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Defining Abbreviations, Acronyms and Definitions in Your Blog

Reading across a load of technical writing, I see AJAX and I suddenly think to myself, “What does that really stand for?” Luckily, the website or blog administrator knew that there would come a time when I would ask myself that question and anticipated it. In the post they highlighted AJAX so I could hover […]

Blog Exercises: If You Wouldn’t Do It In Public, Would You Do It Online?

If you wouldn’t do it in public, would you do it online? Unfortunately for many, the answer is a resounding YES! However, most of us have some…whatever you call it…oh, yeah, class, ethics, moral fiber, manners – etiquette. I’m not the Dear Abby of social norms, but I’m first in line to tell you that […]

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: Trending

In social media, trending are topics attracting the attention of most of the people in that moment. Unfortunately, trending topics are self-feeding. If something ends up top of the trending list, it becomes an accident alongside the highway. Everyone wants to slow down and take a look. Walking by a student glued to their computer, […]

Blog Exercises: September Random Editing Day

It is September and the number is now up to 9 posts to edit on our monthly Random Editing Day exercises. Each month in the Blog Exercises series, I challenge you to edit random published posts on your blog, adding one for every month of the year. This month is nine posts. You can do […]

Blog Exercises: The Daily Social Meme

Did you know that there are specific memes for each day of the week in the blogosphere and social web? Today is your chance to play around with some of these themed days of the week in this blog exercise. A themed day, or meme, is a tradition of sorts. It involves publishing and sharing […]

Blog Exercises: The Art of List Making

Today’s blog exercise is part two on how to make a list. In “Weekly Link Roundups” and “Making Lists” blog exercises I covered some basics of how to make a list. This blog exercise will take these exercises further to help you create interesting lists in your blog posts that pull the reader through your […]

Blog Exercises: Site Goals

Early on in these Blog Exercises I asked you to clarify what you do and how you share your purpose on your site, what your target audience is, and review the why of why you blog and self-publish on the web. Hopefully you’ve had time over the past few months to digest those thoughts, evaluate […]

Blog Exercises: Define Freedom

In an NPR Radio news story, people submitted their definitions of freedom as related to the recent overthrow or change of government or whatever you wish to call it in Egypt. Two of the definitions caught my attention. Freedom is when you can do whatever you want. Freedom is when you cannot do whatever you […]

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: Share Your Fear

When was the last time you blogged your fears? Well, not all of them but one of them? In 2006, popular tech blogger Robert Scoble changed directions and blogged about his mother in critical condition in the hospital. This is one of those times when I’m not sure what to write. The size of my […]

Blog Exercises: How Long Are Your Paragraphs?

How long are your paragraphs? Have you measured them lately? One of the telling differences between traditional writing and writing for the web is the length of the paragraph. Look at the example below. Which is easier to read? On the left, the paragraphs are huge, long blocks of text. On the right, the paragraphs […]

Blog Exercises: Does Your Site Look Spammy?

Does your site look spammy? How would you know whether or not your site looks spammy? It’s time for a spam check. Web design is hard, especially if you aren’t an expert. Yet, in many ways you are an expert if you are a fan of the web. You’ve seen enough sites to know the […]

Creating Footnotes in WordPress

Among the many techniques students and clients request in my WordPress and blogging workshops and classes1, requests for creating footnotes in WordPress are rare, but they do happen. There are very distinctive differences between traditional writing and web publishing styles.2 Footnotes have been replaced by links to cite a reference or resource to support the […]

Blog Exercises: What Are You Talking About?

“What ya talking about?” The first time a southerner from North Carolina hit me with that question, I was stopped in my tracks. I had to think. I was talking. In fact, I was saying something eloquent and intelligent. Something I needed the other person to understand. Clearly I wasn’t making my point. At the […]

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