Wordcamp SF

Those of you who are using WordPress blogs might want to consider attending WordCamp San Francisco, which will be held Saturday, May 1, at Mission Bay Conference Center (UCSF) in San Francisco.

It’s just $50 for a full day’s worth of program sessions on blogging, WordPress blogs, social media and such … plus a great BBQ lunch and plenty of swag, including a swell T-shirt. (BTW, I’ll be there.)

Here’s where to find out more.


Tips for student bloggers

Here’s a helpful blog post by Karen Miller Russell, a PR professor at the University of Georgia, with tips for developing a successful student blog. It’s got some good ideas for blog post topics, and for getting your blog noticed.

Help…my blog post didn’t publish!

A couple of you have run into problems getting your assignments to publish on your blog. There is a trick to it. Here’s how Blogger works: The first time you save a blog post, clicking on the “save now” button only saves it as a draft. It does not publish it. To publish a blog post, you have to click the “publish post” button.

However, once a blog post has been published, clicking the “save now” button saves it and republishes it.

Here’s how that works. Say, for example, you publish an assignment, then click on the “view site” link to give it one final review and make sure it really published (a practice I highly recommend, by the way). When you look over your assignment, you notice an AP style error and, of course, you decide to fix it. To do that, go back to blog’s dashboard, click on the manage “posts” link, then click on the “edit” link for that blog post. (Or click on the “back” button in your browser to get back to the post management area of your blog, and click on the “edit” link from there.) Make your edit, then click on “save now” or “publish post.” Your corrected blog post replaces the flawed original. You’re happy, I’m happy. Life is good.

If you run into blog problems, let me know. Another good resource is the blogger.com help page. Here’s the URL: http://help.blogger.com/bin/static.py?page=start.cs. If you’re using a WordPress blog, the WordPress Lessons page is equally helpful.

Welcome to Journalism 61

This blog serves as the home page of the online section of Journalism 61.

To get started in the class, you’ll need to email me at cynthia.mccune [at] sjsu.edu to confirm that you’ve registered for the class. That will be my cue to add you to my email list for the class. Some assignments will be emailed, so you’ll want to make sure you’re on my list.

Most of your writing assignments will be delivered to me via a blog, so the next thing you’ll need to do is set up your own blog for this class. (As you can see at right, a couple of students have already set up their blogs. Feel free to check them out!) Click here for directions on how to set up a blog. If you run into any problems, email me.

To confirm that you’ve completed the first assignment (setting up your blog), please email me your blog’s URL (web address) by 6 p.m. Saturday (the first Saturday of the semester).

Once you’ve created a blog, you’ll also need to know how to log in and create new “blog posts” to submit your assignments. Click here for directions on how to do that.

By the way, you can also find “how to” information related to this class by clicking on the “How To’s” link under the “Categories” heading at the top left column of this blog.

P.S. While you’re at it, please click on the links at the top of this page to review the Jour 61 syllabus, grading, class schedule, assignments and links to class resources. You’ll need this information to successfully complete the class.

A word of advice: The best way to pass this class is to complete all of the assignments on deadline, and to revise them as needed to correct any errors I note in my comments. Conversely, the easiest way to fail this class is to skip a bunch of the assignments.

Blogging assignment – s. 4

Section 4 students: Toward the end of last Tuesday’s class, I sent you out to observe the close of SJSU’s commemoration of the day 39 years ago when Tommy Smith and John Carlos raised their black-gloved fists during a medals ceremony at the 1968 Olympics. I told you to observe the scene and blog about it; I asked you to be descriptive and include at least one quote from someone involved in the event or at the scene.

Update News teamSome of you have already blogged about this event; others have not. If you want a little more information on it, you might want to watch this week’s Update News program — it’s the lead story.

You can find a link to Update News on the Spartan Daily website and on SJSU’s Academic Technology webcast page.

Also, here’s a description of the event from an email I received about it:

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007, marks the 39th Anniversary of Tommie Smith & John Carlos’ historic stand during the 1968 Olympics. In honor of the anniversary, the Associated Students in conjunction with several professors on campus have planned a noon hour lecture titled “Student Advocacy: Past and Present” to occur on the sculpture garden lawn, adjacent to the statue of Tommie Smith & John Carlos and Clark Hall. We will be using a small sound system to amplify the voices of our guest speakers (who are all SJSU professors and the AS President), and having a short drumming performance prior to the lecture. We expect about 100-150 students and staff to attend.

Please be sure to get your description of this event posted on your blog before next Tuesday’s class.

Putting blogs to work

Wondering how you might put a blog to good use (other than for posting your class assignments or for personal journaling)? You might want to take a look at JMC grad student Ryan Sholin’s blog, Invisible Inkling.

Blog as PortfolioHe’s used his blog as a venue to explore his chosen field of online journalism, and to make a name for himself in the field. He’s recently added an online portfolio page to his blog. It does a nice job of showcasing his experience, his skills and his aspirations.

This type of thing works best on a WordPress blog (like the one used for the home page of this class) because it supports stand-alone, linked “pages” as well as chronological blog posts. The Blogger blogs that most of you are using for this class are a little easier to use, but lack that handy “pages” feature.

While you’re taking a look at Sholin’s online portfolio, you might also want to peruse some of his blog posts. You could learn a thing or two.

Where’s my blog…and how do I post an assignment?

Note: This is for you blogging newbies. I’m basing this on some of the things I remember being confused about when I first started blogging.

So you’ve created a blog…now, how do you find your way back to it…and how do you post your assignments on it?

Before you can post an assignment, or edit a previous blog post/assignment, you’ll need to sign into your blog. There are two ways to do that. Either way, you’ll need the username and password you used to create your blog.

blogger_login.jpgSign in method #1: Open up your web browser (e.g., Firefox, Safari, Explorer). Go to the Blogger start page at https://www.blogger.com/. In the upper right-hand corner of that page, type in your username and password, then click on the blue “sign in” button. That will take you to your blog’s “dashboard” (administrative area), where you can “write” a new “post” (a.k.a. an assignment) or “manage” (edit or delete) any materials you’ve posted previously.

blogger_sign_in.jpgSign in method #2: If you know (or have bookmarked) the URL of your blog (e.g., http://myblogsname.blogspot.com), then open up your web browser and type in the URL of your blog. Once you’re there, you can click on the “sign in” link in the upper right-hand corner of your blog to sign in to your blog’s dashboard. Once there, you can write a new post.

blogger_dashboard1.jpgYour blog’s dashboard should look something like this.

To write a new post, click on the “New Post” link. That will take you to a form that looks a lot like an email form where you can write and format your new “post” or assignment.

Alternatively, instead of typing your assignment directly into the blog post form, you can write it in Microsoft Word (or a text editor), copy it, and then “paste” it into the “new post” form of your blog.

blogger_post_form.jpgOnce you’ve written (or copied and pasted) your assignment or comment into the “new post” form, simply click on the orange “Publish Post” button at the bottom left of the form…and you’re done. Your “post” will now show up as the first item in your blog.

By the way, if you look at your blog and find that your new post hasn’t showed up yet, try clicking your browser’s “refresh” button.

If you click on “Save Now” instead of “Publish Post,” your new item will be saved as a draft. It will not appear on your blog’s main page until you “publish” it.

If you’ve saved something as a draft and need to go back and finish it, click on the “manage posts” in your dashboard (or on the “edit posts” tab while in the “create post” form). That will take you to a list of all your posts (both published posts and drafts). Click on the edit button for a specific post to edit it.

If you have any questions, leave them as a comment on this blog post and I’ll do my best to answer them.