I’m back in the states after an amazingly successful WordCamp Israel conference, and catching up with good friends and good food, arriving back in time for another keynote presentation in Seattle, then crashing down into sick. Cold/Flu/Cough/Yuck.
On the good side, there are a lot of fun and exciting things happening in my life and blog world, including articles published in Blogger and Podcaster Magazine, interviews, more conferences and workshops scheduled for next year, new clients, great ideas for blog posts and article series, and more energy and enthusiasm than I’ve felt in a long time about what I do on the web.
And here’s a sneak preview you need to know. On Monday, I’m publishing the “script” of my notes from my program on WordPress Tips presented at WordCamp Israel. It is stuffed with tons of tips for WordPress and power users. You heard it here first!
This is the Weekly Digest from Lorelle on WordPress. To subscribe to the Weekly Digest category of Lorelle on WordPress, you can subscribe by the Weekly Digest feed or by email with the Weekly Digest Email Subscription to stay up to date on what is happening in Lorelle’s world of WordPress and blogging.
The last issue of my weekly digest was Weekly Digest: Lorelle Recovers From WordCamp Israel, Sicks, Tackles WordPress.com Marketplace, Content Thieves, and Kicks Blogging Ass.
What’s Happening with Lorelle on WordPress
While I’ve been in meetings and having fun in Israel, my blog has still been working for me:
- Spinning Spammers Steal Our Blog Content is about a new form of splogger which is “spinning” our content and stuffing it with synonyms in a new way to steal our content and try to get away with it. We have to stop them in their tracks, and we can, if we work together. There is no magic pill, no special WordPress Plugin (yet), just us fighting together and believing that our work matters and stealing is not acceptable.
- Blogger’s Choice Award Winners Announced includes a list of some of the top award winners, including WordPress.com as one of the top blog hosting services, and a mention of Lorelle on WordPress winning third place in the blogging about blogging category.
- Cleaning Up and Decluttering is Back reminds us to clean up our blogs. We’re still abusing our readers visually with too many ads, links, badges, long categories, and just too much junk in the room we call our blog. It’s clean up time!
- Blog Challenge: Shopping Experiences challenges bloggers to blog a shopping experience, online or off, good or bad, just tell the story of a shopping adventure.
- Rotating Old Posts and Tires highlights Ian Fernado’s post, How Rotating My Car Tires Taught Me About Blogging, a unique and fascinating description of the value of our old past content and how to “rotate” it like tires to bring it back into the spotlight. Old content still has value.
- To Infinity and Beyond Your Blog features an article by Aditya Mahesh of BlogOnExpo on ProBlogger called Going Beyond the Blog – How to Extend Your Blog which offers tips and suggestions on how to take your blog beyond its current limits – to which I add, only if you are ready.
- Blog Challenge: Write a Memoir of a Moment challenges bloggers to write a “memoir” of a moment in time, stopping time with your writing.
- Caring About the Little Links on Your Blog points to an interesting article, Malaysia Can Blog’s Ultimate Guide to Getting Lots of Link Love, with tips and information on getting links to and from your blog, but what I like best is the point that it’s the “little links” that can bring not only the most love, but the best love to you blog.
- WordPress.com Marketplace and The Theme Debate looks at Matt Mullenweg’s idea on forming a marketplace for WordPress.com users and “selling” WordPress Themes. While still in the idea stage, it’s set up a lot of debate and discussion, which is great. Hopefully, good decisions will come from all this debate.
- The Dos and Don’ts of Blogging pointed to Basic Blogging Etiquette, Do’s And Don’ts, Plagiarism by Ten Forty and has caught a lot of people’s attention as it looks not just at the dos and don’ts of blogging, but the ethics.
- Blog Challenge: Teach a Blogging Technique challenges bloggers to share a blogging technique with their readers.
- Protect Yourself Online With Common Sense tackles the issue of using some basic common sense when it comes to protecting yourself online. Too many people are doing really mindless things on the web which expose them to fraud and other dangers. Stop it and use some of the grey matter between your ears.
- Remstate In Series WordPress Plugin for Article Series Updated highlights one of my favorite WordPress Plugins.
- Weekly Digest: Lorelle at WordCamp Israel – Not Much Else. You? is the last issue of my Weekly Digest.
- Lorelle in Blogger and Podcaster Magazine: I’m in the October, November, and December issue of Blogger and Podcaster Magazine – yes, in print – so get your copy online or on news stands now.
