ABOUT YOUR BLOG – In week one’s assignment, you got your Domain and WordPress site up and running. Now it’s time to soup-up this blog into a real muscle machine. There are a number of things to do including editing default titles, posts, comments, and pages. Jim Groom from UMW gives a nice overview in the Week 2 assignment for DS106, but I’m going to summarize here as well.
1. Defaults – As I just mentioned there are a number of defaults to edit, specifically the Site Title, Site Tag Line, default post, default comment, and Sample Page. You don’t need to have your first post to ds106 be “Hello World!” so either delete that post or edit it. Nor do you want “Hi this is a comment” to be your only comment!
2. Appearance – There are a lot of ways that you can change the look of your WordPress site, primarily through the Appearance tab, and changing the Theme. You can search through and install themes that suit your taste, and many include a lot of features to change. Also you should look at Widgets as these are how you change the items that appear in your sidebars, and footer. I’m partial to aggregating other networks in my bar including my lastest Flickr photos, Tweets, and Diigo bookmarks. It’s up to you, make it your own space!
3. Plugins – This really should be first on the list, as it’s probably most important and described in the DS106 week2 assignment in detail. You can add a lot of functionality to your site by using plugins to add features. Jim lists the three most important, must have plugins which I wholeheartedly agree with – Akismet (comment spam filter), Subscribe to Comments (let’s readers subscribe to a post’s discussion), and Twitter Tools (allows you to display Tweets, automatically Tweet new blog posts, and more).
You can install plugins by searching for them in the “Plugins – Add New” page in the dashboard. Search for the ones above and any others that you’d like to use to extend the functionality of your site. A lot of plugins require configuration though after you install them. Twitter Tools requires you associate your Twitter account to your blog by using an API Key. API Keys are passwords associated with service you are connecting to your blog. Usually the plugin describes how to do all this in a settings page or in the plugin description.
Good luck and have fun modifying your blog and remember your site is about to be added to the main ds106 website feed.
Both texts speak to a lot of the inspiration behind ds106 and students having “A Domain of One’s Own.”
ON THE DAILY CREATE – I have noticed a number of students are off and running with their services and feeding into the tdc.ds106.us website. Remember TDC is a regular activity to do throughout the entire semester, three times a week. You need to have Flickr, Youtube, and Soundcloud accounts to do assignments for TDC.
Be sure to tag photo and video assignments with the exact tag described. If you accidentally add a semi-colon or a period or add any other extra characters, your photos will not feed into TDC’s website. And often there is quiet a delay before your assignment appears in the feed for correctly tagged items – so it is with feeds, just be patient. And in the mean time, you should look at all the awesome work of other ds106 participants and comment on their stuff!