Tag Archives: housekeeping

Schedule shuffling

A photo of a train schedule board.

Note that I rearranged the schedule slightly today. Since we had a snow day on Wednesday and discussed the projects today, I moved Wednesday’s reading to Monday. If you completed the reading for the class that was canceled, then all you need to do this weekend is work on your Sunday Funnies map and think about revising your Persepolis project. Other readings over the next couple of weeks shuffled around slightly, so make sure you check the schedule.

Over spring break, the only reading you’ll need to do is one chapter of Fun Home. You will need to revise your tracing project and you might start to think ahead toward how you’ll tackle mapping Fun Home as well.


(image credit: “Train Schedule” by Flickr user Q Family)

Pages and/vs. Blog Posts

A photograph of a book with post it flags stuck in its pages.

In this class, I make a clear distinction between blog posts and pages: all of your major, formal projects will go onto your sites as pages. The Sunday Funnies assignments and all of the other shorter, low-stakes, reflective writing that you do will go onto your sites as blog posts. Pages can be edited just as posts can be, but in general they are meant to serve as static, completed, more or less self-contained pieces of writing. Blogs are meant to go up onto the posts page in descending chronological order, so built into the function of a blog is that you write something and publish it, then if you have more to say on the subject or want to revise what you wrote in a major way, you do so by just writing a new blog post rather than going back to the original and restructuring it.

Here’s another clear distinction between posts and pages: posts syndicate but pages do not (because syndication is predicated on the idea of a frequently updating and changing posts page–static pages don’t need to syndicate because, well, they are more or less static). We are relying on syndication to the course site as the means of collecting all of the work that you do on your sites into a central location, but if your major projects go onto pages and pages don’t syndicate then how will they be included? When you complete one of the major assignments, you will write a blog post, linking to the landing page for the assignment. I’ll generally ask you to write something reflective about the work that you’ve done in those blog posts. Sometimes I might ask that you provide a summary or abstract of the argument, perhaps framing the post as an announcement meant to entice readers to check out what you’ve done akin to a teaser in journalism.

One last point: for the purposes of this class, at least, all blog posts and all pages should be multimodal and should include multiple media. You should not publish a page or a post that is composed entirely of text.


(image credit: “231 by Flickr user Jay Peg)


A cartoon diagram of the steps for jarring potatoes which looks like it's from the 1950s. There's a stereotypical pair of women in aprons, moving through the steps and a diagram of the necessary implements at the bottom.

One thing I want you to do:

  • I talked in class today about this system where my post will be “pinged” when you link to it. In order for that to work, you need to turn notifications on in the settings of your dashboard (at least for your subdomain). Go to Settings > Discussion and the first check box, which is probably unchecked, says “Attempt to notify any blogs linked to from the article.” Check that box, then save your settings.

And a couple of things I want to explain to you, just so you know.

  • I changed up the format of Student Posts. The widget this theme uses to generate that grid wasn’t pulling featured images the way I want it to and it is not really designed to handle multiple authors. I might come back to it later and hack the theme’s code to get it to add in a user field, but for right now I don’t think it’s worth that time and it’s too confusing to have the grid showing all your work without names attached to them. So, for now, student posts show up in a category page–which makes things easier on you because now you just need to make sure that every one of your posts includes an image someplace, without necessarily needing that image to be a featured image.
  • I’ve added a tag cloud to the sidebar on some of the pages on my site. Tags in the cloud are bigger if they’ve been applied to more posts, so the size of a tag gives you a sense of how frequently it’s been used. When your posts are syndicated, any categories or tags that you apply to your posts are (supposed to be) turned into tags on my site. If you add tags to your posts, then, they’ll show up in the tag cloud and readers can use those to sort. So if you add the tag “A Softer World” to your posts someone can click on the tag to see all the syndicated posts with that in common (capitalization doesn’t matter, but spacing does, so “ASofterWorld” will show up as a separate tag). How many posts will include fart jokes by the end of the semester? Do we even want to know?


(image credit: “Housekeeping” by Flickr user Fabian Mohr.)

Welcome to Experiments in Visual Writing

"Homework" by Flickr user Stephen Ransom

Homework” by Flickr user Stephen Ransom

Your homework to complete before we meet again on Friday:

  • Read over this website very carefully as it constitutes the syllabus for this course. Note that the Syllabus page includes 5 subpages, covering such topics as: how to contact me and course objectives; the texts you need to buy; attendance, participation, and other policies; how you will be graded; and how Domain of One’s Own will impact your experience in this class. There is also a calendar of reading and assignments (note that there will be some additional incidental readings and assignments added as we go); and pages describing the major assignments this semester (though as of this moment the final two don’t have much specifics included yet).
  • Add this site to your bookmarks. Make certain that you can find your way back here, because you’ll be spending a lot of time visiting these pages over the course of this semester.
  • Sign up for a domain of your own. (See this post for a note about choosing a domain name.) Install WordPress on your domain. Give your site a title that is not “My blog.” Configure the settings on your site, making the front page static instead of a posts page.
  • Come back to this post once you have signed up for your domain and leave a comment. Enter your name and email and the new domain address in the “website” line when on the comment. In the body of the comment, I encourage you to ask one question about the syllabus.