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January 16

Each week there will be a post or two that will make up our schedule for the classes. Blogs, of course, add the most recent post to the top, so take a look at the date of posting to find the post to start with.

Today, we are going to:

  • talk a bit about blogs and online journalism with the two preceding posts from Poynter.org
  • Assign Briggs Foreword, Preface, Intro, Chapter 2, Chapter 3
  • point you to the ONA Philadelphia page (meetups)
  • set up your individual blog at WordPress.com
  • talk about optimizing and posting photos (Read Briggs, Chapter 6)
  • give you background on your “beat” for the semester
  • give you your first photo assignment (also see Assignments page).

My blog is hosted at lasalle.edu (note the URL), which was done with a “manual installation”  at WordPress.org. You might want to do that after this course if you have a Web host such as GoDaddy.com that will give you your own URL.

Here are the steps for today and next week (we will go back over these and more next week):

  1. Go to WordPress.com and open an account. See this Introduction about what blogging is, and this Getting Started page. We’ll try and pull some some relevant videos from WordPressTv as well such as this one on signing up. When you do this, think about your user name, password and URL as this can’t easily be changed. For example a blog on regional table tennis might be phillypong.wordpress.com. You might want to make it about you as this blog should be used to show your work in journalism, even beyond this course. So maybe beattytales.wordpress.com
  2. Log in and you will see the Dashboard. You will see this a lot. Go to Settings and change the title of your blog, and add a Tagline. Obviously, this is something you can do again later.
  3. Experiment with new themes. If you can get a thumbnail to add later, do that (right-click Save Picture As). Start reading my blog from the earliest posts (third page in) to see how I did along the way. Take a look at this video on Themes, and use the link that should come with your initial blog under Blogroll. There are lots of other sites that supply free WordPress themes such as Dynamic Guru , BogOHBlog and BytesForAll, where I got mine (Atahualpa, which is fairly common).
  4. Create a first post. Explain the blog first—you are creating content about nutrition and La Salle’s Exploring Nutrition project, but also may be commenting about the process, adding other content later, etc. Spellcheck your posts. See Briggs Chapter 2. Go to Posts>Add New on the left side of your Dashboard.  Also take a look at the text (actually the HTML) view.

When it’s up (today, we hope), send me the URL of your blog.

Journalist's Toolkit

For general reference, the Journalist’s Toolkit is a great site where Mindy McAdams of U. of Florida has compiled her teaching resources. Here’s her intro to Blogging. Also always check Mark Johnson’s U. of Georgia video tutorials—this is the Content Management Systems (CMS) one, which is mainly a WrodPress introduction (but note that he misspells WordPress with a lowercase “P”).

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