EPortfolio Progress

I had originally chosen Weebly as the platform for my EPortfolio.  I made this decision because I had never created my own website before, and after experimenting with several options, I found that Weebly was the simplest, most easy to use option, at least for me.  I wanted my site to have a simplistic, minimalist look and be very easy for users to navigate.  I had seen sites filled with many different colors, which definitely caught my attention; however, I feel as though users could be just as drawn to a page using less powerful colors like blacks, whites, and grays.  I also think that this could oftentimes be less distracting and more appealing as compared to an extremely colorful page that could be overwhelming and even sometimes perplexing.

I had gathered most of the artifacts I wanted to post on my portfolio and was doing my best to organize them in the way the I had envisioned, but truthfully I wasn’t in love the options Weebly was giving me.  I wasn’t sure if it was worth it to change my platform entirely or just do my best to work with what Weebly was giving me to create a site I was happy with.  I didn’t hear about Wix until a few weeks ago and obviously I didn’t know much about it.  The funniest part about making my decision to switch over to Wix was that I actually saw a commercial on TV about it.  The advertisement was all about businesses being able to create their own websites and personalize it to fit their company’s needs.  I’ll admit, it wasn’t the commercial itself that convinced me to start building my portfolio with Wix, but it definitely intrigued me enough to start playing around with the site, and I eventually realized that definitely preferred Wix over Weebly.

At first, I really liked the different templates Wix had to offer.  They broke them down into different categories such as photography portfolios, architecture portfolios, writing portfolios, etc.  The great part about this is that you don’t have to select a template based on the artifacts that you post on your page.  Instead, you can edit these different templates and add your own artifacts.  The template decision is mainly based on the look you want for your page.

I am still in the process of adding my artifacts and organizing my site but the general idea is to separate my pages into five different sections: Home, About Me, Freshman Year, Sophomore Year, and Junior Year.  Each of these pages can be accessed through a bar on the top of the page.  Lists of my pieces of writing also drop down when hovering over these different page titles on the top bar.  While this is a very simple way for users to access my writing, they could also be accessed through pictures on each of the main pages.  Each picture is in some way related to the piece of writing it corresponds to.  I feel like these pictures give users an extra incentive to read my writing.  Once users click on these pictures or on the titles in the top bar, they can read my writing in the form of a page by page slideshow.  I thought this was a great way to add a different type of media or web writing.  I think its also a clean way to display my writing, giving users an easy way to navigate from page to page.

There is still much work that needs to be done on my portfolio before I my portfolio is complete but it is definitely on the right track.  I am really happy with the decision to change my platform from Weebly to Wix.  I think it was the right decision, and I think I am definitely going to be more happy with my final portfolio as a result

My E-portfolio on Wix

I haven’t invested as much time into my e-portfolio yet because I’ve been spending a lot more time with my remediation, so there are some aspects of my e-portfolio that I have not even thought twice about. But I will say I like the design format I chose! It is pretty close to what I had in mind, and I haven’t even started messing with design elements much. But here is a brief summary of what I’m going for. Link to my E-porfolio: http://begerp.wix.com/patrick-beger

The idea is that I want it to look personal yet clearly formatted and concise. I want an employer to also find it professional and easily manageable. I really like the design of this site; http://goodbeerhunting.com, and am somewhat modeling off of that. The blog portion of that site won best beer blog of the year (I forgot who gave it that award). I like the simplicity of the format, as well as the blog scroll look that incorporates pictures with each post in distinct columns on the page. The design template I chose is very similar to this so I am happy about that.

I plan to have the links right below the title of the page, and so far they fall into these categories: “Home” “Academic” “Communications” “Creative” and “Contact.” I’m not saying I am completely satisfied with these categories, but I do know that Communications should have its own category because that is my major, and a lot of my papers will fall into that category. However the Academic category is not well defined since that technically would mean my comm papers as well. I think the other two are necessary though.

I want my picture included, which it currently is on the homepage in a slideshow format. I am unsure if I like this yet because although I don’t mind including some pictures, they don’t add much to the writing aspect of the portfolio and may just add unnecessary  clutter.  I am also worried about what kind of pictures I may use beside some of these papers, because this design requires pictures for most of the posts. I think it works well for GoodBeerHunting, but I have yet to find out if it will work well in an e-porfolio.

Finally I chose the background because I like it, but haven’t considered if it is useful or is just eye clutter. Feel free to voice your opinions about any of this, I would appreciate the feedback and won’t be offended! Thanks.

