Visual rhetoric, April 22, 2013

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WordPress as digital savior.

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Visual rhetoric, April 22, 2013

  1. 1. Tonight1) Overview of what is left2) The portfolio3) WordPress: an easy to manage option4) Or code it up yourself5) Video time6) ACE print materials time/some problems/some solutions7) ACE work memo composing time (30 minutes)
  2. 2. What’s left…Tonight we will write up your memo for the ACE projects,and you will turn in your videos. This will leave us with justthe web design task to finish.That will leave us with one last week to meet, and withthat will come a meeting where we make sure everythingis finished and have one last discussion about this thingwe call visual rhetoric.I will also ask you some of my own evaluation questions,in addition to the ones that the program asks for.
  3. 3. The portfolioAs I said, your web project has become your portfolio.People keep asking me what it should include, and I think I keep sayingthe same thing, but to officially put it down on the screen, here’s whatyou need to have:1)A reflection on the semester– think like 2-3 single spaced pages, but Idon’t want you to think of it as something that needs to be a length. Iwant you to write about what you’ve learned.2)Examples of your work. Pick three or so things you’re proud of that youdid this semester. They can be from design tasks, from either of the majorprojects, etc.3)Any other work from other courses you want to include
  4. 4. The overarching idea…… isn’t so much to make a portfolio for this class.I mean that’s the graded part of it. But the idea is to startto build a portfolio to be the home for your work online.You‘ll want that when you go searching for a job, orapplying to graduate schools. Or any time you just want toshow someone what you’ve been creating. It’s importantas students in professional writing and IMS to have a webpresence for your work.
  5. 5. For now…… I want you to consider a few things.The first is that there’s a bit of a “war” of ideas going on indigital scholarship. Some people feel that students need tocode everything from the ground up. Others feel that studentsneed to– to borrow from my pal Aristotle– make use of allavailable means of presentation so as to avoid reinventing thewheel perpetually.You can guess where I stand from how I phrased it, can’t you?
  6. 6. If you want…… you can code your portfolio from a blank page. I’ll teachyou what you need to know, and you can Google up whatyou cant’ figure out. Or maybe you’re already good withHTML.But if you’re not familiar with HTML, or if you just don’tfeel like trying to make something that looks sharp withyour current skills/want something highly flexible, I’mgoing to show you how to use WordPress as a contentmanagement system (CMS).
  7. 7. You can do this for free…… by starting an account at wordpress.com.The free account, though, only does so many things.There is a design level account you can buy, which costs yousome money.There’s a slightly better account that costs slightly more.Or if you want to really take a big step, you can find a webhosting solution (like godaddy, for example), buy server spaceand a domain, and put up your own WordPress install(s) formaximum customization.
  8. 8. If you want to work…… directly with HTML, you can start tinkering now/startlooking for things you like. We’ll talk in a bit.If you want to use WordPress, and you want to do this onthe cheap, go to wordpress.com and register an account. Iwill alt-tab over and walk you through this process.
  9. 9. So for now…… look at your theme options.Think about what your added pages will look like, how you’dlike your material presented, etc. Some themes offer moreoptions for customization than others. Take all of that intoaccount as you choose.I’ll come around and offer some advice while you look.
  10. 10. Print stuff…We did… I’m going to say “okay” with the revisions thisweek.Honestly, we didn’t do the best job in the world. I thinksome of the confusion came from people not fully gettingdirections, but I apologize if I was unclear.The big issue right now, overall, is that a number of thingscame to me in less-than-stellar form.
  11. 11. What we need…We really don’t have enough class time left to go though fixingthis stuff, so what I’m going to do is get it all together and seewho wants to step up for and/or talk to each groupindividually.But what I do need from you, tonight, is for you to send me allthe elements you used in your products (this is what wouldhave been in the InDesign package you were supposed tocreate). I need your images, your fonts, and whatever file youput together.
  12. 12. The problem we have…… is that a number of you did your design work in Photoshop whenyou should have done the actual text layout and whatnot in InDesign.This isn’t always a problem, but it is when we give documents to aclient that might want to change the text. It’s also a problem if wesave the Photoshop documents smaller than the print documents,not in CYMK, or at less than 300 dpi. All of those things lead to badprinting.So basically what we need to happen is for those documents to bere-created/tweaked into InDesign docs in CYMK with high res images.It won’t be super-difficult to do as long as we have everything, butit’s a step we should have been doing last week. So make sure I haveall your stuff before you leave– image files, fonts, you product, etc.
  13. 13. And lastly…Tonight we need to complete the memo part of your ACE projects. This should be aslong as you feel it needs to be (or as short, but realize this is the roadmap for yourgrade, so take it seriously). As such, I only have really six questions:1. What did you do in each project?2. What did your teammates do? How was your collaboration? Did everyone pitch inand communicate? (okay, that’s a lot of questions)3. What are you most proud of?4. What are you least proud of?5. There were obviously some problems understanding precisely what we needed tocreate here. What do you think were the major contributing factors, and what doyou wish has gone differently?6. What did you learn from this experience?
  14. 14. Next week……we close up shop.I want you to read this:I will have some questions for you to answer in class as well (about class–they’re for my benefit, a Dr. Phill set of evaluation questions).We will spend the time after that discussion and answering those questionsmaking sure your portfolios are in good shape.

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