WordPress Blog Setup — Fall 12

COM210: Multimedia Content Creation
“About Me” and Blog Topic Introduction
Due Date: August 24, 11:59pm

Overview & Background

You will be using WordPress to display your media designs throughout the semester. WordPress is a highly customizable content management system allowing you to frame your design assets online. This week you will set up your blog and begin to post content online. First, you will setup an “About” page introducing yourself to readers. Nearly all blogs have an “About” page that describes the author or organization that manages the blog. Here are some examples from popular blogs:

Doc Searls: http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/doc/about/ (technology & communication)
Talking Points Memo: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/about.php (Liberal News Blog)
Michelle Malkin: http://michellemalkin.com/about/ (Conservative Pundit)
Bleacher Report: http://bleacherreport.com/about (Sports blog)
this isn’t happiness: http://thisisnthappiness.com/about (graphic design blog)

Next, you will post about the topic you will cover this semester. You should think carefully about this topic because you will cover it across all the assignments: graphic collage, logo design, audio story, & video project. You are encouraged to choose “About Me” as your topic. You can use the semester to build a baseline portfolio describing yourself.

Tips:

Good blog posts share a number of attributes:

  • Short in length (300 to 500 words)
  • Short, direct, complete, and easy-to-read sentences
  • Short paragraphs (don’t have more than 4 or 5 sentences in one paragraph)
  • Written in the first-person (i.e., “I think”)
  • Express personal opinions
  • Link to other websites
  • Include photos and images

Instructions

1. Create a free blog account at WordPress.com. You are welcome to upgrade to a paid account of you’d prefer to have your own domain name. WordPress is also available as a free package if you have your own web hosting space already. The free account will be sufficient for what we are doing in COM210.

2. Log in to the administrative panel (usually at http://domain.wordpress.com/wp-admin/ — where “domain” is the name you chose for your blog) and choose “Appearance.” Here, you will be able to select a template and customize the look of your blog. Be sure to change your theme to something other than the default template (Appearance->Themes). Also, be sure to edit the “Site title” and “tagline” for your blog (Settings->General).

3. Create a post about the topic you will be covering in class (under “Posts->Add New” in the administrative panel). Think very carefully about this topic because you will be spending 3 months with it! You should describe why you’ve chosen this topic and give some background on your topic. Your post should be between 300-500 words. Be sure to delete the default wordpress post (Posts->All Posts). Also, be sure to create new “categories” for your post other than the default “Uncategorized” (Posts->Categories).

4 . Edit the “About” page (located in the administrative panel under “Pages”). Include:

  • Your name. You are not required to use your real name if you have privacy concerns, but please e-mail me so I can attach your real name to your blog.
  • Some demographic and background information about yourself
  • The purpose of the blog (e.g., to post the media content you have created about your topic for COM210)
  • Some interests and/or hobbies
  • Your career goals
  • A picture of yourself

Note: most, but not all themes link to the “About” page (generally at http://domain.wordpress.com/about). If your blog does not show a link to this page, please be sure to add a link in your first post or choose a theme that does link to the “About” page.

5. You should now have both a “Post” and a “Page” on your blog. Be sure that you can access both the about “page” and your topic post from your blog site. Once you are happy with the look and content of your blog, copy the blog URL on to your clipboard. Open the “WordPress Blog Creation” Drop Box in Angel (listed under the “Drop Boxes” under “Content”). Paste your blog URL as the “Title” of the drop box entry, and add any information you think is pertinent in the message. Finally, click submit.

Grading Rubric

Criteria Achievement Level
Minimal
(0%)
Emerging
(50%)
Professional
(100%)
Blog Creation
(50% Weighting)

0 percent

No Blog Created.

25 percent

Blog created but page does not look managed. A shell with the default theme.
50 percent
Blog created and template has been edited to present information relevant to the course
Topic Post
(25% Weighting)
0 percent
No post describing course topic.
12 percent
First post describes topic. Post is not between 300-500 words or could be more effective in making clear what the topic is or why you chose it.
25 percent
First post describes topic. Post is between 300-500 words or effectively describes topic and why you chose it.
About Me Page
(25% Weighting)
0 percent
No “About Me” page.
12 percent
“About Me” page describes the author. Post does not clearly identify all the required information:
-Your Name
-Demographic Information About Yourself
-The Purpose of the Blog
-Some Interests/Hobbies
-Your Career Goals
-A Picture of Yourself
25 percent
“About Me” page describes the author. Post clearly identifies all the required information:

-Your Name
-Demographic Information About Yourself
-The Purpose of the Blog
-Some Interests/Hobbies
-Your Career Goals
-A Picture of Yourself

About mabeam

Assistant Professor of Digital Media in the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University

Posted on August 15, 2012, in Old Course Material. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Can the Blog topic be on absolutely anything that comes to mind? Or does there have to be a specific theme or relation to Communications, etc?

    • Sarah: Good question. Please view the “Introduction to COM210″ video that was just posted to the site. In that video, I spend about 10 minutes discussing choosing your topic and I recommend you choose “About Me.” However, you are welcome to choose whatever you want.

  2. I also have a question! Since my topic is going to be about me, i am finding it kind of difficult to write a post about my topic and edit the “about” page. I just find that im repeating myself a lot. Any tips or suggestions?

  3. I feel very repetitious here. My “about me” page has all the information above included into it: hobbies, goals, demographics, ect. But then my first post I feel like I’m saying the same thing again because it’s supposed to be about the topic… which is me. Soooo…. are we going to be graded down if we don’t copy and past and we try to reword things and add new information? I don’t want to not include something in the first post if it is already in the “about me” section and get marked down….. does that make sense?

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