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Blog Exercises: Making Notifications and Alerts Work for You

In the blog exercise on eliminating noisy distractions from your computer, mobile phone, and other areas around your working environment, I wanted you to remove the things that interfere with your blogging time and space, with your creative energies. I wanted you to identify what is getting in your way that you might not be […]

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: 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: Taking Inventory on What Keeps You Blogging

The recent major desktop computer crash has left me reeling. I thought I had all my data backed up. For the most part, I did. What I didn’t have backed up was my programs. Getting back up to speed fast, I’ve had to prioritize the programs I had download and install. Yes, download. Who gets […]

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: Learning From a Mentor Makes You Better

“What One of the World’s Great Novelists Learned About Writing from David Ogilvy” on Copyblogger tells the story of how famous author Salman Rushdie learned copywriting and writing in general from another great copywriter, David Ogilvy. Imagine it’s your job to convey the taste of a chocolate bar in just one word. And by the […]

Blog Exercises: A Link List Post to Dazzle Readers

In blog exercises on making lists and making your lists pretty, we worked on the links, understanding how they work and formatting your styles. In this blog exercise, I want to focus on the content within those links, the real reason people love those link lists. I’d like to cite my friends at Daily Blog […]

Blog Exercises: Blogging Loss and Grief

Loss is a part of life. This year, I’ve lost friends, family, and pets, and some days the sadness permeates everything. Other days, we laugh and smile. As with all things, in time, the balance between sunshine and dark shifts the scale towards sunshine. Grief is often best when shared, at least during the earliest […]

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: Site Models

In “WordPress Site Models” I describe the three main formats for a site layout. They are static, blog, and hybrid. Each site model works for a variety of content and presentation of that content, though some work better for specific types of sites. A static site model, even in WordPress, uses Pages and not posts […]

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: Current Events September

It’s time to blog the news and current events for September in our Blog Exercises. This month, I want you to dig deeper into the news, targeting your specific industry and niche. With several months of blogging the news once a month under your belt, you should have set up some good resources in your […]

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 […]

Update to WordPress 3.6.1 Now

It is upgrade time again. Time to upgrade your WordPress. WordPress 3.6.1 Maintenance and Security Release was announced today. It includes fixes to WordPress 3.6 and some security issues, so this is a mandatory update. WordPress.com users are automatically updated, as are all those on managed WordPress hosting like WP Engine. This update applies to […]

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