Tag Archives: Wordpress

WordPress (Michael Cruickshank)

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What is it?

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WordPress is an online tool that allows you to publish your thoughts and ideas, share any form of online media, and re-post things you like from other users in the form of an online blog. No code knowledge or internet mastery required – just basic computer skills. It provides a seemingly endless array of templates, many of which are customizable (and you can always pay a little extra for the really fancy ones),  for you to use on your site, so set up is easy. You can be up and posting on your new blog in less than a half hour. For those who are a little more adventurous and savvy on the internet can build their own templates from the ground up. You can use WordPress to ‘follow’ other bloggers, and you will be notified about updates on all your favourite pages. A highly dynamic and customizable tools that allows two way conversations between the site owner (you) and your audience (your followers).

WordPress can be used in library settings in many capacities, providing a free space to create a website where interactive sharing and feedback is important, such as writing groups, or book clubs. Many blogs about libraries and library innovations are posted on WordPress, among millions of other topics. Blogs are an excellent source of cutting edge information and keeping current with new developments, as well as a place for subjective observations and insights.

Signing up for WordPress

How do I get it?

Set up is fairly simple with 7 steps that will take you from nothing, to having your first post on your new blog.

1.  Go to the WordPress homepage, and select the “Get Started” button.

2.  Fill out the form provided, using a current and active e-mail address, create a username and password, and finally creating a blog URL address. All of these things can be changed and customized later on if you decided you don’t like it, so don’t worry about it too much.

Confirmation Email

3. WordPress will now send you an e-mail to the address your provided, to ensure security that you are who you say you are. Just check your e-mail and click on the link they provided you with to activate your account.

4. Set up your blogSetting Up Your Blog

You will be directed to a WordPress page where you can now start to set up your actual blog, just give a title for your new blog, a Tagline or quick description of the blog, and finally, your language of preference. Again, you will be able to change these later, so don’t get too hung up on naming your blog.

5. Choose a theme

Choosing an image

WordPress will now offer you a large array of different theme packages that will determine the over all look and feel of your new blog. Pick anything that strikes you, or that relates to the topic you are going to focus your blog on. While there are some high-end theme packages available for a price, there are plenty of free options available that are beautiful and highly customizable. You can select a theme and explore it, see what its options are, and get a sense of the look and feel of each one. Remember – you can change this later, so don’t fret over it. Enjoy the process of creating!

6.  Next, WordPress will give you the option to invite people from your existing social networking sites, (i.e. Facebook and Twitter)  to come check out your blog. This is a very easy process and a great way to let people know you are creating a new blog they might be interested in.

Your First Post

7.  Your are ready for your first post, and WordPress will guide you right to the page to do just that. You can add text, pictures, videos, links and much more. If you want to keep working on your post before publishing it, just save it to your Drafts and it will be waiting for you next time you log in. If you are happy with your debut post – click publish. Congratulations. You are a blogger.

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 Continue to Part 2


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GoAnimate (Brenda Dyck)

What is GoAnimate?

GoAnimate is an online tool that creates animated video.  You don’t need to have any drawing ability and you don’t need any camera equipment.  All you need is a computer and your imagination.

The program does it all the technical work for you.  It has a huge library of backgrounds, characters and action prompts.  It also has a character generator if you want to create your own specific avatars.  The program uses drag and drop technology to bring all the pieces together.  In addition to the visuals, GoAnimate also has a library of themed musical selections so you can mix your own soundtrack.  There are several choices for narration as well.  You can record the dialogue yourself or you can use the ‘text to speech’ feature.  This allows you to type in the dialogue and the ‘actors’ do the talking, however, the dialogue does sound slightly robotic.  You can also import vocal tracks in mp3 format.  The words are lip-synced to the characters when the dialogue is added.

Video presentations have a greater impact on the observer as they use both sound and image to convey their message.  People remember what they see and hear more than what they read.  Videos can be embedded onto the library’s website and into its social media.  Video is the most effective way to connect with the next generation of library users.   It is also highly shareable and can reach a large audience with minimal effort.  It is cost-effective when compared to traditional promotional and marketing materials and can be up-dated quickly.  Staff can also use this technology for training, orientation and team-building through the collaborative process.

How do I get set up?

The sign up process is simple and direct.  Just click here to get started. You can sign up using your facebook account, your google account or you can use your email address.  Currently,  GoAnimate offers a free 30 day trial.  When the trial period ends, you can decide if you want to subscribe.  They offer different subscription rates for personal or business use.  Any videos you create during the trial period are yours to keep.  You just have to remember to download your videos and re-upload to a hosting service like youtube.   GoAnimate also provides GoAnimate for Schools.  This is the educational version of the program.   It is a safe learning environment, which means that any references to weapons or alcohol have been removed.   They also offer deep discounts for educational subscriptions.

What’s next?

Now that you have an accounthave a look at this tutorial.  It takes you through the entire process of creating a video from start to finish.  You can save your video at any point in the process and return to it when you have time.

Remember to blog about your experience with this tool and how you feel it can be used to advocate for your library.

Take it further…

Use the free 30 day trial to create a short video telling patrons about one upcoming children’s program and post it to the library’s website.

If you would  like to know more, check out the following links…

Go!Animate…. Free & Easy Way Cool Animation Studio

Using GoAnimate for a Project

GoAnimate wiki

Using Go Animate in the Classroom

Usage of Go!Animate

10 Great Library Marketing Videos

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