WEEK 1. Welcome to #MFC4322 – Online Research and Content Generation

Your task this week is to set up your WordPress blog and to write a blogpost on any subject you want – around 250-500 words – it should be as long as you need it to be to make your point.

i love bloggingTry to use one or more of the following:

  • A link with anchor text to an external site.
  • An embedded video from Youtube.
  • A picture to illustrate your post.

Don’t worry too much about the overall design of your site as we will be perfecting it over the weeks to come, and you will be going back to edit previous posts once you learn more tips and tricks.

You also need to complete the WordPress GROVO training by clicking on the link in the invitation email I sent you.  This week’s overview of WordPress should only take 30 minutes or so to complete.

This week you should also tweet once a day on the #MFC4322 class hashtag.

Free online Twitter course

As part of my research into social learning at Leeds Trinity University, I am running my popular 12 Days of Twitter course again in the new year.

12daysoftwitter graphic (3)The course takes place in half an hour a day (maybe more if you get keen!) – at any time of day you like – over 12 days. It’s a great way to build your network and make new friends and colleagues whilst learning to tweet on Twitter.

At the time of typing our first two cohorts are full. So far we’ve got training professionals, librarians, business owners, marketers, researchers, academics and a couple of journalists. If you fancy joining our online twitter course, you’ll be made very welcome!

How to attribute a picture correctly on wordpress.com

Where to put the attribution

The easiest place to put the attribution is somewhere in the text of your blog post – perhaps at the end.

If your theme allows for a picture caption to be displayed to your readers, this is the ideal place to put your attribution, but you will need to cut and paste some HTML to get the right result.

Putting the attribution in the Caption field

I find it easiest to write the attribution into the normal wordpress post editing window, that way I can put the hyperlinks in as normal:

“A Hedgehog’s Back” by Denis Defrayne is licensed under CC by 2.0.

Then I switch from VISUAL view to TEXT view:

attribution code

Then I can copy and paste this HTML into the caption by editing the photo:

A hedgehog's back
“A Hedgehog’s Back” by Denis Defrayne is licensed under CC by 2.0.

 Best practice for attribution:

  1. Use the Artist’s title for the piece.
  2. Link to the Artist’s profile page, or their about page, or equivalent.
  3. Link to the original source of the piece – e.g. the original Flickr page.
  4. Link to the license deed.

I also like to link the main picture to the original source using the “Link To” field, then my blog readers can get to the source of the image – and its owner – with one click on the photograph.

Please put any questions in the comments.


How to add your WordPress blog to the Creative Commons

The sharp-eyed amongst you will notice a new addition to my blog design – a creative commons license.  You’ll find it at the bottom of the left column.  You may have to scroll down a way!  It looks like this:

liz cable blog cc license

We’ve been learning about Creative Commons and Public Domain licensing in our Online Research class, and we are all busy going through our images and media on our blogs to make sure we are giving credit where it’s due, thanking those who have allowed us to use their media. Alternatively we may have to  choose new media when we realise we haven’t got the creator’s permission to use something, or if we can’t track down where we got it from (a very common occurrence!).

However, we really need to protect ourselves as writers and media creators too.  Assuming we want our work to be shared – how can we let people know?

You can learn the WHY of creative commons licensing

You can learn the WHAT of creative commons licensing 

And as for HOW to add the license to my blog, these are the steps I went through:

How to add a Creative Commons License to a wordpress.com blog.

Go to the Creative Commons site, and choose  a Creative Commons License

CC choose a license
Choose a license here.

The code you need to add to your WordPress site will be automatically generated in the bottom right box.

In another browser tab, login your WordPress Site and go to the Dashboard.

From the Menu choose Appearance, and then Widgets.  The one you want is the Text Widget

Click on the Text Widget and drop it into one of the sidebars of your blog.

text box


Give it a title – I just put “license”.

Then copy and past the text from your license box into the text box.

Press the blue [SAVE] button and you are done.

Remember that if you are at any point going to use media with a share-a-like license, then you need to make your media share-a-like too.



Wordplay for blogging prompts

I thought about taking some aphorisms or simply received wisdom, to see if they apply to how you should behave online.Piggy

The one I always quote in class is “two ears, one mouth, use them in that order” which is based on a quote I can at best attribute to Epictetus (along with the majority of netizens.)  Here’s a few more that I think would make good blog titles.

  • A picture speaks a thousand words.
  • You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.
  • No time like the present.
  • There’s no such thing as bad publicity.
  • Never put off til tomorrow what you can do today.
  • If you’ve got nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
  • Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought an idiot, than open your mouth and prove it.
  • There are three kinds of lies: Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics.
  • If you want to ride two horses at once you should join a circus.
  • God gives every bird its worm… but He doesn’t throw it in the nest.
  • You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

And one that I’m reminded of every time I see a “Britain First” Facebook post shared:

  • What can you expect from a pig, but a grunt?

Any more suggestions?  Posts links to any blogposts inspired in the comments please 🙂  Have fun.

Excuse me while I change

It’s that time of year again, when I clean up my blog and sweep away the old to make way for the new term, and the new courses and new students that it will bring.  Things may change before your very eyes as I muck about with fonts, colours, ideas and menus.  Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

Digital Dualism & The IRL Fetish

Thought-provoking article  by Nathan Jurgenson to remember when next your elderly relative accuses you of being anti-social because you’re using a smartphone: The IRL Fetish

“Digital information has long been portrayed as an elsewhere, a new and different cyberspace, a tendency I have coined the term “digital dualism” to describe: the habit of viewing the online and offline as largely distinct. The common (mis)understanding is experience is zero-sum: time spent online means less spent offline. We are either jacked into the Matrix or not; we are either looking at our devices or not. When camping, I have service or not, and when out to eat, my friend is either texting or not. The smartphone has come to be “the perfect symbol” of leaving the here and now for something digital, some other, cyber, space.”

It is wrong to say “IRL” to mean offline: Facebook is real life.

Facebook doesn’t curtail the offline but depends on it. What is most crucial to our time spent logged on is what happened when logged off; it is the fuel that runs the engine of social media. The photos posted, the opinions expressed, the check-ins that fill our streams are often anchored by what happens when disconnected and logged-off. The Web has everything to do with reality; it comprises real people with real bodies, histories, and politics. ”

Jurgenson, N. 2012. The IRL Fetish. Available at: http://thenewinquiry.com/essays/the-irl-fetish/ [Accessed: 23 Jan 2014].

The Machine is Using us

We’ll need to rethink a few things …
We’ll need to rethink copyright
We’ll need to rethink authorship
We’ll need to rethink identity
We’ll need to rethink ethics
We’ll need to rethink aesthetics
We’ll need to rethink rhetorics
We’ll need to rethink governance
We’ll need to rethink privacy
We’ll need to rethink commerce
We’ll need to rethink love
We’ll need to rethink family
We’ll need to rethink ourselves.

Michael Wesch
Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology
Kansas State University