Yikes, it’s been a rough few weeks. Along with some nasty business stuff, which is actually normal in my line of work, I was supposed to be on my first real, non-working vacation in 14 years, which turned into a workation. What should have been normal was much less fun than usual as my husband just watched on while I crouched over the laptop in our beautiful room called the The Starseeker Room at the Inn at Manzanita on the Oregon coast. We really were looking forward to experiencing what a real vacation was like. Well, maybe next time.
Add to the mixture of my “fun” weeks, WordPress.com updated their server and experienced a glitch, releasing weeks of blog posts on Lorelle on WordPress ahead of schedule.
So yes, I am now blogging via a crystal ball from another dimension and the blog posts you see in your feed reader have future dates. For my next trick…
Cat News: For those who have been asking about Holiday, my tabby kitty who received more attention than I did in a recent Blog Struggles article, he’s doing fine. He’s on new food and has finally finished long weeks of treatment to bring down his infection. He’s now chasing Kohav, our other cat, all over the place and demanding to be let outside to play with all the pretty birds beginning their migration past our window bird feeder. So she gets equal treatment, here’s a photography of my fuzzy girl about to jump up on the bed, not knowing her leap will cause her to land on Holiday, which will set the two of them off on a screaming tear around the bed and back into the living area. We both thank you for all your concern. My husband has his snuggle buddy back healthy and I’m back to picking up everything flung off my desk from the resumption of his clumsy attacks of the birds through the window by my desk.
There have been some good things happening, but I’ll save that for the news section.
This is the Weekly Digest from Lorelle on WordPress. To subscribe to the Weekly Digest category of Lorelle on WordPress, you can subscribe by the Weekly Digest feed or by email with the Weekly Digest Email Subscription to stay up to date on what is happening in Lorelle’s world of WordPress and blogging.
The last issue of my weekly digest was Weekly Digest: Writing About Writing, Working on Books, Lots of Speaking Gigs, and Blog Struggles is a Success if you want to catch up.
What’s Happening with Lorelle on WordPress
Here’s the latest blog posts on Lorelle on WordPress.
- Lorelle Talks to Blogger Talks is the announcement of an interview I did with Blogger Talks.
- Blogging Romance with Lorelle in San Francisco is the announcement of upcoming programs and events where I will be speaking, starting with the Romance Writers of America in San Francisco.
- Don’t Write Away Your Rights points to a wonderful article by Jonathan Bailey on the Blog Herald about signing away, or not, your writes when you blog for pay.
- The Real Hidden Value of Old Post Traffic looks at a wonderful lesson that can be learned from watching your blog statistics once in a while. Your old posts are still working for you, as are the old posts of other bloggers that continue to bring in traffic a year or three later.
- A WordPress.com Twist for Guest Blogging on Problogger look at at Darren Rowse’s interesting use of WordPress.com for a contest he was running on his blog. I’m always looking for innovative ways of using WordPress.com, so let me know if you have an interesting twist on its usage.
- Apologies: Future Posts Released Again give you a clue as to what my week was like. Several weeks of future posts released that were meant to cover some indepth concentrated writing times. Ah, the joys of blogging on a state-of-the-art blog platform.
- Do People Get Your Blog? A handmade holiday card from a friend of mine got me thinking about whether or not people “get” your blog – and the responses were very interesting.
- Blog Challenge: Whatcha Reading? This blog challenge asks you to blog about what you are reading and your favorite authors.
- SEO Advertising: Only Two Ways to Get Traffic to Your Blog looks at a ridiculous scam email I got promising me SEO wonders with my website. I wanted to make sure you all were paying attention to the nonsense in such promises.
- Beta News Blog Contest announced that the The Beta News is having a Two Year Anniversary Contest which will include an award of my book, “Blogging Tips – What bloggers won’t tell you about blogging.
- Blog Challenge: Testing Your Blog’s Accessibility is another weekly challenge that asks you to run your blog through a variety of tests to see how the design holds up on a cell phone, different browsers, and with accessibility standards.
- Are You Deaf? asks a good question: are you deaf? And if you are, how are you surviving in a sound oriented web world?
- Content Theft and WordPress addresses the complicated issue of tracking copyright violations and WordPress and WordPress.com.
- Weekly Digest: Book Contests, Blogging Big and Small, and More is the last weekly digest.
- Liz Strauss Offers Tips for Blogging More Efficiently calls your attention to a great article to help you get your blogging work done faster and better.
