Archive for January 2009

Blogging 101

January 29, 2009

First some links from last night: Metadata and tags, folks and tax, RSS (more) and Technorati. Here’s a good Seth Godin blog post on Bobcasting too. You should load Seth’s blog into your RSS reader if you haven’t already. He writes one of the best marketing blogs out there. If you don’t have an RSS reader, we’ll still tackle that next week in class.

Also, for next week’s class I want you to watch some vlogs (video blogs) and listen to some podcasts. Here are the links to TWiT, Rocketboom, Webb Alert, and Ask a Ninja. Feel free to explore and see some other vlogs and podcasts.

If you have iTunes on your computer, the best place to find podcasts is in the iTunes store. You can download individual podcasts or subscribe. You can get a ton of your favorite NPR shows (This American Life, Day by Day, Diane Rehm, etc.), listen to speeches, and even download the Sunday talk shows, among the many professional podcasts. More fun, though, are the random podcasts. Dawn and Drew anyone?

For your blog entry this week, talk some exploring podcasts and Vlogs and what you chose to listen to. Do you regularly  listen to any podcasts?

Next week in class, we’ll be talking more about what makes a good blog and some of the various formats blogs have taken. Here are the blogging tips from last week’s class (read them if you haven’t), as well as some other tips here, here, and here. Let me know how your blogging goes. I’ll let you know next week if I think you’re terrible off-base blogging-wise. In most cases, no news from me is good news.


Forwarding a Domain

January 29, 2009

Since we didn’t have internet last night and couldn’t set up the domains, here’s a simple explanation. Here’s how to get yourself going. Gather the following pieces of information before you begin: Your blog’s address on WordPress (should be, your customer ID for, and the name of the domain you bought in class last week.

Then begin:

(1) Login to your account at

(2) Go the the “Domain” menu in the upper left, click on it, then select from the drop-down menu “My Domains.”

(3) Check the box next to your domain name and then on the toolbar above select the green arrow that says “Forward.”

(4) Under the “Fowarding” menu, select “Enabled” and then enter your WordPress address in the “Forward To” field (make sure to include the http:// part), and select “302 Moved Temporarily.” Click OK.

(5) Click OK on the next screen.

(6) Congratulations, you’re all done

If you’re utterly lost, don’t worry. We can troubleshoot in class next week if people have problems. I’ll also show you how to map your domain onto your WordPress blog if you’re interested in doing that (it costs an additional $10).

Welcome to the Wild World Web

January 22, 2009

Congratulations to everyone tonight for setting up a blog! You’re all journalists now, believe it or not. That’s all it took. I know I threw an incredible amount of information at all of you in a short period of time (and we had lots more we didn’t get to). We’ll cover more on the craft of blogging in coming weeks, so don’t worry if you’re still feeling a bit lost. For next week, you have a boatload to do:

1) Email me the link to your blog so I can start reading and can add you to the class blogroll so you can start reading each other. A reminder that each week’s blog posts are “due” by 10 p.m. on Tuesday the day before class to give me time to read them and choose some points for in-class discussion. Also, since this is our first email communication, make sure to tell me in your email whether you want me to use any email address other than your designated email address. If you have a personal or work email you’d prefer I use to communicate with you, let me know now.

2) You’ll find in the column to the left, by the blogroll, the link to the class feed as well as some Georgetown resources. Make sure you start reading some blogs this week and start posting items—almost anything could be relevant on the feed, from news articles to YouTube videos to favorite podcasts. And don’t forget to to tag items with your name so you get credit for them. You can go either to the website to post or you can install the browser buttons. I recommend the latter and, as I said earlier night, I also recommend switching to Firefox as your browser if you don’t currently use it. The username is socialmedia09 and the password is the class designation, mppr850. DO NOT SET UP YOUR OWN ACCOUNT.

3) Read Scoble—he has some great background on the web and blogging. He’ll also give you lots of tips on blogging and “voice.” Remember the Cluetrain Manifesto!

4) Get blogging! Read that post on blogging tips and the related articles that I posted in the feed and then take your new blog out for a spin and kick the tires a bit. I expect a lot of this is going to be difficult at first, so feel free to ask lots of questions via email or give a call. Next week we’ll spend a lot of the class on blogging tips, voice, tone, and what makes a good blog entry, and Scoble has tons of tips too. Also keep thinking back to Gillmor and the Cluetrain Manifesto, which along with the “Long Tail” and “Here Comes Everybody” (we’ll get to those soon) will be the foundational texts of the class.

