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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 […]

Blog Exercises: If You Wouldn’t Do It In Public, Would You Do It Online?

If you wouldn’t do it in public, would you do it online? Unfortunately for many, the answer is a resounding YES! However, most of us have some…whatever you call it…oh, yeah, class, ethics, moral fiber, manners – etiquette. I’m not the Dear Abby of social norms, but I’m first in line to tell you that […]

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 […]

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: 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: 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: 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: Make a List of Everything on Your Site

Today’s blog exercise will require a little time, magnifier, and a score card. Well, maybe not one of those items. I want you to grab a piece of paper and load up the front page of your site in a browser. Zoom in so you can really see it up close and personal. Start counting. […]

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: If I Were to Teach a Class

If you were to teach a class, what would you teach? Today’s blog exercise is to teach a class online through your site. This blog exercise does not have to be complicated. Do you have a favorite recipe? Share it with your readers with the techniques involved in preparing and serving. Do you have a […]

Blog Exercises: What I Did This Summer

It’s September and many schools have started classes all over the world. Two weeks ago, I moved boxes from long-term storage out into my studio to start sorting through them, then deadlines and distracts won my attention, and there they sit, staring at me. Guilting me. With five minutes to wait for a program to […]

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