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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: 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 […]

Blog Exercises: Bye Bye to Dumb Drafts

Demian Farnworth of Copyblogger wrote a brilliant article, “5 1/2 Reasons You Should Kill a Draft Blog Post. It’s today’s blog exercise. In summary, Demian’s tips are: The idea sounds bad to you days later. It’s likely to create controversy you don’t want. It looks like something you wrote last year. It looks like stolen […]

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: Blog Your Mistakes

Some say that Dr. Brian Goldman helped to change the medical industry with his Ted Talk about how doctors make mistakes, taking a huge risk exposing one of the most known and rarely discussed topics: how doctors make mistakes and kill patients. When was the last time you heard somebody talk about failure after failure […]

Blog Exercises: Protect Your Privacy

The web world thinks my birthday is January 1. Does the web know your birthday? Among the many Blog Exercises so far this year, I’ve mostly focused on your blog. Today, I want to talk about something related to your blog but mostly to your exposure and presence on the web: your private and personal […]

Blog Exercises: Are You Setting an Example for Others?

A milestone in personal rights seemed to have been achieved recently when US basketball player, Jason Collins declared publicly he was gay, hopefully setting an example for others that it is now “safe” to come out of the closet. The news in and around his announcement has me thinking about heroes, mentors, and risk-takers, those […]

Blog Exercises: Memorial Moments

Today, the United States celebrates Memorial Day (not the movie). The day is dedicated to remembering those who died while serving in the United States military services. Originally known as “Decoration Day,” the holiday started after the American Civil War (1861-1865). While the dates are debated, the first Memorial Day observance as a holiday was […]

Blog Exercises: How to Write about Something Someone Else Wrote

In the early development of the web, blogs were classified as echo chambers, vessels of redundant content as every original idea was shared, reshared, quoted, and spread across the web at rapid speed. Some estimates state that less than 2% of all the content on the web is original. It’s mostly regurgitation of the same […]

Blog Exercises: Do You Teach or Lecture?

Do you teach or lecture on your site? We all write with a specific “voice” and “style,” representing our perspective on the information we are presenting. On this site, I’m a teacher, sharing with you lessons to help you blog, use WordPress, and publishing on the web. You may share your expertise or your experiences […]

Blog Exercises: The IKEA Effect for Bloggers

The Ikea Effect was coined by researchers who found out what we all know but rarely admit, we put too much ownership into our own brainchild ideas and concepts. In other words, we tend to fall in love with our own ideas and creations. If you have ever been around kids, you’ve probably had that […]

Blog Exercises: The Search for Like Minds

I tat. My 95 year old grandmother-in-law taught me almost 20 years ago. Tatting is 17th century lace making based upon island and coastal women looking for something to do besides fixing fishing nets for the men of the village. They got creative with their netting shuttles to make fine lace doilies, scarfs, edging, table […]

Blog Exercises: Site Policies and Bloggers Code of Ethics

It’s time to start working on all of your site policies, one by one. So far, we’ve touched on some of these in Blog Exercises: The Don’ts of Blogging, Blog Exercise: Taking a Risk With What You Blog About, Blog Exercises: Comments and The Blog Bullies, and Blog Exercises: Quoting and Blockquotes. The basic policies […]

Blog Exercises: Does Your Site Look Spammy?

Does your site look spammy? How would you know whether or not your site looks spammy? It’s time for a spam check. Web design is hard, especially if you aren’t an expert. Yet, in many ways you are an expert if you are a fan of the web. You’ve seen enough sites to know the […]

The Secret Recipe of Comment Spam Comments

Mr. Louis Vuitton just sent me a message in my blog comments I’d like to share with you. I share this touching message because it is highly educational when it comes to the art of spam comments, and serves to remind us of why we love having Akismet, the best comment spam fighter, on our […]

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