Posts Tagged With: WordPress

Final Project Write-Up

Here’s What I Planned to Do

“I am going to make a Runescape adventure log so as to share my gaming escapades with those who may need a few pointers and for those who love the game. I’ll do this on a blog because then I’ll be able to add things like .gif files, podcasts, and videos to give diversity to my posts.” –Project Proposal

Here’s What I Did and What Happened

I created Potam like I said I would. She is a member’s character on Runescape. To introduce her, I went through the creation process and took screenshots like I said I would in my proposal. I had originally planned to only play for an hour everyday but I found that one our of play was not nearly enough to do something super exciting to write about. Each play-session ended up extending to two or three hours, four maximum, when I did the two-part posts for quests and when I would play with my friends.

It took me awhile to figure out when would be the opportune time to post and I missed some deadlines for the first two weeks but after that I posted everyday minus one week where I only could post three times.

When it came to Potam as a character, I spoke through her point of view for every post and as Potam evolved as a character I found it easier and easier to create her story. I met some very interesting people. Whenever I ran into a snag in the road, like my first desert quest that I still haven’t finished because it was just too frustrating. Some posts I could add the gallery at the end which included my inventory when I finished the session, where I was, and what my skill levels were looking like. However, I did not do this on all the posts due to the fact that some sessions I had to split into multiple posts (this happened many times when I went questing or I was talking to people in Lumbridge the whole time and nothing changed). I also had said in my proposal I was going  to add in bold at the end of my posts the amount of money Potam had but I found it looked kind of tacky since I was screenshotting everything else.

My organizational process was probably the thing I stuck to most as well as the depth of my posts. I am a detail oriented person so recording every tiny thing was essential. I directly stated in my proposal that “my categories will be based on skills, quests, and any other specialties I find like the Grand Exchange or the wilderness.” I did exactly this. Jake Ford noticed this in his Studio Tour: “One thing I admire about the project is that the posts here are very consistent and in-depth. The use of links is great, as well. After also looking at one of the blogs she said she was modeling her’s after in her proposal (Jax’s), I’d say I could learn more for Devan’s.”

There are two things I did not do that I had fully planned to do: make a podcast and make  a video. I had enough recorded game footage to make a full-length feature film but when I went to edit, crop, export, and post I found my software wasn’t sufficient enough to convert my file into the proper file to post online. The same goes for a podcast. To post .mp3 files on WordPress I had to go premium member which was not going to happen since I was already paying for a membership elsewhere.

The purpose of the podcast was to get other people involved. The video was to act as an example. Fortunately, I did get some outsider input through my posts where I played with a couple of my other friends. Not only did they make me expand beyond just that (when I ventured over to the old school RS instead of just talking about it), I had some pretty fun times as well. I made sure to link to their Twitters/Wordpress blogs so as to give them some recognition.

Comments on my posts came from veteran users  but I still had quite a few viewers regardless of the pink candy floss. Many of my views came from search engines meaning my tags were doing their job. I could have gone out and advertised more but I felt like that might be considered spamming, something I am not too keen to take part in.

Using WordPress for this project was a good idea at first but comparing that with my knowledge of Tumblr, I feel Tumblr would have been a better base just because of the capabilities available. However, WordPress was great to use when it came to my organization. Finding and linking things (this also includes the .gif files) in my posts was extremely easy.

When it comes down to it, I followed my proposal with few mis-steps such as the podcast and the odd posting days but overall I stuck with my contract where every post was at least 500-words long, most of the time at least 700. I learned a TON about WordPress, thouh. I’m a person who learns by doing and exploring a bit, although we had the manual, I learned the most about WordPress by using it and creating my own project through it. I also went into this with a very strict writing style but as time went on I became more relaxed and just typed like I would type, since Potam was me this was form her point of view in her voice because that was the voice the other RSplayers heard as well.

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The weekly review: RuneScape edition

I recently began my expedition throughout the RuneScape world while posting anythign I’ve learned, the adventures I had and whatnot. It was a relatively quiet week since Potam, the character I created is still in her early levels.

The Terms and Conditions

This was my introductory post to inform any potential readers what exactly it was that I would be doing. I had a comment on it from a fellow player which is always a confidence boost. I ran into a few issues when I tried to add a recurring music player to the blog. Apparently I have to pay more money which was definitely not going to happen.

