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WordPress For Writers

I will be speaking this year at several workshops and conferences on the subject of “WordPress for Writers.” The workshop covers the basic elements of WordPress content structure and organization, then adds the complexities of a site for writers and authors. This is one of a series of articles on WordPress for Writers and Authors. […]

Blog Exercises: Where You Came From

Inspired by these blog exercises, Janet Williams of Janet’s Notebook has been taking her readers on a journey back through time and space, exploring her family’s Chinese heritage from her little corner of the south of England. Her “Letters from China” have evolved from a few posts to an entire series, and eventually, I hope, […]

Blog Exercises: Leave Room for the Reader

“You must leave room for the viewer to rest and breath as they look at your photograph.” These wise words were told to me by a long-time professional photographer, gone these many years. As I studied with her and others saying similar things, I began to understand what they meant and applied it eventually to […]

The Loss a Great Man: Nelson Mandela

The news has arrived. It is true that the world has lost a great hero, Nelson Mandela. A couple years ago I wrote an extensive tribute and reference article on Nelson Mandela when rumors of his death flooded the web. He lived long past the rumors, but today, the rumors come to an end. Whether […]

Blog Exercises: I Don’t Trust That Site

I recommended an article to a student and they said they didn’t trust that site, thus shed doubt on my personal integrity. I asked why. “Because it’s on Blogspot.” Wow. I have to say that wasn’t the answer I expected. I didn’t expect someone, not web savvy in the least, would associate a blogger on […]

Blog Exercises: How to Create a Blogger Identity

A rebroadcast of “How Much Does Your Name Matter?” from Freakonomics Radio looked at the impact of a name on society, perception, prejudice, and ability to succeed. Indeed, there is some evidence that a name can influence how a child performs in school and even her career opportunities. There’s also the fact that different groups […]

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: It Still Hurts

As my career tangled itself in WordPress, even though I was well known in other industries, I quickly became popular within the WordPress Community – and the target of meanies. Yep, as in the childhood bullies that plague us our whole lives. Without any marketing or self-promotion, this site and my articles on other sites […]

Blog Exercises: Thinking About Next Year’s Plans

In “Blog Exercises: Intentional Blogging” I encouraged you to review the first exercises in this blog exercise series, putting emphasis on the intentions behind your blogging. I’d like to check in on your editorial calendar today. In “Blog Exercises: The Editorial Calendar” I discussed the importance of adhering to a schedule with your blogging, planning […]

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: Trust the Crowds

In an October issue of “Science News,” an article on the “Deep Network” monitoring of the sea floor, reported on how the general public may monitor the sea floor through the Neptune system of underwater microphones and web cams through LIDO (Listening to the Deep Ocean) (requires Flash). New discoveries have been made by citizens […]

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: Trending

In social media, trending are topics attracting the attention of most of the people in that moment. Unfortunately, trending topics are self-feeding. If something ends up top of the trending list, it becomes an accident alongside the highway. Everyone wants to slow down and take a look. Walking by a student glued to their computer, […]

Blog Exercises: To Comment or Not to Comment

In the September 20, 2013, issue of the New York Times, an article caught my eye called “No Comments.” It is also available on Umano via mobile app or desktop for a listen. The article by Michael Erard discusses comments on the web, including a long look back at the history of interactivity on the […]

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