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Research on the WordPress, Web Development, and Web Design Job Market

In 2012 and 2013, I did extensive research for the grant program to develop and rewrite the Web Developer degree program at Clark College. This research included an analysis of current and future job opportunities for students graduating with that degree with a solid understanding of WordPress. Now that the program has completed its first […]

The Web is All About The Writing

Reading “7 Things You Need to Know about SEO in 2014” from Compete Pulse, I was fascinating to read that “size matters:” Most blog posts range between 400 and 600 words, but the ideal length for highest ranking is actually around 1,500. Many still believe that a successful website is one that offers the information […]

Robin Williams Starts Our Conversation on Depression, Suicide, and Mental Health

The world is grieving the loss of one of our favorite comedic and dramatic geniuses, Robin Williams, and the conversation begins about mental illness, depression, and suicide. The Facts As We Know It: The news arrived about 3:30PM PST that the actor had died due to suspected suicide. CNN reported that according to the Marin […]

Speed Blogging Tips and Techniques

The following are the workshop notes for my popular workshop on “Speed Blogging.” The workshop is designed to teach how to take charge of your website and keep the content flowing with enthusiasm over the long term by learning the shortcuts, tips, and techniques to speed up the process of blogging, allowing your blog to […]

Your Blog is Your Business Card

The following are the notes for my popular workshop “Your Blog is Your Business Card”. The premise is that today’s business card can’t hold all the contact information necessary to connect adequately with potential clients, but the blog can. It is the holder of your contact information and online identity. The workshop covers the philosophy […]

Code Standards Project to Take WordPress Into the Future

WP Tavern reported recently that WordPress Developers are organizing a community initiative to standardize common post types, taxonomies and meta data. Led by Justin Tadlock, popular WordPress developer and author of Professional WordPress Plugin Development, the goals of the community project are to name these common parts of WordPress to create a more stable and […]

It’s About Access

If you have a few minutes today, watch this. Oh, watch it anyway. And share it. It won a Webby, the equivalent of the Oscar for the web world. And I have to admit that at the end, I cried. Seriously. Like those in the satirical episode, I don’t live in the wildest woolliest of […]

Blog Exercises: Why We Dig

In the October issue of The Christian Science Monitor, I found this from John Yemma, Monitor Editor: Why we dig, and what we may find Sometimes a portal opens into the world of legend. A stone is rolled away from an Egyptian tomb revealing a 3,300 year old Pharaoh’s power and wealth. A Roman city […]

Blog Exercises: Time Management for Professional Bloggers

My friend, timethief, has done it again with “12 Time Management Tips for Top Blogging Performance,” the inspiration for this blog exercise. Scheduling enough time for creating original content, promoting it, answering comments, reading and leaving comments on other blogs is not an easy feat. Few bloggers I know are able to blog full time. […]

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: Intentional Blogging

One of the things I work with in teaching writing for the web and blogging is to blog intentionally. I call it “content with intent.” Content with Intent From the very first of these Blog Exercises I’ve preached content with intent, blogging with every intention filled with purpose, goals, and incentive. Specifically self-incentive, a self-motivated […]

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: 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: Blogging Loss and Grief

Loss is a part of life. This year, I’ve lost friends, family, and pets, and some days the sadness permeates everything. Other days, we laugh and smile. As with all things, in time, the balance between sunshine and dark shifts the scale towards sunshine. Grief is often best when shared, at least during the earliest […]

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