Let’s begin, shall we?

This is how I created Potam. I go through the step by step process, describing my experience and comparing it to what the old edition of RuneScape was like. I tried a couple of new things for this post. I wanted to add in a couple of screen shots all in a row along the bottom but I couldn’t quite figure out how until I discovered the gallery view. This make the post look much more put together. I also threw in a poll at the bottom to make it more interactive.

Graduated. Now what?

Potam is finally out of the Tutorial there are a couple of things I had to go into quite a bit of detail on so I didn’t get very far on the recording of Potam’s adventures. As for meeting new people, I met one person and we had a conversation that lasted about thirty seconds. Next week I will be moving to more populated worlds so as to increase these interactions.

What a load of lodestones.

This post I also did not go into detail about Potam but I did address certain things any new player may be confused about like lodestones. It was hard to choose the screen shots for this post considering there were so many. I think I might try making a gallery of extra shots at the very end if this happens again. That way if anyone would like to have more information on something, all my data is there.

I also began a Twitter account for this character and you can follow it here for post updates as well as RS updates.

Some issues I had this week:

  1. The fact that Twitters new widget for streaming tweets via a search term does not work and hasn’t been working for the past six months. I spent hours trying to find a way around this but I guess it just isn’t going to happen for me.
  2. My music issue was annoying but I can see how it’s for the best. Not everyone wants to listen to RuneScape ambiance.
  3. At one point my computer crashed because I was running too many programs. I now have to play RuneScape, take notes, and then go on WordPress and record them.

I look forward to seeing where this bog can go.

 

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The top four: time to pick favorites.

Let’s start off with Rachel’s reaction to blogs and their freedom of speech:

She addresses the different types of blog posts as well as the strong stereotypes that accompany them. I completely agree with her here:

In some situations people may have taken their “freedom of speech” a little too far.

I think this is a huge issue with the internet, especially with this “BSU Confessions” fad hitting Facebook. For right now, the negativity is minimal however, once it turns into a Burn Book it’ll lose its credibility. The same goes for anyone anywhere. Another reason why I feel Rachel did a good job covering this topic. You see, it’s not just where blogging is going popularity-wise but also how people are going to incorporate it into their day to day lives. Will this be a negative or a positive? We can only wait and see.

Next we have Jack’s Tiki-Toki timeline of the future:

I really loved how he incorporated Axel Bruns at the very end and how we will write a new book. Very clever. Also, I thought it was very interesting how freelance blogging from home. More and more people are declaring they’re self-employed so I think this is a real possibility. One of the creepiest ideas to me was the YouTube bit about identifying everyday citizens from their videos. I picture the Facebook face finder but for videos… chills. Apparently I’m a little behind because I had no idea what Twitter Bootstrap was so I had to Google it. Hmm, learn something new everyday.

Third on the list would be Joe’s interesting link-jobs in his digital artifact:

I was never familiar with the phrase “digital goldfish” so that was something new I learned. There is also the point of the evolution of technology and how blogging is so closely linked with technological innovations. As long as blogging continues to evolve to suit the online tools of the times, it’s here to stay.

Fourthly we have Matt’s timeline, also on Tiki-Toki:

Unlike Jack’s approach, where Google began filtering out the blogs with shorter posts, Matt looked at the future as Facebook turns blogging obsolete with its longer posts. The government getting involved was definitely a radical approach but, hey, it’s the future! Who knows? Maybe the next big thing will be the internet Civil Rights movement. And the part about the freelance writers turning to blogging, I can totally see that happening and its kind of scary.

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-Isms fighting the bombastic blogger with pseudonyms.

Joe, Matt and I joined forces for this weeks digital artifact. Tomorrow we’re going to combine ideas to make the finished product. Today we’re just gathering ingredients. Here is what I’ve got so far for sources:

We were initially going to discuss some of the basics for this chapter (sexism vs. ageism) but then after we began researching, our ideas evolved. Matt strayed toward ageism, Joe took the pseudonym route, and I decided to explore “filter” blogs. Maybe it’s my deep-down dislike for those who believe themselves to be better than everyone else. Most of the time, it’s because they are, but hey, you don’t need to go rubbing it in all the time.

