Here is a list of what I did today:
- Choosing a domain name. Actually I chose the domain name a while ago, and validated that it was available. I wanted to leave setup until I was ready to start populating the website with content. I don’t have a lot of content, but my ethics form is requiring specific URLs, so I wanted to ensure that they were setup and correct. David Elpern at http://pathography.blogspot.com/ defines pathography as “a narrative that gives voice and face to the illness experience. It puts the person behind the disease in the forefront and as such is a great learning opportunity for all care givers and fellow sufferers.” I chose Living Pathography because all the current work on pathography relates to “books” rather than blogs. I think of blogs as living books – ones that can be updated regularly – but also ones that contain reflections of the experience as it is happening, rather than the post-processed reflective version that is presented in book form. There are less constraints when blogging, allowing the writer to express illness in a raw way, which provides a layer of learning that can be lost when the experience is distilled into a book narrative.
- Registered the domain. I debated on the suffix for the domain. I had pretty much any choice I wanted. I didn’t want to use .com because this is in no way a commercial endeavor. I didn’t want to use .ca because I expect that most of my research participants will not be in Canada. On the advice of a good friend I went with .org. This isn’t really an organization, and I don’t anticipate it becoming one, but it does give me some flexibility. It is also a common suffix in the illness information space, so my research participants will be familiar with it. I recall something that was once said to me about the internet and cancer – “never read sites ending in .com“. It is a good tip for those that have little digital literacy, it aligns with “don’t Google it“, which I totally disagree with. So, this site will be a .org rather than a .com.
- Theme setup and modifications. I could spend hours (and did) playing around with the theme. I’m not 100% satisfied with it yet, but for now it will need to do.
- Creation of default post categories. I decided to begin with a few categories to help organize posts. The category that this is in is called “research notes”. This is a space for me to reflect and log the different things I’ve done throughout the research process. One might call these public field notes. I’ve created another category called “data collection” that I will use when I get to the formal data collection phase of the study.
- Creation of “About” and “Consent” pages. I created two pages and added them to the menu. The first is an about page that describes the purpose of this site. It will contain information on how to contact me, and while my study is occurring, how to contact the research ethics board. The Consent page will contain the formal informed consent letters. The details of the consent process are being worked out and need to be approved by our ethics review board. That being said I will need a place on the site for the formal consent documents to live, and I figured this was the best place to put them.
- Addition of Jetpack plugin. I’m adding the Jetpack plugin because it allows me to add a Facebook Page link, but also because it allows me to monitor site statistics. The site stats are not part of the research but the will give me insights into what parts of the website are being used.
- Addition of syndication plugin. Because I blog on multiple websites, there are times when I want to cross post from website to the next. Syndication makes it possible for me to set this up to automatically post (or at least to copy the posts) between sites. So, following instructions provided by my friend Alan Levine here (http://cogdogblog.com/2014/07/feed-wordpress-101-the-basics/), I setup syndication on this blog. I’ll also set it up on my other two blogs (http://rjh.goingeast.ca and http://bcbecky.com) so that I can easily share posts between sites.
- Setup a Facebook Page. Since I suspect that several if not many of the followers of this site will be Facebook users, and they may prefer to get their updates via Facebook, I’ve setup a Facebook page for this site. This allows me to publish posts to the Facebook page automatically. Since my twitter account is used for multiple purposes already, I’ll attach this site to my normal twitter account.