screencap of home page of Practice Based.Re/search

Hello Artist-Scholars!

Welcome to our 1st weekly email, and our 1st Creative Activity of the Week

But first: how did you get on this list?
Almost all of you are colleagues from either Site Dance or Practice Based Research in the Arts. A few of you were iRez authors who’ve been transplanted here to .Re/search.

If you ever want to Subscribe to, or Unsubscribe from, this list, just visit:
Practice Based.Re/search/subscribe

Underneath the big “Subscribe” button, you’ll see a smaller “Unsubscribe” button.

Creative Activity OTW

The Creative Activities are optional. Nobody has to do them. No pressure. No hassle. But I’ve found that a little bit of structure can go a long way toward the collegiality, community, and collaboration that many of us would enjoy and benefit from in our artistic practices.

Since we’re a bunch of new faces full of energy and creativity, and mostly not knowing each other, let’s start with short introductions. Write 250 – 350 words about yourself. A little something about your interests, experiences, past activities, future projects. Whatever you’d like to share. Whatever you’d like us to know. Yes, of course, if you’ve already written that spiel a thousand times, you can cut and paste it. But try to post something active, informative, and engaging. I’d suggest trying to write in 1st person and using small words. As Katie pointed out, Mr. Hemingway was probably not the greatest guy in history, but you can’t deny he had an ability to express powerful ideas with pretty small words.

If you’re writing right in the WordPress edit window…

and BTW, I totally recommend it! No need to work in a desktop wordprocessor and then cut & paste it. Why not just create right where you’re going to publish? Since your post is in the cloud you can login and work on it from any computer on earth. You can write, paste a photo, Save as Draft, and then finally Publish whenever you’re ready. And it has autosave, so even if your computer crashes your work isn’t lost…

…in the edit window at the bottom-left is your word count.

screencap of WordPress edit window's Word Count and SEO by Yoast modules

And right underneath that is a window called WordPress SEO by Yoast. This module can actually help you earn Google Page Rank for your post, which is pretty cool. But let’s not worry about any of that confusing stuff today. Just know that if you type anything in the “Focus Keyword” box and then Save as Draft you can then click the Page Analysis tab, and it will give you a Flesch Reading Ease score. If you like big words and compound sentences as much as I do, your score will probably suck. You can just ignore it if you like. But I find that after cussing for a while, when I finally work in smaller words and shorter sentences that, damn! the stupid thing is right again, this is way more readable! It’s cleaner, clear, and quicker.

screencap of WordPress backend featuring Yoast SEO's Flesch Reading Ease Score

You should all have a User Name and Password. If you have any trouble with it you can either click the Lost Your Password? button on the login screen, or you can email me and I can reset it for you. Do shout out for any help or advice you need! You can email to: vaneeesa dot blaylock at gmail dot com

Or even better (if you’re able to login) you can use our Twitter / Chat like page:
Practice Based.Re/act to shout any questions.

If you have a chance to post a little bio piece on our main page: Practice Based.Re/search

sometime this week, say by Friday night… then we can all poke around over the weekend and leave each other comments.

Don’t ever feel obligated or stressed about any of this. But like MOOCs, Life Itself, and just about anything else, you can really have a valuable, powerful, compelling experience if you dive in and participate however much your time allows.

Oh, and it’s always nice to include a photo or video. A bunch of pix is cool. A great video is awesome. But whatever you do, if you add at least 1 image to the post, it really helps when we send it around to places like Facebook, Google+ etc.

And when you add your 1 image, you’ll see over on the right of the edit window a little box called Featured Image if you click Set Featured Image and then click on your image again, then it’ll look all pretty on our home page. If you’re the Photoshop type, a Featured Image of 598 x 282 pixels works pretty well for us. If that hurts your brain, then don’t even worry about it.

screencap of WordPress backend "featured image" panel

Here’s our little How to Post cheat sheet:
Practice Based.Re/search/How

It’s really been so great meeting so many exciting artists with such diverse practices. Thanks so much for sharing your work and for coming along on this collaborative online adventure. I really hope we can make new connections, collaborate, and support each other’s creativity.

Warmest Personal Regards,

Vanessa

photo of Vanessa Blaylock at dusk standing in front of a palm tree

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