- New Article Series – Blog Struggles: In this new ongoing series, I share with you some of the intimate thoughts, internal debates, conflicts, and challenges I have faced over the past 14+ years of blogging. So far, the series includes:
- Blog Struggles: Taking The Moral High Blogging Ground addresses the issue of deciding which ethical and moral road to take on your blog.
- In Blog Struggles: When Are Too Many Comments Too Many Comments?, I share a struggle I faced not long ago about an over-enthusiastic commenter who left a ton of comments on my blog within a few hours, making me very suspicious. We are often faced with suspicious comments, so what do we do? How should we handle them?
- Blog Struggles: When Spelling, Grammar, and Punctuation Interferes With Your Blogging looks at the issues around the impact of poor writing habits and skills and whether or not they impact the success and reading of your blog.
- Blog Struggles: The Search for Blog Content: We put so much energy into “finding” blog content that we often forget the best source for good blog content: from within us. I offer tips and techniques for pulling content from your head.
- Blog Struggles: Ideas and Drafts: We come up with such great ideas and then what? We jot them down, make lists, start post drafts, and they sit there staring at us, as we procrastinate over what to do with all these ideas and how to keep them in check. I offer tips on how to best keep track of your ideas and drafts.
- Blog Struggles: The Blog Focus: As part one in a sub-series of posts on Blog Struggles, I look at the issue of the blog focus, your blog’s ability to turn you from a blogger into an expert.
- Blog Struggles: Why Should Your Blog Have a Focus: Your blog doesn’t have to have a focus, but if it does, these are the reasons, and benefits, of why it should.
Blog Struggles: Finding Your Blog Focus: Continues the Blog Focus theme and offers tips for finding your blog’s focus and direction.
- Blog Struggles: Changing Your Blog’s Focus: Once you find your blog focus, how do you change your blog? Or should you start a new blog? I cover the tips you need to know to redirect your blog.
Jet Lag and Sickies: Jet Lag hit with a vengeance, quickly followed by a flu/cold/sick of the nasty kind. Part of the travel experience I hate as I go around the world exposing myself to everyone’s germs. I’m slowly moving and getting back into the grind of things after too many drugs and long days glued to the bed or the bathroom, so my apologies for getting behind in responding to emails, comments, and these Weekly Digests. I’ve been home less than 24 hours in the past
five six weeks, and still on the road, so forgive me.
Business Women’s Conference in Seattle: Two days after arriving back from Israel, I drove from Portland, Oregon, to Seattle to be the keynote speaker at a regional business women’s conference, covering the basics of blogging as a communications and income producing tool for businesses and individuals. It was great fun and I made it through without falling on my jet lagged face.
Lorelle at WordCamp Israel: WordCamp Israel in Tel Aviv (English) was fantastic. More than 200 people showed up, and even though the schedule quickly dropped behind, WordPress fans stayed through the whole day, determined to learn more about how WordPress works and how to make WordPress work for them. I met the most incredible people and will be talking more about this soon. Fan-tas-tic! What incredible energy and determination to get their voices hear on subjects that literally cover the map! Photos of the event have been uploaded to Flickr if you want a peak at the fun.
Lorelle on the WordPress Podcast: I’ve been asked to be a regular on the WordPress Podcast reporting on WordPress.com news. So expect to hear my voice over the air waves again soon!
Lorelle at WordCamp 2007: John Pozadizes, the filmmaker behind the videos taken at WordCamp 2007, says that Kicking Ass Content Connections has been viewed 60,000 times so far. And the number keeps growing. Amazing!
Podcast Interview with Kfir Pravda: I did a wonderful podcast interview with Kfir Pravda of Media, Technology, and Rebel Filmmaking which will be out soon. We sat in his studio in Ra’anna, Israel, and had a great time talking about blog conversation, WordPress, tips, techniques, business blogging, and everything. Thanks for a wonderful day, Kfir!
Blogger and Podcaster Magazine: The current issue of Blogger and Podcaster Magazine features an article I’ve written on the mistakes and overlooked tips that I’ve found some veteran and top notch bloggers overlook, helping you to learn how to do these invaluable things on your blog to help your SEO, accessibility and web standards, and increase your readership and traffic. Next month’s issue is on creating a blogging editorial calendar to help you find, build, and plan your blog’s content, December’s issue on blog writing tips and how to improve your blog writing skills.
Blogging Tips: What Bloggers Won’t Tell You About Blogging
“Blogging Tips: What Bloggers Won’t Tell You About Blogging” continues to sell well, so we are keeping the book priced at the lower price through the holidays, so if you want to give the book as a holiday gift to a favorite or future blogger, get your order in now.
