a) Experimenting with your blog
Note: If you are not hosting your own domain/blog for this course don’t sweat this part of the assignment and just skip down to part b of assignment 2 below.
First, we would like each of you to start experimenting with your blog space. Look for information and tutorials online about how to embed videos, include images, audio files, etc. (All things you will need to know shortly.) What’s more, do some research on the features of WordPress, there are literally thousands of free themes (template designs) and plugins (third party extension to give you more capabilities) that you can experiment with. Below we’ll list a few plugins we strongly encourage you to in install.
- Subscribe to Comments: Allows commentators to subscribe to a comment thread, this is crucial for this class, and easy as pie to install. Just go to Plugins–>Add and search for Subscribe to Comments. Once you have uploaded it, activate it and you are ready to go.
- Twitter Tools: we would like you all to play with Twitter Tools. Ever since Twitter move to a new OAuth this plugin has become a pain to install, but give it a shot, and their is extensive documentation in the plugin panel itself, be sure to read it.
- Akismet (already installed): this will prevent your blog from being over run by evil spammers. NB: you will need an Akismet API key—would love if someone posted the play-by-play for others, or even found one.
- Google Analytics: Experiment with some Google Analytics plugins for WordPress—go to add plugin and search for “google analytics”—you should find a bunch. We’ll be expecting that you sign-up for a Google account and get Analytics running on your blog.
- JetPack: WordPress offers this suite of tools that includes a subscribe to comments tool, statistics, and more. You can use the same API code to authorize it as you use for Akismet.
- Other: look for other stuff you might be interested in. It could be anything from plugins for Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, plugins, etc. Contact form plugins, etc. Get creative.
When you are done, report back on your process, what you’ve discovered, what you installed, and any issues you may be having. Remember, if you have issues—use your blog or Twitter to communicate you process and your problems—it is expected.
Tag this assignment: blogexperiment (one word)
b) Gardner Campbell’s “Personal Cyberinfrastructure” essay and “No More Digital Facelifts” video
For week two we would like you to have read Gardner Campbell’s short essay Personal Cyberinfrastructure as well as watch his presentation “No More Digital Facelifts” —both of which can be found here: http://ds106.us/2011/01/12/a-personal-cyberinfrastructure/
Gardner Campbell will be speaking to all of us live during class onThursday, January 26th, 2012 at 6:00 PM. This talk will be streamed live as well, you can tune in here: http://dtlttoday.com/live. An archive will be available after the event.
Your assignment is to write a blog post reflection on these ideas. Why do people not want a Bag of Gold? What is a digital facelift? Where else does this happen? What are the potential benefits/drawbacks of these Personal Cyber Infrastructures?
As you read the essay and watch the video, keep track of a key sentence or sequence in the video that generates interest or questions for you- in his own teaching, Gardner calls these “nuggets” and will be launch points for our discussions. In the video, note the time stamp when these occur (You may even try to use the technique of linking to a portion of a YouTube video.
Tag this assignment: pci
Also, be sure to see the responses to this essay by others in #ds106 here.