Sunday, April 17, 2011

Farrell-Practicum 4

Hey guys!
A couple items on the list I wanted to discuss in my blog today...

1) I joined Twitter. Not entirely enthusiastic about it. I joined Twitter to gain visibility and activity with my website. I joined it now before my website is up to gain followers and establish myself on the site so once my website is up and running, people will be more likely to look at my site. I have 10 followers so far (woohoo) and I gained them by putting up a Facebook status claiming that I had just joined and I put my twitter name in the subject. Here is my question, would joining twitter help gain visibility when those following me are the same following my Facebook? What is the difference? And also, how do you gain followers on Twitter?

This topic led to my second point. Visibility. For my own personal webpage, I figured in this day and age it is best to get my site out there via social networking (aka. Twitter and Facebook). I will also be posting my website on my Linked profile as well. But how do the professionals do it?More so, how did they do it back in the day when social networking was not possible? I feel we are in a privileged technological age where now it is easy to get noticed, but at the same time our competitors are tougher and there are about a million of them. This means my site has to have spunk. This is not just a class project, this is an opportunity to strut my stuff. I think the opportunity for viewers to be able to interact on websites draws them more attention, which is something I would very much like to do. For starters, however, I think the name of your website is key in drawing people in. So for this reason, I chose to name my site My last name is Farrell, so when testing names out on my roommates, this name not only fit the best, but made everyone laugh. Humor gets noticed. As for social networking on my site...this is where the skills of Dreamweaver come in to play.

Lastly, I wanted to discuss my progress with Dreamweaver. As mentioned before, i have already gone to the Dreamweaver 1 class. Unfortunately, the Dreamweaver 2 is scheduled for the end of April and due to my impatience, i can't wait that long. However, the Do it tech center is completely flexible and posts manuals for each class on the site. I am currently studying Dreamweaver 2 and if you'd like to learn here is the link...

The manual i found a bit more explanatory than the class because it breaks down what everything means, which i felt the actual class was lacking in. The beginning of the manual explains things we've already learned in class such as Web Accessibility. All websites must be accessible to all people and accommodate to all disabilities under section 508 of the federal Government. Dreamweaver is programed already with a built in system that goes through each page you've made and sends a report on the accessibility of your site. How convenient!!!

The manual is your teacher and has a step by step process in creating a website. More importantly, it discuses the many codes and terms used in Dreamweaver and what they do. Here are some I've learned about...
  • HTML (of course)-this code tells the browser what to display on your computer screen when you go to a web page. It is plain text and can be written in a word processing program. With HTML and Dreamweaver, you are able to code your web pages simply as if using wordpad.
  • CSS- Cascading Style Sheets is a language to help add to your webpage different styles such and fonts and colors. This code does not work without HTML
  • Code View-this is the actual HTML document.
  • Wrapper Div-this deals with the allignment of your webpage. In Dreamweaver 1, we set height and width to 100%, but normally sizes are set in pixels, which comes with Dreamweaver 3 I believe. The wrapper div allows you to reallign your page and center content.
This looks like a lot (and it is) but this is what goes into making a site. It's complicated stuff, but the benefit of these manuals is they explain everything and how it applies to a website, and then explains how to do it. For Dreamweaver 2, its all about styling your site and resizing it to be more of the norm. What's the next step? I will be in the lab this week with the manuals for all of the Dreamweaver classes. I plan to have a running website by the end of the week. Wish me luck!!

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