April 18, 2012

Sources of basic info and traffic trends social media sites

by Tom Novak

A few places to get started researching social media sites:

March 27, 2012

WordPress Site Stats

by Tom Novak

Use WordPress Site Stats (in Dahboard, click on “Site Stats”) to obtain detailed statistics on who is visiting your blog.  You can specify the time frame for which you would like to obtain these statistics.  In addition to visitors to your blog, you can track visitors to specific pages on your plot, referrer sources that tell you where your visitors came from, search engine terms used to find your blog, and which links in your blog were clicked.

For complete details on how to use Site Stats see:  http://en.support.wordpress.com/stats/

March 27, 2012

Curation

by Tom Novak

Content curation is one strategy you can use to create content for your blog. But you need to be careful here. Content curation is not the wholesale copying and pasting of content from other blogs and websites, even if you do provide attribution.  In content curation, you must provide some added value to the content you curate.  A good discussion of how to do this is found in the article, “5 Models of Content Curation.”

Tags:
March 27, 2012

Widgets and Social Tools

by Tom Novak

Widgets allow you to add content to your site’s sidebar(s).  You can include a stream of tweets, a list of recent comments, photos from Flickr, etc. Availability of widgets varies by theme.

Social tools are special widgets that integrate with facebook and twitter, use gravatar hovercards (to manage your identity), allow ratings of posts, polls, likes, etc.

March 27, 2012

Selecting a theme

by Tom Novak

The best way to select a theme is to first get some content into your blog.  Then, in the dashboard, use Appearance –> Themes to see how your blog looks in a variety of themes.  Experiment.

There’s more to it than how your blog looks.  Different themes have different features – number of columns, navigation, customer headers/footers, colors, etc.  You might like the way a certain theme looks, but you might not like it’s navigation.  Or, it might not have a sidebar.

Some themes allow you to upload a custom image header, or customize the background image.  This goes a long way to giving your blog a personal look.

Custom menus are also supported by some themes.  This allows you to change the order of pages, nest pages in sub-menus, add posts and custom links to navigation menu.   Note: themes come with a default menu which may or may not meet your needs

March 27, 2012

Posts and Pages

by Tom Novak

Posts are what we think of as the “blog.”  Post entries are listed in reverse chronological order on the blog’s home page (or on the posts page if you have set one up).

Pages, unlike posts, are static.  Pages are a good way to publish information that doesn’t change much, like an “About” page.  pages make your blog look and feel more like a traditional website.

You can choose whether to make your blog’s front page (the page people see when they enter your URL) display the latest posts, or display a static page.  Here’s how. 

Want to learn more about the difference between posts and pages? 

Tags: , ,
March 27, 2012

Considerations when selecting a blog name

by Tom Novak

A few things to think about when selecting your blog’s name:

  • Shorter names are easier to remember
  • If you can’t remember your blog’s name, don’t expect anyone else to!
  • If people can misspell your blog’s name, they probably will
  • Your blog’s name should be clearly related to what you are doing
Tags:
March 26, 2012

Undergraduate student projects

by Tom Novak

Below are links to Winter 2012 WordPress blogs from my undergraduate course. Students in that course were able to blog about a topic of their choice.  Take a look at these to get some ideas for style, design, and features.  (Some of these blogs may have been removed, most should still be visible).

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.