Links, Visuals, and Audio

Links

Links are an essential part of an effective post. You’re always working and thinking and writing in tandem with others, no matter what kind of research you’re engaged in. Links just make these connections explicit, and make your thinking more open-source. That means your readers can easily check the sources you’re citing — building on, agreeing or disagreeing with, or whatever. Link to anything and everything that’s influenced your thinking. Here are some categories to consider:

  • other blog posts, either on our blog or elsewhere
  • Wikipedia or other information sources (yes, even SparkNotes: don’t be shy)
  • forums you’re consulting
  • tweets to which you’re reacting
  • videos you’re watching
  • text sources you’re using

Visuals

Screenshots

Screenshots are another essential addition to any post, because these visuals show readers exactly what you are talking about: tables, graphs, word clouds, word trees, XML code. It’s kind of like a Kijiji ad: it’s easier to interest readers in a thing they can see for themselves.

Here is a screenshot of the Wikipedia page about screenshots:

 

 
Notice how clicking on this thumbnail brings up the full-size image in your browser.

Images

How did I insert it in WordPress, the blog writing platform that UCalgaryblogs is using? I’m glad you asked! So now I can demonstrate how useful screenshots are for explaining things.

[1] First I began writing a post:

[2] Then I captured the image using the instructions on the Wikipedia page. These will be different depending on your operating system. (In Mac, I use the keyboard shortcut command-shift-4.)


 

[3] On a new line in the post, I clicked on the option Add Media. See here:

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 11.13.01 PM

 

 

You can also upload other kinds of media files. You can ignore them for now. (If you’d like to upload these files, go ahead — anything that clarifies or augments your post is fair game.)

[4] Then a window appears. I clicked the Select Files button in center of the pop-up window. If you’re not getting this window, you need to use a different browser. (I’m using Chrome.) You can also insert images (or videos – find instructions below) through the “insert from URL” option.

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 11.10.20 PM 


 

[5] I find it simplifies things to upload files and insert them immediately. So after my file has uploaded, I scroll to the bottom of that pop-up window and select the Alignment > None and Size > Medium radio buttons, like so:

You can play around with these settings, but those are the two I like. Other alignments will insert the image into the middle of your paragraph, and other sizes just seem too large.

[6] Then click Insert into Post, and you’re done. To see what it will look like without committing to publish the post, click Preview in the Publish box to the right:

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 11.18.11 PM

You can take pictures of any window, or even (as I’ve shown here) of selections from within a window. The Wikipedia page has detailed instructions.

Note that: images (.png and .jpg) and Gifs (.gif) can be inserted through this process.

Videos

Videos are helpful to include when sourcing your ideas. You can create your own (David Kang’s #engl410 example) or embed a video. Videos can be included from various, including: Youtube, TED Talks, Vimeo, or Instagram.

But how?

It is pretty simple. Copy the video’s URL and paste it into the writing space. Align your link as you see fit. And once your blog is previewed or published, the video will appear. Need more help? Find it here.

Audio

Audio can be shared in 2 ways:

[1] SoundCloud

After making an account, creating a podcast, or finding a relevant podcast, click the share button from any content and use the embed option provided by SoundCloud to receive a code. After, paste the code into the writing space. And like that, your podcast is added to your post.

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 11.05.17 PM

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 11.02.21 PM

[2] Insert from URL

Like mentioned previously, you can add sound through the Add Media option. Instead of clicking the Select Files button in the pop-up window, click the Insert from URL option. From there, paste the audio file’s URL (.wav,.mp4,.mp3) and the file should upload. Then click Insert to add it to your post.

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 11.10.20 PM

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 11.35.55 PM