- Blog Challenge: Blog About Being Small was the opposite challenge of last week on Blog About Being Big – aka Successful.
Blog Struggles Series
My ongoing series on Blog Struggles continues to go strong. The most recent article in the series, Surviving the When Blogging Goes Bad Blues, really touched people’s heart. It was probably the picture of my beautiful fuzzy son, Holiday, and their concern over his health. He is doing much better now. Thank you. Here’s another kitty porn shot of him yawning in a pile of my yarn, a favorite sleeping spot of his.
So far, the series includes:
- Blog Struggles: The Search for Blog Content: We put so much energy into “finding” blog content that we often forget the best source for good blog content: from within us. I offer tips and techniques for pulling content from your head.
- Blog Struggles: Ideas and Drafts: We come up with such great ideas and then what? We jot them down, make lists, start post drafts, and they sit there staring at us, as we procrastinate over what to do with all these ideas and how to keep them in check. I offer tips on how to best keep track of your ideas and drafts.
- Blog Struggles: The Blog Focus: As part one in a sub-series of posts on Blog Struggles, I look at the issue of the blog focus, your blog’s ability to turn you from a blogger into an expert.
- Blog Struggles: Why Should Your Blog Have a Focus: Your blog doesn’t have to have a focus, but if it does, these are the reasons, and benefits, of why it should.
- Blog Struggles: Finding Your Blog Focus: Continues the Blog Focus theme and offers tips for finding your blog’s focus and direction.
- Blog Struggles: Changing Your Blog’s Focus: Once you find your blog focus, how do you change your blog? Or should you start a new blog? I cover the tips you need to know to redirect your blog.
- Blog Struggles: When Spelling, Grammar, and Punctuation Interferes With Your Blogging looks at the issues around the impact of poor writing habits and skills and whether or not they impact the success and reading of your blog.
- In Blog Struggles: When Are Too Many Comments Too Many Comments?, I share a struggle I faced not long ago about an over-enthusiastic commenter who left a ton of comments on my blog within a few hours, making me very suspicious. We are often faced with suspicious comments, so what do we do? How should we handle them?
- Blog Struggles: Taking The Moral High Blogging Ground addresses the issue of deciding which ethical and moral road to take on your blog.
- Blog Struggles: Blogger’s Depression looks at the rarely discussed by normal aspect of blogging: depression. When the enthusiasm for the effort is lost and apathy sets in, and how to overcome it.
- Blog Struggles: It’s The Rituals That Help Us Focus: I share some of the rituals I use to get me “in the blogging mood” and ask you to share yours.
- Blog Struggles: When An Old Post is New Again takes a look at some of the struggles I’ve had when a past post suddenly gets picked up and sensationalized. I discuss the methods I use for keeping my old posts up to date, especially when fame comes knocking.
- Blog Struggles: Recovering From a Traffic Spike really touched a lot of people as they related to the addiction that traffic spikes bring, as well as the hassles.
- Blog Struggles: Surviving the When Blogging Goes Bad Blues look at how to keep on writing when life gets in the way.
WordPress.com Blog Posts Released Early: As mentioned, several weeks of blog posts were released ahead of schedule on WordPress.com. By the time I noticed, people had already commented and left trackbacks. I had several choices and avenues of options I could take, but I just decided to leave them as they were. I won’t be publishing “replacement” articles as they were in the future post queue for a reason. So enjoy them and hunt around among the more than 2,000 articles I’ve written here on Lorelle on WordPress. There must be one or two you missed. SIGH.
Talking Romance with the Romance Writers of America in San Francisco: I will be speaking at the Romance Writers of America San Francisco Chapter’s special event on Web Publishing for Authors at the Pyramid Alehouse, Brewery and Restaurant in Berkeley, California, on March 8, 2008, from 8:30 AM to noon. The program is open to the public but reservations are required with fees $25 for non-members reserving their seat before March 5.
Interview on Blogger Talks: An interview I did recently with Blogger Talks is out: The Lorelle Story: An Interview with Lorelle VanFossen. It covers some of my web history, predictions on the future of the web and blogging, and a plea for new web technologies to make the web an easier place to blog and network.
Guest Blogging on Webmacster87: My friend, Douglas Bell invited me to guest blog for him while he’s on a school adventure trip. Guest Blog: The Art of Personal Blogging is a look at personal blogging techniques and a glimpse at some of the things I’ll be writing about in my upcoming article series on personal blogging. Douglas and I had a great time together at WordCamp 2007 in San Francisco and we did a fun podcast together for his PreviewCast podcast blog last year that’s worth hearing if you missed it the first time around.
