Adding links to your blog posts

You’ll often need to include links to other pages in your blog posts, and there are two ways of doing that. Simply pasting a URL into the body of your post looks terrible (especially if the URL is long), and forces readers to go through the extra steps of copying and pasting the URL into their browser instead of simply clicking on the link. Adding links seamlessly on to text makes for a much better-looking and efficient reading experience.

Adding a hyperlink in WordPress

Adding a hyperlink in WordPress

Continue reading

Advertisements

Starting from the top: Customising your Header image.

Time to get down to business.

Quite a few of you have put together your blogs and drafted your introductory posts well ahead of the deadline, and that’s a great start. I want to use the next few posts to cover a few of the more useful settings and features in your platform of choice.

We’ll start at the top, with your header image. For quick reference, the header (also called banner) image is that blue sphere on a black background at the top of my blog. Depending on the blog template you’ve chosen, you’ll have to use a similarly-formatted graphic or photograph. Templates usually come with a few header image options, but you might want to use one of your own.

My original banner image choice, from Free Web Headers.

My original banner image, from Free Web Headers.

Continue reading

Commodification and social media…

As media studies students, you’ve no doubt encountered the concept of commodification. It refers to the tendency to regard items, ideas, services etc in terms of their monetary worth, rather than for any other sort of value. In mass communication, the concept is applied to media messages and, as McQuail points out, audiences themselves, both of which can be primarily (if not exclusively) regarded as revenue sources by  media owners.

Image via Benjalink

Image via Benjalink

One of the recurring themes in our class is the idea that social media removes the barriers to entry in mass media, affording audiences access to the tools of media production and distribution that were once only available to those with much greater resources. However, this more leveled playing field has not changed the realities of commerce. If anything, it’s intensified the monetisation of media.

Continue reading

Social Media Project Example – Behind the Scenes of Modelling

The hallmark of a good social media project (and good communication in general) is getting people interested in a topic they might not otherwise care much about. So it’s to Shonika Greenidge’s credit that her blog on her developing career as a model ended up being one of the most interesting and well-presented of her semester.

BTSOMscreenshot

Continue reading

Don’t read the comments: A few notes on “online incivility”

Judging by the nature and scope of some of the project ideas I’ve received so far this semester, it’s clear that a lot of you are enthused by the opportunity to create something. To put your work, and thus part of yourself, out there, and control a tiny piece of this vast mediasphere. To connect with an audience of people who you can both teach and learn from. Good! That’s the perspective you’ll hopefully gain or maintain by the end of this course. More than any other medium, social media is about empowerment.

Empowerment, however, can be a double-edged blade.

honestslogans.com

Good advice from the Honest Slogans Tumblr blog.

Continue reading

Social Media Project Example – Heart Talk and Challenges Associated With Scoliosis

Lest you think that only the women of COMM 350 courses past have produced good work, I present today a double feature of notable work from male students. While the execution wasn’t as solid as other projects I’ve highlighted, these two projects stood out because they forced the fellas to open up about very personal challenges they’ve lived with all their lives.

In Challenges Associated with Scoliosis, Ewan Headley first set out to share information and advice on scoliosis, a spinal condition he lives with. However, a post or two in, Ewan realised how much he enjoyed sharing his experiences growing up with (and receiving treatment for) the condition. His stories, the most compelling of which recounted the sacrifices his family had to make to pay for his treatment in the US, proved to be much more focused and interesting than his original plan. Ewan also started a Facebook group for people living with scoliosis in T&T.

Continue reading

Social Media Project Samples – Spanglish Dija

As much as I appreciate social media projects that focus on broader topics and cater to (potentially) large audiences, some of the most interesting projects I’ve seen have been smaller-scale and personal.

Khadija Collins decided that spanglishdijascreenshotshe’d use social media as a language-learning tool. She’d signed up for a Spanish course that semester, and she thought it would be helpful to connect and practice with Spanish speakers. Her search led her to Busuu, social network focused exclusively on connecting language-learners. She also watched instructional videos on Youtube and visited other blogs focused on Spanish language and culture.

Continue reading