I’m so busy lately I can barely keep up with myself. So I decided to keep track of myself with a weekly summary digest of all that myself has been doing. Mad cow disease and all that.
Actually, I’ve gotten a lot of requests by fans to create a summary of what I’m up to over the week so they can truly have a one-stop feed or email about all things blogging and WordPress. It feels pretty narcissistic, but I’ll do my best to talk mostly about myself. :D
Each week, I will release a post in the new Weekly Digest category. To add this category to your feed, add this link to your feed reader:
You can also subscribe via email through the Email Weekly Digest via FeedBlitz.
These weekly digests will also give me a chance to summarize a lot of the events around the WordPress Community, similar to what I do each WordPress Wednesday on the Blog Herald. I’ll look at what’s hot in blogging, and share a few tips and tricks I find during the past week of research and blogging about blogging and WordPress.
If you are new to Lorelle on WordPress, I’ve been writing technical manuals and resources on WordPress for the WordPress Codex, the online manual for WordPress Users, and for WordPress Plugin authors since 2003. My main site, Taking Your Camera on the Road, was started in 1995 as one of the first websites on the web through Compuserve. My online journal website (early blog) and emailed journal reported on our travels across North America in our trailer full-time. In order to connect to the Internet, we hooked up to every phone connection we could find, often with a 300 foot long phone cord snaking through a campground, connected to an acoustic coupler strapped to a pay phone. We’d cheer and dance if we got anything faster than 300 baud. Someday, remind me to tell you about the look on the faces of folks we begged, borrowed, and stole phone connections for our computer as we traveled the Alaska Highway or through the very deep south. Ah, the early days of the Internet. Thank the technology gods for WIFI.
I continue to travel a lot, teaching, presenting workshops, consulting, and talking too much about writing for the web, web publishing, blogging, and WordPress.
As a long time tester and abuser of all things WordPress, and the first WordPress Plugin Crash Test Dummy, I was invited to test drive a new version of WordPress which became WordPress.com. The poor WordPressMU developers got an eyeful from my long diatribes on how this multi-user thing needed to work. Lorelle on WordPress started as a platform for testing WordPress.com and grew into a popular resource for learning how to use WordPress.com and WordPress, and continues to do so today.
So that’s where I’ve been. Let’s look at where I’m at today. We’ve got a lot of catching up to do.
What’s Happening with Lorelle on WordPress
A couple weeks ago I finished up a month long series on WordPress Plugins publishing 32 posts on all types and categories of Plugins for full version WordPress blogs. Among those, these remain the most popular:
- Lists of Your Favorite WordPress Plugins
- What Are Your Favorite WordPress Plugins
- Monetizing WordPress Plugins
- WordPress Plugins for Comments
- Counting WordPress: Statistics WordPress Plugins
- Translation and Multilingual WordPress Plugins
- WordPress Plugins for Images, Photographs, and Graphics
- How to Install, Configure, and Use WordPress Plugins
- Subscribe, Email Mailing List, Blog Update Alerts, and Newsletter WordPress Plugins
- Video, Music, Podcasts, Audio, and Multimedia WordPress Plugins
- Ultimate Tag Warrior WordPress Plugin for Dummies
- Connecting Articles in Series: In Series WordPress Plugin
- Blog Navigation WordPress Plugins: Related, Recent, Most Popular Posts and More
- Wanted: WordPress Plugins for Me
From the blog statistics, comments and making money with your blogs seems to be the most popular topics, though the one on WordPress Plugins for Articles Series goes actively up and down the list, evidence that people are either very interested in developing article series, or very frustrated with the logistics of writing article series and are looking for an easier way. From the input I’ve read, an easier way is what they seek.