Interview for Ninth Grade School Project: I just completed an interesting email-based interview with a student in high school for his project on learning about how business managers work and run businesses. He wanted the perspective of business owners and managers to compare the two points of view. It was fascinating to look back at my corporate days and how much I hated being part of the management bureaucracy, and interesting to lend my perspectives as a sole proprietor and consultant who works with other consultants on various web-based and educational projects. I do a lot of student mentoring and interviews, so if you know of someone who needs my expertise for their school project, just let me know and I’ll do my best to help.
Download Squad: The interview with Grant and Christina of the Download Squad’s Squadcast should be out soon. We had a great time talking about blogging, especially how to break down the stagnancy on the web by finding the passion in your blogging again. If you want the latest in hot computer technology information and news, check out their blog and podcast.
Alliance for Distance Education Summit: I will be among the key speakers in the Alliance for Distance Education in California in Pasadena on April 2-5, 2008. I’m really looking forward to meeting other educational professionals committed to integration of web technologies into the classroom. The summit is open to the public and educational professionals, teachers, and leaders, so get your reservation in soon.
SOBCon 2008: SOBCon: Be There for the Business of Blogging! I will be there, will you? The Successful and Outstanding Bloggers Conference is one of the hottest events for bloggers. The best of the best gather and I’m so honored to be one of the lucky ones. It’s in Chicago on May 2 – 4, 2008. There is limited space available so register fast.
WordCamp Dallas: I’m one of the fantastic team of speakers at WordCamp Dallas on March 29-30, 2008. Registration is required so sign up fast. The line up includes some top multimedia, WordPress Plugin and Theme experts, and other top bloggers and industry leaders.
Blogger and Podcaster Magazine: Blogger and Podcaster Magazine will feature me as a regular columnist this year. The most recent article discusses finding your blog purpose and client base, and the next one covers time and financial blog management. Get your issue in stores now or subscribe. There are some very hot articles on blogging and podcasting. They are improving their website and I’ll be recording podcast versions of my articles so you can hear as well as read me.
Blogging Tips: What Bloggers Won’t Tell You About Blogging
The Beta News is having a Two Year Anniversary Contest over the next two weeks featuring some great prizes such as my book, “Blogging Tips – What bloggers won’t tell you about blogging” and a blog critique from David Airey. There are three different ways to participate, and it’s an unusual contest, so go check out the fun and get a chance to win some fun prizes.
The demand for my book continues to be high, so we’ve decided to extend the lower price a little longer, but stay tuned for a price increase. Get your book while the cheaper copies last.
Most Popular Articles on Lorelle on WordPress
I was really touched at the response of my latest blog challenges, and trackbacks are continuing to come in from these and others.
The Challenges to blog about being small and being big continue to inspire bloggers as they reach down into their barrel of personal history and share intimate moments about the big and small events in their life that helped to sculpt their lives today. I’m in awe of their willingness to lay themselves bare and be so honest. Thank you to all.
Another weekly challenge was on testing your blog’s accessibility, how your blog’s design is viewed on various screen resolutions, browsers, cell phones, and how the disabled view and use your blog, and the response has been really interesting and touching. In Is Accessibility Hard To Learn And Implement? by Cre8pc on Usability and Holistic SEO, the author ends a fabulous post on the ease of including accessibility standards in your blog and website with a quote from the post. And Chaplain Andrews wrote:
We don’t think about it enough, but there are many people out there who use special equipment to read web pages or have them read to them. It is the responsibility of every blogger to include them into the conversation, by making our pages accessible to them. Over the next several days, I going to take the time to bring my sites up to par.
…This has been an excellent experience for me to truly open my eyes to a new world and change my paradigm of what XHTML can do.
If we aren’t helping everyone read our blogs, we lose.
I was also staggered at the response to Content Theft and WordPress, an article that hopefully will help clear up the confusion about reporting content infringements on WordPress and WordPress.com blogs. As WordPress becomes more popular, it is being used all over the world for good as well as bad, and WordPress, the company, is only responsible as a web host for WordPress.com blogs, not every WordPress blog.
The frustration of content and feed scraping and abuse of our original blog content is growing and I expect to see it reach criminal proportions this year – which hopefully will compel more productive ways of reporting and stopping content theft.
