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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: Choose an Appropriate Gravatar for Your Readers

All WordPress sites have Gravatars integrated into the core. Gravatars are Globally Recognized Avatars, images that represent you in blog posts comments, featured author images (integrated with Gravatars), author images, BuddyPress, and other Gravatar-enabled features. Near the beginning of this year of blog exercises, you were asked to add or update your Gravatar to represent […]

Blog Exercises: Statistics and Web Analytics

If you have been following these Blog Exercises for the past six months, your site should be rocking. I asked you early on to define what you do clearly as it helped to clarify your site purpose and goals and your reason for blogging. You were to define your specific audience, part of identifying like […]

Blog Exercises: Are Your Comments Open for Business?

Are your comments closed? Are they set to moderation? Are your comments wide open for all without question or challenge? Are you comments open for business? In “You Must Be Logged In To Comment” I wrote: Why do people turn off open, unregistered comments to require people to login in order to comment? I’m not […]

Blog Exercises: April Current Events

It’s time to blog the news and current events for April in our Blog Exercises. Has it been easy or hard to find news and current events to publish once a month on your site? Sometimes the muse hits us when we learn of a newsworthy event that directly relates to us. Other times we […]

The Secret Recipe of Comment Spam Comments

Mr. Louis Vuitton just sent me a message in my blog comments I’d like to share with you. I share this touching message because it is highly educational when it comes to the art of spam comments, and serves to remind us of why we love having Akismet, the best comment spam fighter, on our […]

Blog Exercises: How to Respond to a Trackback

In the first blog exercise on trackbacks I explained how trackbacks work and how to respond to trackbacks. It’s time to revisit the concept of how to respond to a trackback. In the exercise, I described the unique quality of trackbacks for tracking conversations across the web. You publish something, someone likes it and publishes […]

WordPress Anniversary: WordPress and Evil

As I look back on the ten years of WordPress, there is a dark side to blogging. While many blamed WordPress for the evil, like guns, WordPress doesn’t cause evil, people cause evil. In fact, WordPress, Automattic, and the WordPress Community has fought longer and harder against the evil doers in the world than most […]

Blog Exercises: Backlinks

Known as incoming links or referrer links, backlinks are links pointing from an external site to your site, directing their readers to you as a resource. Timethief of “one cool site blogging tips” describes backlinks as: Backlinks to your content are like votes for your blog. The more backlinks your blog receives the higher it […]

Blog Exercises: Comments and The Blog Bullies

No matter what we do or say, there will always be bullies and mean people. Some are mean intentionally, some can hurt unintentionally. And then there are those moments when we read the black letters on the white screen too much in-between the lines and come away feeling sick to your stomach. Welcome to the […]

Exploring the Alignment of the Planets in the Night Sky

In anticipation of the planets alignment, I went digging for some cool Android apps to see the stars, and some awesome astronomy blogs to keep myself updated. Let’s start with the awesome astronomy bloggers. Blogging the Stars When I think about those blogging the stars, I don’t think Perez Hilton. I think about those truly […]

18+ Things You Can Do on the WordPress Comments Panel

The WordPress development and UI team put a lot of work into WordPress comments. Did you know there are 18 features to a single WordPress comment not counting the comment content itself? Rarely do we stop to consider these powerful features in WordPress, so let’s take time now to understand all the different features and […]

Managing Multiple Authors: Managing Writers in a Multiple Author Blog

In this series on managing multiple bloggers in WordPress, I want to now focus on the content, specifically managing the editorial voice and purpose of a site with multiple bloggers. There is a huge caveat to this topic. Every blog is unique, as are all the voices within it. It is often that uniqueness that […]

Blog Bashing: Beware Complacency

In “5 Ways to Rid Complacency From Your Blog” on Daily Blog Tips, Bob Bessette writes about how to mix things up in the new year on your blog: If you’ve owned a blog for a while there’s a good chance that complacency may have already set in. Dictionary.com defines complacency as “a feeling of […]

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