Themes, Tags and Permalinks

Have a look at some of the different blog themes that WordPress offers (in Dashboard, under ‘Appearance’ and ‘Themes’.  You can search for some and preview them first by clicking on the ‘Preview’ link.  Close the preview by clicking on the ‘x’ on the top left or choose it for your blog by clicking the ‘Activate’ link on the top right.  Remember that some themes will remove some widgets so you will have to add them back in again.  You might find some of your previously activated widgets at the bottom of the widget page under ‘Inactive Widgets’.  You can drag these back to the sidebar after you change themes and it will keep your old settings (as opposed to re-entering the Widget options/settings again).

Remember to add tags to all your blog entries.  These should describe the content of the entry.  Have a look at mine or the ones on Marcos’ blog. Categories are another way of organising your posts. You can ignore them for now.

But if you’re really keen and want to add some or have a play around, then have a look at how I’ve organised mine. So far they are under either ‘Net Communication Activities’ (posts that relate to the practicals) and ‘Web Design’ (posts that relate to the optional web design stuff we have talked about). The uncategorised category is there by default I think. You can possibly make a category for your main blog posts (the 500 word ones) and a category for your minor blog posts. The appropriate widget will display them on your side bar.

Changing the permalinks will make it more searchable and works in conjunction with the tags. You can change the permalink on your posts by clicking EDIT on any post. Below the TITLE field you will see the permalink field. Click the EDIT button and enter a relevant name for your post. Note that you can’t have any spaces between names. Click OK.

For example, I changed the permalink to this post from:
https://netcomm2011sampleblog.wordpress.com/2011/04/10/themes-tags-and-permalinks

which was the default permalink (based on the blog entry title – look at the last part of the link) to:

https://netcomm2011sampleblog.wordpress.com/2011/04/10/themes-tags-categories-permalink

Permalink (or permanent link) does exactly what it says. You can give that address to anyone and they can access that specific blog post anytime in the future (provided WordPress doesn’t go broke).

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RSS

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication.  Basically it allows you to subscribe to a website or blog that has regular updates.  This is great for news sites.  I have subscribed to a few on my Firefox browser to get the latest news headlines.  They are the buttons underneath the URL bar.

You can subscribe to one on the RSS feeds page of most major news sites or blogs.  For example here is the link to the BBC’s feed for its top headlines:

http://feeds.bbci.co.uk/news/rss.xml

You can find this by searching on its homepage for RSS or doing a Google search for BBC and RSS.  By clicking on the ‘subscribe now’ button with ‘live bookmarks’ selected, you can add the BBC headlines feed as a button on your browser or in your bookmarks.  Note: This might be different on different browsers, I tend to use Firefox. Clicking on the BBC button will bring up a list of all its top news headlines.  You can also add a feed to your own blogs.  I’ve added a feed to the headlines of the Wired news site on mine using the RSS widget (not the ‘RSS links’ one).

1) Simply go to the homepage of whatever news site you’re interested in (Ars Technica and The Register are a couple of good tech ones).

2) Click the link to RSS feeds and choose what type of news content you want (if they have an option eg BBC has separate feeds for sports and other sections) and click the link.

3) Find the link for the Feed xml page (it should look similar to the BBC page from above).

4) Copy the URL of the xml page and paste it into the RSS widget.  You can also choose how many items (headlines/entries) you want to display and other options.  Then save.

The ‘RSS links’ (not the ‘RSS’ one) widget allows you to add a link to your blog so that your readers can subscribe to it.  Try subscribing to your own blog from home.  You can always delete the feed button or bookmark by right clicking and deleting.

 

Embedding an Image in your Post

From week six instructions.  We are going to use Flickr and use Creative Commons licensed photos (so we are on the safe side of law!).

1) Go to www.flickr.com. Click on the SEARCH button (leave field blank). In the new search field that appears, click on ADVANCED SEARCH link. In SEARCH FOR field, enter a keyword (or combination of) from one of the Main Blog Post questions (see below).