5) For your first blog entry for next week’s class, write about whatever aspect of Dan Gillmor’s book you found most interesting. For this and all future “response blogs,” please start your blog title with “RESPONSE #1:” and then the title of your post. In future weeks, use “RESPONSE #2:” and so on, through #13. This is to delineate for me which blogs are in response to questions and which ones are free-form blogs.

6) If you don’t have an account on Google, please make sure to set one up before class next week, i.e., make sure that you have a address. You won’t have to use this for email, although it’s the best of the free email programs on the web.

I promise that future weeks won’t all include as much outside work; we just have to cover these important texts to establish the base on which to build the rest of the semester. As we used as a rallying cry on the Dean campaign, “To the blogs!”

(P.S. As you’re reading about blogs here and there over the coming week, think about what I purposefully did wrong in this entry that’s a blogging no-no. A bonus point next week to whomever can figure it out.)

In the Beginning

January 15, 2009

Good morning everyone! I hope everyone enjoyed the first class last night—we’ve got a lot to cover this semester but if you ever feel like we’re moving too quickly or you want to spend more time on a certain unit, please let me know.

Remember, for each class, you’re responsible for doing the readings assigned under the class title by class time. Each Thursday morning, I’ll post some additional background, reading, and notes here for the following class as well. Please get in the habit of reading this blog on a regular basis since important announcements will appear here as well. The syllabus is also posted as a PDF off to the right here in the blog roll, so if you’re ever out and about and want to it, just come here.

As general background, I wanted to provide you with some readings on the history of the internet. You don’t “have” to know these, but I’d encourage you to at least page through them (as ugly as they may be) and familiarize yourself with the background. Vannevar Bush’s essay “As We May Think” became the founding essay of the internet idea. We’ll cover this very briefly in class next week.

Remember your assignments for next week:

* Create a Facebook profile and “Friend Me.” You can search for me or click on this link to my profile (then click on “Add Garrett as a Friend”). We’ll get to Facebook later in the class in more depth but if you want to know what you’re getting yourself in for, read these articles: Wikipedia, Fast Company’s profile of the founder, Jeff Jarvis’s column, Fortune’s take, and Mashable’s company profile. And stay in touch with the latest on Facebook’s own blog.

* Create a LinkedIn profile and “Connect” with me (find my profile then click on “Add Garrett to My Network”). You may have to enter my email address. Use the Georgetown address on the syllabus. For background, LinkedIn is a more business-oriented social networking site and will be particularly useful for thos who are more PR-oriented as it is increasingly heavily used in the industry. Here’s some background: Guy Kawasaki’s take (you don’t know him yet, but another pioneer), some general background, and someone who didn’t like LinkedIn.

* Figure out a domain name for your blog. If you want to check whether your idea has already been taken, go to and enter in the domain you want to purchase—you can choose any ending available, from .com to .tv to .us to .org, etc.

As for the reading for next week, concentrate on the Cluetrain Manifesto and We the Media. I’d encourage you all to email me if you have questions during the reading. Dan Gillmor is a great thinker, one of the real pioneers of this new media world, and I think you’ll find We the Media very engaging and exciting. In future weeks I’ll try to post some questions to help guide your blogging, but for this week just think about this questions/thoughts:

* The Cluetrain Manifesto may seem a bit dated today but the sentiments and ideas expressed in 2000 when it first came out where mind-blowing.

* As for We the Media, some questions: What’s the impact of the changes Gillmor lays out? How does this affect your job and your life? What’s the appeal of citizen journalism? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the traditional media and of citizen journalism? How do you use media in the course of a week today? How much of what you read is traditional media versus something like Gawker or Pink is the New Blog?

Anyway, enough for one week—welcome to the wide wild world of the web! See you next Wednesday at 7:45. Don’t forget a laptop and a credit card. I’ll generally encourage you, as well, to email me whatever thoughts and questions you have over the course of the class. I’d love to hear from you all more rather than less.

Thanks for coming along for the ride—this’ll be fun.

Hello world!

January 10, 2009

Welcome to This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!