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Your First Website
A low-stakes sitebuilding exercise
Marc Bousquet
Media Studies @Emory University
Goal: Comfort with Sitebuilding
What counts as success in this project? Basic
familiarity with sitebuilding skills, not th...
In a Few Lab Sessions, You Will Learn To:
 Create a landing page and links
 Modify a WordPress theme
 Manage fonts, ima...
Passionate vs Expository Sites
Basic expository site genres include explanation, how to, history, and
the like. These can ...
Reflect on Your Networked Self
Most persons’ individual selfhoods emerge through a network of
affiliations—their churches,...
Find Your Purpose: Why do You Care?
Let’s say you care about a kind of medical research because you know
someone living wi...
When Do You Publish the Personal?
On the other hand, you might care about treatment because a relative
died from the disea...
A Good Issue is Narrow
Rather than examine discrimination on the basis of race broadly, you
might focus on the particular ...
Another Lens: Media Practice
A further layer of focus can be provided if you zero in on media
practices.
Let’s say you sea...
Compromise Between Stakeholders
An easy way to do this kind of sandbox assignment is to imagine 3-5
groups of stakeholders...
How to Start
•First, make your topic is as narrow as possible AND
something you’re genuinely passionate about. Otherwise:
...
Paper Websites?
1. On paper, hand-write a paragraph for the landing page.
2. Then underline three or four places in that p...
ONE NATION UNDER TESTING
Bubble Test? Pencils?
Standardized college admissions tests have been plaguing high school studen...
ONE NATION UNDER TESTING
Bubble Test? Pencils?
Standardized college admissions tests have been plaguing high school studen...
You Promised Your Reader Some Pages
What you have now is one paragraph, a headline and an
idea for an image. But your unde...
ONE NATION UNDER TESTING
Bubble Test? Pencils?
Standardized college admissions tests have been plaguing high school studen...
ONE NATION UNDER TESTING
Bubble Test? Pencils?
Standardized college admissions tests have been plaguing high school studen...
ONE NATION UNDER TESTING
Bubble Test? Pencils?
Standardized college admissions tests have been plaguing high school studen...
ONE NATION UNDER TESTING
Bubble Test? Pencils?
Standardized college admissions tests have been plaguing high school studen...
A first-time user not using a template
created this from her paper mockup
 Created her own navigation
menu using pencils
...
*Created by Clare Batty
Claire also created the
background image for her front
page—ruled school paper—
that worked in har...
*Created by Clare Batty
It is easy to see how much of Claire’s full-draft paper mockups
survived in the final website.
*Created by Clare Batty
Claire’s second project
shows a giant leap in
sitebuilding
sophistication.
Yours will too.
Contact:
Marc Bousquet
pmbousquet@gmail.com
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 I...
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Your First Website

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Tutorial walkthrough for first-time sitebuilders. Designed by Marc Bousquet for use in Media Studies 208, Emory University in conjunction with lab sessions and other tutorials. Find the syllabus at marcbousquet.net

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Your First Website

  1. 1. Your First Website A low-stakes sitebuilding exercise Marc Bousquet Media Studies @Emory University
  2. 2. Goal: Comfort with Sitebuilding What counts as success in this project? Basic familiarity with sitebuilding skills, not the content it includes. While you may retain some of your other projects in your portfolio, you may choose to delete this sandbox effort after the course is over. This is the best kind of informal project. You should enjoy the process rather than obsess over the result!
  3. 3. In a Few Lab Sessions, You Will Learn To:  Create a landing page and links  Modify a WordPress theme  Manage fonts, images, navigation, credits and pull quotes  Make sharing decisions, such as by using a CC license  Create subdomains (issue.myname.net)  Install WP/Boldgrid and new themes on subdomains  Select appropriate templates (Gridblocks)  Build a coherent issue-oriented site of 6-8 pages
  4. 4. Passionate vs Expository Sites Basic expository site genres include explanation, how to, history, and the like. These can be very challenging and useful. However, your individual efforts in this regard are likely to trade in settled problems or accepted knowledge, and therefore be less interesting. Many would be redundant, since someone else will likely already have published on them. Many of the best first-effort websites address issues and are driven by passion and commitment.