If you will be attending one of the events, workshops, and programs where I’m speaking, you can buy your own copy and save some postage and handling. If you want your own copy now, you can order it from SplashPress or the new Blog Herald Bookstore.
Most Popular Articles on Lorelle on WordPress
The topic of tags in the new version of WordPress, and the article I wrote on WordPress 2.3 Tag News, and many other articles on tags and categories, are getting a lot of attention lately as people try to figure this tag thing out.
Evil raises its head again as my recent article on a new scraping and spamming technique emerges, and What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content continues to help many whose blog content is stolen.
The WordPress.com Marketplace and The Theme Debate also brought a lot of discussion and attention as many were intrigued, outraged, and excited about the thought of WordPress.com offering a marketplace for the sale of WordPress items, including Themes.
I’m very thrilled that my article series on Blog Struggles: The Blog Focus, just one of the many posts I’ll be writing on Blog Struggles over the next year, is getting a lot of attention as people really are ready to clean up their blog act and get more focused, now that they see the value in having a blog focus and niche.
The most popular posts on Lorelle on WordPress these past few weeks were:
- Spinning Spammers Steal Our Blog Content
- What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content
- HTML, CSS, PHP, and More Cheat Sheets
- Contact Form WordPress Plugins
- WordPress.com Marketplace and The Theme Debate
- Blog Struggles: Taking The Moral High Blogging Ground
- WordPress 2.3 Tag News
- Tags and Tagging in WordPress
- Tags Are Not Categories – Got It?
- Free Photos for Your Blog
- Blog Struggles: The Blog Focus
- Designing a WordPress Theme From Scratch
- WordPress Plugins for Images, Photographs, and Graphics
- Rotating Old Posts and Tires
- Video, Music, Podcasts, Audio, and Multimedia WordPress Plugins
- Do-It-Yourself Search Engine Optimization
Nice Things Said About Lorelle
25 Super Sites To Wile Away Your Time, Productively includes Lorelle on WordPress in the list, but I’m among some very excellent company. It’s a great list of whose who and what’s what on the web.
I made another list recently. WPThemesGallery included me in their “Top 40 Blogs About WordPress”, but it’s just a list set by some sort of ranking system. In response, Blogigs wrote: “Maybe they do fall into the WordPress category, but when it comes to pure information about WordPress, I would rate Lorelle as the best. Her blogs oozes information about WordPress and noting else.” Wow! It pays to specialize with a very narrow niche. Thanks for inclusion on the lists and thanks for the kind words!
One Quart Low asks “Do Blogging Styles Matter?”, referencing my article, Blog Struggles: Taking The Moral High Blogging Ground, with:
One of my favorite bloggers, Lorelle VanFossen, today delves into some subject matter that too often we don’t tend to explore, but belongs, or at least should rise to some level of personal consciousness…In the end, it’s personal choice that will ultimately be the determining factor in whether or not to write controversially or “colorfully.”
It is worth thinking about however.
I’ve often said, write as though you were going to be reading your posts over your cereal and coffee in the next morning’s daily paper. Don’t write anything you may regret down the road. Although blogging is an easy thing in terms of getting your message out there, it becomes much more difficult to retrieve something after you’ve hit the send, post or publish button. You may be able to erase it from your system, but it may already be circulating and being saved on someone else’s.
Justin Tadlock was suffering this week with “Blogging Exhaustion”, when all the work involved in blogging, and your life, overwhelms you. In his well-done post, he recommends that you do as he has had to, and take a break in order to recover so you can keep on blogging: “I promise you, your blog will be there when you return. Your readers will understand if you need to take a few days off.” He also recommended my article on writing future posts to keep your blog going, even when you can’t for a while.
I’m still very humbled by all the wonderful things said about my participation in WordCamp Israel, and I’m still catching up with all the blog posts in Hebrew, French, and English. Wow! It was so wonderful to be a part of something so special and exciting.
Being a Blogger interviewed Ishmeet, a 18-year-old blogger of Dead End, in “You can make better friends via blogs than you could in real life”, and among his favorite blogs he reads is mine. Wow! Oh, and my buddy, Engtech of Internet Duct Tape. I like it when I’m in good company.
I am continually humbled by the power of blogging, and especially so when one of my blog challenges inspired this incredible writing by Eve Garden God’s Rebecca Shannon. As I was also humbled when BeyondBehaviors changed their blog focus as a result of my Blog Struggles series, Finding Your Blog Focus. Thank you all for reminding me why I keep doing this.
Blasts From the Past
Here are some blasts from the past I’ve written to tickle your fancy:
- Blogging Tips Book: Best Blog Design Elements
- Is Your Blog Design Holding You Back?
