to associate with you
- Learn to use images in your posts Take pics and upload them. You can use Google Search to poke around on the web and find images that free to use. Use embedded links to relevant materials and resources, as well as media, in your posts. Visit Unsplash, a community sharing site with over 200,000 free do-whatever-you-want high-resolution photos, the Morguefile archive, or the awesome Penn Libraries Public domain Images portal for access to other image archives.
- Add or Modify your Blog Header You don’t need a splashy header. And what you can do with a header is in some cases determined by the theme you have chosen. Still, headers are attractive and can serve to reinforce or echo the blog theme.
- Add a Links or Blogroll Widget (if you do not already have one) Delete default WP links that do not seem relevant or necessary. Consider context, perhaps adding the College home page (Title of the link should be the name of the College). Link to course web page. As your projects develop later in the course you will likely want to add to the list of links.
- Consider moving the content of your blog out into other social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) that you use. You can easily add a twitter widget to your blog, for example.
As authors creating and publishing content on the web, you need to think about copyright and the commons, digital communities, collaboration and sharing. Here is where you will start this process:
- Go to the course page and have a look at the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License icon
- Visit Creative Commons and watch the three-minute Creative Commons Remix on Vimeo. Read About Our Licenses and What They Do. You will learn how the licenses for your work are designed to address legal, human, and software considerations
- Choose a license. I recommend and use the least restrictive license. The 4.0 License allows others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon our work, even commercially, as long as users credit us for the original creation. You retain copyright while allowing others to copy, distribute, and make non-commercial uses of your work. Once you have chosen a license, add a Text Widget to your Blog. Copy and paste the code into the text window. Update to save changes.
We will be talking about working in the open as the course as the semester unfolds. Looking for answers to questions? Go to the Word Press Codex .