You will be starting your own blog on which to host content for this course. You can use any blog platform you’d like but WordPress is recommended. This is a semester-long project that will be reviewed and graded twice during the semester. You must start a blog on a topic of your choice. The blog has to be about something – an interest, hobby or career – something in which you are interested and want to explore further. This is not an online journal and is not to just discuss what we do in class. Pick a topic like baking or horses or music or photography…
Some notes about blog posts:
Good blog posts also take advantage of the hypertext and visual aspects of the Web, so make sure EVERY post has relevant links and images and/or embedded video. There are lots of outside resources for you to reference.
Instructional videos on how to set up a WordPress site will be provided in the Modules. Reminders for due dates and progress will be in each module.
You must set up your blog with a Title. Remove or modify any superfluous information on the blog, like the tag line that says “just another WordPress blog.” Make that it is something meaningful. And remove the 1st default post that WordPress does for you.
Choose an appropriate theme. There are several. Find one that fits with your topic and make whatever changes the theme allows.
The site must have at least three pages.
- Home – this is your blog page.
- 2 other pages – these pages must relate to the topic and have good content on them. Don’t have any extra or unnecessary pages with no content on them.
Midterm (15% of your final grade) – this will be graded on July 22
- In addition to the setup requirements above, you must do 4 posts on your topic between the beginning of the semester and the midterm. They don’t have to be long, but they need to be complete, well written and relevant to your topic. These should not all be done on one day. Spread them out over the first few weeks of the course.
- Each post needs at least one image. Take a photo or seek out something relevant online (with proper credit).
- Each post needs appropriate links to outside sources.
- One of the four posts will be to introduce your Facebook page. Include a link to the Facebook page (and visuals as usual).
- One of the four posts before the midterm will be to discuss a mobile app that you would make that is associated with your topic. You will need to draw or use a drawing program to come up with the interface design for two screens (two screens of functionality, not just an intro screen) and provide a brief description of what the app will do, what problem it will solve and why people would want to use it. Post the images and description as one of your blog posts.
- Widget – include a Twitter widget in your sidebar, to include your own Twitter.
- Widget – include a text widget in the sidebar with some additional information about your blog.
- Widget – make sure your blog’s archives by month show up in a widget on the side.
Final (20% of your final grade) – this will be graded on the last day of the session August 6.
- You must do at least 4 more posts on your topic. These should not all be done on one day. Spread them out over the last few weeks of the course.
- Photo slideshow (can be one of the four posts) – use the Slideshow Gallery feature in WordPress. Use at least 10 photos. The slideshow must contain appropriate captions to tell a story. Embed the slideshow in one of your blog posts with relevant introductory content. The slideshow must be embedded and able to play in your post in order to get credit for it.
- YouTube video (can be one of the four posts) – use your phone or other device that can shoot video to film a short video on the subject of your blog. Interview someone, demonstrate something… be creative. You don’t need to edit the video, unless you want to. Upload to YouTube, embed on your blog. Include relevant introductory content in the post.
- For one of the posts, you must tell a story using Twitter. You can embed Tweet's in a post and you should be able to find relevant tweet's and write transitions between them. Find tweets about your topic.
- The final post (one of the four) is to write a summary of the experience of blogging and using social media to promote yourself throughout the semester. Which tools were effective, which tools weren’t, what things would you want to improve or include, in what ways could the experience benefit you in the future? Discuss how you might implement these tools professionally in the future, in a job or an entrepreneurial endeavor. Remember, all posts must have an image and links.
- Widget – add at least one other widget to your sidebar (tag cloud, link to RSS feed, Facebook Like Box, Search widget, etc); add social icons.
- You should choose Settings, Sharing in WordPress. You can choose to have social sharing buttons on each post/page. You do not have to connect your blog to social accounts (top part of Sharing page), unless you want to. You can also use the technique to create links to your social media sites in a text widget.