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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: 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: 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: 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: The Domino Effect

I recently created a domino effect on one of my sites. The Domino Effect is based upon the traditional game of domino pieces stacked standing upright in rows, typically in a straight or curved path carefully spaced close together. Knock over the first one and it falls against the second, and third, knocking down each […]

Blog Exercises: The Art of List Making

Today’s blog exercise is part two on how to make a list. In “Weekly Link Roundups” and “Making Lists” blog exercises I covered some basics of how to make a list. This blog exercise will take these exercises further to help you create interesting lists in your blog posts that pull the reader through your […]

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: 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: Timey Whimey Tangents

As I was saying yesterday…was it yesterday? No, it was the day before. I was at the college yesterday. I have no life on college days. It’s all college all the day. So it must have been the day before. It was sunny and hot. I don’t like heat. Don’t have the system for it. […]

Blog Exercises: Connecting All the Pieces of Your Site Together

The concept of the World Wide Web is based upon linking, the web of connections that link web pages together like a spider web. There are external links, connecting one site to another, and intrasite links, connecting web pages together within a single site. Today’s blog exercise is focused on the latter, intrasite links. Intrasite […]

Blog Exercises: Blog Your Hobby

The following blog exercise is inspired by Janet Williams of Janet’s Notebook and her post on “Unique British post boxes: share your hobby.” Who would have thought that an article on UK post boxes would bring post box enthusiasts and historians out of the woodwork to her blog? My interaction with Ruby brings me to […]

Blog Exercises: Sharing Without Context

I got a trackback to one of my posts yeseterday. I was so excited that someone thought what I wrote was worth sharing. Eager to read what they wrote about my article, I paused in my busy schedule to race to their site to find out if I’d changed a life, influenced them in some […]

Blog Exercises: Judging a Book By Its Presence

Right after the Sandy Hook School attack, a detail about the killer’s life came out in the news in the form of the book choices found in the home of the killer and his mother. Among all the books and papers was found a book on autism and another on Aspergers, which the media took, […]

Blog Exercise: When Was the Last Time You Got Personal

I walked into a friend’s home and found the fridge covered with refrigerator art from her seven year old. The traditional home often features such childhood artwork but this was extremely precious as the child has learning disabilities and drawing. The artwork was beautiful. I stood there transfixed at the crude scribbles, trying to find […]

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