The most popular articles on my blog this week, beyond those mentioned above, are:
- Building a Better WordPress Comments Panel
- Designing a WordPress Theme From Scratch
- Tracing Your Blog Links
- What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content
- HTML, CSS, PHP, and More Cheat Sheets
- Honoring the Hard Working Blue Collar Blogger
- The Battle Over Centering on the Longest Line in CSS
- How Do You Create Screencasts for Your Blog
- Designing a Rainbow – Sexy Hot Colors
- ZePrez WordPress Video Guides
- Designing a WordPress Theme – Building a Sandbox
Honoring the Hard Working Blue Collar Blogger got a lot of attention because the referenced post by Tony Hung of Deep Jive Interests, “A List Types Refuse to Acknowledge Blogging’s Blue Collar Class”, took a stance on PayPerPost. I didn’t. I just loved the reference “blue collar blogger” and considered myself one. A hard working blogger into it for the blogging, and whatever dribble of bucks comes our way, and not into it for the celebrity. A few picked it up and ran with it, turning it into a rage against bloggers who blog for money through PayPerPost (PPP).
There are a lot of bloggers who vocally oppose PPP. And yet, these same bloggers are ranting from advertising covered and money-making blogs. Don’t you feel a little hypocracy? Andy Beard spotted it and wrote an amazing exposé on his blog. (TIP: Check out his Twitter is Unethical for Business Use for you Twitter fans.)
Fascinated with how quickly things morph on the web, the debate over PayPerPost quickly moved into the debate over the A-List of Bloggers, if such a list existed. Which led to a lot of shouting over what the list would look like, who would be on it, how would they qualify, and what it would take to get on such a list. Tony Hung pretty much summed it up with “It’s Not About Being a Better Blogger”, including links to many of the debate/discussions.
I’m very excited about the work of Cindy of Digital Ramble helping to build a better WordPress comments panel. In Wanted: WordPress Plugins For Me, I pleaded with the WordPress Plugin community to help build a much needed Plugin to improve the WordPress Comments Panel to allow fast replying to comments without accessing and loading the full post. The Plugin would speed up blog administrator replies and save bandwidth and database hits that come with loading the entire post, and reloading the entire post after submitting the comment. I consider the Comments panel interface to be one of the most needed improvements in the WordPress interface, so I am so thrilled that she has taken this on. Experts in WordPress Plugins are pitching in to help make this a powerful Plugin.
Want to know where my readers are visiting from my blog? The most frequented external links from this blog this week are:
- Digital Ramble Creating a Reply To From Admin Panel WordPress Plugin
- Google Webmaster Central – Discover Your Links
- Ajax Comments WordPress Plugin
- Web Typography Sucks
- Nothing2Hide – WordPress Global Translator Plugin
- Webomatica – My Favorite WordPress Plugins
- Tony Hung of Deep Jive Interests -A List Types Refuse to Acknowledge Blogging’s Blue Collar Class
- The Battle Over Centering on the Longest Line in CSS
- The Ultimate Tag Warrior WordPress Plugin
Other Exciting Lorelle on WordPress News
Darren Rowse of Problogger invited me to guest blog for him a few times during a business trip to the United States. One of the most popular bloggers blogging about blogging and making money with your blogs, I was really honored at the request. It was cute. He said he wanted to ask me a few months ago but he saw that I’d been hired by the Blog Herald and it didn’t want to overwhelm me. I told him to overwhelm me any time.
The first article was Blog Translations: The Next Web Frontier, about the issues of blog translations and how far ahead and behind the technology of translation is on the web. It’s a much needed area of development. Blogs are all about communication, so it’s sad that we still can’t get our blogs to cross the language barrier easier.
The next article is scheduled for April 2, 2007.
If you are interested in guest blogging on someone’s blog, check out Darren’s article on How to Get Guest Blogging Jobs.
WordCamp 2007 will be July 21-22 in San Francisco for fans and developers of WordPress. This is the second annual meeting and WordPress users will be attending from all over the world. And possibly even me. I’m trying to fit it into my schedule.
