NOTE: PLEASE ALSO HAVE A LOOK AT THE ‘BLOG GUIDELINES’ PRESENTATION FOR MORE INFORMATION ON CREATING A WORDPRESS ACCOUNT
How do I get started?
You’ll get an invitation sent to your university email address. Follow the instructions. If you already have a WordPress account, you can use that; if you don’t already have a WordPress account, you’ll need to sign up for one in order to log in to the blog. Creating an account is easy, quick and free — you just need to provide an existing email address (you could use your Westminster Gmail one, for example), and choose a password, a screen name and a Gravatar.
Please note that you are STRONGLY encouraged to protect your privacy by creating a WordPress account and posting for this assignment under a
PSEUDONYM — as long as your tutor knows who you are in this assignment, you can call yourself whatever you like. This useful blog post by leading Internet scholar Alex Halavais debates the advantages and disadvantages of this: <http://alex.halavais.net/in-whose-name>.
Note also that you only need the invitation once, when you first register. After that you can sign in by going directly to your class blog. If you continue to log in each week by using the invitation, it will eventually expire, causing you unnecessary hassle and anxiety.
Remember that these assignments are public writing, and that this is a whole class assignment. This means that what you write can and will be read by other people. So spelling and clarity matter (use a spellchecker before posting, if you need to). Also, note that every time you post you are publishing and publicising what you think. Should you worry about this? No. Should you take it seriously? Yes.
How do I post?
- Go to the URL of your seminar group blog. Sign in to the blog. You’re now at a page called the “dashboard”.
- Click on “Posts” and then “add new post” button.
- Type a meaningful title in the “Title” box.
- Type your message into the main window. Click on the “publish post” button once only, and wait until the site says it’s ready. If you’d like to preview your post before you publish it, you can click on the “preview” button on the left-hand side. This will open a preview of you blog post on a separate tab in your browser.
- Make sure that you select the right category for your blog post – there are 8 categories, each one referring to each theme that you need to blog about.
NB you can save an unfinished post as a draft and come back to it later. But note that everyone else in the class will be able to read your draft in the meantime.
How do I add a link?
Links are central to writing on the web. For example, some people argue that blogs are like diaries, but diaries point inwards towards their author, whereas good blogs also point outwards: towards other people, other resources, and other writing online. Blogging is a form of publishing, but it’s also a form of publicising — this is where links come in.
Adding links is straightforward. For example, let’s imagine you’ve found the video which perfectly encapsulates everything we discuss in this module and you want to publicise this to the class. You log in and write: This video explains networked digital media better than anything else does. You’d like the words This video to be a hyperlink, so that when we click on them, we go straight to the clip.
- Select the words This video
- Click on the link button. A pop-up window will appear.
- Type or paste the full URL you want to link to into the pop-up window, then click “OK”. In this example, you’d enter <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Of2HU3LGdbo>.
- It is best if your link opens in a new window or tab, so make sure to check the box next to “Open link in a new window or tab”.
Do I need to know any HTML?
No, you can do all of this using the toolbars and buttons.
How do I add a comment?
- Log in to our blog.
- Keep reading until you find something you want to respond to.
- Click on “comments” at the end of that post.
- Type your comment into the window.
- Click “login and publish” once only. You may need to click refresh/reload to see your comment. Happy? Then you’re done. Not happy? Click on the comment and then on ‘Edit’ to edit it again or on ‘Trash’ if you’d like to delete it and start again.
- Your comment will need to be approved by your blog administrator (that’s your seminar leader) before it appears on the blog.
Can I add an image to a post?
To add an image, click ‘Add Media’ and follow the prompts. It allows you to select an image on your hard drive or from the web, and embed these in a range of formats (e.g. size, position). For more on this, consult the instructions at
Be careful not to post copyright images: for a brief overview of some of the copyright and bandwidth issues related to posting images from the web, read this before you start:
< http://en.support.wordpress.com/add-media/finding-free-images-and-other-media/>. Images that are available for use, under certain conditions, can be found at the Creative
Commons section of Flickr <http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons>. You can also have a look at this blog post for useful resources for obtaining royalty-free images: http://www.wpbeginner.com/beginners-guide/how-to-find-royalty-free-images-for-your-wordpress-blog-posts/
Can I add a video clip to a post?
Chances are you mean a clip from YouTube. If so, this is easy and straightforward. When you watch the clip on YouTube, notice the toolbar beneath the clip. Click the ‘share’ button on this toolbar to reveal some options. One of these is the ‘embed’ button. Clicking ‘embed’ reveals some HTML code. Simply copy this code and paste it into your post. You can also upload a video from your own hard drive by clicking on “Add media” and following the prompts.
Can I go back later and change what I’ve written?
Yes, as long as it is before the deadline for each blog post.
I have a problem — I can’t see my post/comment/image.
Click refresh/reload on your browser before trying anything else. In previous semesters, at least 90% of such problems were solved by doing this.
What if I need more help?
Try < http://en.support.wordpress.com/>, before you contact your seminar leader.