All Posts in the 'Writing' Category

The Business of Blogging: Separating Information Safely Shared From Skills That Should Not Be

January 31st, 2008 · No Comments

information is not skills

When I first began this blog, I suffered the same conundrum many beginning business bloggers suffered: How much is too much information? I didn’t want to give away so much info that the services my business offers can be of no use to them. It’s not as dire as giving away trade secrets, but blogging about WordPress design, content, tools, plugins, etc. sometimes means teaching readers how to, when to, and the where to of what I do, on some level. But, does it mean my readers can go out, install, develop, design, update, maintain, and fix bugs in their blogs after they read my posts? Not really. I don’t give away trade secrets, sure (not that much is “secret” in these days on the information superhighway). But, most importantly I’ve learned and I am still learning that what I know is one thing, what I and my business can do is another. Other business bloggers should know this too.

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Tags: Blogging · Essentials · Web Content · Writing

The Internet, A New Frontier for Writers..and all of us

December 6th, 2007 · No Comments

If you don’t know, Hollywood writers are on strike. First it was Late Night TV shows like David Letterman and the Daily Show, then prime time TV production like The Office halted production. The last strike in 1988 lasted 22 days and cost production companies $500 million. This current strike “pits union writers, whose position has been eroded by reality television and galloping technological change, against studios and networks that are backed by big corporate owners. Ultimately, the two sides gridlocked over the writers’ insistence on a sharp increase in their residuals payments for the re-use of movies and shows on DVDs and on new payments for the distribution of such works on the Internet, over cell phones and elsewhere. Producers refused to boost the DVD payments and rebuffed demands related to electronic distribution, arguing that industry economics and still-shifting technology made accommodation impossible. ” (NY Times) This got me thinking, how do we define publishing given the numerous types of media used to display content on the Internet alone?

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Tags: Writing

How to Find Inspiration for Your Blog

November 28th, 2007 · No Comments

lookingSometimes it’s hard to get motivated to write a post for you blog. Sometimes it’s hard to find what to write about. Writing every day, or every other day for a blog is time consuming and mentally exhausting. You won’t always know what to post next. The best advice I can give you is what I learned at school as a writing major, don’t think so hard. Explore the world around you. Take a nap. Socialize. Work on something else. History proves time and time again that you often find what you’re NOT looking for and that inspiration comes from all corners of your life.

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Tags: Blogging · Web Content · Writing

Good Web Writing is All in the Tone and Context

November 14th, 2007 · No Comments

write stuff for the webIt’s a difficult thing to write and non-writers take it for granted that readers don’t want to read bad writing. Bad writing is like bad singing. If you’ve seen the auditions for American Idol, you get my meaning. Anyway, bad writing is especially offensive on the web because the web is meant for readers irregardless of this new dawn of videos, photo galleries and emoticons. Just like the web won’t replace books, no matter what people say (and fear), images won’t replace text as the major form of communication no matter how evocative the image. Not that an emoticon can be that evocative to begin with. And yes, a picture says a thousand words, but the words they say can’t always be left to the imagination of the viewer if you’re trying to get your point across. I’m a big proponent of distinct communication. What I mean by distinct is that no matter the medium and no matter the context, what you’re saying should be evocative of the the tone in which you mean it, and the context in which you put it. Obviously you should write what you mean as clearly as you can, but more than anything, humans being what they are, the way something is said is as important as what’s being said. This may seem like a lot of effort for web content, but to stand out on an Internet with over a 100 million web pages, it warrants a little consideration at least, right?

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Tags: Blogging · Essentials · Writing

Web 3.0 is Web 2.0 with Better Beta and More Accountability

November 9th, 2007 · No Comments

web 2.0 meet web 3.0Wikipedia.org defines Web 2.0 as “a perceived second generation of web-based communities and hosted services — such as social-networking sites, wikis and folksonomies — which aim to facilitate creativity, collaboration and sharing between users.” Gibberish? Yes. Forget the jargon. Web 2.0 is is simply a new wave of using the Internet for users to get what they want and need in a more dynamic way that promotes interacting with other people on the Web. More important, this new age of the Internet is about developing mutually beneficial relationships between users and website owners, users and users, website owners and website owners, etc. Remember the days of static, non dynamic one-way interactions with websites where you searched, found, read and moved on with your web surfing? Well, they’re gone, even if you are still using Internet Explorer. Now, you have a hell of a lot more options and have a hell of a lot more control over how much or how little you can receive, share and contribute to websites, and blogs. You even, on some level, have more choices with how much advertisement you get exposed to. That alone is reason enough to embrace this new Internet age. The most appealing aspect of Web 2.0, the current generation of all things web is the perpetual interactivity and interconnectedness of users to the site creators and the content created. It’s like the wild west, digitized and Digged.