Have you heard about the The Successful and Outstanding Blogger Conference (SOBCon07)? It’s in Chicago, May 11-12, and will offer a full day of workshops dedicated to improving your relationships with your blog readers and building a community with your blog. Space is very limited for this unusual and exciting conference. Stay tuned for news of my possible involvement.
I am so excited with the growing number of WordPress groups and meetups around the world. If you are involved or know of one, get them listed on my WordPress Events Page, and check my recent WordPress, Blogging and Web Tech Events for March 2007 listing.
Blog Herald Columns
I’ve been writing a daily column for the Blog Herald for a few months and was delighted and shocked to read an announcement about the most popular post read on the Japanese version of the Blog Herald: It’s Catching: Blog Disease by Lorelle. Wow!
The Blog Herald recently added human translators to develop a Japanese language version and my posts came in first, second, and third for popularity. I still have no idea which ones were second and third. Articles by the wonderful writer and blogger, Derek van Vliet, came in fourth place.
Each week I present WordPress Wednesday news on the Blog Herald. Each article is crammed with information from the WordPress Community including WordPress News, WordPress.com news, news about WordPress Plugins and Themes, and even more WordPress news, events, tips, and resources.
The WordPress news from the past few weeks include:
- WordPress Wednesday: New WordPress Plugin Directory, WordPress Theme Viewer Upgraded, Summer of Code, and More
- WordPress Wednesday: Mandatory Update Reminder, WordCamp2007, Instant Upgrade Plugin, SxSW Conference, and More
- WordPress Wednesday: Mandatory WordPress Update, WordPress Attack, WordPress.com New Features
- WordPress Wednesday: WordPress and WordPressMU Upgrades, Powered by WordPress Companies, and Build More WordPress Blogs
- WordPress Wednesday: Hot 2.1 Plugins and Themes, Contests, Challenges, and NoFollow
- WordPress Wednesday: Easter Eggs, Editor Extras, WordPress Plugins, and more WordPress 2.1
Other recent columns on the Blog Herald include:
- The Future of Blogging: Computer-Generated or Human-Generated Blogs
- Don’t Read Our Blogs – Play Games on Our Blogs
- Changing a Life With a Link
- What Advertising Method Works Best With Your Blog?
- 29 Traffic Generating Tips From 29 Bloggers
- Should You Announce Upgrades On Your Blog?
- How Do You Choose What You Blog About?
- Placing Blame Where Blame Deserves to Be Placed
- Selling Your Blog: What Goes Into The Selling Price?
- What Will Stop Comment Spam?
Lorelle’s Linkworthy Links
I find a lot of fascinating bits and pieces during my week as I search for blogging and WordPress news. Some of these make their way into my articles, and others go into my bookmarks list to waiting for the right moment. I decided to dust off some of these great articles with tips, tricks, techniques, and insights into blogging and WordPress just for you.
- 10,000 Birds – Nature Bloggers are Bloggers Nonetheless
- NFL fumbles DMCA takedown battle, could face sanctions (DMCA – Digital Media Copyright Act – Blogs and YouTube Under Attack)
- Alister Cameron – New Design, New Network, New Title, New Underwear (on designing with the Sandbox WordPress Theme used by me here and available to WordPress.com bloggers for a small fee)
- Problogger – How Many Categories Does Your Blog Have? (which begs the question of when is too many too many?)
- Micro Persuasion – More Ways to Use GMail as a Personal Nerve Center (great tips on emailing feeds)
- Weblog Tutorials – Complete Guide To Web Analytics Solutions: 2007 Edition
- Problogger – The Balancing Act of Where to Pitch Your Content
- Sponsored WordPress Themes: The Debate Over Paid Links in the Footer of Free WordPress Themes:
- Small Potatoes WPDesigner – My Take on Sponsored Themes
- Deanish – The Ad-Sponsored WordPress Themes Debate
- Themey – Can Something for Nothing Be a Bad Thing
- Themey – Something For Nothing: Part 2
- Themey – Something For Nothing: Part 3
- Cureless – WordPress Theme Sponsorship creates ruckus
- h4x3d – Theme ethics
- WordPress Theme Viewer – Apples Theme Sponsored Theme Debate (in comments)
- Pilkster – Link Building Bargain Buy (with WordPress Themes)
- Andreas Viklund – Feedvertising
Several years ago I found a wonderful description of what building your first blog is like, and the first precious days spent with your new blog. How To Start Your Very Own Blog In Fifty-One Easy Steps! from Kuro5hin. Enjoy!
