(this is not really one worth responding too) (but do not let me stop you!)

If you have installed this site via the template at the Reclaim Hosting State U site, it has most of the plugins and settings in place to start running your own Daily challenge site.

It is designed for you to pre-populate them in advance; a weeks worth, a months, one time I did 3 months worth. Each new one is set to be automatically published a day after the last published or the last future scheduled one. It will also increment the tags… automatically.

So here is what you need to do to make this site your own… First of all, you will need to log in to your site– hopefully you know that if you append /admin on your site’s URL, it will present the login screen (you know yo are logged in when you see the black admin menu bar atop your site).

When you are done with this setup, you can delete this one, or if you want it as a reference, edit it and set it’s Published Status to Draft.

What is the Challenge Done?

That’s the big question, what kind of things will you put out every day? Ideally, they should not be too demanding, but also, not to easy or trivial.

When you have that figured out, you should change the title and tagline for the site in the WordPress Settings -> General (and also the timezone, that is important on this site to have your site running in your time).

Categories are not critical in this site, but if you would like to organize your dailies, you can set them up under Daily Blanks -> Daily Blank Categories. The site expects a parent category (All on this site) for all of the Dailies, so make your categories a child of that category.

Twitter Account and Keys

Then you will need to figure out what twitter account you will use as the one people tweet to with their responses. You can use your own, but I always create a new twitter account just for this site. To have a web site tweet for you, it needs some special authorization codes from twitter.

This template will come set up using one of my spare accounts @auntysocial; and you are welcome to use it while you learn how to set up the site.

But if you have another account, you will need to log in at https://apps.twitter.com/ and create a new twitter “app” that will provide the necessary API keys. The access is okay with Read Only permissions.

Four of the keys are necessary to configure this site, two Application Keys and Two Access Tokens:

  • Consumer Key (API Key)
  • Consumer Secret (API Secret)
  • Access Token
  • Access Token Secret

You will need these to enter in the screen located at Settings -> Twitter Feed Auth

Daily Blank Options

Review the settings specific to the Daily Blank found from the Daily Blank Options link in the top admin menu bar.

The first field defines the name of the things done, the word that comes after The Daily _______ — for DS106 it is Create; for the UDG Agora one it is Try, for the Stillweb it is Stillness.

The fourth field is important too- it defines the “base” name of the tag; the site will append an incrementing integer to it for each new daily _____ published. Shorter is always better. You do not have to worry about making unique tags– to be picked up by your site, a tweet must include both the twitter name you are using as a target and the hashtag for one day’s challenge.

The When to Publish option defines the time of day each new one is published.

You can find full documentation on the settings when you are in the Daily Blank Options screen.

Making Daily ______s

You can create new challenges directly from the New menu item in the Dashboard (like creating a new blog post). When you save a draft or publish, the site will add several things to your post– a hashtag in the title, a tag with the same hashtag, it will queue the Daily to be published in the future if there is a queue present, and it will append a prompt to a site visitor on how to respond.

The site also has a form where the public can suggest challenges to include. These will show up under Daily Blanks -> Submitted Daily Blanks. You can just edit them (they are technically WordPress Drafts_ and when saved, all of the steps above are done for you.

Lastly, when you have a good collection built up, you can “recycle” past Dailies as new ones; the content is copied, and a new tag and scheduled publication date is set.

Checking Tweets

The site is site to check twitter only once an hour- you can force a check for new mentions via the Look For Tweets button in the Daily Blank Options.

All of the tweets that it finds are store locally as Responses in the WordPress site. You can edit them if someone mis-tags their response, or you can add ones directly if you can locate all the information it needs by looking at older responses.

More Customizations

The site comes with a number of “short codes” that can be used in pages and widgets to show the number of Daily Blanks that have been published, total number of responses, a list of top responders, and a list of the people who have submitted the most Daily Blank ideas.

You will find more suggestions on the GitHub site, including how to set up a service to automatically tweet your newest published “thing”

So maybe the challenge here is.. do you understand all this??

Tweet your response to @auntysocial and be sure to include the hashtag #dailyblank2

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