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What Are Those Unknown Characters in My Blog Comments?

Little squares, boxes, lines, and funky symbols are often found in blog comments. A friend new to blogging called me about these wanting to know if her blog had been hacked or her computer had a virus. “It looks like alien writing from Star Trek!” Those strange symbols and characters in your blog comments are […]

WordPress For Writers: WordPress Author Sites

In this part of my series on WordPress For Writers, I’ll cover the basic things to consider when using WordPress on site promoting the work of writers and authors. For more on the subject, see other articles in the WordPress for Writers and Authors series. This article assumes you have some basic familiarity with WordPress […]

WordPress For Writers

I will be speaking this year at several workshops and conferences on the subject of “WordPress for Writers.” The workshop covers the basic elements of WordPress content structure and organization, then adds the complexities of a site for writers and authors. This is one of a series of articles on WordPress for Writers and Authors. […]

Blog Exercises: How to Create a Blogger Identity

A rebroadcast of “How Much Does Your Name Matter?” from Freakonomics Radio looked at the impact of a name on society, perception, prejudice, and ability to succeed. Indeed, there is some evidence that a name can influence how a child performs in school and even her career opportunities. There’s also the fact that different groups […]

Blog Exercises: Taking Inventory on What Keeps You Blogging

The recent major desktop computer crash has left me reeling. I thought I had all my data backed up. For the most part, I did. What I didn’t have backed up was my programs. Getting back up to speed fast, I’ve had to prioritize the programs I had download and install. Yes, download. Who gets […]

Blog Exercises: Ingredients of a Professional Site

Two questions on the same day triggered this blog exercise. I was asked by a student in my WordPress class recently what defined a “professional blog.” I told him it was one that met all the criteria for a well-designed, well-formed site that met web standards. This is a good definition, but lacked specifics. A […]

Blog Exercises: To Comment or Not to Comment

In the September 20, 2013, issue of the New York Times, an article caught my eye called “No Comments.” It is also available on Umano via mobile app or desktop for a listen. The article by Michael Erard discusses comments on the web, including a long look back at the history of interactivity on the […]

Blog Exercises: Mashups

One of my favorite odd-ball mashups is the movie Moulin Rouge! Released in 2001, the movie features Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor, and an outstanding cast of top notch actors singing their way through a Bollywood-style production set in a 1899 France cabaret. There are few original songs in the film. Instead they used pop songs […]

Blog Exercises: The Secret Sauce

In “Letters to Laurali” on Laurali Star Diaries, author Larauli responded to her first “letter to the editor” on her site. The request was from a fellow blogger asking for help blogging. Blogging has changed her, she admits. Laurali has soared, stretching her wings with glory and radiating in the new connections she is building […]

WordPress 3.6 Released – Update Now

The long awaited WordPress 3.6 is out and ready for download for self-hosted WordPress users. Those on WordPress.com or managed WordPress installs, you should not have to do anything. WordPress.com has been using many of the new features of WordPress 3.6 already and is automatically updated. Managed WordPress hosts will advise you as to a […]

Blog Exercises: What’s the View Through Your Binoculars

One of my favorite things is a framed picture by Matt Mullenweg of an old set of mounted binoculars. The eye pieces are worn and the blue paint on the metal binoculars looks like it’s not the first coat of paint it has seen. It’s wonderful, and I find new meaning in it every time […]

Blog Exercises: What Makes You Special?

A client greeted me with an over-enthusiastic hug yesterday. “I’m so glad to be working with you! You made me find myself again.” “Were you lost?” “You have no idea how lost I was.” I was confused. He lives in my neighborhood, walking distance from my front door. “Here.” He handed me a huge stack […]

Nelson Mandela Tribute

In January 2011, Nelson Mandela became a trending topic on Twitter as false rumors of his death circulated the world. He was 92 at the time and this was one in a long string of stories shaking the world’s confidence in his survival. Today, at age 94, those rumors seem more prophetic as the world […]

Blog Exercises: Judging a Book By Its Presence

Right after the Sandy Hook School attack, a detail about the killer’s life came out in the news in the form of the book choices found in the home of the killer and his mother. Among all the books and papers was found a book on autism and another on Aspergers, which the media took, […]

Blog Exercises: Current Events for June

Been watching the news lately? It’s time to blog the news and current events for June in our Blog Exercises. For those living on the top of the world, summer is here. For those living down under, the cold is here. There are droughts and floods everywhere, part of the normal fluctuation of the seasons […]

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