Humans TXT: We Are People, Not Machines.

humanstxt

We are always saying that, but the only file we generate is one full of additional information for the searchbots: robots.txt. Then why not doing one for ourselves?

via – Humans TXT: We Are People, Not Machines..

I used the WordPress plugin to make adding the humans.txt file even simpler than it already is. With the plugin you just need to type in what you want and then save the information to WordPress.

You can use the code provided with the plugin to have your last published date, your list of plugins, your WordPress theme and assorted other things automatically updated. This was really nice because I know I won’t be thinking to update this file next time I manage the plugins I’m using. Some site automation is a great thing!

humanstxt

I added ASCII art (my artist stick figure) to the humans.txt file too. Being plain text it worked fine!

Testing the Interest for a WordPress Group in Barrie

kijijiWordPressI have thought about starting a group to meet monthly or more often in Barrie to talk about WordPress. I have been building and maintaining my own sites with WordPress for over ten years. I don’t mind to share my experience and give help to others who are also working on their own sites. So, I’m posting this to see what interest there is in the idea.

I’m not offering to work for free – to build or fix a site for anyone. This would be a social group to share ideas, tips and help each other. I live in the North/East of Barrie so likely any meeting would be in a coffee shop on the bus route in my area.

If there seems to be some sincere interest I can work out details for actually getting together. So send me an email if this seems like a good idea to you – and you would actually show up for a meeting.

Posted this a few minutes ago. Will see what comes of it.

Using the Chrome Web Browser to Post to WordPress

I want to post to my sites with a content curation sort of bookmarklet. I already have an account with Scoop.it where I have several topics and post to them regularly, there. I’d rather put all that work, time and energy into content curation for my own sites instead. So, I’ve been looking for options.

I found a few options and then began trying them all out one by one.

Word This

wordthis

Will only let you do one blog. But, I didn’t even get that far. Right click the icon and and set your blog link in the options. Then it got stuck, never saved, didn’t do anything. The bookmarklet itself opened a window which went no where. So, as much as I liked the name of this one, it is also the first one I’m deleting from the web browser.

WPWrite

wpwrite

Another which will work for one blog only. I have a few and need to post to all of them. It would not work to have a bookmarklet for each one.  Way too complicated.

MultiPress

multipress

Although this one is available to download from the Chrome Extensions, the website is 404. You can add up to five blogs but, I was not able to post to my blog when I tried to run this one.

Postek

postek

This was not what I wanted at all. Only one blog and it doesn’t work to add content from another site you want to link to. This is just a quick way to write a new post without clicking through to your blog. Maybe useful for some, not worth keeping around for me. Plus, I did not like being asked to type in my password on a website other than my own. Overall, I did not mind deleting this one.

Editoy Writer

editoy

This one was more work to set up. I finally got through finding and adding an API key and authorizing the whole thing with WordPpress.com and then… it didn’t work. I don’t know why.  I found a page written in Chinese (I think) which even once translated was no help with setting Editoy up or getting it to work.

Express Curate

expresscurate

This is the one I most want to work. It does work well as the WordPress plugin.  I have found it gives a memory error on my two biggest blogs, but I contacted the developers and they are working on it.

So far I am not getting the Chrome Extension to work. The developers say it should and it should work for multiple sites. So, I’m keeping it around and working getting it to work. It looks great and has all the features I want.

Addendum to Express Curate: One complication I am having with this plugin is the added code for tags which is does on auto pilot. I turned the feature on to give it a try, not entirely sure what it would do but expecting I’d have some control over it. I did not. Express Curate automatically gave all of my WordPress tags an HTML link and a hashtag. This is not a terrible thing – if you want that. I didn’t really, my tags are not that tidy and I didn’t really want the extra links. However, the real problem for me is that this also removed my capital letters, turning titles into all small letters and abbreviations too. Even once I deactivated the plugin, the HTML code remained (and the small letters too). Because of this I am now trying to go through my blogs and fix titles, remove hashtags and the extra code on tags. It is a chore.

So far nothing is working better than the old PressThis which comes with WordPress. But, I’m hoping for more.

Blogging 101: Say “Hi!” to the Neighbors

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Today’s challenge is one I am skipping for now. I’ve got a lot of blogs I follow, years and years worth of blogs I follow and I almost never read them. I would like to take time to weed through my list to find which are link rot, moved and can have a fresh link and find new sites which I would love to add to the list. That all takes quite a lot of time though, more than one day for sure.

So this day three of the WordPress Blogging 101 will have to be on the list of extra things to do later. I’d like to do the same for all of my sites. Actually, links I have on the two main sites need to be sorted into relevant topics which would fit on the niche sites too.

Lots of work to be done!

 

Blogging is a communal experience; if you didn’t want anyone to read your posts, you’d keep a private diary. Today, begin engaging with the blogging community, the first step in building an audience.

Today’s assignment: follow five new topics in the Reader and five new blogs.
Why spend time reading other blogs?

