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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: 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: 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: The Secret Sauce

In “Letters to Laurali” on Laurali Star Diaries, author Larauli responded to her first “letter to the editor” on her site. The request was from a fellow blogger asking for help blogging. Blogging has changed her, she admits. Laurali has soared, stretching her wings with glory and radiating in the new connections she is building […]

Blog Exercises: Creating Influential Connections

In “Why a Link Post Should Be Like Mingling at a Party,” my friend Jan of Circular Communication described it this way. Imagine you are at a party. You mingle and meet someone you know. You do not know her well, but well enough to appreciate her. You also have an idea what interests her, […]

WordPress 3.6 Released – Update Now

The long awaited WordPress 3.6 is out and ready for download for self-hosted WordPress users. Those on WordPress.com or managed WordPress installs, you should not have to do anything. WordPress.com has been using many of the new features of WordPress 3.6 already and is automatically updated. Managed WordPress hosts will advise you as to a […]

Blog Exercises: Blog Your Mistakes

Some say that Dr. Brian Goldman helped to change the medical industry with his Ted Talk about how doctors make mistakes, taking a huge risk exposing one of the most known and rarely discussed topics: how doctors make mistakes and kill patients. When was the last time you heard somebody talk about failure after failure […]

Blog Exercises: How to Write about Something Someone Else Wrote

In the early development of the web, blogs were classified as echo chambers, vessels of redundant content as every original idea was shared, reshared, quoted, and spread across the web at rapid speed. Some estimates state that less than 2% of all the content on the web is original. It’s mostly regurgitation of the same […]

Blog Exercises: Own Your Site and Protect Yourself

I hear it every day. A webmaster, developer, or designer does the site owner wrong and the site owner is victimized, helpless, and frustrated with what to do next. I’ve gotten calls in the middle of the night from people around the world trying to get help recovering their WordPress password because their “web guy” […]

Blog Exercises: How to Respond to a Trackback

In the first blog exercise on trackbacks I explained how trackbacks work and how to respond to trackbacks. It’s time to revisit the concept of how to respond to a trackback. In the exercise, I described the unique quality of trackbacks for tracking conversations across the web. You publish something, someone likes it and publishes […]

Fight Against Trackback Death

I’ve heard the many threats of trackbacks and pingbacks dying over the years, going the way of the virtual dinosaur, but I’m terrified to hear from Andraz Tori that Typepad is killing pingback functionality and stating that WordPress might be considering it, removing the joy of getting a notification that someone online is talking about […]

WordPress Anniversary: WordPress and Evil

As I look back on the ten years of WordPress, there is a dark side to blogging. While many blamed WordPress for the evil, like guns, WordPress doesn’t cause evil, people cause evil. In fact, WordPress, Automattic, and the WordPress Community has fought longer and harder against the evil doers in the world than most […]

Blog Exercises: Experiment with Emptiness

In “Meditation on Emptiness,” the author writes of the Buddha nature: The Prasangikas say that this teaching is an example of giving to the ’cause’ the name of the effect, for the emptiness of the mind of each sentient being is what allows for change of that person’s mind, and this emptiness is being called […]

Blog Exercises: Trackbacks

Trackbacks are like an invitation to a party. It is also like legitimate gossip. Trackbacks are notes telling you that someone is talking about you. Trackbacks are part of the important connections that form the true sense of the “web” on the Internet. WordPress and most modern publishing platforms generate trackbacks automatically. As common as […]

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