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Blog Exercises: Leave Room for the Reader

“You must leave room for the viewer to rest and breath as they look at your photograph.” These wise words were told to me by a long-time professional photographer, gone these many years. As I studied with her and others saying similar things, I began to understand what they meant and applied it eventually to […]

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: Trust the Crowds

In an October issue of “Science News,” an article on the “Deep Network” monitoring of the sea floor, reported on how the general public may monitor the sea floor through the Neptune system of underwater microphones and web cams through LIDO (Listening to the Deep Ocean) (requires Flash). New discoveries have been made by citizens […]

Blog Exercises: Bye Bye to Dumb Drafts

Demian Farnworth of Copyblogger wrote a brilliant article, “5 1/2 Reasons You Should Kill a Draft Blog Post. It’s today’s blog exercise. In summary, Demian’s tips are: The idea sounds bad to you days later. It’s likely to create controversy you don’t want. It looks like something you wrote last year. It looks like stolen […]

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: Make a List of Everything on Your Site

Today’s blog exercise will require a little time, magnifier, and a score card. Well, maybe not one of those items. I want you to grab a piece of paper and load up the front page of your site in a browser. Zoom in so you can really see it up close and personal. Start counting. […]

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: 5,127 Tries

In his native UK, Sir James Dyson is known as much for his quirky looking, superior-functioning vacuum cleaners as for his long embattled path to commercial success. He gave Brits their first bagless vacuum in 1993 after 13 tough years tinkering in the tool shed. He slogged through 5,127 prototypes, a couple of lawsuits and […]

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: Life Lessons

We all have life lessons, lessons from a life well-lived and experienced, we carry with us. Some we learn on our own, and others are taught to us by others. In “Lessons Learned from Dahni, The Eyeless Wonder Cat” I shared some powerful life lessons taught to me by this little blind cat who was […]

Blog Exercises: The Outsider

During a writer’s convention this weekend, someone familiar with my site and these Blog Exercises asked me why I was handing our all this information to help others blog better, use WordPress better, and migrate their site from personal to professional. I had a pat answer then, but today, I have another. …Assumptions like these […]

Blog Exercises: Don’t Let Your Content Compete With Itself

I fear for what I’m about to say. Colored fonts are evil. I’m not talking about colored fonts in the website design, nor colored fonts in headings within your content. I’m talking about colorizing the words you are reading as you read, just because, and the because usually isn’t a good enough reason to make […]

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: Organize Your Content – The Sequel

In the previous blog exercise, “Blog Exercises: Organize Your Content,” you were to create a giant lists of all the posts you have published in a link list organized by topic. If you have been blogging for a while, that exercise may have taken some time and work. If you’ve been blogging a short time, […]

Blog Exercises: How to Respond to a Copyright Violation

While I know that you would never violate anyone’s copyright and publish other people’s content without proper citation or permission, there are hundreds of thousands who think that if it is on the web, it’s free to use and abuse. Accusations of copyright violations are big deals. Some top journalists, writers, photographers, musicians, software developers, […]

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