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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: 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: 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: Push Your Writing Forward

Blogging is about writing. Let’s not forget that. And now is the time to test your writing skills. The Tomorrow Project by The Society for Science and the Public is promoting contest for a science fiction story about the kind of future you want to live in when the future comes to call. They are […]

Blog Exercises: Priorities

A friend’s son was working on a school project when I asked him a question. “Not now, Lorelle. I don’t have the bandwidth.” Unfortunately, I’ve had to use it over the past month too many times. Consider this an apology for letting this site lapse recently for these Blog Exercises. Research published in “Scarcity: Why […]

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 […]

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: 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: Top X Tips – The Numbered Post

One of the traditions in blogging is the numbered list post. You’ve seen them. “The Top Ten Software Programs.” “9 Things to Do with Clay.” “The Best 99 WordPress Tips of All Time.” “Top 13 Cities to Attend a WordCamp.” “Seven Ways to Find Love.” Numbered post titles and topics work. Want proof? I did […]

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: Start Here Guides

Training for educators using online learning management systems for high schools and college recommend creating a “Start Here” page to guide the student through the process. If the process is complicated, this makes sense. The question I wanted to know from trainers is why don’t they provide training upon entrance to the school so each […]

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: Patterns in the Stats

As we proceed through this year of blogging tips and exercises, we’ll talk more about statistics and web analytics to help you check in with yourself that you are on the right track. Today’s blog exercise is to familiarize yourself with tracking your site’s stats, learning the key numbers and data to watch. I introduced […]

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 […]

Blog Exercises: When Your Site Design Owns You

Yesterday a long-time client called me up in tears saying, “I can’t do this any more. My site design owns me, I don’t own it. It’s too confusing. It’s too much work!” Several years ago, she’d chosen a Magazine-style WordPress Theme. The structure was based upon the standard magazine-style, sticky posts for the slider/carousel at […]

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