One of the first things you’ll need to do for this class is to set up a blog. Please go to WordPress.com to set up a blog. If you have already have a blog that you’ve set up for another class, you may recycle it.
When you sign up for your FREE BLOG at WordPress.com, remember to make note of your choice of username and password — you’ll need them to sign in to your blog.
As you get started, right off the bat you’ll need to decide on a name for your blog (e.g., Kelly’s 100w Blog or The Media Maven) and what “theme” (design) you want to use. Feel free to pick something fun.
Carefully consider how “public” you want to be as you fill out your blog “profile.” For example, you can choose not to show your full (or real) name or email address (probably a good idea) on your blog. You can also choose an alias to serve as your “display name” (the name that goes on each blog post to show who wrote it). You can upload a photo of yourself, or an icon … or not. You can provide some personal info … or not. Just remember that if your blog is public, so is this information.
However, please do not make your blog “private.” If you do that, I won’t be able to read it, and that means I won’t be able to give you credit for your blog posts. Also, please do not use a tumblr blog. In my experience, they are not configured for this kind of usage.
Once you’ve got your blog set up, click on the “posts” link on the left side of your blogs’ “dashboard” to write your “About Me” blog post. You’ll note that the blog post form looks a lot like an email form. You get a slot for a headline, a box to write in, and some tools for editing and formatting what you write. You can compose right in the form, or write what you want in TextEdit or Word and then copy and paste it into the form.
For your first blog post, “About Me,” just introduce yourself. If you’d prefer to stay semi-anonymous, just use your first name. But do provide a little information about yourself (your major, year and career interests?) and briefly say what you’d like to get out of this class. It’s always nice if you add a one or two personal notes — a hobby, your favorite movie, whatever. Two or three short paragraphs will do.
When you’re done, publish your blog post, then email me your blog’s web address so I can review and grade your blogged assignments for this class. Don’t make me guess who you are — make sure you identify yourself and your section of the class in your email.
If you run into any problems setting up your blog, don’t panic. Come see me during my office hours or at the end of class. Or email me. I’m happy to troubleshoot.
Once your blog is set up, it’s just a matter of signing in and creating a “new post” whenever you have an assignment due. If you’re not sure how to get back to your blog, here’s a link to a blog post (on my Journalism 61 blog) that explains how to do that. And if you run into any problems getting your assignments to publish correctly on your blog, here’s a blog post that covers that.