ENG 1023, Texas Woman's University (Fall 2012)
I have been reading your blog posts on what you’d like to make (and possible names for our publication). Here are some tools you might use (and below is a survey on names!) Today, then, we’ll spend a few minutes looking at sample sites to consider issues of style and design, then you’ll do a bit of informal writing on what you see as proper style for writing in this genre and for this audience. (This should be useful for your reflection.) We’ll spend the rest of our time exploring resources, building drafts, and considering the look of our overall publication. There are lots of resources below (in response to your last blog posts) and more on our resources page.
Don’t forget to take the poll (below) and comment on what you think this should look like (perhaps identifying a template by name and suggesting whatever modifications you think appropriate?) before you leave today. I’ll set up the blog this weekend, once you’ve helped me make these decisions, and email you all to join as authors on the blog, so you can start building your drafts here. (Please give me the email address you used to join WordPress.com on today’s sign in sheet!) Meantime, play with what’s possible, and start drafting, using your own blog shell. Once you get on OUR blog, you can cut and paste it over.
I am STILL working on those pf2s. I had hoped to get all the 11:30s back today (Thursday) and will try, but it might be Friday before they are all done. I really am working as quickly as I can.
Rotating images? What about making a slideshow? Google “make free slideshow” and you’ll find tons of sites to use for this.
If you want to embed a video YOU made: look at the resources for using iMovie or MovieMaker Live. Then you’ll need to set up a YouTube account (if you don’t already have one), upload the video to YouTube, and embed it in the blog post (using the upload/insert media menu, and pasting in the YouTube address there). You will find directions for uploading to YouTube on our resources page as well.
(If you need to cut up existing videos to remix or mash into yours, you might find Keepvid.com a useful site. It will download videos from YouTube for you–but take care not to click the ads on this page–there are lots of them! AND BE SURE TO CITE the folks who made the stuff you are working with.)
Those of you thinking on making videos may find seeing some previous student work inspirational. Here are three playlists, full of videos made by my students.
To embed a video you found elsewhere: you’ll embed a link to it, using the upload/insert media menu, and pasting in the address. (You WILL want to cite this somehow.)
I would avoid using “proprietary” file types, like PowerPoint. to do that, you’d make a PowerPoint, upload it somewhere, and link readers to it. When they clicked the link, the PowerPoint file would open, but only IF they had PowerPoint. They may not. Also: Have you ever seen an online magazine use PowerPoint like this? I haven’t.
Adding hyperlinks to other sites as part of your text is something many of you want to do, and a great thing to do. It’s EXPECTED of digital publications. To do it, just highlight the text you want to make a hyperlink, then click the paper clip icon in the editing screen. It will have y0u paste in the address you want to link to. Then be sure to click the box opening this off-site link in a new window (so they don’t lose your article/our magazine as they surf). Use links in your text, as appropriate, and, if you’d like, build a list of “for more information” links as part of your article. You could do this as text, on your page, or you could use another site (like Pinterest) to do this more visually.
Many of you talked about using subheadings. That’s a very good thing to do on longer, digital texts–it helps us “anchor” our eye (and also helps readers who like to scan and cherry pick what they’re going to read). Make sure subheading are descriptive of what’s coming, parallel with one another, and stand OUT. (They shouldn’t be in the same font weight/size. You can format font using a drop down menu, with paragraphs looking one way, and first/second/third level subheadings another….)
Make a song play when page opened, or embed a file in the page? I’ve not done it on WordPress.com, but it is possible. Here are a couple of resources that might help: A how to from WordPress.com | Embedding Audio Files in a WordPress.com Blog (from an offsite author)
Some of you have plans that will require somehow editing pictures you’ve gathered (like adding font to them to use as a subheading, or to lay out a quote graphically to make an attention getting “pull quote”). You might find photoshop.com useful for this (though there are other sites you could use as well.) (Again: don’t forget to cite anything you use–pictures, sounds, words, ideas, facts–that isn’t wholly created by you!)
If you want to meld several pictures into one (kind of making a collage, for some purpose), http://www.photovisi.com/ has been suggested by classmates. (If you run a search for “create collage online” you’ll find other options.)
A couple of you talked about making print based documents, that then would be scanned, saved as a pdf, and linked to on site. I’m okay with this (provided you can justify it as part of your reflection–but you’ll need to do that for ANY of the choices any of you might make, so don’t let that stop you.) To save as a PDF, MOST version of word will now do this by just clicking file > save as > then under save as type, click “pdf.” (Sometimes this appears in the bottom left of the “save as” pop up window, rather than in a drop down box.) Make sure you don’t leave spaces, or use symbols, in the file name. Then, go to our WordPress.com dashboard, click on media, then add media, and upload your file. As you near the end of this process, it will give you an address where the file lives–cut and paste it before you finalize things and leave this page. Then you’ll go to your post and create a hyperlink to the document. You might consider putting some other content–maybe an image or two, and a blurb about the project/an invitation to read it, on the page, so it’s not JUST a link when folks get there.
Tell me your thoughts.
The look should go with the name, somehow, I think. Thus far, I’ve heard one set of suggested colors–black, gray, and white, which I think would allow the colors each of you wants to use (in your fonts, images, videos, etc.) to shine. What templates do you like? Comment on this post and let me know! And if the template is modifiable, suggest what modifications you’d like me to make?)
You will need a draft of your project to share by next Thursday! We’ll also spend some time that day working on the reflective overview.