For most of my writing and sharing content, I host my own WordPress site at wiobyrne.com. I publish longer posts about teaching, learning, technology, and productivity. I also use this space to share my publications, CV, and other elements of my digital identity.
Recently I’ve been starting each morning with a daily quick write. I wanted an online space to openly publish these materials. I also wanted something outside of the content that I share on my main website. The materials shared on this site include the short (200 word) quick writes, and archives of other things I share online. For the most part it is half-baked ideas that may someday grow up to be a full blog post.
I chose Known for this new space and will detail how to get started in the post below. You can review the space I’m using for this daily quick write by clicking here.
What is Known?
Known is a “simple, social publishing platform for groups and individuals.” Known describes itself as being simple, but I think they have a lot baked in to the platform…but still make it look minimal.
Known can be used to build powerful blogging/publishing platforms for groups of people, including students. For the purposes of this post, I’ll focus on maintaining a personal site to share, archive, and share out your content elsewhere.
Getting started with Known
There are two ways to create a site using Known. I host my site for my daily journal through my hosting provider. You can also sign up for a hosted account directly with Known Pro. I recommend testing Known for free to see if it will work for you. Have no fear…you can move your site and content over to a hosted account at any point. Start up a free Known site by clicking here. When you click on the link, you’ll need to enter details about your new site.
Enter the details for your new site and click the “Register your site” button. You’ll then be asked to create a profile on your new site. This will be the profile that you use as you write, share, and publish on your site.
After you enter the details about your profile, you’ll then be brought to your new website. Aleph the Robot has already started up the first post for you. I recommend first setting up some things in Account Settings and Site Configuration first. Both of these areas can be located by clicking on your profile name in the top right corner of the page.
Modifying Account Settings
While in Account Settings, you can edit your user account settings. You can also change/revise your email notifications settings. Visit the Connect Services tab and connect your site to your social networks (Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Soundcloud, LinkedIn). This will enable you to quickly publish content from your new Known site to your social networks. Finally, click on the Interactions tab. This will use a tool called Bridgy to connect your Known site to your social networks (Facebook, Twitter) and bring your comments back to your site.
I think you should publish your content on your site, and syndicate/share it out to your social networks. By setting up the Connect Services and Interactions tabs, you’ll share content out online…and get notifications on your site when someone likes, favorites, or responds to you. You’ll feel better about yourself…and your content if people read & respond to you. 🙂
Modifying Site Configuration
When you first click on Site Configuration, you’ll see the option up top to upgrade to Known Pro. I’d recommend playing with Known for a bit and then making the decision to pay for Known hosting, or host it yourself. On the first page in Site Configuration you can edit the Site Details you entered previously.
In the Plugins tab, there are a number of great ways to expand the use and reach of your Known site. Of the plugins listed, you can enable Public Comments, Events, IndiePub, Audio, Photos, etc. You can add even more functionality by upgrading to Known Pro. But, I recommend starting simple. Start writing and using the site…and then you can identify new ways to use the space.
Before you leave the Site Configuration section, definitely click on the Themes tab and pick a theme that suits you. Of the themes listed, I started by using the Cherwell theme and uploading my own background. I’m currently trying to keep my daily journaling site as minimal as possible and have been using (and loving) the Tabula rasa theme. Figure out what works for you by enabling a theme, click through your site to see what it looks like. If you don’t like the theme…go select another one.
Write your first post
Now it is time to write your first post. I’ll spend time in upcoming posts discussing how to write up posts, how to use Known for podcasting, events, etc. For now…start writing.
The toolbar up at the top of your site will give you options for the types of posts you can create. I would recommend starting with the Post option.
It’ll be a bit easier to revise and edit your site, once you have content.
So…go ahead and click that post button. You’ll have a simple editor to write up and post content. Get started by writing and publishing a couple basic posts. The first one should be an “about me” page in which you introduce yourself to the world…and your new website.
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Also published on Medium.