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WordPress Blogging: How to get media on my blog.

March 20, 2011

It looks like my test post worked out very well. The picture was shrunk to fit my template width and the text below my picture was right below the picture. Even though this blog is about my exploration of WordPress I would like to share one picture of my beautiful golden retriver, and then I will move on with the tutorial.

My Superdog, Ohana!

 

On to the “Get Published” section of the tutorial.

Step one: list blog topic and sub-topics that I can type about. Status:  Done!  I decided to just type this section out instead of making a fancy Paint image.

Blog topic: All About Blogging on WordPress

Sub-topics:

  1. Blog Format
  2. Blog Pictures
  3. Blog Videos
  4. Blog Header
  5. Blog Info.
  6. Profile Info.
  7. Widgets
  8. Tutorial
  9. Getting Popular (Search Engine Optimization)
  10. Example Post: Persuasive (selling a product or an idea)
  11. Example Post: Story (Science Fiction anyone?!?!)
  12. Example Post: Informative Researched Article
  13. Job Searching (Networking, Craigslist, Classifieds)
  14. Blog Linking and Materials – Copyrights and References
  15. Code: HTML, XHTML and others
  16. Purposes of Blogs
  17. My future in blogging (I will move on to a passion of mine)
  18. Other popular blogging websites versus WordPress
  19. Alternate WordPress Uses
  20. Blog Introduction
  21. Blog language (tone, grammar, spelling, et al)

There’s what I came up with and I found this tutorial-recommended brainstorm to be pretty helpful. I definitely recommend it for other bloggers whether in the midst of blogging or at the beginning. I’m skipping the tutorial’s recommendations about what I should begin with in my first blog post (I’ve been there and done that), so I’m moving on to questions they want me to ask myself.

Q1: Does my idea give people a sense of the type of blog they’ll be reading?

A1: I’d say so. I’m a beginning blogger exploring WordPress and blog design by making a blog about it.

Q2: Does my idea give me a chance to really show off what I’m passionate about, and communicate something unique to me?

A2: I’m not quite sure if I’m passionate about blogging just yet, as this blog is exploratory in many ways, but I’m passionate about ideas and communicating those ideas to other people. I feel that through learning the basics of creating a blog, I can later blog about my passions.

Q3: If I were checking out a similar blog, would this make me want to read more in future?

A3: If I was curious about learning the basics of blogging and about blogging on WordPress specifically.

These are good questions, but no matter what goals I have right now, I believe good can come out of this blog whether I get a following or not. 🙂

The next sub-section in the tutorial’s “Get Published” section is about making my first post. Even though I have already done that, I’ve read over it and it does have good advice for me. I’ve been looking at all of the posts I have been writing in the “Visual” format of WordPress, but there is also the “HTML” version. Currently, I only know a few codes for HTML coding (Hyper Text Markup Language) and therefore I don’t see the use in learning it right now if I have the “Visual” format to write in that I believe is probably much easier and faster.

But what are the benefits of using HTML? I found this on the WordPress site about the text editors that explains a little about the difference:    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:HPAg72t7gxMJ:en.support.wordpress.com/editors/+wordpress+visual+versus+html+editor&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&source=www.google.com

Basically the visual editor is for people who don’t know HTML while people who do know HTML can use it to add shortcode, different fonts, and to paste in code from an outside source. It sounds like the HTML code could be useful to explore later on in this blog. But what is a “shortcode”? Shortcodes are “WordPress-specific code that lets you do nifty things with very little effort”. Some examples: embed a google map, videos, slideshows and more. I will definitely explore the HTML editor later on when I am more experienced in WordPress basics. Continuing on with the tutorial.

Next the tutorial is going to instruct me about how to make an “About Me” page. To do this I need add a page which I can do by choosing “Pages” and “Add New” on the lefthand menu. I’ve created an “About the Author” page, but now I don’t know how to find it. It turns out that only some themes have the pages at the top and if they don’t, then one needs to put the pages widget into their sidebar. Problem is, I would much prefer to have my pages at the top of my blog. So, I’m going to see if mt “Neat!” theme allows for that. Turns out “Neat!” doesn’t. I can do this with other themes or if I paid for the CSS editor. However, I like this theme and I’m going to stick with it and I’m not going to pay for anything. I’m finding that WordPress can be very limiting if you want the complete ability to edit your blog’s theme and format. A widget for my pages in my sidebar will have to do.

 Next on the tutorial, I will “Get Flashy”!

This tutorial section is about making each post more eye-catching by adding pictures, videos and more. As I’ve already figured out how to add pictures, I’m going to see if and how I can post videos to my blog. WordPress has a list of file types that can be uploaded without upgrades here, http://en.support.wordpress.com/accepted-filetypes/ This website says that one needs to upgrade to put in sound files or video files but I’m going to see if there is a way around this. Apparently one can do this with sound files, “If you host the files somewhere else, you certainly can put them into your blog without buying a space upgrade” (http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/cancan-i-host-my-own-video-and-add-it-without-buying-upgrade). So, I’m going to see if I can do that. I searched “Where to host your own audio files on WordPress” and one place that popped up was archive.org, which is free. I’m going to try and put an old, glitchy audio remix that I made on this post. The remix is with two songs, “The Potion” by Ludacris and “Watch the Sun Come Up” by Example. It turns out that if I want to put this song on my blog post, then I need to get a media player plugin that works on WordPress.

First, I don’t know much about plugins. A plugin is “A hardware or software module that adds a specific feature or service to a larger system” (http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/P/plug_in.html). Okay, so a media player plugin is a hardware/software module that adds the ability to have media on WordPress.

Now, I need to figure out how to use a media player plugin. After much searching I found that to have plugins on WordPress I need to have a self-hosted WordPress blog. But, since I am new to all of this, I have no idea what it means to self-host. Thus, the internet will help me.  http://tools.devshed.com/c/a/Blog-Help/A-Beginners-Guide-to-Self-Hosting-Your-Blog/  Note: if I can’t self-host for free, I’m not going to do it. According to that website, self-hosting would require a lot of time, energy and money from me. But maybe there is a way around it? Perhaps I can find a way to use plugins without self-hosting? According to the WordPress forum, the answer is no. http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:RrDH2EpWIUUJ:en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/installing-plugins-on-wordpresscom+use+plugins+without+self-hosting&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a&source=www.google.com

Well, it seems that I have been backed-up into a corner. How can I make my blog flashy and pretty with only pictures and no ability to edit the CSS coding format for my blog? For now, pictures and links are all I have, but I want to keep on researching to find out if there is a way around this at all.

Since my adding audio project is on hold for now, maybe I will try embedding a Youtube video. I’m going to try a favorite clip from “Dexter”, a tv show my sister and I watch.

SUCCESS!

All right, that is all for today. Next time I will try to figure out how to embed audio in a similar way to the bove video. 😀

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