03 Wikidot And Twitter

We'll go over techniques and tricks related to using this wiki, which will also be the host of your term project wiki. We will also learn a bit more about twitter, enough to get started using it.

Class held on 09/16/2009. (student notes; possible questions).

Before class

  1. Keep your cell phone out but put it on vibrate.
  2. Open your Web browser
  3. Make sure you are on these pages:
  4. Take note of these pages:
    • Search related feeds (from "Content" menu)
    • RSS feed items (from "Content" menu)
    • Search syntax (from "Content" menu) — updated for Ask.com information
    • On Monday, the "Grades" menu will lead to an online database in which you will "turn in" your assignments.
  5. Note the new menu structure
    • Dynamic "Schedule" menu
      • After the wikidot tutorial, be sure to look at how the top menu is put together (i.e., look at the code itself).
  6. This course Web site is your course Web site.

At beginning of class

  1. Take role.
  2. Talk about assignments
    1. Term project topics
    2. Assigned/due dates
      • Notes — notes to be posted by the end of the class day
      • Questions — questions to be posted (at least first draft) by one week later
      • General blog entries — write-up to be posted by the following class
        • These will be posted on your own wiki. We'll see how to do this today.
      • Industry updates — write-up to be posted on the day listed
        • These will be posted on the course wiki. Ditto.
    3. The biggest challenges with this class
      • Knowing what to do
      • Staying familiar with the Web site
      • Completing the daily exercises and frequent blog assignments so as to not fall behind
      • Coming up with an interesting topic for your term project

My notes


Some background

  1. Today we're going to complete the setup of our twitter accounts and make sure that we know the basics of how to use it.
  2. Twitter is not an IM Client — "The basic idea behind Twitter is to produce occasional status updates, not hold personal conversations. Conversations with more than one person are exactly what Twitter is for and these should be encouraged, but if it is obvious that there is only one other participant take it off-Twitter to an IM client." (from The ultimate guide to everything twitter, below)
  3. Uses of twitter for this class
    • Ask me questions about class (use #bit330 in message)
    • Ask me questions about BBA program (use #rossbba in message)
    • I'll remind you about something you need for an upcoming class or some assignment that is due
  4. Message types (in the US, all messages go to 40404)
    • To update your twitter status: "message goes here"
    • Direct message to a user: "d username message goes here"
      • This is like a direct text message. The message does not appear in your twitter log; it only appears in your direct message outbox.
    • Bring a message to someone's attention: "@username message goes here"
      • This message appears in your twitter log but is brought to the attention of the person you identified.
    • To start following someone: follow username
    • To stop following someone: leave username
    • To get a user's messages on your phone: on username
    • To stop getting a user's messages on your phone: off username
    • To stop all messages from going to your phone: off
      • Actually, you'll still get direct messages; in order to stop getting direct messages as well, send off again.
    • To nudge a person to update twitter: nudge username
      • This is encouragement for someone to update their twitter status.
    • To get statistics about your account: stats
    • To invite a non-twitterer to join the fun: "invite 404 555 1212"
  5. Hashtags
    • Words that are preceded by the hash #
    • The hashtag for this class is #bit330
    • Use the hashtag whenever you are referring to this class. It will make the message easier to find later. You'll see this in a later class.
  6. The twitter exercises for today's class can be found here. Do them now.


  1. Today we're going to learn about wikidot, get an idea of how to use it, get more familiar with working with a wiki.
  2. Wikidot is the host of the course Web site, but it's also going to be the host of your term project Web site.
  3. You are a member of the course Web site, and you will be the administrator of your own term project site. This means that, while you have total and complete control over your own site, you also have the ability to edit and create pages (but not delete them) within this course Web site.
  4. I will expect that you will be a very good user of this wikidot site by the end of the semester. Maybe you won't be an expert, but you'll be able to make a wiki that is filled with properly formatted content and useful navigation.
  5. The wikidot exercises for today's class can be found here. Do them now.
    • If you have any questions, you can either send them on twitter or put them at the bottom of this page under "Common questions".

During and after today's class

  1. Complete all of the twitter tutorial and the wikidot tutorial before next class.
    • This includes your twitter account setup (including headshot loaded and identifying personal info), sending a few twitter messages, your wikidot account setup (again, including headshot loaded and identifying personal info), a test blog (on your wiki), a blog listing page (on your wiki), and an introductory blog (on the course Web site).
  2. Add your information to the student list page before next class.
    • Please stop kicking other people off of a page when editing. I'm going to have to come up with different methods of doing these assignments but, until then, please be polite. Thank you.
    • This should all be done by Sunday night at 10pm. This is the first part of your participation grade. (I won't always tell you this, but I'm reminding you this first time.)
  3. Think about what you might do for the term project.



  1. Videos and other resources about wikidot
  2. Twitter tutorial
  3. Wikidot tutorial


  1. Twitter tutorials
  2. Twitter resources
  3. Story sources

Common questions

If you have questions about wikidot or twitter, add them to the list below. Someone (preferably a student) will answer your question.

About wikidot

  1. What does the pound sign mean in the menu bar (top menu bar)?
    • It means that the menu item cannot be followed — generally it's a menu header or divider.
  2. How do you delete pages?
    • Use the "site options" button at the bottom of the page.
  3. How do you edit pages?
    • Use the "edit" button at the bottom of the page.
  4. How do you list the pages on the site?
    • Use the button on the side bar that says "List all pages".
  5. Can you have the top menu bar automatically update with the most recent blog entries (or whatever)?
  6. Is it possible to dynamically generate a table from other pages within a Web site?
    • Yes, and you should look at the code I use to generate the "Announcements" or "Schedule" or "Blogs" on the start page.
  7. How do you put an image hosted on mFile on your page?
    • The instructions are discussed on this page.
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