prelude: Student questions about the syllabus?


Today we will spend part of the class getting two tools in hand, the wiki and a wordpress blog. We'll also begin to think about the editing process based on your reading

1. Wikis are good when two or more people want to

  • collaborate in their writing
  • collaborate in editing or composing a larger document
  • make available working documents (or dynamic materials that are not "final")
  • keep track of the history of revisions
  • publish BEFORE a document is finished.

2. Blogs best serve writers who want to

  • close the distance between writing and publishing
  • quickly or informally compose online
  • reach out to an identified audience and receive comments
  • minimize the attention to visual design and layout

A Wiki (15 minutes)

  • Let's spend a few more minutes getting comfortable with the wiki -- explore a few additional features, and fill up that personal page
    • log in to the site
    • revisit your wiki homepage
    • Add some content (see Sherwood as a model)
    • Mark it up with visual styles that logically suit the content (using headings, bullets and lists).
    • Choose a paragraph or section: create and move it to a new page. How?
      • enter edit mode;
      • highlight the text you want to become a link;
      • and click the "link button" above;
      • save the new page
  • Before leaving the wiki, take a look at the Revision history.
  • Add two tags: 1.) "student-homepage" and 2.) Your name
  • Visit a classmates' page and leave a comment, and enter the discussion area. What are the differences between leaving a comment and "discussing"?

B. Blog (20 minutes)

Better than any other tool I can think of, blogs allow writers to quickly and casually publish.

  • Create your blog
    • Visit
    • Click "get started here" and follow the prompts
    • Choose a name that makes sense for our class (ex.; You don't have to use your full name but I would love it if you name it in such a way that I can tell whose blog I'm at when I visit!
    • Select <public but block search engines> and create
    • Visit your dashboard to make your first post
(You can choose a brilliant visual theme and add lots of cool widgets later!)
  • Compose your first post
    • Let's use the the title "Biography of a Writer"
      • Compose a few paragraphs on your first memory of writing; or the first time you published; or the first time someone praised your writing; or a story about how you got interested in writing and publishing; or a writing / publishing experience that was meaningful to you, etc.
      • Post it
    • VIsit your wiki page and add a line that links to your class wordpress blog.

C. The Editing Process (30 minutes)

  1. Discuss the reading from last night. What did you learn? Did anything surprise you? For those of you who have edited and published, are there any ways in which this standard process differs from what you experienced.
  2. Group Activity (3 - 4 students in each)
    1. Cluster with a classmate who has been involved in an editing/ publishing cycle, or the one who has the best experience in this area.
    2. Quickly draft a narrative paragraph or two giving an overview of this process.
      1. Group wiki pages for this activity: G1-processing G2-processing G3-processing G4-processing G5-processing
    3. Use the terms from Plotnik when applicable: [Acquisition, Agreement, Organization, Assignment, Review, Measurement/Typesetting, Illustration/Layout Planning; Styling and copy-editing; type-setting, Proofreading and layout]
    4. "Tag" your page "in-class-exercise"


For next class, please
  1. Read: Yahoo: “Web,” “Voice” Chs 1,3
  2. Bring in the link to a blog or web-page that does NOT seem like it was edited for the web.