web design

Banner for Art110 Fall 2015

Context Collapse

Context CollapseOur distant ancestors may have lived in the Stone Age or the Bronze Age. Our more recent ancestors lived in the Industrial Age. And of course here in the 21st century we live in the Information Age. Sometimes the speed and ubiquity with which information travels freaks us out. In the past you may have spoken differently to your different audiences: Family, Friends, Classmates, Co-Workers. Today on Internet platforms like Facebook your one message can be read by all those different audiences and sometimes that’s problematic. We call it Context Collapse when your different audiences lose their different contexts and all get one message. That’s one of the reasons Ephemeral Messaging like SnapChat is so popular: it recreates Context, Privacy, Attention, Specialness, 1-to-1-fulness, and other things we value but sometimes lose in the Internet ocean.


ePortfolioStill, we know that people are going to Google us and while we should have all the privacy and context we like, we should also be proactive and put our best face forward. Instead of letting potential employers and others we want to develop relationships with Google us and find nothing but party photos on Facebook, how about building a site that features your professional and/or personal interests in a way that you choose.

We’ll build ePortfolios in this class. Websites where you can show off your great work in Marine Biology or Nursing or Fashion Merchandising or Business Management or Psychology or Physics or Theater Arts, or, or, or! If you’re into Cars or Cosplay or anything else, you could also make your website a place to present that too if you want.

Web Design

We’re going to think a bit more specifically about making those ePortfolios for our Nursing or Business Marketing professions a little later in the class. For Week 1 it’ll be enough just to “Design a Website.” That is, to get something up on the web where our work can be found.


We’re going to use WordPress.com. Today WordPress powers 23% of all sites on The Web. WP started out as “blogging” software and it’s still great for that, but today it’s more properly considered a “CMS” or Content Management System. If you already have a WordPress.com “blog” you’re welcome to use your existing site, or to create a new one, whichever you prefer. For most of you this will be a 1st site. It’s mostly easy to do, but like all things new, you’ll see unfamiliar buttons. If you poke around or ask me or a classmate you should be up to speed in no time.

Mobile App

Many of you will be happy to know that there’s a WordPress mobile app for your iOS or Android phone or tablet. You can do a whole post right from there. Or you can also put up some text and images from there and polish it up with better writing and some web links later on your laptop.

Your Domain Name

When you signup at WordPress.com you’ll pick a URL for your site. You can have a url like GlennZucman.wordpress.com for free, or you can pay $18 or so for a “custom” ULR like GlennZucman.com. I like the custom URLs. I think it helps to make your site feel like it’s really yours and I think it’s more professional when anyone: Friends, Family, Campus Groups, Internships, or Human Resources Directors look at your site. Plus it’s just easier and faster to type.

In spite of what I think though, it’s your choice. You can pick a “me.wordpress.com” URL for full credit this activity, or double your points with EC for getting your own domain name. NOTE: Domain Name EC is ONLY available in Week 1. If you buy your name before Sunday night and submit it, I’ll automatically add the EC to your Wk 1 points.

As for what URL to get, that also is entirely up to you. I’d suggest that your real name is the best thing in the long run. The most simple, least cute, easiest to spell choice is probably best. If you happen to have a very common name that’s already taken, try using a middle initial or nickname. But still keep it simple. And avoid things like random numbers if you can.

New Post

There are 2 places you can click to start a new post:
screen cap of WordPress "new post" buttons

What to Post?

In future weeks you’ll be posting your Activity, like Painting or Plaster Casting, on your blog. For Week 1 your goal is to make the website, which pretty much means sign up at WordPress.com.

Hello World

For your Wk 1 Post, you can do a “Hello World” and say a little bit about yourself and your interests. Be sure to include at least 1 photo. ALL posts should always have at least 1 photo. No one ever reads a post without a photo.

A Good Post

Visit Syllabus / Rubric for details on Naming, Tagging, Analytic Writing, Images, etc.

How To

This video should get you up and running for Week 1. LMK if you have any questions!

Setting Up Your WordPress.com ePortfolio from Glenn Zucman on Vimeo.

“Turn In” your URL

Once your site is up, just visit the Fall 15 Roster page, and give me your Name and your URL. That’s the only time you’ll have to “turn in” your website. After that I’ll use your link on the roster page to visit your site each week and give you points for your new Activities.