What Else is Lorelle Doing?
Taking Your Camera on the Road is having some extreme difficulties with the host server. I will probably be moving it to a new hosting service. Unfortunately, publishing a post crashes the database, so I haven’t been able to update it for a while.
However, the most popular posts recently were:
- Patterns in Nature – Colors
- Basic Nature Photography – Introduction
- Two Months After Hurricane Katrina – Gulf Coast Shores
- Patterns in Nature – Lines and Shapes
- Two Months After Hurricane Katrina – Into New Orleans
- Background Magic
- Bad English Signs
- Damn MSIE Bugs in HTML and CSS
- Leet – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- Mardi Gras in Mobile, Alabama
- Bears in the Kitchen – Chocolate Guide
- Mardi Gras 2006 – Conde Cavaliers Ball
From my Family History Blog, recent articles include:
- Move Your Genealogy Blog Into the 21st Century With Site Feeds
- Finding Ancestors Thrills: Arab Royalty With European Genes
- Uncovering the Myths and Truths in Our Family Tree
- How Would You Use a Timeline on Your Family History Blog?
- US Archives Resources on the War of 1812
- Exploring The History of Cancer in Your Family History
- Oregon Historical and Genealogical Information Resources
- Family History Research Paper Trails
- What Do You Put Into Your Family History Blog?
The article series I started last year on building a blog, focused on a genealogy blog, crosses both Lorelle on WordPress and Family History Blog, and continues to attract a lot of attention from people interested in starting and improving their own blog as well as a genealogy blog.
PayPerPost (PPP): An advertising and marketing, income-producing strategy where a blogger is paid to write about and/or review a product or service for compensation. There is a lot of debate over the ethics of PPP which revolve around directed blogging, blogger credibility and reputation, blogger trust, blogging for money, and disclosure issues. For more information on how it works and if it does work, see:
- PayPerPost.com Blog
- Hespos – A Conversation With Pay Per Post
- PayPerPost Forums
- Library Clips – PayPerPost: blog posting for money (good list of pros and cons)
- BusinessWeek – Polluting the Blogosphere
- WOMMA’s Ethical Blogger Contact Guidelines
- Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA)
- Andy Beard – WOMMA Should Watch Who They Quote and Especially Who They Link To
- Duncan Riley – I’ll scratch your back: why Pay Per Post isn’t that evil
- Strange New Worlds – Jason Calacanis and PayPer Post
- PayPerPost Blog – I Should Rename the Golden Donkey Award to the Jason Calacanis Award
- Jason Calacanis – PayPerPost Blah Blah
- Robert Scoble – Gaming Google with PayPerPost
- Kim Kukral – Blogging Isn’t Ready For Paid Posting
- Mypapit – PPP is the easiest way to make money by blogging
- Mypapit – PayPerPost – an Innovative way to blog and get paid
- Why PayPerPost, their investors, and their advertisers should be ashamed of themselves
- Cherries and Blossoms – RockStartup, A Documentary on PPP
- RockStartup (documentary on PPP by PayPerPal.com)
- Cherries and Blossoms – Big Money Opps from PayPerPost!
- Scoble – WordPress.com doesn’t allow PayPerPost and other SEO gaming
- Email Dashboard – Blurring the Lines with Blogger Payola
- TechCrunch – PayPerPost.com offers to sell your soul
This is the Weekly Digest of Lorelle on WordPress.
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Lorelle VanFossen is a member of WordPress, WordPress.com, and the 9Rules Network.