Saturday, January 17, 2009

Welcome to Teenager in/and the Media!

Welcome to this WMST 350 blogging adventure!

Sometime before Monday, Jan 27, you will set up your own blog to use this semester as a place to process all of your thoughts and questions for Teenagers in/and the Media. You will also use this space to post many of your assignments, and to keep track of how your peers are thinking about the issues we cover in class.

A blog is your very own, personal online journal. It is public, in that I and your classmates can read it and comment on it, but it is your space and you can control most everything about it. (If you want to make it private so that *only* members of this class can read it, you will just need to enter the email addresses of each member of the class).

In the context of this course, your blog has two purposes:

1) Your blog will provide a space for you to keep most of your assignments over the course of our semester together. You will not hand in written assignments to me each week; rather you will post them on your blog. In this sense, your blog is merely your assignment notebook that you will use as you read and prepare for class each week. You will also be posting any additional thoughts you have: responses to class discussion, after thoughts, things you forgot to say in class, relevant experiences you have, etc.

2) In 2009, online spaces are central to any discussion of teenagers and the media. Creating your own blog will also introduce you to the blogisphere if you don't know this place already. I hope that your experience on blogger will inspire you to explore other (teen) blogs as well.

So here's how it works:

You are going to set up your own blog. If you don't think of yourself as very "tech-saavy," don't stress! The site below makes it very easy for you to get your own personal space up and running in no time at all.

Once you get your blogs up and running, I will provide links to each of them on the right of this page (where your names are already listed). You can come here to this page (my blog) if you want to to read what I write, or to link to one another's blogs as well. This site is new and improved so managing, editing, posting, designing and getting creative on your blog is now easier than ever!

To start your own blog, you will go to:

The big orange arrow at the bottom right of the page will direct you to creating your own blog on a site called Follow the instructions to open up a free account. Don't forget your Username and Password!! You will need them to login everytime.

blogger create an account screen 1

As you fill in the info, you will be asked to name your blog. This title will appear at the top of your blog.

Then, you need to choose an address:

This will be the web address associated with your site. you can call it anything you like. Be clever or simple (or both) -- it is up to you.

You will also need to choose a design template for your blog. Look through the options listed and see what appeals to you. You can change this later and can even find fun, creative templates at sites like PYZAM.

Once you have the account set up, you can start posting. A “posting” is an entry on your blog. (For clarification, you have one blog, but many postings). Give the post a title and then compose as you would any journal entry. When you are finished, hit the button at the bottom that says Publish Post. It will not appear on your blog until you publish it. You can always go back and edit old posts and create new ones.

Your First Post:
Your first post should be a short introduction to you... when you were 13. Start your entry with , "When I was 13..." and write a little bit about yourself through the lens of your memory. Just a short paragraph or two — no big deal. You will post the rest of the entries as they are due (see course syllabus for dates), or whenever you have something to say!

When you are done creating your site and posting your first entry, please come back to this blog and post a comment at the end of my first posting (scroll down) that includes your blog address so that I can post it in the link list to the right.

Some Tips and Helpful Hints:
  • Once you are in your blog, look at the top right corner of the screen. If you click on the word CUSTOMIZE, you will be able to make design changes, create new posts, edit old posts, etc. Under the Layout Option,
  • If you want to make your blog a bit more interesting, poke around online and make a list of websites related to teenagers, popular culture, media literacy or anything else relevant and post them on your blog as a Resource List. To do this, view your blog and click on the CUSTOMIZE link at the top right corner of your screen. Click on ADD A NEW ELEMENT, and then choose Link List. This will allow you to add as many links as you desire. They will show up in a box on your blog!
  • Just do the best you can with this. If you get stuck, don't fret... I am happy to help you anytime as you work on getting this started. Send me an email, come see me in office hours, or grab me after class. And remember: you can't break it. It is just a blog. Everything can be changed if need be!
Good luck!!

LB :)