For your weekend assignment, I’d like you to get familiar with WordPress.com so you have the technical stuff down when we begin our group blog projects in a few weeks. To do that, I’d like you to …
1. Set up a blog around a topic (any topic) that really captures your interest. Bear in mind, though, that this is more of a “beat” than a diary. Pick a current issue/topic that’s relevant beyond you personally.
(Note: Ultimately, successful bloggers get that way in large part because they’re hugely passionate about their subject. So, picking something you think about—all the time—is key if you’re looking to build a long-term blog. But, this is just a little assignment, so don’t feel pressure to come up with THE blog for your future. Just something interesting to get you started. If you can’t think of an idea, try this idea.)
2. Build your blog using WordPress. It’s a pretty intuitive system, as you may know already, but spend some time running through each of the menus and categories to become very familiar with how it works. Play around with various blog designs, and try to create your own personalized page header.
3. Populate your blog with at least 2-3 posts over the next week, mixing up the lengths and styles of posts. Try to make one post no more than 50 words, while another may go as long as 300 words. How do you write a good post or maintain an attractive blog? Some ideas here and here. Also, you’ll find some good suggestions from Mindy McAdams and her class assignment to blog … but, not to worry, I won’t be grading your posts so rigorously. But, I will be looking for the right ingredients in your work.
4. Add visual elements to your blog: embedded video from YouTube, for instance, or maybe a PowerPoint from Slideshare. Post at least one photo (of your own, or from the Web) and write a caption for it. (Note: For how-to support for WordPress.com, see this page; for help on putting YouTube video on WordPress.com, see this.)
6. Have fun with this! Be current, interesting, on-topic, and give us some relevant links to outside material … but, above all, just experiment and enjoy yourself. Look at this as an opportunity to break into blogging (and WordPress especially) before we plunge into the semester project work.
(In case you’re wondering, I’ll be grading this as part of your larger participation grade. Just show me that you can do the work and enjoy it!)
This initial blogging effort is due Tuesday. Please tell us about your blog (include a URL) in the comments section.