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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: Why Oh Why Ask Why?

Why? Why ask why? Because it is there. Why is probably the first question out of many children’s mouths. Why does it do that? Why do you do that? Why is it that color? Why does it make that noise? Why, oh, why, oh, why? Why say why? Because it is there. We want to […]

Blog Exercises: Expanding Your Social Web Connections

“I’m following you because you are a Doctor Who fan.” I was stunned at those words. Yes, I’m a Doctor Who fan. I’m a fan of science fiction in general, but this year is an exceptional one for Doctor Who fans. It’s the 50th Anniversary of the first episode, a legendary event in television history. […]

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: Debate Ethics

A premie baby is causing debates and controversy about medical research projects. A debate on plant ethics questions over the humane treatment of plants opposes yet is related to the debate on ethical treatment of animals as food sources. Advanced research on stem cells and human cloning is debatable on all sides, especially when news […]

Blog Exercises: Are You a Victim of the Past?

Have you seen the fun video released to promote the then new television show, Portlandia on IFC, recently renewed for another year or two? It’s called “Dream of the 90s” and is part of your homework for this blog exercise. The story is that Jason went on a trip from Los Angles to Portland, Oregon, […]

Blog Exercises: What If You Knew You Could Not Fail

I helped a writer set up her first blog today, encouraging her to share her stories as part of the process moving towards becoming a published author. We talked about how a site will help her, not just with marketing, promotion, and community building, but also by rethinking how she writes, what she writes, and […]

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: Become Your Own Fan Blogger

Fan blogging is one of the most challenging types of blogging. Fan blogging is blogging about a celebrity, television show, movie, sports team, sports player, criminals, or other groupie subject. Today’s blog exercise examines the art of fan blogging and how to learn from fan blogging to create your own fan club around your blog. […]

Blog Exercises: Battling the Blue Funk

My mother just sent an email saying she was in a funk. Ten minutes later I got a phone call from a friend asking to visit to help her get over the “winter funk – summer blues” – her words. I just got over my blue funk a couple weeks ago. Funks are mini-depressions, short […]

Blog Exercises: Under the Hood Spring Cleaning

One of my students in my Portland Community College WordPress class reminded me that clutter is clutter, no matter where you find it. Peter Smith reminds us that too many WordPress Themes is a waste of resources. Today, I feature his post to remind us all to clean up our sites under the hood. I […]

Blog Exercises: Dissecting Post Categories

In a recent article, Noah Weiss shared his struggle to figure out categories and tags on his personal site. I know many of you following these Blog Exercises have also struggled to figure out your categories, so I thought Noah’s site would be a perfect example, He has gratefully given me permission to rip his […]

Blog Exercises: Fall in Love with Words

There are certain clues that tell you how much a restaurant will cost. If the word “cuisine” appears in the advertising, it will be expensive. If they use the word “food,” it will be moderately priced. However, if the sign says “eats,” even though you’ll save money on food, your medical bills may be quite […]

Blog Exercises: Stand Up For Freedom of Speech

There are 400,000 words in the English language, and there are seven you can’t say on television. What a ratio that is! 399,993 to 7. They must really be baaaad. They must be OUTRAGEOUS to be separated from a group that large. “All of you words over here, you seven…baaaad words.” That’s what they told […]

Blog Exercises: Clean Up Your Most Popular Posts

“It’s dated 2008. It must be useless.” This was the response to an article I tweeted out recently. Yes, the article was dated 2008. Did that mean it wasn’t a valid, timely, and invaluable resource? It was, but that’s not the point. Some people equate old with useless. With the aging population gaining the majority […]

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