  5. 5. Reflect on Your Networked Self Most persons’ individual selfhoods emerge through a network of affiliations—their churches, family, friends, schools, hobbies, sports, fandoms—some of which are voluntary and others less so. We also navigate socially constructed norms and values about race, ethnicity, sexuality, class and so forth. Many of the latter are imposed on us involuntarily. All of these associations are with groups of people, sometimes quite large groups. Each of these groups will have current, ongoing conflicts internal to itself, or with other groups. Map your network of affiliations. Choose three affiliations with current, ongoing disputes that passionately interest you. Select one issue for your sandbox project, ideally with one with multiple stakeholders.
  6. 6. Find Your Purpose: Why do You Care? Let’s say you care about a kind of medical research because you know someone living with the condition. Under no circumstances would you risk sharing that person’s identity or private medical information in a published website. But you can still publish on the issue, which you personally care about deeply, without sharing any personal details of that person, or your connection to them. This might evolve into a policy site with a call to action, such as service opportunities, donations, petitions, and so on. You might develop outreach materials like memes, or educational games or quizzes to be shared on social media platforms.
  7. 7. When Do You Publish the Personal? On the other hand, you might care about treatment because a relative died from the disease, and was comfortable and open with sharing their medical status, or was an activist. You might create a memorial to that individual. Similarly, you might care about food standards, labor rights, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, etc, because of a personal connection or identification with the issue. The fact that you feel a personal connection is very useful and often key to your success. Publishing that connection is a different decision!
  8. 8. A Good Issue is Narrow Rather than examine discrimination on the basis of race broadly, you might focus on the particular dimensions that led you personally to care about the issue. •You can focus on a particular kind of place (fast food), a particular region or city (Atlanta), and a kind of job (manager). •If it is the case that certain chains in the area disproportionately promote white or Asian employees, or over more highly qualified black or Hispanic employees, you have a good issue. •Likewise if customers are profiled racially by the staff at any kind of enterprise or institution, including government offices, or health care providers, you have a relevant, real-world issue.
  9. 9. Another Lens: Media Practice A further layer of focus can be provided if you zero in on media practices. Let’s say you search Twitter or Facebook for the names of various fast- food chains, and collect data regarding customer experiences and connect them with racial self-identification. Now you have both further narrowed your topic. Plus you have gone beyond argument to acquire data: “Of thirty references to Subway food shops on Twitter by self-identified Asian-Americans, 70% said…” This layer of focus, on media practices, will be required in your first major project, the research website. It is NOT required for the sandbox.
  10. 10. Compromise Between Stakeholders An easy way to do this kind of sandbox assignment is to imagine 3-5 groups of stakeholders on a real-world issue that genuinely matters to you. Let’s say you care about high stakes testing because, even though you’re good at them, plenty of your friends who are just as smart feel terrible pressure and a sense of overwhelming failure over differences of a few points. Stakeholders in this issue might include teachers, parents, administrators, legislators, testing companies, and, naturally, students of all types.
  11. 11. How to Start •First, make your topic is as narrow as possible AND something you’re genuinely passionate about. Otherwise: Why bother? •Second, double check: Is your topic really as narrow as possible? Seriously, this matters. •Third, make your website ON PAPER FIRST, following the process below. Paper is the ideal technology for this stage of building your site.
  12. 12. Paper Websites? 1. On paper, hand-write a paragraph for the landing page. 2. Then underline three or four places in that paragraph that might make good hyperlinks leading into major concepts or stakeholders. Rewrite if three such links aren’t obvious.
