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 03 - Adding media & content to your blog

Class Activities

1. Discuss:

The Commonplace Book in the Digital Age

In Steven Johnson's book - Where Good Ideas Come From (Johnson 2010), he discussed something called a commonplace book. Commonplacing is a practice that began hundreds of years ago - mainly for writing, but not only for that purpose. As much as I try to avoid using Wikipedia for reference material, there is a good page that gives a brief history of the commonplace book that will save me repeating the information:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commonplace_book

The interesting thing about this practice of commonplacing is that it is similar in many ways to the visual journals you keep as artists, and one could also make many comparisons to blogging. In particular, the notion of commonplacing is relevant as a kind of scrap-booking, and as an aide-mémoire to keep ideas, concepts and references to things that could be referred to later.

Blogs can be valid tools for documenting research and reflective practice. Conceptually they are not a new thing (blog is a portmanteau word that means web log), but the technology has certain advantages (and disadvantages) that make it an interesting proposition for artists.

 

Are there any issues or things you want to do with your blog but aren't sure how?

We can discuss specific elements in class and see how to implement them, or be aware of the limits of the Wordpress application

 

2. Some handy notes to help you remember:

To Log In

Go to http://wordpress.com to log in to your blog or go directly to this link:

http://yourblogname.wordpress.com/wp-admin

Hopefully you have remembered your username and password. If you forget, you can get a password reset sent to your email address.

To Find the Dashboard (Admin Area)

If you don't go directly to your blog Dashboard - which is the place where you manage your blog (add/edit/delete content), go to your username at the top-right corner of the black Wordpress menu bar at the very top of your browser window. Roll over your username and you should see a list of your blogs appear in a drop-down list. Roll over the blog and another drop-down menu should appear with a link called WP admin which takes you to the "Dashboard". Select this link and you should be there.

To View your Blog

If you want to view how your blog will look to other users visiting your site, then you can just click on the name of your blog at the top-left corner of the black Wordpress menu bar at the very top of your browser window.

These options should always be accessible to you if you are logged into Wordpress. Sometimes it can happen that you lose where you are and need to go back to the Dashboard or the Blog public view.

To Add a New Post

There are many ways to reach the Add New Post interface:

    1. Roll over the blog name at the top-left corner and select New -> Post

    2. Roll over your username at the top-right corner and select yourblogname -> New Post

    3. If you are in the dashboard area, just select Posts / New Post from the menu at the left-hand side of the page

 

To Add Images to your Blog Post

When you are at the interface to add a new post, you will see a small button under the "Add Title" field which is labelled "Add Media". This button will open a new overlayed interface that will allow you to upload one or more images at once. You may also select one as the "Featured Image" which appears in the summary view of blogs. If you have trouble adding media, get some help from me, and try the step-by-step guide on this page:

http://learn.wordpress.com/get-flashy/

Scroll down to the part titled Add your own images. This section will show you how to do it. The interface in their guide is the old interface - they obviously haven't updated the images yet, but the principal is the same. You need to have your images ready on a USB stick, hard disk or on the computer itself. You then select the ones you want to add and Wordpress will upload them.

Once uploaded, you can add titles, captions etc, and tweak how they will appear in your blog post. This is often one of the trickiest parts of Wordpress, so you may need to practice doing it a few times to really feel comfortable with it. Just ask for assistance with anything that's not working for you.

Don't be afraid to experiment!

if something doesn't work you can always edit it or delete it and try again.

 

3. Working with galleries, slideshows & video

Hopefully you read these pages over the last week, so you will have some idea of how adding content to your blog works. We will look at adding media and creating galleries and slideshows which can be done in both Posts and Pages

Get Published - http://learn.wordpress.com/get-published/

Get Flashy - http://learn.wordpress.com/get-flashy/

Embedding Video Content

You cannot upload video to a Wordpress.com blog, but you can embed video content that you upload to Youtube or Vimeo. You can also embed other people's content in your own blog.

Once you have uploaded your video to Youtube or Vimeo, you should see an option somewhere in the web page to "share" the video. You need to find the Share URL code.

For example, in Youtube, the code can be found by clicking on Share to reveal the box with the URL link.

On Vimeo, there is a Share link at the top-left corner of the video if you roll over it (and the user has allowed sharing)

Copy and paste this URL code into your Post or Page editor.

You can choose a Post format such as "Video" if you want to format the post to highlight the video. Check how this looks in your Theme, you can always edit the Post and change the format.

 

4. Widgets

“Widget” is a fancy word for “doodad,” which is itself a fancy word for “small tools that you can add to your blog that add a variety of functions and content.”

If that’s less than 100% clear, it’s because widgets do so many different things, from letting readers browse your archives to showing off your Flickr stream to counting down until your wedding day. Check out the full list of available widgets to see what we’ve got. Every theme can use every widget.

If your theme has more than one column, the additional columns are called sidebars — that’s where the widgets go. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to fill your sidebar with helpful widgets that give readers more information and help them navigate your blog. (Depending on your theme, widgets can also go in the footer, the area at the bottom of your blog.) from the learn.wordpress.com site

Go to this link to read about widgets & how to implement them in your Wordpress site:

https://learn.wordpress.com/get-configured/#leswidgets

 

5. Adding Links in the Dashboard and the Links Widget

To create a list of links of different types that you can use as widgets in your sidebars, you first need to set up each link as an entry in the Links area of the Dashboard

https://en.support.wordpress.com/blogroll/add-a-blogroll-link/

Once you have your list of Links, and their categories, you can add them to your site through the Links Widget

https://en.support.wordpress.com/widgets/links-widget/

 

 

6. Create: things to do this week

1. upload a range of images to your media library. You can do this either from the Dashboard, or when adding a Post or Page

2. create at least one gallery or slideshow of your work. Don't forget to use titles, captions etc to properly document your work. You might also want to experiment with the other settings in the media area such as alignment, size, etc.

3. if you haven't already, make sure you have a blogroll linking to your classmates' blogs, and make sure you have widgets set up like the Tag Cloud and the Archive so that it is easy to access your blog content in different ways

4. if you haven't done this yet, make sure you have Categories and Tags for all of your blog posts. This helps to build a contextual picture of your blog and makes it easier for visitors to find content according to keywords.

 

7. Show me your blog

I will come around and review everyone's blogs towards the end of class today. I want to see your interface layout, and the content you have started to enter such as responses to the videos shown in class, and examples of your own work.

 

 

Homework / Readings

Your homework will be to produce some quality images for your blog that can be used as galleries and slideshows. Make sure you save the images as JPG or PNG format and make sure they are 72dpi resolution. The width & height in pixels can vary depending on how big you want the image to be, but think about the average screen resolution - I wouldn't upload an image larger than about 1200px wide and 900px high - of course you can use images a lot smaller than that.

 

References

https://en.support.wordpress.com/