2) Scroll down and next to CC logo, select “Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content” and “Find content to modify, adapt, or build upon”. Click on SEARCH BUTTON. Choose a photo by clicking on it. Now, click on ACTIONS>VIEW ALL SIZES.

3) Copy license line by highlighting it. For example: Some rights reserved by blmurch. Go back to DASHBOARD TAB. Click on POSTS>ADD NEW. Paste license line into post field and hit ENTER button on keyboard so cursor goes to new line.

4) Now, go back to Flickr. Choose a suitable size for the image by clicking on size name. Hold CONTROL button on keyboard and click on image (right click on a PC). Choose VIEW IMAGE option. Copy and paste URL of the image.

5) Go back to DASHBOARD TAB. In the UPLOAD/INSERT line, choose first icon—little rectangle (ADD AN IMAGE). Select the FROM URL tab. In the IMAGE URL field, paste the URL of the image. Click outside of the IMAGE URL field and make sure you get a green check icon. Change IMAGE TITLE and ALIGNMENT to suit your needs. Click on INSERT INTO POST button.

6) Add text as you wish. Note that you can reorganise elements and realign them anytime. Give your post a title and hit PUBLISH button (blue button on righthand side).

Here’s a pic of what the inside of your computer might look like:

AttributionNoncommercial Some rights reserved by caseorganic

Embedding a YouTube Video in Wordpress

From week five practical instructions:

1) Go to the YouTube page with video.

2) In the address bar, select URL and copy it (on a Mac, hold CONTROL key and click, then choose COPY).

3) In your Dashboard click POSTS  > ADD NEW.

4)  Enter the TITLE for your post with the video.

5) Below the TITLE, you will see the UPLOAD/INSERT options. Click on VIDEO ICON (second from the left).

6) In the popup window that opens, click on tab FROM URL.

7) In URL field, paste the URL of the video (on a Mac, hold CONTROL key and click, then choose PASTE)

8) Click on INSERT INTO POST button

9) You’ll see the code inserted for the video. Add whatever text you want for the post and then click on PUBLISH button (blue button on righthand side).

10) Click on your name (top left corner) to preview your blog and you will see that the new post with the embedded video has been added.

Here’s video of Ted Nelson talking about Xanadu:

Twitter #Tag Function

A reminder that you should be using the following hash tag with your tweets: #netcom2011

If you forgot what it does (from week four practical):

1) Tagging information (in the same way that you can tag a WordPress blog post) helps other users searching for specific information about a topic to find your tweet. That will increase your online presence and will boost your search engine position (remember lecture discussion). You can even create a new trend!

2) Think about a topic–it has to be a single word. Write your tweet, and then at the end, add a hash tag followed by your topic. Example Tweet Post: I came across this amazing new recipe for a chocolate cake #chocolate addict

For more info go to the Twitter support page. 

Twitter

In week four we added a link to Twitter to our WordPress blogs.  For those who forgot or if changing your theme removes your Twitter widget:

1)  Sign in to your WordPress blog account at http://wordpress.com/

2)  Move your mouse over the ‘My Blog’ button at the top and then click on ‘Dashboard’, this is basically the control panel where you can make all your changes to the settings and functions of the blog.

3)  Look at the left column and under the ‘Appearance’ button you should find the ‘Widgets’ link. Click on it. (You might have to click the little down arrow beside appearance if you can’t see the ‘Widgets’ link).

4)  Locate the ‘Twitter’ widget. Click and drag it onto your primary widget area on the right hand side. A little dotted rectangle should appear to show where it could go.

5)  Enter a title in the ‘Title’ text box. Choose something relevant eg MECM20003 Tweets

6)  Enter your Twitter username in the text box underneath.

7)  Click the blue ‘Save’ button.

8)  Click your username link on the top left beside the WordPress ‘W’ logo to return to your blog.

9)  You should see the link to Twitter embedded where you dragged it and any tweets you have made.

CSS and Javascript

We also talked about some other elements of webpages besides HTML in the early weeks of this subject. You played around with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) in week two and Marcos demonstrated Javascript in the lecture (the number guessing game). The W3Schools website has some good resources for learning Javascript, CSS and more.