#MFC4322 | The 10 Blogposts you need to have completed

  • A blog post about anything
  • A blog post with your personal selection of shareable good online content
  • A group blog post on taxonomies & folksonomies for a specific social media platform
  • Podcast task
  • A blog post on a subject of your own choice with external links with good keyword anchor text, illustrated with correctly attributed pictures
  • A collaboration
  • A post about the event you live tweeted – with embedded tweets
  • A blog post about the rich content you produced, with link to the rich content
  • The content schedule for your blog
  • A Christmas/December/End of Year or other timely blog post.
  • Deadline for final blog post is noon on Wednesday 16th December.

    Dress Up your Blog with WordPress Post Formats

    • What post formats do you use the most?
    • I don’t really use any WordPress post formats other than the “standard” post, and occasionally “video”.
    • How does the video post work?
    • If I post a “video” format post, then all that shows is the video in as wide a part of the screen as possible (whilst still allowing for room for my sidebar).  Whereas if I just put a piece of video as inserted media into my blog, I get a title for the blogpost, a smaller format player, and room for text around it. So I choose the format for each video post accordingly.
    • I was teaching blogging to some postgrad researchers the other day, and when I showed them the different formats for posts they got quite excited at the thought of not always having to write a long form article every time they blogged.  It kindled my curiosity as to what the other formats would look like if used correctly.


    • The table above shows all 9 formats that come with the Chalk theme I use for my blog, the one I’ve chosen for this post is “Chat”.
    • So that’s why this post is coming up in this new format – it’s emulating a conversation?
    • Yes, just use an unordered list (or bullet points to the rest of us) and WordPress does the rest.
    • To find out what post formats come with your blog theme, go to the support page for your theme. Then you too can find out if you can talk to yourself.
    • Or perhaps use it next time you are reporting an interview.

    Tools for Podcasting

    I’ve done voice-over work for theatre and elearning since I was a kid, and this coupled with my natural good face for radio means I’ve always fancied podcasting.  Today I had a great session with my second year class “Social Business and the Sharing Economy”, and we were negotiating their assessed portfolio work for the end of next semester.

    One of the ideas that didn’t immediately get shelved (although it might) was to produce a podcast serial on the Sharing Economy.  A run of maybe 6 episodes, each lasting 12-20 minutes.  The podcast will be one of a few projects, including a blog and a printed guide to Sharing Leeds. We might expand to video and transmedia, but before then a podcast is the easier to produce we think.

    We want to have a fixed number of episodes and a defined format, but it must be of the highest production standards.  Happily, we have a radio studio (two in fact) at the uni, and editing suites, so no excuse other than lack of skills to make this happen.

    I’ve been googling some good “learn to podcast” resources, and after teaching various classes how to plan their blog content, am also looking to see if planning a podcast’s content is any different.  I’m parking some of the most useful looking pieces here:

    How to Podcast “The definitive step-by-step guide on how to podcast without breaking the bank. This is the home of the free podcast tutorial that will take your podcast from concept to launch fast and for minimal cost.”

    Learn How To Podcast 101 is a video tutorial with more than 120 minutes of instruction that will help you lay a solid foundation for setting up a podcast for future success. This podcasting tutorial will give you all the building blocks to help you understand what is needed to launch your podcast properly.

    As for research into formats and content, I also intend to check out Radio 4’s Podcast series “In Pod We Trust” – useful to while away the hours of Christmas driving.

    If you have an established podcast and would be interested in talking to my students about it, it’d be great to hear from you.  We can invite you into our classroom in person or via SKYPE.

    Please put any recommended tips or resources in the comments.

    First Christmas tweets from my students #MFC4322

    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.

    So, does having profile information and a photograph help people learn together online?

    This article from “Research in Learning Technology” concludes “it depends”.


    There seems to be four schools of thought:

    1. I need to see profile information and photos to feel connected to other people.
    2. I’d rather not have photos and give away personal information as I’m worried about my own privacy.
    3. I can interact with the individual postings and topics – who posts them isn’t relevant.
    4. I don’t see why photos and profiles are needed.

    Full journal article here: Social presence in online learning communities: the role of personal profiles

    Research in Learning Technology – Print ISSN 2156-7069; Online ISSN: 2156-7077This journal is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC-BY 4.0) License.

    Steampunk – the anatomy of a trend

    Will we be buying clockwork goggles from TopShop this Spring?  So I’d noticed designers like Tom Dixon making gorgeous steampunk nic-nacs for the home, but this gorgeous infographic from IBM predicts the mainstreaming of steampunk.

    “Through its sentiment analysis, IBM has found that steampunk is evolving into a cultural ‘meme’ via a series of leaps across cultural domains (such as fiction, visual arts, etc). A combination of science fiction and fantasy, steampunk is a sub-genre based around gothic machinery and the industrialized civilization of the 19th century. Rooted in the designs of the industrialized civilization of the 19th century, steampunk is a retro-futuristic style of fashion that is influenced by the works of Jules Verne, Nikola Tesla, HG Wells and more.” >> Full report on how Steampunk is Trending.

    IBM STEAMPUNK - The birth of a trend - Infographic
    IBM STEAMPUNK – The birth of a trend – Infographic

    Podcast Challenge – Hunt my Head

    This weeks challenge is another double-whammy –

    1. investigate how undergraduates and graduates can use social networks for job-seeking
    2. script and record a podcast of no-longer than 5 minutes on how to use your chosen social networking tool for job-hunting.

    Advice on creating an appropriate profile and possibly portfolio on the network, as well as how to find potential employers and grab their attention is what’s needed.

    Networks of choice are Google+, Pinterest, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and of course, LinkedIn