Digital Media Homepage

Subject: DMA - Digital Media- 2015

College of Arts, Victoria University

Teacher Name: Lisa Cianci - email: lisa.cianci@vu.edu.au
Education Manager: Adam Hutterer - email: adam.hutterer@vu.edu.au


Class Website - http://vuitarts.net.au/lisa/2015/DMA

 

Class 02 - Setting up your Wordpress blog

Class Activities

Discuss:

Making a Mark Guide - 6 great ways to find subjects to blog about - http://vuitarts.net.au/lisa/2015/DMA/class01/MakingAMarkGuide-6greatwaystofindsubjectstoblog.pdf

 

1. Creating a Wordpress Blog - Uses for Artists

Using a blog as a method of reflective practice, self promotion, networking, exhibition and presentation of creative content and keeping place for documentation of artworks.

Even artists that use no digital media in their creative practice will eventually need to deal with web technologies in communicating with others, building networks, applying for funding and exhibition opportunities and managing or documenting their work (especially if it is of an ephemeral nature).

A blog can be used in a number of ways as stated in the Assessment Task 1 document. Wordpress, as the most ubiquitous of the free, open source blog applications, has many advantages for artists - especially as it is relatively user friendly to set up - you don't need to have any web design skills as most elements are enabled or installed by selecting a range of options in the setup "dashboard" area.

You don't necessarily have to use the blog posts as a journal style website if you don't want to (although you will need to do this as part of the assessment task). You may use the site to create static pages and image galleries, portfolios, and a range of other functionalities available from customising with widgets.

Today we will begin by getting everyone to create a Wordpress.org blog. If you already have a Wordpress blog, it's an opportunity to help one of your classmates with the setup process, or to spend some time on adding customisations and tweaking your widgets.

We may only get as far as creating a blog and choosing an initial theme - don't worry if your theme isn't really perfect for you. We will be looking at artist's requirements and what functionality we want from a theme. You can always change your theme without losing any blog posts that you may already have. Although, if you choose a radically different theme layout, you may need to consider how your media content will work in a different theme.

We will begin by going to the Wordpress User Guide at:

http://learn.wordpress.com

This is a very user friendly guide to get you started, with step-by-step instructions and pictures to help you. My role will be to get you started as a group, then to individually help you with the specifics that you want to set up on your particular blog.

Today we should be able to get through:

 

Create: things to do this week

1. Select a Theme that suits your personal style. You may need to try some out and experiment. You can always change the theme if you're not happy with it if you find that it doesn't support widgets that you might want to use.

2. Edit the default "About" page to include a short biographical note about you - and a picture of yourself or an artwork that represents you.

3. Create a Header image for your blog (if that's an option in your theme). Use Photoshop to develop the image - it should be suitable for your blog theme and style, and should represent your creative practice in some way.

4. If we have time in class, we will start lookign at Widgets and how to implement them.

 

Here is a compilation of some of the most useful instructions from learn.wordpress.com which you will get a hard-copy printout of today. These can be used while you are familiarising yourself with the Dashboard and choosing a Theme for your site:

Wordpress Notes Handout

 

Homework / Readings

Your homework will be to familiarise yourself with the Wordpress Dashboard. Don't be timid, try things out. You can always edit or delete something that doesn't work out.

Also, spend a lot of time researching themes as you want to make absolutely sure your selected theme will suit your purpose.

 

 

References

Some interesting websites and blogs by artists and designers

 

Some interesting image gallery sites (not blogs, but interesting ways of presenting visual content using web technologies)

 

Other useful resources:

  • just Google "best responsive wordpress themes" for a host of links to inspirational wordpress themes and sites.