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Tags: (Web) Technology · Design and Development · Innovation · Writing

Good Web Content is Only Published By Talented People

October 28th, 2007 · No Comments

I read this wonderful article by Scott Karp at Publishing 2.0 about the myth of user-generated content. He argues that the media and corporations aren’t always looking for the next great piece of user-generated content (like digital video, blogging, podcasting, news, gossip, research, mobile phone photography and wikis, etc.) that will make that “average user” famous. It’s poppy-cock! Sure once in a while something a user creates, a great video found on YouTube or a podcast or an excellent whitepaper may be so good that some media company or a corporate head finds it compelling enough to give the user his chance in the spotlight, or hell, a job making mucho dinero. But Karp is right, more likely than not the user is talented, not average, and that is the reason he or she is recognized. Great content isn’t published by your average wannabe who stumbled upon something amazing and publishes it. I doubt Apple or Microsoft or whomever discovers the user is going to give the person a job or accolades if he or she were a no talent hack that just got lucky. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. And even if you should, doesn’t mean you’re good at it, whatever “it” is.

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Tags: Writing

Our Love Affair With WordPress: Part 3 - Your Blog Content

October 22nd, 2007 · No Comments

We love WordPressSo, back for more? Couldn’t resist, huh? Well, let’s get started then. Friday, we went over the The Essentials of Blogging and talked about how content, categorizing (including archiving) and commenting are the main staples of blogging. A blog exists for content and sociability for the most part. The goal of any blogger should be to make your blog as interesting to read as possible and that promotes interactivity (usually through commenting and often also through sharing and bookmarking, which we’ll cover later). Your content must also be categorized in such a way your readers know where to look for articles on a given topic or maybe even a specific article. Category listings, archiving and tag clouds are the most common methods of effective and simple ways to organize your blog articles without confusing or frustrating your readers.

Though categorizing and commenting are essential, content is king. More importantly, your written content is king and executioner. A blog is nothing without good content and everything with it. More to the point, good content is what brings in readership. Relevant content creates a following. Crappy content kills a blog.

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Tags: (Web) Technology · Blogging · Our Love Affair w/ WP · WordPress · Writing

Our Love Affair With WordPress: Part 2 - Essentials of Blogging on WordPress

October 19th, 2007 · No Comments

We love WordPressOn Wednesday’s discussion Our Love Affair With WordPress: Part 1 - A WordPress Overview, we gave you a few essential links to visit on getting intimate with WordPress. Hope you and WordPress have bonded a bit. If you have and are already convinced that blogging with WordPress is ideal for you, contact Poles Apart Design to help you get your blog up and running. Otherwise, it’s time to take a step back and review the Essentials of Blogging on WordPress. The main thing to note is that WordPress’s self-hosted blogging platform is fast, light and extremely customizable. From a theme as basic as Kubrick to one as feature rich as Revolution, you can go from creating a personal blog that is a simple log for your thoughts to a robust community or business blog with a lot of content, advanced sociability functions and seemingly endless means of categorizing and archiving all content. Remember, a blog is just a regularly updated journal or chronicle of articles and other bits of information such as images and links, published as web pages. And with WordPress, you can create many, many ways to organize, archive and display your articles and bits of information in chronological or discontinuous order. Its up to you.

So before we get into how a WordPress blog works in particular, I’m sure you’d like to know how a typical blog works in general. Well, three main aspects of a blog are: content (and how it’s organized), comments and categorizing. Of course there is more to a blog than these three things, but these three Cs are the basis of blogging.

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Tags: (Web) Technology · Blogging · Our Love Affair w/ WP · WordPress · Writing