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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Debate Ethics

A premie baby is causing debates and controversy about medical research projects. A debate on plant ethics questions over the humane treatment of plants opposes yet is related to the debate on ethical treatment of animals as food sources. Advanced research on stem cells and human cloning is debatable on all sides, especially when news […]

Blog Exercises: Who Do Others Think You Are?

Today’s blog exercise was inspired by Kathy Holmes in her post, “Who are you today?“ Lorelle’s “What Makes You Special?” blog exercise links to “Who the Hell Are You?” and both got me to thinking, not only about who I am, but who I am today and who people perceive me to be. Some people […]

Blog Exersices: I Can Wish It Away But…

“I can wish it away but I can’t change it.” Those words jumped out of the radio. This was a politician talking about international trade regulations and laws in my state. It’s true that any governing body is ruled by other governing bodies in this bureaucratic world. It got me thinking about what I could […]

Blog Exercises: Before the Blog

While researching memes for one of these blog exercises, I discovered a fascinating meme called Before the Blog. Started by YA Litwit, and not updated by the author since 2011, it is a meme designed for writers inviting them to review and recommend books from their past, “books you’ve read and loved BEFORE you started […]

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 […]

Fall 2013 WordPress College Courses

Registration is now open for the two WordPress college courses I teach at Clark College in Vancouver, Washington, and Portland Community College at Rock Creek in Beaverton, just west of Portland, Oregon. See Classes and Workshops for details. I’ve been working with Robert Hughes of the Computer Technology Department at Clark College for almost two […]

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 […]

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