CS120 Assignment 9: Blogging Project
The final product of this project will be a blog that you have written with one blog entry of 200-250 words, including the use of hypertext links, an embedded YouTube video and a photo or other graphic. The skills and techniques you will learn in this project are applicable for editing the many social media or other web 2.0 sites on the internet.
We include instructions for WordPress in this lab, however you can use Tumblr or Blogger if you’d rather.
The basic elements of the blog project process are as follows:
- Start a WordPress blog (free website: http://wordpress.com/)
- Write a brief blog entry, an short opinion piece about something related to ethics, computers and society, or any topic you like such as a hobby interest, sports team you follow, etc. which contains:
- 200-300 words text (about one double-spaced page if written in a typical word processing application like Microsoft Word)
- 1 or more photos or other graphic images(s) from your own library of photos, or from an online source such as Google Images (requires uploading the image, then placing it in your blog)
- 2 hypertext links to web pages/sites with supporting information for your blog
- 1 embedded YouTube video with supporting information (using copy/paste of embed code from YouTube). As you are using WordPress Free version for this assignment, the WordPress powers that be MIGHT NOT let you embed a YouTube video. I have seen students able to add one, and sometimes it prevents them.
- Arrange the elements of your blog listed above in a way that makes visual logical sense to someone viewing your blog; the goal is to communicate and perhaps even to persuade.
- Post the link to the blog in the course Moodle forum “Blog Projects” to let your instructor know your project is ready to grade, and for other students to see, comment on, etc.
- The link you send me must be accessible. It should have the format https://yourblogname.wordpress.com. If you would like to keep the blog private, email it to me directly with a note indicating as such.
Detailed instructions for blog project (if you need them!)
- Starting a free WordPress blog
- Go to wordpress.com
- Click on “Learn more” underneath the “Start a Blog” heading.
- Click “Get started”.
- WordPress changes their set-up sequence frequently, but as of November 2016 it has you register and create your new blog in a 6 step process (if it looks different, the process is the same and is pretty intuitive):
- Step 1: Choose a general theme or topic for your blog.
- Step 2: Choose a layout for your home page.
- Step 3: Choose a design theme for your blog.
- Step 4: Create a domain name, which will create the URL for your blog site.
- Step 5: Choose a plan—take the free one (click “Select Free”).
- Step 6: Enter your email address (use your my.lanecc.edu email) and create a password in order to create your WordPress account. An email will be sent to you to confirm your account. Remember to check your SPAM folder.
- Login to your email to find the email from WordPress to confirm your account.
- Creating your blog: Welcome to WordPress.com!
- At the WordPress site you are now at an “Add New Post” page where you create a blog post. In this blog editing window you have a area to type text or put other visual elements of your blog in, and immediately above it you have a toolbar with a few options for formatting text, creating and removing links, etc., as well as a button to “Add Media” such as a photograph or graphic image.
- If you haven’t verified your new WordPress account in your email, at the top of the page you may see something like this: “Please Verify Your Email Address In order to publish posts, please verify your email address by clicking the link in the confirmation email that we sent to”. You’ll need to login to your email and do this to actually get your blog to post.
- Now you can enter and format text in the main editing area, and mix in with it your links, graphics and YouTube video.
- Click “Edit” to get started and add some text to your blog!
- Inserting, resizing and moving a photo or graphic
- To add a photo or graphic you now start by clicking on the “Add Media” button at the right of the toolbar. This takes you to a window where you can upload a photo or image. After browsing for and uploading the image you then click on the photo/image to select it, then click on the “Insert into post” button at the lower right of the page.
- If you want to use a photo or image that is different than you have on your computer you can go to Google at http://google.com and go to the Images link in the toolbar, then search for the image you want using key words. (Suggestion: to avoid potential copyright infringement issues use Advanced Search in the Settings option in Google Images, and in the advanced search options window under “usage rights” choose one of the “free to use” options.) When you find the image you want you can right-click on the image and choose “Save image as” to save it to your computer (a good idea is to save it the desktop so you can find it easily later for uploading). You can now use the process indicated in step 1 above to upload your new image.
- To resize a photo click on it to select it, the use the sizing handles on the photo to drag and make it the size you want. Clicking on the photo also gives you an “Edit Image” icon on the photo, which you can click on to get additional editing options.To move a photo, just click on it to select it, then drag it to the position in your post text where you want it to appear.
- Adding hypertext links to your blog
- The first step to putting a hypertext link in your blog is to open up a new tab or window in your browser and navigate to the page you want to create the link to.
- Now click on the URL (address) in the address bar of your browser. This highlights the URL.
- Copy the URL by right-clicking on it and choosing “Copy” from the menu that appears, or by the CTRL-C keyboard shortcut.
- Now go back to the blog you are editing, click to set your cursor where you want the link to appear in your blog, and type in some descriptive text that you want for the link.
- Select the text you typed for the link.
- Click the “Insert/edit link” tool on your toolbar (looks like a chain link or perhaps more like a paper clip).
- Paste the URL (CTRL-V or right-click and Paste) into the URL text box. You could just type in the URL, but copying and pasting eliminates errors.
- Click “Update.”
- Embedding a YouTube video in your blog
- The first step is to open up a new tab in your browser and go to YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/
- At the YouTube site click in the search box and use keywords to search for the video you want.
- Click on the video image or its link to take it to its own browser window.
- Click on “Share” underneath the video (on the same line as the “Like” icons).
- Click on “Embed” in the line that appears below “Share.”
- To copy the embed code that appears, use CTRL-C or right-click and Copy.
- Go back to your blog, click in the editing window where you want the YouTube video to be embedded, and CTRL-V or right-click to choose the Paste command. The YouTube embed code will now appear in the editing view.
- When you publish the blog again you will see the video in its own embedded window in your blog.
EXAMPLE: the YouTube screenshot below shows the “Share” option (underlined in red) and below that the “Embed” option (underlined in black). Once you click on “Embed” the embed code underneath appears and is automatically highlighted; a CTRL-C to copy is all you need to do to grab the code for pasting into your blog post.
- Posting your blog to the course Moodle forum
- Posting your blog to the “Blog Projects” forum lets your instructor know that your blog project is ready to grade, and lets other students in the course check it out as well.
- The first step is to copy the URL of your blog. You only need the first part that ends in “wordpress.com.” Examples:
- http://mkgray.wordpress.com/ (a blog with a few examples and how-to’s on embedding media in a blog)
- http://www.wprecipes.com/ (a great blog on technical aspects of using WordPress, this URL shows how you can customize WordPress blogs for professional use, but costs $$)
- Go to the course Moodle site, click on the “Forums” link, then click on the link for the “Blog Projects” forum.
- Click on the “Add a new discussion topic button.
- In the subject line type your name and the name of your blog. Example: Josie Doe’s NASCAR blog
- Click in the message text area and type your name and the name of your blog again.
- Select the name of your blog.
- Click the “Insert/edit link” tool in the toolbar (looks like a chain link).
- Paste or type in the URL of your blog (in the form indicated in step 2).
- Click “Insert.”
- Click “Post to forum.”