2014 at a glance

Schedule subject to change

week 1: introduction

Agenda

  • Introductions and syllabus review
  • Review status of everyone’s projects (~2-3 minutes each); identify student goals for the quarter; expectations, mine and yours
  • Mini-lecture
  • Set up your WordPress.com accounts. Why?

Assignments – see class post

  • Toolset up a Google+ profile
  • Extra Credit: make a post here (this course blog, before next week’s class) that is a resource or news item related to course topics (very big umbrella); select the category “resources” for your post.

week 2: design

Agenda

  • Guest speaker
  • Moving from paper to computer to mobile
  • Grids  / typeface choices / visuals versus text
  • Posts versus pages (why do we care?)
  • Picking a domain name and host
  • In-class ebook exercise: in pairs, explore Amazon Kindle software (browser, smartphone, tablet, computer)

Assignments

  • General assignment, due January 21: find three author/book sites that you like (whatever is appropriate to your project); make a post on this course site with details and why they appeal to you/how they fit your vision of your site.  
    • Remember to link to each site by name or description – no bare URLs, no “click heres”
  • Reading before next Wednesday: see class post
  • Extra Credit: make a post here (this course blog) that is a resource or news item related to web design (very big umbrella); select the category “resources” for your post.

week 3: self-hosted wordpress nuts and bolts

Agenda

  • Content: writing a good link post (how & why)
  • In-class ebook exercise: avoid self-published look
  • Project, in-class: secure your domain name and hosting company before class; as soon as you have picked a host. You must be able to access the email associated with the accounts from webmail and a lab computer or your own laptop (not just a phone).
    • Things to think about when picking a theme : images, home page, sidebars, top navigation, mobile theme
    • Self-hosted WordPress (basic site set-up)
    • Export content from Fall blog and import into either WP.com or self-hosted WP
  • Update the project pages for milestones, brainstorming (pswd protect if desired – Kathy to demo)

Assignments

  • Project, due January 28: how might/will you use a blog with your site; add this to your project page on this course blog (at the top of the page)
  • Project, due January 28: find three themes (free or $) that you find visually appealing; create an interesting post (creative headlines!) about them on this course blog; your primary audience is your fellow classmates – what might they want to know? Include a screen capture of each one. Remember to link to each theme.  
  • Toolsset up a Flickr account before next week’s class.
  • Reading before next Wednesday: TBD
  • Extra Credit: make a post here (this course blog) that is a resource or news item related to digital publishing (very big umbrella); select the category “resources” for your post.

week 4:  digital publishing on WordPress

Agenda

  • Checklist for self-hosted WordPress
  • Install one of your themes (working in pairs)
  • Things to think about when picking a theme
  • A word (or two) about security
  • Turn on Akismet (use your WP.com account info)
  • In-class ebook exercise: the book market

Assignments

  • Reading before next Wednesday: TBD
  • Extra Credit: make a post here (this course blog) that is a resource or news item related to WordPress (very big umbrella); select the category “resources” for your post.

week 5: photos/infographics/art

Agenda

  • Visual concepts such as Rule of Thirds, aspect ratios, optimal resolution/size, alt/title tags
  • Creative Commons and Copyright
  • Pinterest as a social space
  • Using other people’s images
  • Install two plugins (working in pairs)
  • In-class ebook exercise: get everyone invited/in G+ APE group

Assignments

  • Project, due February 11make sure your Gravatars have image, biographical info. Link to your Gravatar on your project page on this site.
  • Reading before next Wednesday: TBD
  • Extra Credit: make a post here (this course blog) that is a resource or news item related to print on demand; select the category “resources” for your post.

week 6: web site versus blog

Agenda

  • WordPress: a different home page
  • WordPress: custom menus
  • Principles of navigation
  • Install two plugins (working in pairs)
  • Social integration (Google+, Facebook, Twitter)
  • In-class ebook exercise: Apple v Adobe v Amazon (file formats)

Assignments

  • Tool: Twitter – set up a Twitter account
  • Project: Site outline posted to your project page on this site
  • Reading before next Wednesday: TBD
  • Extra Credit: make a post here (this course blog) that is a resource or news item related to print on demand; select the category “resources” for your post.

week 7: out-of-class discovery

Agenda

  • Visit your local bricks-and-mortar mega-bookstore. Assess how the bookstore promotes its digital reader and offerings. How are they promoting books? What kinds of books are being promoted?
  • ebook exercise: print-on-demand
    Explore Seattle’s print-on-demand services. There is an espresso machine at the Seattle campus UW Bookstore as well as Third Place Books. They are coming to Bartell Drugs. Read about Seattle author Matt Briggs. How many books are there in your niche?

Assignments

  • In a post here (no later than Sun 23 Feb @ 6 pm) tell us what you learned about print-on-demand. Is this delivery method a viable one for your publishing efforts? Why or why not?
  • Project: How will your site/book be discovered? Discuss the social tools and which makes the most sense for your project in a post on this blog.
  • Project: Publish two more posts on your project blog. Link them on your project page here (so it’s easy for use to read them!).
  • Reading before next Wednesday: TBD

week 8: work session

Agenda

Assignments

  • Project: Everyone’s project site needs to have content publicly accessible by next week
  • Reading before next Wednesday: TBD
  • Extra Credit: make a post here (this course blog) that you can repurpose (copy & paste) for your project site; select the category “project” for your post.

week 9: social and work

Agenda : work session, polish

  • Guest speaker
  • Everyone’s project site needs to have content publicly accessible tonight.
  • Peer review in pairs
  • What you want to cover next week (questions)
  • In-class ebook exercise: self-publishing resources

Assignments

  • Reading before next Wednesday: TBD
  • Extra Credit: make a post here (this course blog) that is a resource or news item related to ebooks; select the category “resources” for your post.

week 10: wrap-up

Agenda

  • Potluck
  • Presentations
  • Your wish-list questions from last week

Final deliverables

  • General assignment: email to me, 500-800 words, on key learnings and what you’d do differently if you could start over, knowing what you know now
  • Project sites finalized and promoted  
    • Promotioin post on this blog
    • Post should have SEO-friendly headline, details about the project (again, think SEO) and a link to the project site. Include next steps.
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