- Creating a Clickable Header in Your WordPress Theme
- WordPress Themes: The Ignored Footer
- Are You Becoming a Little Over-Sensitive Over Comments?
- Give Credit When Credit is Due: Skip The Middle Man
- Does Your Blog Have A Comments Policy?
Blog Herald Columns
Recent articles on the Blog Herald included:
- Improve My Site: Why I Returned The Money From a Paid Web Consultancy Job tells the story of a job I turned down when faced with a common form of ignorance and lack of foresight when a business decides to take itself on the web. This article has attracted a lot of attention, and agreement. While I turned away their money, I give you the advice I gave them for free.
- Visiting the Web Past: Lillian Vernon, Catalog and Web Pioneer is a look pack at the web’s past at an article written by Lillian Vernon about her first experiences taking her mail order catalog online, giving us insights into what we can do to make our blog’s more successful now.
- Three Lessons That Will Change Your Blog shares one of my favorite stories by our friend, John Doan, a classical guitarist and world renown harp guitarist. The three lessons will not only change your blog, they could change your life.
- Finding the Value in The Old on the Net is part of a new ongoing series I’ve started on the Blog Herald to dig into the web’s past to find articles and information still valid after all this time.
- Number One Rule in Blogging: Play Nice or Pay is about the responsibility that comes with “publishing” and freedom of speech.
- Blog Writing: You Can Get It Fast, Good, or Cheap looks at what it takes to write or buy good blog writing.
- It’s Blogroll Cleaning Time reminds us that our blogrolls are critical parts of our blogs, and in a way, a resume of who you recommend to others and how they reflect back on you.
- Blogging Outside of Your Community By Not Blogging in Your Native Tongue tackles a long standing problem on the web: Whether or not to blog in your native language. It can work for some, but you need to know the risks you take when you blog outside of your language, culture, and country.
- If You Want to Start Blogging, You Have to Get Up and Dance is an essay that tells you that you have to take risks if you want to start blogging, and blogging well.
- Blogging For Hobby Or Money is an article I worked on for two years, terrified of its implications and statements, but I felt it was long past due to clean up and finally publish as too many people are letting greed get in the way of the “fun” associated with blogging, if that is their intent. When money enters your blog’s activities and purpose, it changes your blog and blog writing. It can’t help but do that, so we need to think of the consequences before we start smearing our blogs with ads.
- Blogging With Conviction is as important as blogging with passion. If you don’t have the conviction you need behind your blog and its subject matter, stop blogging.
- Does Your Blog Still Offer Popup Comments? rallies against those still using popup comment techniques on their blog. It’s frustrating, out-of-date, and unnecessary.
- Are You Blogging Through Rose-Colored Glasses?: What is your perspective when you blog? We all blog with a point of view, through rose-colored glasses if you will, so what is yours. Do you know?
- Bloggers Who Blame Don’t Change Things: If you are going to rant and rave on your blog, stop blaming and start being an activist for change.
- What Do I Blog About?: One of the most requested search terms on the Blog Herald, and elsewhere, is “what do I blog about”. I offer a ton of tips and techniques to help you come up with things to blog about.
- Tips for Staying Writely Motivated on Your Blog: Staying motivated with your blog writing can be challenging, so I offer tips and techniques for staying on the write track.
Some recent weekly WordPress Wednesday News reports included:
- Censoring WordPress.com, New Comment Spam Fighter, More Blog Security News, WordCamp Melbourne, BlogWorld Expo, and More WordPress News
- WordPress Wednesday News: WordPress Wins and Loses, WordCamp Argentina Success, WordPressMU, and WordPress Themes on WordPress.com Debated
- WordPress Wednesday News: WordPress 2.3.1 Released, Get Your Upgrade, WordPress Podcast Speaks out, WordCamp Israel a Success, Argentina is Next, and WordPress Wins.
- WordPress Wednesday News: WordCamps in Israel, Argentina, Australia, and Germany, Tons of WordPress Plugin News and Updates, Beta Security Release Announced, and More
Lorelle’s Linkworthy Links
As I crawled through the web recently, I ran across some interesting posts and articles you should check out:
- Update on the Target accessibility lawsuit
- It Is Really About You, Not The Tool
- Online Calendars and Date Pickers
- I Do Not Use Visual Editors
- Jason Calacanis Proposes Web 3.0 Definition
This is the Weekly Digest of Lorelle on WordPress.
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Lorelle VanFossen is a member of WordPress, WordPress.com, the 9Rules Network, and author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won’t Tell You About Blogging.