Week 1 – Introductions and Context


  • Who are we and why are we in this class?
  • Course overview, expectations
  • What does the world of communication look like in an digital age?
  • Demo eReserve
  • Technologies: WordPress
  • Multimedia: Did You Know 4, Social Media in Plain English
  • Handout (pdf): tr.im/com495_onepager

Syllabus Exercise

Using the online syllabus, answer these questions individually. We will then answer them in small groups.

  1. Where do you find the readings for this class?
  2. What are the responsibilities of discussion leaders?
  3. How often (and when) do students “blog” their reading reflections?
  4. How important is class participation to the final grade?
  5. When is the first subject matter blog post due in the class?
  6. What is the blogging comments assignment?
  7. What are the project possibilities in the class?
  8. What is due finals week?


1) Create student blogs using Word Press.
By using blogging software to reflect on your readings, you practice using this new technology. By customizing your blog space, you develop your personal design aesthetic. By categorizing blog posts, you are becoming literate about Web 2.0 technologies and folksonomy.

  • Create your blog! Go to Word Press ; select the new account button and follow the prompts. Notes:

    • Use your UWNetID as your login/member name. This will make your WordPress URL <uwnetid.wordpress.com> and makes it easy for me and other class members to send you email. [If it’s not available, use something else! I’ll note the email info on the student blogs page.]
    • Use an email account that you can access in the lab, because you will not be able to move to the next steps until you activate the blog by clicking on a link in an email from WordPress.
  • Activate your blog
    Log in to your email account and find the WordPress mail that contains instructions. Click the link and your blog will be live! This step “proves” you are a human and not a ‘bot.
  • Customize your blog
    Required settings:

    • settings -> general: Create a distinctive name (separate from your login, not Com495!).
    • settings -> general: Change the time to [-8] so that we all have the same timestamp
    • posts –> categories: We will be categorizing all of our blog entries, so create the following categories

      • Assignment
      • Discussion Leader
      • Reading

    Recommended settings:

    • settings –> privacy: Make the blog public; include in search engines or public listings if you want the outside world to more easily find your blog
    • settings -> discussion: To avoid spam, enable “Users must be registered and logged in to comment”
    • settings -> discussion: De-select “must approve comments”

2) Edit “Hello, World”

  • posts –> edit
    Change the title/subject. Delete the current content (highlight – delete) and replace it with a little information about yourself. Categorize the blog post assignment (click the tick mark for assignment – Categories are in the right margin). Click “save”.

3) Create a new post

  • posts –> add new
    Create the title/subject. Write a post with a short statement of your interests for the quarter. Categorize the blog post assignment (click the tick mark for assignment – categories are in the right margin). Click “publish”.

4) Give me your blog URL before leaving class!


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