Hypertext and Electronic Literature

This course looks back even as it looks forward, considering conventional media like printed texts and film, in addition to examining more revolutionary digital media.
LAB #1:  Setting up a Wordpress Blog

1. 
Create a blog on Wordpress.

2. 
Edit your Wordpress profile.  Once you are logged in, click “Edit My Profile” under the “My Account” menu, which you should see in the upper left corner of the screen.  Add a photograph or image.  (Even if you don’t want to include a photograph of yourself, upload something that will represent you when you are commenting on your classmates’ blogs).  You should also change the field that says, “Display name publicly as,” so that we will know who you are.  The default is to display your username, which is fine as long as your username contains some variation on your actual name.  If you want to maintain a certain amount of anonymity, don’t include your last name, so I might be “Jesse Stommel” or “Jesse S,” “Jessifer,” etc.  I would recommend also filling out the “About you” section, which could alternatively become an "About this blog" section.

3. 
Give your blog a unique title that catches people’s attention.  So, rather than use “Jesse’s Blog,” I might choose “The Flesh of the Text,” “Jessifer’s Thoughts on Interactivity and Electronic Literature,” or some such. 

4.
Customize your blog. For example, you can choose a “Theme” via the “Appearance” menu in the “Dashboard.”  This is an important step, since you want your blog to have its own identity. You should also click on “Discussion” in the “Settings” menu and make sure the three boxes under “Default article settings” are checked.  Play around with the settings on this page to decide how you will moderate comments posted to your blog.

4. 
Spend a few minutes looking carefully at what you've created. Click around on your new blog as though you were a reader that had just happened upon it.  Think about what the shape of your blog (your blog as container) tells you about its content.

5. 
Write an opening entry for your blog.  In your first entry, consider your blog as interface.  How will the appearance and interactivity of your blog effect a reader's experience of it?  What expectations does your blog's interface raise about its eventual contents?  Here, you can (and should) think about the blog as a form, Wordpress as an apparatus, and about the specific choices you've made in setting up your blog.
        Entries should be about 500 words.  You are encouraged to include pictures, videos, links, etc.  Check out the section about blogs at the
syllabus page for more details.

6. 
Send me an e-mail with a link to your first blog entry. Throughout the rest of the week, you should visit several of your classmate's blog and comment on their initial entries.