Day 2: (Sound) blogging with WordPress

Attendance

Reminder: I take attendance at the beginning of every class. Please do not be late to class. If extraordinary circumstances require you to be late, it is up to you to make sure you were not marked absent. This is especially important since missing more than two classes will lead to an incomplete for the course and require you to retake the module.

Syllabus quiz

I asked you to read the syllabus for today. Here’s a quick quiz to check your comprehension. We’ll review the responses immediately after.

Remixing with Audacity: Whole group discussion

Follow up from our activity from last class:

  • What was challenging about this task? What made it fun?
  • How much of what you made was guided by vision (i.e. what you wanted to do) and how much was guided by ability (i.e. what you knew about Audacity or what you could do with it)?
  • How might this be an example of multimodal composition?

Writing tool #2: WordPress*

WordPress is a popular blogging platform, also known as a content management system (CMS); depending on who you ask, it is the software that is responsible for supporting 20-30% of all websites. In this module, you will compose several multimedia blog posts in WordPress.** To begin:

  1. Go to WordPress.com. (Note: if you already use WordPress, log in and add a site.)
  2. At about the third screen, you’ll be prompted to come up with a fun, memorable URL (coolname.wordpress.com). ***STOP***  Before you decide on one and cause irreversible harm, hear my rant about this.
  3. Copy and paste it next to your name in this spreadsheet. Note: your URL does NOT start with wordpress.com; it starts with your blog name (i.e. coolname.wordpress.com). Adding your URL to the spreadsheet allows me, and others in the class, to find your blog easily.
  4. Decide on a theme and customizations, which control most of the options for the overall design of your site.
  5. Design content — pages v posts.
    • Your first page: About me
    • Your first post: paste the text from your HW (your Google Doc).
    • Format text
    • Add links
    • Add images, gifs, and video
    • Add tags and a featured image.
  6. Composing and writing with blocks.

WP Post #1: Podcasts

  • Shape your HW (the Google Doc) into your first post. Include images, embedded links (not just pasting a long URL but highlighting text and letting users click on the text). See if you can also embed your podcast into it.

If there’s time:

  • What podcasts did you write about and what did you notice?
  • How is your podcast multimodal in the sense that Ball & Charlton define that term? To what extent did your podcast incorporate research into its content?

 Homework for Day 3

  • Read 1-2 track reviews from Pitchfork.
  • WordPress Post #2: Find and embed any song you’ve heard and want to write about. Borrow tactics from what you read on Pitchfork. Note: If you’re still not sure about using WordPress, feel free to compose your review in Google Docs so you can paste it to WordPress on Wednesday.

*I’ll begin to show you how to build your own site in class today. However, one of the consistently great resources you can use this semester is Lynda.com, a high-quality, video-based tutorial site that Rowan pays a hefty fee to subscribe to. The fact that you can have a free account to Lynda is a real perk of being a college student here. To use it make an account at Lynda.com using your Rowan credentials. Once you’re in, you can search for different videos, courses, and other content. If you are new to WordPress, or want a refresher, I suggest using the “WordPress.com Essential Training” course.