 

 

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Web Writing Via HTML Embedding

When we originally viewed old minor in writing e-portfolios one of the first things that instantly stuck out to me were portfolios that forced me to download documents or open up lots of new links and tabs. Yet at the same time, nobody wants to see pages and pages of text pasted right on to a website. So, in order to find some sort of compromise I decided to explore “web writing” by embedding websites and pdfs right on to my site. It’s still a lot of text, but because the original formatting is present I don’t think it’s as overwhelming as an entire essay pasted right on to the site. The first thing I embedded was a PDF of my re-purposing project which is a blog post written for Consider Magazine. I first uploaded it as a link (in Wix – edit text, press link button, and click the document option) which opened it as a PDF in a new internet tab when you click the link. Then I copied this web address and embedded it onto the site (in Wix – add, apps, html, paste address). Viola – my blog post appears perfectly formatted right on the page! Although, I’m guessing there is a more efficient way to do this without going through the first step. I just did it this way because I originally wanted to try out the links so I already had it in that format.

Next up I decided to embed the minor in writing blog onto my site. I wasn’t sure how this would work out because I was afraid it would show up more like a screenshot than an interactive page. Thankfully, I was wrong, and with this same process (click add, apps, html, search for your name, and paste the minor in writing blog address to your work) it’s just like having another website right inside your own! Show’s how little I know about anything html related…

Feel free to check out my site, the two embedded pieces are on the  “Why I Write” page and the “Repurposing/Remediating” page. The site as a whole is obviously still a mess so hopefully you won’t explore too much!

http://goddar05.wix.com/jamie-goddard

 

 

 

E-Portfolio Updates

After a lot of conceptual thinking my portfolio is finally starting to take form! I’m using Wix and I’d first like to say that Wix is awesome (shout-out to Alyssa for introducing it to us all!). I picked a template and pretty much the only thing I actually kept from it was the top header. I love how you can delete and add things to the template as well as change the font, color, and style of literally everything. It’s really making me feel as if I’m not confined by the software and can produce whatever I want, which was one of my early fears about this project. One thing I’m still trying to figure out is the best way to organize the content within headings. For example, I have a writing 220 tab that has a drop down with why I write, repurposing, and remediating. However, I’m not sure if I want to have the parts of each (drafts, proposals, reflection, etc) as sub-drop down tabs, or buttons on the page, or links to googledrive, or download word docs. Little details like this really do impact the overall feel of the portfolio so I have some work to do in that sense. Here’s a sneak peak of the homepage, although I want to take a different headshot before the final

portfolio

 

 

The Beauty of Wix

The technology I’m learning to work with through building my website is actually different from the prior experience I’ve had with website design in prior communications classes. Rather than fiddling around with code for hours and becoming incredibly frustrated when things don’t work out, I took a suggestion from Blake and started learning to use Wix HTML Editor/website builder.

This has to be one of the coolest websites out there – it’s so varied in the amount of design choices you can make and it is an incredibly helpful tool for those of us, like me, that don’t want to spend their time running through lines of code to find tiny errors. Since my website is going to be mostly based on visuals, it was important to learn how to input images and videos in a way that looks good and works well. I mostly learned how to use Wix as opposed to learning to code a website, but just by fiddling around with all the options Wix provides, I gained some insight into how web design should work and how sites should look as well as what they should provide for those people visiting the site. It’s a really fun editor to use, so if you have any site-building projects I would highly reccommend it!

Online News Community/Public Forum

http://www.blogtrepreneur.com/wp-content/uploads/top-100-women-bloggers.jpg

When I first started brainstorming for the re-mediation assignment, I had way too many ideas. I guess this is better than having no ideas at all, but still it was hard to figure out what direction to go with this project. I wanted to create an interactive article for the Glamour website, an actual blog, a new website or a public forum. Eventually I decided to create an online news community/public forum to combine all of my original ideas into one. I think this will be the best way for me to re-mediate my original argument about blogs and new media being a net gain for society. As of right now I’m thinking of using Wix to execute this project because I recently used it to create another website and think it will allow me to include all of the necessary elements in my online news community/public forum. The only problem I ran into with Wix was its tendency to freeze. This made the whole website creation process slow and somewhat annoying. I definitely do not want to run into these same problems again! I would love it if you guys had any suggestions on better platforms to use for my online news community/public forum. Here are some examples of online forums I may use as inspiration: The Women’s Nest, In The Powder Room, PepsiCo Women’s Inspiration Network, and GoGirl Finance.

