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Blog Exercises: I Don’t Trust That Site

I recommended an article to a student and they said they didn’t trust that site, thus shed doubt on my personal integrity. I asked why. “Because it’s on Blogspot.” Wow. I have to say that wasn’t the answer I expected. I didn’t expect someone, not web savvy in the least, would associate a blogger on […]

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: I Don’t Have Any Comments

I hear this complaint frequently from new and long time bloggers. “I don’t have any comments. How can I get more comments?” First of all, let me explain something and I want you to read closely. You don’t want comments. Yes, that’s right. You do not want comments. At least not comments from anyone. If […]

Blog Exercises: Organize Your Content

In “The Giant Blog Exercise Check List Part 1” I presented you with a giant list of all the posts I’ve published in these Blog Exercises so far in 2013. It was an amazing exercise and it is now your turn to do the same exercise. Your blog exercise today is to create a link […]

Blog Exercises: When to Hit Publish

In this ongoing series, Blog Exercises, you’ve been exploring your site stats to determine where your audience is coming from and why. Now is the time to explore the when. When do the majority of your site visitors arrive on your site? Is there a pattern? When is the Best Time and Day to Post […]

Blog Exercises: How Long Are Your Paragraphs?

How long are your paragraphs? Have you measured them lately? One of the telling differences between traditional writing and writing for the web is the length of the paragraph. Look at the example below. Which is easier to read? On the left, the paragraphs are huge, long blocks of text. On the right, the paragraphs […]

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 […]

Blog Exercises: Feed Readers

Without the feed reader, my blogging life would be seriously hard work. Feed, commonly misidentified as RSS, is the proper name for the contextual version of your site as distributed through various feed types such as RSS, Atom, XML, etc. They are basically your posts stripped of your website design, read like articles in a […]

Blog Exercises: How Many Posts?

How many posts do you need to publish a year on your site? Have you counted? Do you schedule them in a way to count each post over a day, week, month, or year? At my peak, I pushed 1,975 posts a year. Yes, someone counted. The number frightened me. I had to break it […]

Writing for the Web Course

February 18 – March 25, you will find me teaching “Writing for the Web” for Clark College Corporate and Continuing Education on Mondays from 1:30-4:30PM in the West Coast Bank Building in downtown Vancouver, Washington, just across the river from Portland, Oregon. Come join me! This is the first class of its kind at the […]

Blog Exercise: Category Brainstorming

In the first of my new Blog Exercises, you will begin work on clarifying the purpose and mission of your site. Take a minimum of 25 minutes to list all the words and phrases that describe what you blog about. If you are new to blogging, list all of the words describing what you wish […]

Banned, Blocked, and Censored Bloggers

According to the American Library Association, September 30 through October 6, 2012, is a salute to Banned Books week. Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together […]

DuckDuckGo: The Search Engine You Need to Meet

Recently, DuckDuckGo has been turning up in my referrers list. Curious about the name, and thinking it was a spam site, DuckDuckGo needed investigation. Seems I’ve been missing out on what could be the major competition to Google as a search engine. Here is a quick summary of what I learned about DuckDuckGo. It is […]

What You Most Need to Know About WordPress

At the recent WordCamp Portland 2012, I was asked by several attendees to cover the basics of WordPress and we came up with What You Most Need to Know About WordPress. Here are the “notes” from that unconference presentation. The Difference Between Categories and Tags I hear this question at WordCamps, from readers, students, and […]

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