One quote in particular from Uses of Blogs got me started down this road.

As other researchers have argued, however, these perceptions create a hierarchy whereby the group or pundit blog– sometimes called the “filter” blog–is the authentic form against which other styles of blogging must be judged” (155)

The author then goes on to explain how none of these pundit blogs have really addressed the basis of which they go around “judging” blogs.

What these debates also typically avoid is any significant debate about what makes atopic “political,” “newsworthy,” or “important” in the first place (155)

This reminds me of something Prof. Morgan told me about my first couple of blog posts. He said I was “snarky” but there wasn’t any basis for me being “snarky” other than my own personal opinion. I didn’t have and facts to back myself up. Isn’t this a similar situation? The filter blogs are sitting there being snarky about other people’s blogs, judging them with criteria they don’t understand fully.

If you’re going to label someone’s blog as worthless you better have a rubric or something. Maybe then we can really call them “A-List” bloggers.

 

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Chugging out the Sunday post.

It seems as if it was only a week ago I was doing this exact same thing. Alas it is Sunday and alas, I care about my grade so I am back to reiterate everything I’ve done in the past seven days. Well, Monday found me partially dying from The Oak Hall Plague: Second Semester Sickness. It was great. I slept, drank tea, and chewed down DayQuil like it was a chocolate chip cookie (as in one cookie every four to six hours). I took the day off.

Tuesday I felt a wee bit better. I was still wearing the same sweatshirt and sweatpants combo from the day before but I could move and actually make decisions and think somewhat clearly once the drugs kicked in. I read through chapters nine and ten in Uses of Blogs. To this day I have no idea how I got past the few couple of lines from chapter ten.  I believe Jean Burgess did not mean anyone to understand what she was saying for the first page or so. Maybe my mind was muddled a bit, too. Who knows? The word “pedagogy” was thrown around so many times between the two chapters I started underlining it. Sentence two of Blogging to Learn, Learning to Blog:

Their emergence in Internet culture has synchronized to a large extent with trends in pedagogy toward user-centered, participatory learning in combination with the technologization of the curriculum. (105)

Can I get a translater over here?

Alright, alright. I’ll stop with the criticism. I guess I’ll start talking about what I actually learned from these couple of chapters. We’ll start with the fact that I now know exactly where Morgan got quite a bit of his ideas. The issue with commenting and discussion boards is addressed because in order to get a decent grade in the class we were forced to be checking to see if someone had commented on our posts as well as forcing us to comment on the posts of others. Soon these “assignments” became habitual for me and WordPress was the second thing I checked when opening my web browser today. It is almost sad how sucked in I can get when it comes to social networking. Who knows? Next, I might actually appreciate Twitter in all its grandeur. Or not. I hope not. God, I hope not.

Somethings that were brought up in the chapters I found rather interesting would be the genre of “research” blogging and how similar that is to what we’re doing and how I’m still trying to fit in that little bit of me that wants to be creative and go off on tangents like this one. You know, if it was up to me, I would make a blog entirely about bad math jokes. I mean “bad” as in “poorly designed and nobody will laugh” not “bad” as in “these are dirty, do not share at church.” All of my jokes will be church approved.

Back to the subject at hand: Class. But we’re not supposed to think of it as a class? But we hav assignments? I don’t know. I’m just trying to chug along at my own pace and see how it goes, that’s how I got through my Nordic skiing years and those seemed to work out more or less in my favor.

Posts for this week

Enjoy, you blogging lunatics.

A gift for your efforts.

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Pedagogical Pedagogy II

Blogging to Learn, Learning to Blog

Blogs being used in the learning environment? That sounds familiar. I think instead of all of us using one type of blog, I almost think it would be even more interesting to assign each person to go out and find their own type of blog site as well as their own blogging genre to do. If you want us to have a virtual identity, then I think that would be the perfect way to do it (if you don’t then forgot I said anything).

At the same time, I can see why we started with WordPress: it’s easy to use, easy to learn on, easy to connect with one another, and easy to adapt. For us, as students, to improve our creative and network literacy we need to begin with the basics. Certain expectations certainly took me by surprise and this is coming from someone who has dabbled around with blogging quite a bit. I wasn’t expecting this class to be a cake-walk but I felt I could handle whatever was thrown at me.

