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Research on the WordPress, Web Development, and Web Design Job Market

In 2012 and 2013, I did extensive research for the grant program to develop and rewrite the Web Developer degree program at Clark College. This research included an analysis of current and future job opportunities for students graduating with that degree with a solid understanding of WordPress. Now that the program has completed its first […]

The Web is All About The Writing

Reading “7 Things You Need to Know about SEO in 2014” from Compete Pulse, I was fascinating to read that “size matters:” Most blog posts range between 400 and 600 words, but the ideal length for highest ranking is actually around 1,500. Many still believe that a successful website is one that offers the information […]

Robin Williams Starts Our Conversation on Depression, Suicide, and Mental Health

The world is grieving the loss of one of our favorite comedic and dramatic geniuses, Robin Williams, and the conversation begins about mental illness, depression, and suicide. The Facts As We Know It: The news arrived about 3:30PM PST that the actor had died due to suspected suicide. CNN reported that according to the Marin […]

It’s About Access

If you have a few minutes today, watch this. Oh, watch it anyway. And share it. It won a Webby, the equivalent of the Oscar for the web world. And I have to admit that at the end, I cried. Seriously. Like those in the satirical episode, I don’t live in the wildest woolliest of […]

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: When You Assume…

One of the class projects for my WordPress college course involved the students working together on a single broken post to find all the errors in the content. Typically, this is a quick test of their basic coding skills, but this quarter’s students are not typical. They are exceptional. The goal was to identify and […]

Annual Thanksgiving Orphan Party

You’re invited to the VanFossen Annual Thanksgiving Orphan Party Saturday, November 30, 2013 For many years we’ve gathered together anyone missing home, left out of Thanksgiving celebrations, or eager for more social during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. You are invited to join the craziness. It starts around 2PM. We eat about 6PM, if things go […]

Blog Exercises: Emulator, Original, or Teacher?

In a candid interview on The Culture Show, Lady Gaga described the artistry of her work. I don’t know if any of it is any good, and I’m not sure it matters…it is a life force on its own. I’m still very young, in the duration of my life’s work. If you look at the […]

Blog Exercises: The Welcome Page

One of the many things I’d like to see gone on the web is the Welcome front page. Think about it this way. You invite friends over for a party. You greet everyone at the door with a full self-introduction, welcoming them to your place, instructing them on how to visit your home, telling them […]

Blog Exercises: Patterns in the Stats

As we proceed through this year of blogging tips and exercises, we’ll talk more about statistics and web analytics to help you check in with yourself that you are on the right track. Today’s blog exercise is to familiarize yourself with tracking your site’s stats, learning the key numbers and data to watch. I introduced […]

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: Page and Post Abuse

If you are on WordPress, you are familiar with the concept of Pages and Posts. If you are on another Content Management System (CMS), it is likely you have similar content with a different name. In WordPress, Pages, with a capital P, are pseudo-static web pages on your site. They exist outside of the reverse […]

Blog Exercises: Dissecting Post Categories

In a recent article, Noah Weiss shared his struggle to figure out categories and tags on his personal site. I know many of you following these Blog Exercises have also struggled to figure out your categories, so I thought Noah’s site would be a perfect example, He has gratefully given me permission to rip his […]

Blog Exercises: The Royal We

People who refer to themselves as “yours truly.” What kind of grandiose crap is this? Some even speak of themselves in the third person. Athletes and entertainers are big on this demented shit: “I’m going to do what’s right for Leon Spinks!” I think people like this are mentally ill. And you can include those […]

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