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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 […]

Blog Exercises: Expanding Your Social Web Connections

“I’m following you because you are a Doctor Who fan.” I was stunned at those words. Yes, I’m a Doctor Who fan. I’m a fan of science fiction in general, but this year is an exceptional one for Doctor Who fans. It’s the 50th Anniversary of the first episode, a legendary event in television history. […]

Blog Exercises: Intentional Blogging

One of the things I work with in teaching writing for the web and blogging is to blog intentionally. I call it “content with intent.” Content with Intent From the very first of these Blog Exercises I’ve preached content with intent, blogging with every intention filled with purpose, goals, and incentive. Specifically self-incentive, a self-motivated […]

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: Volunteer

I’ve spent years contributing in many ways to WordPress including on the WordPress Support Forums, WordPress.com Forums, and WordPress Codex. The other day I was cleaning out tabs in my browser and stumbled upon an open WordPress.com forum post. I wondered if the user’s question was answered. It was, but not well. I added a […]

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: 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: You Shouldn’t Have Started with a Question If You Didn’t Want it Answered

In the movie, Big Fish, the son tries to describe to his father how little he knows him. Will Bloom: You know about icebergs, dad? Senior Ed Bloom: Do I? I saw an iceberg once. They were hauling it down to Texas for drinking water. They didn’t count on there being an elephant frozen inside. […]

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: I Don’t Have Any Comments

I hear this complaint frequently from new and long time bloggers. “I don’t have any comments. How can I get more comments?” First of all, let me explain something and I want you to read closely. You don’t want comments. Yes, that’s right. You do not want comments. At least not comments from anyone. If […]

Blog Exercises: Self-Control and Distractions

During a recent WordPress Meetup in Portland, Oregon, I was on the panel of three WordPress experts answering questions from the audience on how to use WordPress. In response to one of the questions dealing with a recommendation that WordPress restrict what a user can and cannot do to protect themselves from doing something “stupid,” […]

Blog Exercises: Comments on the Contact Page

Do you have comments on your Contact Page? It’s a simple question. Have you checked lately? A well-formed contact page features a welcoming introduction and encouragement to contact the site administrator or owner, typically you. If you have a store-front, it often contains an address, phone number, driving directions, and map or link to a […]

Blog Exercises: What If You Knew You Could Not Fail

I helped a writer set up her first blog today, encouraging her to share her stories as part of the process moving towards becoming a published author. We talked about how a site will help her, not just with marketing, promotion, and community building, but also by rethinking how she writes, what she writes, and […]

Blog Exercises: Blog Work Flows

In “A Sample Blogging Workflow” by my friend, Chris Brogan, he talks about the process of blogging with consistency and determination in mind. Your company has decided to launch a blog, and you’re the lucky blogger. Maybe you’ve even asked for this pleasure, suggested it to the boss yourself. Only now, you have to deliver, […]

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