Unit 1: Foundations

Your main goal in this unit is to set up your own blog to do the SMPds106 coursework.

Keep in mind this blog is yours, you. It is not just a place to dump coursework. It is a public space that should be easy to understand by anyone who might stumble upon it. When you write in your space, you are trying new ideas, thinking things out loud, making connections. Over time, you may find your own writing voice or new ways to be creative. It is not just for the ‘teacher’. It is a piece of creative work that could be encountered by anyone who has access to the web.

Start a new blog hosted by WordPress. Give it a creative title a million miles away from the ordinariness and narrowness of anything like ‘My SMPds106 TECH2002 Blog’ as you can.

Tap into the flow of all the ds106 blog posts. Once you have your SMPds106 blog set up, and at least one post published there, register your blog on the ds106 site. In the ‘Affiliation’ section, be sure to click the button for the Open ds106 (Ongoing Open Course) section. You MUST do this in order for everyone to see the posts you’ll be writing for the class – everyone’s registered blog posts will show up on the ds106 class blog page, so participants can see your posts and you can see other participants’ posts‘making is connecting’.

You will need a Twitter account to register and to use throughout the SMPds106 course, so create a Twitter account if you don’t already have one.

[The ds106 site will check your blog for new content every two hours. If your posts or blog do not appear on the class blogs link, be sure to let Andrew Clay know].

Other Accounts You Will Need      

You need places to host your work such as images, sounds and videos that can be embedded into your blog posts. If you don’t already have these accounts, set them up now.

Make sure that you can find the URL for your profile.

Flickr (photo sharing) http://flickr.com  You should upload at least 5 photos to your Flickr account; it may not consider you ‘real’ until there are 5 photos in your site. When you post photos to Flickr, give them meaningful names and captions! Your profile URL should look something like http://www.flickr.com/photos/amclay09

SoundCloud (audio publishing) http://soundcloud.com . Your profile will look like https://soundcloud.com/andrew-clay-6

YouTube (video publishing) (http://www.google.com/accounts/  if you have a Gmail account, you are already set with this. If not create a Google account which gives you access to post videos to YouTube. Your Youtube URL will look like https://www.youtube.com/user/waltabenjamin .

Twitter (microblog tool) http://twitter.com  Twitter is the main channel of communication for ds106 participation. If you already have an account for personal purposes, you are welcome to use it or create a new account for communication related to this class. Make sure you customize your profile! It will be found at a URL that looks like http://twitter.com/amclay09 .

The way ds106 participants communicate with each other in Twitter is to include a #ds106 ‘hash tag’ in every message, when you search on this you can find other people who are participating.

Find some other participants in the #ds106 search, click their name, and in their profile and click the button to FOLLOW them.

Send a message of greetings to other participants by including a ‘#ds106’ hashtag.

Organizing Your Blog

Set up a framework to organize all of the work you will do. By creating and using categories your blog posts will be organized.  Create two categories called Assignments and Daily Create.

Now create additional sub-categories by setting the Parent to be Assignments and called:








This category structure should be used when you create blog posts accordingly.

Add Something to Your About Page

The regular activity of blogging is writing posts, which are date stamped so that your site typically displays the newest content first. Most tools provide a similar content type know as Pages which are not part of this time flow but are available typically from top level buttons on your site.

In WordPress, you will have a default About page that has standard wording.

Edit this About page with some more information about you as a welcome. You do not have to disclose anything that will identify you online, e.g. your full name or address/location, but try seeing what you can put there as a small biography. Be creative, have fun with it!

Getting Daily Creative

During this Unit you should become familiar with The Daily Create site. To that end, you should attempt to complete at least three Daily Creates during this Unit. Create a new blog post for each ‘dailycreate’ that you do. As you will see when we start writing up assignments in the next Unit, we want to see more than your final creation, we are interested in knowing how you made it and the ideas behind it.

About The Daily Create

The Daily Create (TDC) allows regular practice of creativity through challenging assignments published every day. Each assignment should take no more than 15-20 minutes (but it depends how much effort you want to put into them). Developed as part of the ds106 open course on digital storytelling, TDC is open to anyone who wants a regular dose of creative exercises.

Here’s how to get started:

  1. Follow @ds106dc on Twitter. New assignments are posted each day at 5AM EST (10AM GMT). The assignments will vary in mode – photography, drawing, audio, video, writing, and maybe an oddball one now and then.
  2. Once you’ve completed your assignment, follow the instructions on the Daily Create to reply via. For your response to show up here you must include @ds106dc in your tweet as well as the tag specific Twitter for that day, e.g. #tdc1666.

That’s it! It may take up to an hour for your response to show up on the TDC website.

Oh, and there is a leaderboard for competitive daily creators!

Consider trying several different approaches to each assignment. Often your first instinct might not always be your best solution or approach. Experimentation is key, and as always, be creative.

All the previous (new) TDCs are archived on this relatively new TDC website here.

What is Social Media Production?

Finish this Unit with a blog post where you write a short definition of what you think social media production might be. Include some hyperlinked words or phrases to make your writing more dynamic and connected to other relevant parts of the web and embed some examples of social media production to illustrate what you mean.

Make sure what you write is readable. Use paragraphs and formatting! You are also expected, where appropriate to embed media into your blog posts – do not provide links or plain text URLs to Flickr, YouTube and so on, the goal is to make your media part of your writing. Don’t do this – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperlink – do this – hyperlink.

Your blog post should also act as a summary of this Unit by including the following:

  1. Links to your accounts on Twitter, Flickr, YouTube & SoundCloud.
  2. Embed one of your ‘tweets’ where you have communicated on Twitter using the #ds106 hash tag. To do this, go to your Twitter and click “Tweets” in the upper left. If you click on the date/time stamp of any of your tweets, it will load that tweet in a single page with a unique URL, like this. WordPress users can easily embed a tweet by copying that URL and pasting it on a blank line in your Editor.
  3. Link to your new About page.
  4. Write something reflecting on the dailycreates that you completed in this Unit.

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