Something I also like about us starting with WordPress is the fact that, although we’re learning the basics, there are things here that I’m sure plenty of people (like me) just do not understand. Like embedding videos? Yeah, for some reason it took me a couple of days to figure out. However, I’m glad I’m not like a couple of students mentioned in the book.

There was often an implicit assumption by students that the technologies they use for formal learning should be stable, easy to use, and transparent, and not open, configurable, or complex. (107)

For some reason, after reading that portion of the text all I could think about was the Jumpstart series. If you want to watch a video, be prepared for nine minutes of nostalgia and vulgarity.

Your cursor is the size of a house! Don’t get me wrong, I love and will always love Jumpstart but after reading this chapter I can see why so many people might expect something like that. We grow up with things spelled out for us. Sure, we aren’t all born coders but there is nothing wrong with incorporating those aspects into our everyday school system.

On top of that I found the sentence that describes this course to a “T”.

In the context of educational– more specifically, “research”– blogging existing speech genres (conversation, debate, personal storytelling) need to be articulated with ossified academic writing genres (the essay, the research report, the literature review, the critique). (108)

That is what I have saying all along! My creative side and my intellectual side have to go to marriage counseling or something to work out these problems creating such rifts between them. Regardless, I still have a lot of work to do.

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Links: it’s about who you know.

I’m starting a project analyzing the usage of links and how they power blogs. To begin, I e-mailed one of my favorite websites, The Oatmeal. Why? I remember reading how he has the tendency to single-handedly crash entire website by simply linking to them in his posts. To be able to do that with one post is ridiculous.

That is what initially peaked my interest. Then I delved further into the topic. There are sites all over the internet dedicated to getting your blog linked to. There are several ways you can work to get your blog found.

  1. You can link to yourself through comments however, that is considered spamming and will eventually be removed. Also, links placed in comments are generally less efficient. (Unless you do something along the lines of pingbacks)
  2. You can buy your way in.
  3. If you have connections, work them.  Have your friends plug your blog into their posts. The extra exposure as well as references will convince more viewers to actually click on your link.

This is just a precursor. I still have a lot more researching to do.

Here are a couple of places to check out if you’re also interested in raising your blog’s internet status.

Image

**The key is not to go link-crazy, otherwise your blog turns into an SEO blog which is a WordPress no-no.

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A week in review.

This is my go-to gif in any situation.

Let’s dive right in, shall we?
I’m a pretty honest person so I’m not going to sugar coat the fact that I could have put a lot more effort into the past couple of weeks’ assignments. I can guarantee you this will not happen again. Pinky swear.
You know, the whole not-being-productive thing might stem from the fact that I just spent the past fifteen minutes looking for the perfect pinky swear .gif to follow my pinky swear comment. Instead I’ll just go with this one of Ash Ketchum being super determined.

Back to the topic: A couple things that gave me a spot of trouble would be the daily posting just because it’s something I have to get used to and the commenting on the posts of others. It helped though when I developed that RSS feed and I subscribed to their blogs. I could then just see any updates from my homepage instead of having to find them individually. That RSS feed is such a time saver!

I really liked seeing what everyone had to say and learn a little more about them. I’m a people watcher to begin with so it all worked out. Seriously, though, I can’t sleep in airports because there is too much human activity. I’m bizarre. I accept that.

I also threw in a Creative Commons copyright on the bottom of my page. It was super simple to create but it definitely took some canoodling to place it actually on ym page but in the end I succeeded. Did you know you could place code into the widget called text? Yeah, I didn’t but now I’m practically an expert.
To solve my daily posting problem I now have a designated posting time for each day. In order to get much of anything done these days I have to formulate a regime. Fingers crossed that it works.
As for the first week’s assignments, I didn’t have to do too much mainly because I had already created a WordPress and Gravatar account about four years ago I had completely forgotten about. High-five to past-Devan. Thanks to my Tumblr  I already had some experience in the blogging world: I understood hyperlinking, embedding images/videos and tagging.

I photoshop, too!

I still have a lot of perfecting to do and I’m quite sure I’ll never be satisfied but it’s worth a shot.

Here are my “accomplishments” so far

 

 

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