In class today, we kickstarted the process of putting our research about Flatbush onto the course website as I demonstrated how to upload text and images. Then, each group met to discuss their specific content and action plan both for putting & formatting existing content online and for gathering & creating additional content (e.g. text, images, interactive media). To this end, this informational post introduces a few plugins that I, your Instructional Technology Fellow, have activated to help you format your text and also shares information for those of you who wish to create timelines.
If there are other functions that are important for your group, be in contact. The next time we spend class time working on the website, we will definitely cover how to create excerpts, how to create galleries, and how to create menus to organize our content. I can cover other relevant materials, but it is imperative that I am aware of these needs as soon as possible so that I can research and prepare.
1. Endnotes. In your papers, you used the Chicago Manual of Style to render your citations as endnotes. I’ve activated the FD Footnotes plugin, which “provides an extremely easy way to add elegant looking footnotes to your posts” as demonstrated here.1 The plugin page provides a text-based overview and screenshots that walk you through the process of creating these citations. The overview shows how you use a shortcode (i.e. information formatted in a specific way within square brackets ) to create the endnote. In addition to the instructions there, you will need to format your text within the endnote to italicize the relevant parts and add links as necessary. Both of those functions can be accessed by selecting the text that you need to format and then selecting the relevant button at the top of the text editor.
2. Pull Quotes. We discussed the process of adding images to your text, but I also mentioned the option of using pull quotes throughout to emphasize important blocks of text. I’ve activated the Simple Pull Quote plugin that will help you create these blocks of text. Again, the instructions and screenshots on the plugin page will get you started. When you are using pull quotes, the text that you select will be “pulled out” of the paragraph, so if you need that text in-paragraph, too, you’ll have to copy and paste. Additionally, when using pull quotes, place them at the end of the paragraph, rather than the beginning where the pull quote function will mess with the paragraph spacing. I’m happy to discuss or demonstrate this functionality (and/or others!) in further depth in class or in one-on-one meetings as necessary if there are any questions.
3. Authorship. In WordPress, each post or page is automatically authored by whoever first created the post and can be edited later to credit a different author. However, the normal functionality won’t credit multiple authors, so I’ve activated the Co Authors Plus plugin so that we can emphasize the collaborative nature of this project. Again, check out the plugin overview and screenshots to get a sense of how this plugin works. I’ll write a little more about the process here, as well, since the information on this particular plugin page isn’t as detailed.
You can add authors in addition to the person who initially created the post or page in two ways. Right under the main content editor, you’ll see an “Authors” box where you can search for (by email, username, or first and last names) and select additional authors. You can also add authors from the main page that lists all posts or all pages. To do this, find your post or page in question, click the Quick Edit link under the title, and you’ll see a similar interface for adding authors alongside other metadata about the post. The images below illustrate this process.
A few of the groups wanted to create timelines. TimelineJS is an open-source tool that will allow you to create a timeline that can be embedded on the course website. The already-linked main site for TimelineJS describes some of the process for creating these timelines, but also refer to the screencasts that former ITF (and current CLIR Postdoc in Digital Scholarship at Bucknell University) Emily Sherwood made that demonstrate how to create a timeline and embed it in WordPress. Some of you expressed a desire to make vertical timelines, and while that is definitely possible (with TimelineJS, evn), it’s a little more difficult. If your group decides that a vertical timeline is a must, your group will have to do more work to achieve that, but I can help facilitate.