  13. 13. ONE NATION UNDER TESTING Bubble Test? Pencils? Standardized college admissions tests have been plaguing high school students since the early 1900s. Preparing for the ACT, SAT, and SAT II’s was definitely the most nerve-wracking part of my high school career. The fact that these tests involve high stakes especially for students is really distressing. Instead of studying for the ACT/SAT, students could be concentrating their attention on more important academic and extracurricular activities that could be beneficial for them in the future. Administrators are forcing teachers to change their way of teaching in order to have students achieve the highest scores possible. This skill-and-drill way of teaching for the sake of tests negatively affects the way students acquire knowledge. HEADLINE IMAGE IDEA TEXT *Adapted from a project by Clare Batty A mockup includes the page title, some actual text, and any ideas you have for visuals
  14. 14. ONE NATION UNDER TESTING Bubble Test? Pencils? Standardized college admissions tests have been plaguing high school students since the early 1900s. Preparing for the ACT, SAT, and SAT II’s was definitely the most nerve-wracking part of my high school career. The fact that these tests involve high stakes especially for students is really distressing. Instead of studying for the ACT/SAT, students could be concentrating their attention on more important academic and extracurricular activities that could be beneficial for them in the future. Administrators are forcing teachers to change their way of teaching in order to have students achieve the highest scores possible. This skill-and-drill way of teaching for the sake of tests negatively affects the way students acquire knowledge. *Adapted from a project by Clare Batty Step 2 Highlight or underline the handwritten paragraph to feature likely links.
  15. 15. You Promised Your Reader Some Pages What you have now is one paragraph, a headline and an idea for an image. But your underlined or highlighted words are a promise to your reader: Those links have to go somewhere! 3. Create paper mockups of the destination pages that you promised. Include a sentence or two of text on each. You should have at least four handwritten paper pages when done.
  16. 16. ONE NATION UNDER TESTING Bubble Test? Pencils? Standardized college admissions tests have been plaguing high school students since the early 1900s. Preparing for the ACT, SAT, and SAT II’s was definitely the most nerve- wracking part of my high school career. The fact that these tests involve high stakes especially for students is really distressing. Instead of studying for the ACT/SAT, students could be concentrating their attention on more important academic and extracurricular activities that could be beneficial for them in the future. Administrators are forcing teachers to change their way of teaching in order to have students achieve the highest scores possible. This skill-and-drill way of teaching for the sake of tests negatively affects the way students acquire knowledge. *Adapted from a project by Clare Batty Too much depends on these standardized tests Even your parents badger you to study for your SAT Administrators are told to impose drill-and-skill approaches. Teachers of the year consistently oppose drill and skil Step 3. Create paper mockups of the destination pages that you promised. Include a sentence or two of text on each.
  17. 17. ONE NATION UNDER TESTING Bubble Test? Pencils? Standardized college admissions tests have been plaguing high school students since the early 1900s. Preparing for the ACT, SAT, and SAT II’s was definitely the most nerve- wracking part of my high school career. The fact that these tests involve high stakes especially for students is really distressing. Instead of studying for the ACT/SAT, students could be concentrating their attention on more important academic and extracurricular activities that could be beneficial for them in the future. Administrators are forcing teachers to change their way of teaching in order to have students achieve the highest scores possible. This skill-and-drill way of teaching for the sake of tests negatively affects the way students acquire knowledge. *Adapted from a project by Clare Batty Too much depends on these standardized tests Even your parents badger you to study for your SAT Administrators are told to impose drill-and-skill approaches. Step 4. Flesh out this first layer of destination pages with handwritten headlines, image ideas and more text THE STORM It’s your junior year in high school, and you’re basically settled in by now. Just when you think you’ve mastered it all, a looming shadow appears. You spend a disproportionate amount of time worrying over the SAT/ACT when you could be focusing on more important academic or social activities. These include giving back to the community, sharing their passion for music in a band, or writing opinions in the student paper. Experiences from such situations would be much more rewarding for all of the stakeholders. THE STORM It’s your junior year in high school, and you’re basically settled in by now. Just when you think you’ve mastered it all, a looming shadow appears. You spend THE STORM It’s your junior year in high school, and you’re basically settled in by now. Just when you think you’ve mastered it all, a looming shadow appears. You spend
