Four months flew by and it felt like just yesterday I created my website. I didn’t create it yesterday (for the record) but if i had to create a website from scratch I defiantly know how to now. Before jumping into the ocean of online streaming and social media, I didn’t think I could create and successfully maintain a website. It all seemed bigger than me and I knew there was someone out there who already figured it out. It’s true to learn better late than never. In fact, while taking this course I became the Online Editor at my school’s newspaper Pandora’s Box. Online Editor is a fancy word for “making sure the website is alive” but it also requires me to add my journalistic knowledge website based articles. Taking the introduction to communications technology helped me realize how necessary an online account is for any successful company/group of people.
In total from today I’ve had an accumulative of 187 views on this site. It’s defiantly a start and if I posted more I would probably have more views, but I made this site with the intentions to be a portfolio of my work. In the future I might change this site to be more of a blog where I post around a specific theme, but for now I would like to keep posting my articles from the school newspaper and some of my journalism classes. The original portfolio my journalism professors will tell me to make is a plane and simple site with the articles on the front page with their accompanied photos. I figured I can create one of those in a day with what I’ve learned. The personal challenge I made throughout the course involved maintaining this site and finding new ways to manipulate the material I posted.
Here is what I learned and my advice in a neat and almost too Buzzfeed like manner. I’m not saying I don’t like Buzzfeed. Any guy would watch a video on “what women think about when they see men eating food”. Ok. Might be over the top, but you get my point. It’s visually stimulating (a little).
Alright so you choose a username that takes you four hours to make and you have another password to add in your memory bank. WordPress, which is unquestionably the best website platform, gives you a default theme and most of the freedom you want. That’s if you are using the @wordpress free platform but if you have a paid website you are entitled to change whatever you want. Well maybe not whatever you want but everything you purchase. Free themes will always limit you in some manner that you would learn not to appreciate.
My theme is Color Mag for free and as appealing as this may look there are some elements I cannot change. The Header for example is a limited aspect of the free theme. I can’t change the background color for the header and I can’t change the type of font being used. Just to let you know, it’s annoying but the other elements of this theme make up for the discrepancies.
Look into the Widgets. Widgets are these tools given by the theme that allows you to control how your post are organized on the site. Widgets can place a calendar and your contact information. Widgets are essential to a organized site and something as simple as placing your name on the footer of the website will give viewers another way to give feedback. The Widgets for my theme allowed for that cool slideshow of my post that appears on the home webpage. I strived for a site that looked advanced and stood to a news type of theme. Overall I think the widgets defiantly made the site and motivated my choice of sticking to the free theme. I will eventually buy the color mag theme because of it’s appeal online and neat organization in categories. Which is my next category.
Choosing your categories is something I really learned from my Online Journalism course with Professor T. Moore. Click on his link if you want to learn more or see what classes he teaches (great professor). Categories are really determined by #1, which is you I hope. Depending on what type of cite you are working on you want your categories to reflect your post. If you were to create a blog on Game of Thrones (because it’s a great show), separate the post by which sigil you talk about most or which post contain spoilers. If you don’t watch Game of Thones you might be lost but that might give you an incentive to start watching. In general if you were blogging about food, you wouldn’t want to put grapefruits under the meat category. Just seems wrong and I doubt it taste any better.
I separated the categories in an traditional news form so I knew what post to focus on. We had to create a website for the Online Journalism course and since I took CT, I figured I can combine both courses. The only plausible way for me to separate the course material included making separate categories for the courses and controlling which content makes the home page.
You probably learned about this by reading my crazy long blog post, but resilience is key when working with online material. Even if it takes you two weeks to get your site up and running then so be it. The internet is huge as is and there is a endless amount of websites, so don’t beat yourself up if it took you longer than you wanted to build a website. Setting up a strong theme and appropriate categories should be your top priority. You can worry about your post frequency later.
This website will be a representation of yourself and your work. You will constantly question your website’s functionality and that is a good trait. Not everything can be perfect but if you put in hard work, you’ll get close it perfect. For now it is best to say you’re off to a good start and shouldn’t stop if you get negative comments or people who doubt your work. Learn from the errors and move forward to improve.
Thank You For Reading.
Overall, I learned to appreciate taking Communications Technology and Online Journalism courses this semester. Opening your mind to new methods of information is beneficial and pays off in the future. It may not be tomorrow or the next day, but you’ll never know when your knowledge of creating and maintaining a website will come in handy. Maybe our children will begin to learn Computer Science coding or use technology as the main source of note taking in schools and we would have to learn an entire computer language…. you know… maybe that’s thinking too far ahead. I’ll continue to learn about the internet and utilize its applications while I can and I hope you will too.