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Blog Exercises: Taking Inventory on What Keeps You Blogging

The recent major desktop computer crash has left me reeling. I thought I had all my data backed up. For the most part, I did. What I didn’t have backed up was my programs. Getting back up to speed fast, I’ve had to prioritize the programs I had download and install. Yes, download. Who gets […]

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 […]

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 […]

Update to WordPress 3.6.1 Now

It is upgrade time again. Time to upgrade your WordPress. WordPress 3.6.1 Maintenance and Security Release was announced today. It includes fixes to WordPress 3.6 and some security issues, so this is a mandatory update. WordPress.com users are automatically updated, as are all those on managed WordPress hosting like WP Engine. This update applies to […]

Blog Exercises: Making Drafts Work For You Not Against

During a year of teaching WordPress in college and at workshops and training events, I may help a minimum of 300 people set up WordPress.com sites annually. As they add content to their site, filling in all the blanks, they often publish content not quite ready for prime time, capped with a note-to-self to “fix […]

Blog Exercises: Don’t Let Your Content Compete With Itself

I fear for what I’m about to say. Colored fonts are evil. I’m not talking about colored fonts in the website design, nor colored fonts in headings within your content. I’m talking about colorizing the words you are reading as you read, just because, and the because usually isn’t a good enough reason to make […]

The Giant Blog Exercise Check List Part 1

July is the midway point of these Blog Exercises and time for a Giant Blog Exercise Checklist to help you keep score of the exercises you’ve done, and what’s left undone. I’ve arranged the blog exercises by similarity, tasks related to each other, rather than chronologically. If you are playing catch up, you might wish […]

Blog Exercises: How to Respond to a Copyright Violation

While I know that you would never violate anyone’s copyright and publish other people’s content without proper citation or permission, there are hundreds of thousands who think that if it is on the web, it’s free to use and abuse. Accusations of copyright violations are big deals. Some top journalists, writers, photographers, musicians, software developers, […]

Blog Exercise: Take Yourself on a Bloggy Vacation

Writer’s block is a tool — use it. When asked why you haven’t produced anything lately, just say, “I’m blocked.” Since most people think that writing is some mystical process where characters “talk to you” and you can hear their voices in your head, being blocked is the perfect cover for when you just don’t […]

Blog Exercises for April

April seemed to fly by in this Blog Exercises series. Have you been able to keep up now that we are done with month four of improving your blog? A lot of the blog exercises this month deal with interactivity and links, tips for building a community with your site. One of my favorite exercises […]

Blog Exercises: How to Link to Comments

Do you have brilliantly intelligent and thoughtful commenters? I do. I often find something someone’s left in a post comment worth writing a blog post about and quoting. In this Blog Exercise we’ll look at how to link to comments on your site and how to properly reference them and cite the original author in […]

Fight Against Trackback Death

I’ve heard the many threats of trackbacks and pingbacks dying over the years, going the way of the virtual dinosaur, but I’m terrified to hear from Andraz Tori that Typepad is killing pingback functionality and stating that WordPress might be considering it, removing the joy of getting a notification that someone online is talking about […]

Blog Exercises: Speed Blogging with CoLT

I’d like to introduce you to the work horse I use for speed blogging. It’s a web browser add-on for Firefox called CoLT. It stands for Copy Link Text. I will be offering a variety of web browser tips and tools to make blogging faster and easier throughout these Blog Exercises, and of all of […]

Blog Exercises: Trackbacks

Trackbacks are like an invitation to a party. It is also like legitimate gossip. Trackbacks are notes telling you that someone is talking about you. Trackbacks are part of the important connections that form the true sense of the “web” on the Internet. WordPress and most modern publishing platforms generate trackbacks automatically. As common as […]

Blog Exercises: Honor the Past with Anniversaries and Birthdays

Every year I celebrate January 11, the birthday of WordPress founder, Matt Mullenweg. The first week in April, I celebrate CSS Naked Day, a day to turn off the CSS designs on your websites world-wide to pay tribute to web designers. Later in April is the Day of Blog Silence, honoring the victims of violence […]

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