The most popular posts on Lorelle on WordPress the past few weeks were:
- Content Theft and WordPress
- WordPress Plugins for Images, Photographs, and Graphics
- HTML, CSS, PHP, and More Cheat Sheets
- Designing a WordPress Theme From Scratch
- Video, Music, Podcasts, Audio, and Multimedia WordPress Plugins
- Secret Out – How Google Ranks Websites
- Playing with WordPress.com New Sidebar Widgets
- Blogging Romance with Lorelle in San Francisco
- Blogging Tips – Hundreds of Resources for Your Blog
- What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content
- Subscribe, Email Mailing List, Blog Update, Alerts, and Newsletter WordPress Plugins
- Free Photos for Your Blog
- Adding RSS Feeds to WordPress
- Learning About Blogging and How to Blog
- Buttons, Bows and Badges for Your Blog
- Do-It-Yourself Search Engine Optimization
- Apologies: Future Posts Released Again
Nice Things Said About Lorelle
With the rough week I just had – okay, rough two or three weeks – I was really cheered up to find that some bloggers took time out of their blogging life to say nice things about me. They always humble me and keep me on track with my blogging, so I share them here to remind me of why I keep blogging.
I always do a search on blogging matters and somehow or rather I always come back to this site by Lorelle VanFossen.
…Always very complete and worthwhile articles. Lorelle must spend HOURS writing her posts! It’s crazy! She is a true reference in the WordPress world and her articles are near perfect! By perfect, I mean that she talks about a topic in full, with references, complete explanations, links, experiences, pros and cons, personal opinion etc… Very complete. Practically all her blog posts are worthwhile and incredible. Lorelle on WordPress is an incredible blog! For this reason her website currently is 18,727th in the world. (Mine is 70,028th ) According to Alexa.
Again, someone actually looks these statistics up? I didn’t know this blog was that high on the list. I am constantly surprised by my readers. Thank you again for the kind words and the fantastic blog post!
The The Chatterbox blog offers “13 questions for Thursday Thirteeners”, an interesting challenge that asks 13 questions for bloggers to respond to on Thursdays. This week, questions about favorite blogs and blogging were asked and Gail Overhold of Stream of Conscience was kind enough to list Lorelle on WordPress as her favorite blog.
Thank you to all who cheer up my blogging spirit with your kind words!
Blasts From the Past
Here are some blasts from the past I’ve written that still are interesting today and might be useful to you:
- Image Replacement Techniques
- Importing Quotes Into the Random Quote Generator WordPress Plugin – WP-Quotes
- One Year Anniversary Review: Tags, Tagging, and Categories
- One Year Anniversary Review: The Power of the Link
- Sort Posts By Category Now Available in WordPress
- Submitting Your Sitemap and Feeds to Google Blog Search and Site Submission
Blog Herald Columns
I’ve been writing on some risky topics on the Blog Herald recently, about religion, fighting, the economy, and what to do with “useless” blog posts. A lot of the regular contributors are covering some other fascinating blogging issues and news, so go check them out and subscribe to the Blog Herald feed.
Recent articles on the Blog Herald included:
- What Are Your Blog Resources? This is an announcement about next week’s series on blog resources, specifically sharing the resources and sources I use to help me blog.
- FireFox Bravely Battles On in the Browser Wars takes a look at how FireFox is doing in the browser wars and how some sites are finding FireFox surpassing the individual Internet Explorer versions for the first time.
- Thou Shall Not Blog takes a look at the reasons many can’t blog by order of work, government or religion.
- Battling Ampersands in Your Blog Design and Code explores the issues of using ampersands (&) in your blogs and code.
- Celebrating Blog Birthday Parties explores some of the various techniques bloggers are using to get attention and celebrate their blog birthdays.
- Google! Clean Up Blogger! Now! An article research project turned into a nightmare as my keyword blog search turned up hundreds and hundreds of useless splogs in the search results, the overwhelming majority of them on Blogger. Come on, if the biggest search engine and online monopoly in the world can’t clean up their free blog hosting service – it doesn’t speak well for them overall, so please, Google, clean up your act. It’s a blight on the web and an embarrassment to blogging.
- The Art of the Artist Web Design Collaboration showcases a problematic site which asked for my recommendations on how to improve it. The site was for a musician but the tips apply to writers, artists, and anyone who needs the attention of fans to help promote their work and endeavors online.
- Internet Ad Profiling Coming To a Wallet Near You – If you don’t know that Google and advertisers are working overtime to profile you, aiming ads directly at you, you’ve been living under a rock. Be ready for an increased push in ads being pushed right at you as online services learn more and more about how you search and use the web.
