Introduction

PUB607 is the MPub program’s Publishing Technology Project course.

The course will be run as a 7-week session starting midway through your Magazine project.

The Publishing Tech Project’s goals are to provide a context in which MPub students can:

  • gain hands-on experience working with a range of digital technologies;
  • gain experience working on a decent-sized, IT project full of the kind of ambiguities and unknowns that typically characterize such projects;
  • develop an appreciation of the many facets of digital publishing;
  • experiment with new technologies without serious (business) consequences.

The backbone of this year’s project WordPress. You will begin with a WordPress Starter Theme and build from there. By the end, you will have a working magazine with as many bells and whistles as you can manage to build in 6 weeks.

Topics

During the course of the project you will learn important Web publishing skills, such as setting up your own domain name and installing a Web application. What is happening when your type a URL and hit Enter? How does your browser know how to render the page?

We will then go over some Web technologies, including the basics that you need for authoring and styling a Web page (HTML + CSS). We’ll look at the structural elements that form a page, how to organize content so that it can be easily styled, and the different ways that we can make things look different. That is, we will learn how to specify a design idea (a mock-up) and actually implement it onto the Web.

Finally, we will explore ways of promoting and tracking that content on your site and across the Web.

Activities and Tools

  • Writing HTML/CSS  (WordPress).
  • Programming Templates (WordPress)
  • Scheduling content on social media (Hootsuite/Buffer)
  • Curating content from the Web (Feedly, IFTTT)
  • Tracking usage (Google Analytics)
  • Newsletter (MailChimp)

Logistics

  • There are no internal deadlines. Everything is due on April 7th, the same day as your final presentation
  • All groups can receive feedback twice on any given document or implementation. The third time, the document/implementation will receive a grade.
  • Each individual has an allotment of 3 hours of free “tech support” from the instructor. These hours are non-transferable, but may be shared. Additional hours can be negotiated (your grade is the currency).
  • Between April 10-12, groups will give a 1 hour walk-through of some of the implementation and answer questions about how things were done, or why they were done that way.

Grading

Grades are divided as follows:

  • Theme implementation (HTML/CSS) – 40%
  • Social media plan (document) and implementation (scheduled content) – 15%
  • Usage tracking (Google Analytics configuration)  –20%
  • Other (e.g., online store, third party integrations, etc.) – 15%
  • Final walk through and oral exam – 10%

All implementations are going be be graded for their quality, completeness, and implementation (e.g., well organized, following good practices). The level of complexity of your chosen design will be taken into consideration (i.e., a complex design that was not implemented perfectly may receive the same or even higher marks than a simple design that is flawless).

While your project will receive a group grade, each team member will receive an individual grade for the course based on their contributions to the group. Along with the final project, each student will also turn in an anonymous memo to the instructor outlining each member’s contribution.