Landing : Athabascau University

Unit 7 - Learning Diary and Portfolio Submission

Unit Seven

Proposals

Proposal One – Social Media Feeds

I plan to implement a few external site features to mash up into my site. I am unsure how this will go, but so far implementations have been easier than I have anticipated which had made me happy and surprised me at the same time. One of the items missing on my page is my wellness diary, so I am going to implement that section, though it will be low on content. I plan to implement feeds on my social media on this wellness diary so people can get to know me a bit better.  This will also satisfy all of the content I had committed to in my original site plan, as I have been releasing a little with further updates and submissions. I am not 100% sure how this is going to work, yet, but I am looking forward to the challenge.

Proposal Two – Facebook Comment Integration

I am looking forward to implementing Facebook's comment system into my website. This will allow users to be more engaged and comment on trails after they complete them, especially if they used a review on our site to do a trail or not. This has the potential for additional promotion through other users.

Implementation

Social Media Feeds

The implementation of my Twitter feed went smoothly. The implementation of my Instagram feed requires server side work and nothing client side (JavaScript). This is covered in the developer’s section of Facebook’s website. In addition, embedding a personal Facebook timeline is not possible, whereas a business or group one is. So, I did not embed either feeds as a result. Instead I decided to embed the HikingAlberta subreddit from Reddit, which is a nice addition for visitors to my page, and might cause them to explore if they are curious. If they did not know what Reddit is, they will find out quickly by clicking a link and exploring the embedded part on my page. This adds convenience and is organized, a reoccurring theme of personas from Unit 1. However, as opposed to a wellness diary, an about me section was used with current goals and completed goals instead. It is lower scale, but more appropriate for the of content creation required to provide relevant content.

Facebook Comment Integration

This went relatively smoothly, and by setting up a Facebook app in the developer’s section, I can moderate all the comments from a single spot by tying back to the same App ID. Comments can allow people to feel more connected to my page, and will reduce the chance of spam if it is linked to their Facebook ID. Increased engagement can lead to increased visits and build my site’s web presence.

Next Times

In reflection what went well is that I found relevant client side APIs that did not require PHP or server side scripting. If I had to do it again, I would definitely learn how to do some server side work to make my site more professional, such as making the contact form directly mail me as opposed to opening the default mail client instead, or perhaps allowing me to display my Instagram feed set of photos. The positive in all of this is I plan to maintain this site in some form even after this course is done, slowly adding reviews and moving it to a web hosting server that supports a secure connection as well as learn some server side scripting.

 

I could have implemented a true contact form and reCAPTCHA, for example, with these additional tools used.

 

The only thing I did not implement in any manner from the original site design was a mobile version of the site, but after reviewing other’s submissions on the Landing, I felt with all of the original content provided that enough was accomplished and the pages work “well enough” on mobile browsers to be acceptable for this course. When I manage this site after this course, I will certainly look at implementing a mobile version of the site.

 

Final Reflections

As I went through this course I realized how much I missed operating a website. I plan to continue adding content to this site, and refining my review process. I also plan to see if I can implement some server side items such as a proper contact form that doesn't rely on opening an email client.

Long term, I'd like to use the reviews section as an opportunity to see if there's a better system to create data holding the reviews in a database and pull that data forward with PHP. I think that may be possible based on what I've read at w3 Schools, but my knowledge level there is low.

I've had a ton of fun with this course, and even though the resources were all free and available online, what I found invaluable with the structure of reflecting on my work and the order of the different activities. That provided enough loose structure to learn the right techniques at the right time to build a fully functioning website coming in with very limited knowledge, mostly HTML from several years ago when GeoCities and AngelFire were very popular. Programming JavaScript from scratch was extremely rewarding and really made me build confidence overall in my abilities.

I am looking forwarding to learning more on my own, for personal satisfaction, with this course and my portfolio complete.

Portfolio Submission - Portfolio Submission

The link to my website is here: http://student.athabascau.ca/~davidbo56/

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Group members: this is the place for your learning diary. Use this to post your zipped-up site at least once each unit, and your reflections as often as you wish (at least once per unit). Please write your reflections directly in the post, not as attached files. Where you do need to attach documents, such as for unit 1 designs, use PDF, PNG or JPG formats. You can attach files using the 'Embed content' link in the editor.

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