- Are You Ready for WordPress 2.5? WordPress 2.5 is due to release March 10. There are changes that impact Plugins, Themes, and users, so are you ready?
- Blog Writing with Keyword Map Searches is part two of an ongoing look at your various options for searching and using search engines to help you research and write your blog content.
- Using Clusty For Blog Content and Research is part one of an ongoing series exploring various search engines and their different features.
- Blogging the Olympic Games is a resource article with a lot of links to various sources of information on the history of the Olympics, past and present, preparing for the Summer Olympics in China.
- Fighting Bloggers Take the Heat looks at the issue of blog in-and-out fighting, whether it is surviving a criticism or aggressive comment on your blog, or picking fights for traffic attention. Fights can work, but the blogger has to be able to take the heat, learn from their mistakes, and learn how and when to back down and say thank you.
- The Blog Economy: Illusion or Reality looks at the issues that may confront bloggers in the future: how bloggers will be impacted by the economy.
- Does Your Religion Influence Your Blog Writing? This was a risky article, but I wanted bloggers to ask themselves how much of a role religion plays in their blogging, and whether they are upright and honest in showcasing their religion as part of their blog. The comments have been interesting.
- Give Back To Blog Experts looks at the issue of what to do with blog posts not exactly in line with your blog’s purpose, which also bring you unwanted attention from comments and comment spam.
- Using Abbreviations May Hurt Your Blog takes a look at an often overlooked and forgotten HTML tag
acronymand the issue of whether or not your use of acronyms instead of full terms hurts or helps your blog get found by searchers.
- Are You Just Another WordPress Blog? There are still a lot of WordPress blogs out on the web with the default tagline still in place. I offer tips on changing your blog’s tagline in WordPress.
Some recent weekly WordPress Wednesday News reports included:
- WordPress Wednesday News: WordPress 2.5 in Two Weeks, New Hot Media Library, Instant Upgrades, Theme Designers Lack Inspiration, More Plugin Vulnerabilities Found
- WordPress Wednesday News: WordPress 2.5 News, Colleges and Schools Love WordPressMU, Viddler Meets WordPress, Theme Buyers Beware, Columns in Blog Posts, Feeds Without Plugins
- WordPress Wednesday News: WordPress 2.5 Live Reports, WWW or Not to WWW, 16,000 Post Migration, MT Does WP, WP Does Kazakhstan, and Gets Mugged
- WordPress Wednesday News: WordPress 2.3.3 Security Must Upgrade, Plugins Vulnerable, Automatic Upgrades, and More
- WordPress Wednesday News: WordCamp Hamburg Success, Automatic Upgrades Coming, $5,000 Bounty, Prologue Theme, and WordPress Wins Again
- WordPress Wednesday News: Happy Birthday WordPress, Automattic Wins and Gets Lots of Money, Security Concerns Over Plugins and Core, WordCamp Hamburg and Hating the Name WordPress.com
- WordPress Wednesday News: WordPress 2.5 On Track, Uninstalling WordPress Plugins, Premium WordPress Themes Debated, Permalinks, and More WordPress News
Blasts from the Past of Blog Herald Posts
I’ve been writing for the Blog Herald for a year now, and here are some of the articles I’ve covered dealing with comments and comment spam.
- Is Your Blog a Conversation Blog or Answer Blog?
- Do You Kill The Blog Conversation?
- Stop Human Comment Spammers
- Are You Torturing Your Blog Commenters? Help Stop Comment Spam
- What Will Stop Comment Spam?
Lorelle’s Linkworthy Links
- I’m a big fan of the BusinessPundit and recently he sold his blog. While I was disappointed when he went to sponsored posts, there are still some really good articles worth reading before the new owners take over. Of note, see 30 Good Posts You May Have Missed: A History of Businesspundit and How Five Years of Blogging Has Changed Me.
- Being a gracious loser means… from the Church of the Customer is a succinct summary of how to be a gracious loser – no matter what the loss.
- Want to Annoy Your Visitors, Turn Away Customers and Screw Up Your Google Rankings? Great, just add a Flash Intro to Your Site is a brilliant example of why Flash sucks.
- Fear, hope and love: the three marketing levers by Seth Goodin is a great look at what really drives marketing, online and off.
This is the Weekly Digest of Lorelle on WordPress.
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Lorelle VanFossen is a member of WordPress, WordPress.com, the 9Rules Network, and author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won’t Tell You About Blogging.