I’d like your feedback on my proposal:

I plan to develop an online news community/public forum (essentially an interactive website) for Glamour readers.  This will be a public forum that allows real women to communicate with one another and share the news. My ideal audience is all Glamour readers regardless of their current level of political involvement.  I want my audience to join “the conversation called blogging” and be completely engaged in this online community. I plan to bridge the gap between hard news and soft news by providing an outlet for discussion of issues, ranging from rantings about political candidates to advice about where to buy the most comfortable high heels. This online news community/public forum will be a part of the Glamour website and build upon their Glamocracy blog section which contains political articles written in personal/opinion-based tones. My reason for choosing to create an online news community/public forum is that it will represent the argument addressed in my essay about new media being a net gain for society. This public forum will allow readers to participate in the creation of news. I think it is a great extension of my previous essay and has real world applicability and functionality. My plan for the story board assignment is to pretend like I’m pitching this project to Glamour executives, again something that I would potentially be doing in my future career. I want to connect this project to my print article by including a scan-able bar code in the print version that directs readers to the online news community. This way, all versions of my essay will come together as a whole.  I’d like to model the “I am that Girl” website because it is easy to navigate, has visually appeal, and contains well-organized relevant information in the form of images, videos and text. As you may notice, the site has been revamped since my initial blog post, but I think I actually like it better now which is why I plan to use it for inspiration when re-mediating my argument. 

What do you think?

Websites and You – Everything You Need to Know (probably not everything, but there’s a lot here).

Co-Authored by Katie Brown

What is the range of software options available?
When it comes to website building, there a number of different options that cater to a number of different levels of technical skill and time investment.  Some of the more popular methods and programs include:

Hand Coding (all operating systems), iWeb (Mac), Adobe Dreamweaver (Pay, all operating systems), Weebly (free online), & Wix (a free, online domain).

What is available for users with different levels of expertise?

Hand Coding (html/css) – Though time consuming and kind of difficult to get the hang of, this method offers the most range of freedom of any of the others mentioned here.  This method of creating websites is open to all Macs (through Text Edit/TextWrangler) and PCs (Notepad).

iWeb – Available to Mac users, iWeb makes building websites really simple.  The program has pre-formatted layouts for you to choose from and use as a starting point.  You can add pages, upload images and videos – it’s a really simple way to get a website up fast.  iWeb doesn’t allow for customizing the look of themes very well though, so you lose a lot of creative control with this option.

Adobe Dreamweaver – Dreamweaver is a bit of a hybrid of the last two technologies. You can choose to hand-code your site in dreamweaver or you can select from a pre-made template and edit the code to your liking. However, this still involves a working knowledge of HTML and CSS and may not be the best option if you don’t have the time to learn how to code.

Weebly – A free online resource, Weebly is probably the most friendly of the options thus far.  On the front page of the Weebly website you’ll be prompted to enter your name, email address and password.  After that, you can get started on your site immediately. Making a website with Weebly is a lot like editing a photo with Picnik; there are tons and tons of settings you can play around with. Weebly will also publish your site to the web for free : )

Wix- Another free online website builder. All you need to do is create an account and a variety of tools are at your disposal. It doesn’t take long to learn to navigate and the interface is user-friendly. Option to upgrade to premium membership, but the normal account is usually more than adequate and will allow you to publish your site to the web under the Wix domain. Also great for continuous editing.

Which options are supported by the University?

iWeb, Dreamweaver CS5, and TextWrangler, Fugu, and Fetch  are available on University of Michigan Macs.  Dreamweaver CS5, FileZilla, and Notepad++ are on all University of Michigan PCs.

What support is available online?

The web is full of awesome places to learn how to hand code, but some of the best sites I’ve found are HTML Dog  and W3School.   Both offer great instruction on how to use HTML & CSS to build your websites alongside examples where you can actually manipulate code on your own to see how it affects the layout of the page.

For learning Dreamweaver, Youtube is going to be your best friend. Search “How to use Dreamweaver CS5” and you’ll find a ton of resources to help get you off the ground. Google is always a good starting place as well.

Lynda is another great resource for learning about how to build websites and includes tutorial videos on iWeb, Dreamweaver, and general website design and development.  Some tutorials do require a subscription, however.

What are your favorites (and why), and/or what else should we know?

Josh’s personal favorite is hand coding HTML and CSS into Dreamweaver – it offers a lot of control and freedom in designing simple sites.  It can be a major headache though.

Katie’s favorite is obviously Wix! Takes almost no time to learn and I’ve used it in a variety of classes for a range of different assignments. Great if you are looking for a time-friendly option.

Also, a lot of these resources will help you make a website, but many won’t help you publish it without doing a little extra work.  If hand coding or using Dreamweaver or iWeb, you’ll need to push your site to a server space using an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) program. Fetch and Fugu are available for Mac and supported by the university.  FileZilla is available for PCs and is supported by university computers.

You can buy domain names and space from places like GoDaddy, but each student has his/her own personal space you can upload a site to through the university, which can be accessed through this URL:

www-personal.umich.edu/~uniqname

http://www.umich.edu/~umweb/how-to/homepage.html will walk you through the steps.

Happy website-making!