  18. 18. ONE NATION UNDER TESTING Bubble Test? Pencils? Standardized college admissions tests have been plaguing high school students since the early 1900s. Preparing for the ACT, SAT, and SAT II’s was definitely the most nerve- wracking part of my high school career. The fact that these tests involve high stakes especially for students is really distressing. Instead of studying for the ACT/SAT, students could be concentrating their attention on more important academic and extracurricular activities that could be beneficial for them in the future. Administrators are forcing teachers to change their way of teaching in order to have students achieve the highest scores possible. This skill-and-drill way of teaching for the sake of tests negatively affects the way students acquire knowledge. *Adapted from a project by Clare Batty Step 5. Find at least two more links in the text of the first layer of destination pages, and create mockups of the pages they promise. THE STORM It’s your junior year in high school, and you’re basically settled in by now. Just when you think you’ve mastered it all, a looming shadow appears. You spend a disproportionate amount of time worrying over the SAT/ACT when you could be focusing on more important academic or social activities. These include giving back to the community, sharing their passion for music in a band, or writing opinions in the student paper. Experiences from such situations would be much more rewarding for all of the stakeholders. THE STORM It’s your junior year in high school, and you’re basically settled in by now. Just when you think you’ve mastered it all, a looming shadow appears. You spend THE STORM It’s your junior year in high school, and you’re basically settled in by now. Just when you think you’ve mastered it all, a looming shadow appears. You spend THE STORM It’s your junior year in high school, and you’re basically settled in by now. Just when you think you’ve mastered it all, a looming shadow appears. You spend Worry makes students sick, not smart. Parents, employers and service organizations all pay a price.
  19. 19. ONE NATION UNDER TESTING Bubble Test? Pencils? Standardized college admissions tests have been plaguing high school students since the early 1900s. Preparing for the ACT, SAT, and SAT II’s was definitely the most nerve- wracking part of my high school career. The fact that these tests involve high stakes especially for students is really distressing. Instead of studying for the ACT/SAT, students could be concentrating their attention on more important academic and extracurricular activities that could be beneficial for them in the future. Administrators are forcing teachers to change their way of teaching in order to have students achieve the highest scores possible. This skill-and-drill way of teaching for the sake of tests negatively affects the way students acquire knowledge. *Adapted from a project by Clare Batty Now you have your whole website—on paper! This mockup site has nine pages. THE STORM It’s your junior year in high school, and you’re basically settled in by now. Just when you think you’ve mastered it all, a looming shadow appears. You spend a disproportionate amount of time worrying over the SAT/ACT when you could be focusing on more important academic or social activities. These include giving back to the community, sharing their passion for music in a band, or writing opinions in the student paper. Experiences from such situations would be much more rewarding for all of the stakeholders. THE STORM It’s your junior year in high school, and you’re basically settled in by now. Just when you think you’ve mastered it all, a looming shadow appears. You spend THE STORM It’s your junior year in high school, and you’re basically settled in by now. Just when you think you’ve mastered it all, a looming shadow appears. You spend THE STORM It’s your junior year in high school, and you’re basically settled in by now. Just when you think you’ve mastered it all, a looming shadow appears. You spend Worry makes students sick, not smart. Parents, employers and service organizations all pay a price. Worry makes students sick, not smart. Worry makes students sick, not smart. 1 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2
  20. 20. A first-time user not using a template created this from her paper mockup  Created her own navigation menu using pencils  Designed the layout from scratch  Used a font-image generator to create unique headline effects  Used text over image and image over image effects *Created by Clare Batty
  21. 21. *Created by Clare Batty Claire also created the background image for her front page—ruled school paper— that worked in harmony with her other graphics and theme. This was a first-time sandbox effort by a nervous first-time user, and in some ways that shows. But she started from paper and made something extremely creative and thoughtful.
  22. 22. *Created by Clare Batty It is easy to see how much of Claire’s full-draft paper mockups survived in the final website.
  23. 23. *Created by Clare Batty Claire’s second project shows a giant leap in sitebuilding sophistication. Yours will too.
  24. 24. Contact: Marc Bousquet pmbousquet@gmail.com This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

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