Publishing posts is only half of blogging — engaging with the community is the other.
Considering what other bloggers write will inspire you and sharpen your thoughts.
Part of what makes blogging such a rich experience are the relationships we develop with people from around the world. Those relationships only happen when we engage with one another — just look at The Commons. Plus, reaching out to other bloggers is the best way to have them return the favor.

The first step is finding the people you want to connect with. By following topics you care about in the Reader, you’ll discover a world of blogs. Some of them will become favorite reads, and some of their authors will become your fans.

Want to share your great finds? Visit The Commons.
To get you started, review our tips on using the Reader to find and follow blogs that speak to you. A few of our editors have also shared their favorite Reader topics. Add five topics, so you can access them quickly whenever you feel like doing some reading. As you browse the topics, follow five new blogs, too.

The Blogroll on The Commons is another great place to explore. There are over 1200 of you participating — you’re bound to find some new favorite reads. Scroll through the list, and click on titles that intrigue you, seem up your alley, or make you laugh. (Adding the “blogging101″ topic to your Reader is also a great way to keep up with your co-bloggers.)

If you don’t blog on WordPress.com, you can still use the Reader if you have a WordPress.com username. If not, there are other ways to explore — your blogging platform may allow you to browse, or you can visit blogs you love and check out their blogrolls and commenters’ blogs.

Feel free to publish a post in addition to completing today’s task if you’d like! Write the post that was on your mind when you decided to start a blog, or take a look at our prompts and challenges for more inspiration.

Blogging 101: Say Your Name

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I haven’t changed blog titles often but I change the byline frequently. It’s hard to settle on just one description of your site. If you take a minute you can always think of something completely new, smarter or shinier. Today the WordPress Blogging 101 challenge was to give your blog a fresh title (if you don’t already have one) and think of a byline. The byline should take into account the Introduction post I wrote yesterday. So… I’ve been doing that. It has taken most of the day, so far. There are too many options. I’ve already thought of something else for this site and I only just saved it up there and took the screen shot.

herebedragons

Blogging 101: Say Your Name

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I haven’t re-named any of my sites but I have gone through and put more thought (and some humour) into giving them new bylines. I can’t promise they will still be the same a month from now. But here they are today:

herebedragonswreckyratbird

diycreativeblogging

greenlivhistory

asciiartist

 

wordgrrls

Today’s challenge:

You set your blog’s address when you registered at WordPress.com, but your blog’s title — what readers see on your site when they visit — can be changed at any time. Today, let’s make sure you love yours.

Today’s assignment: edit your title and tagline.
Why?

The title is the first thing most readers will see.
Your title and tagline work with elements like like your address and theme to give visitors context and help them decide to stick around.
Your title doesn’t need to be the same as your blog’s URL — there’s no need to call it “maryjanesmith922.” Your title should reflect you.

A title is typically only a few words, so consider adding a tagline — a phrase that appears under your title and helps flesh it out. Think “Burger King: Have It Your Way,” or The Daily Post: The Art and Craft of Blogging.” Look at the post your wrote yesterday. Why are you here? Let us know in your tagline.

Here are the details on editing your title and tagline, along with some accumulated wisdom from other WordPress bloggers. Here’s one of our favorite nuggets of advice:

Try listing adjectives that describe your personality, and play around with the words until you can tweak them into a name that’s catchy but uniquely “you.” Puns always work well. Start with certain common phrases, songs, and literary titles, and then mix the words up. Or use your own name in a clever way.
She’s a Maineiac
If you’re already thrilled with your title or you want to do more, feel free to publish a post, too! Let readers know what inspired your title and tagline, or, If you need want writing inspiration, take a look at today’s prompt.

Blogging 101: Introduce Yourself

I’m writing introductions for my niche blogs. I was going to include this one too but… after writing a few I’m feeling tapped out and lacking new stuff to say about myself.

You can read them all :

Wrecky Rat Bird

Creative Blogging

Word Grrls

Green Living History

ASCII Artist

This all started for the WordPress Blogging 101. Not sure if it is a challenge or a workshop. I’m hoping to find some focus as I work through it all. Writing the introductions has set me a couple of days behind but I am all but caught up on them now.

Bloated Self Importance on Video

Each time I see someone with a video post I think of all the people who can’t or won’t be watching it.

Video posts are for people with money to burn. In the US the Internet is cheaper. In places like Canada, Europe and the rest of the world, the story is different. I pay almost $100 per month for the Internet, that’s before adding in the cost of my landline phone. I used to have cable TV but paying $180 a month for all three services was too much. Plus, the prices were going up another $5 for Internet and TV the next month.

A very big part of the cost for the Internet is bandwidth. How much you use, not in time but in load. How bloated are the files you are loading onto your computer from the Internet? Have you thought about it?

Uploading is about the files you put from your computer onto the Internet.

Downloading are the files you bring from the Internet onto your computer. Downloading used to be about software you get from the Internet, mostly. Now it is about looking at websites, software, advertising and everything else you view while you are online.

Did you know you pay to watch ads online?

Each ad you see is costing you bandwidth.

A plain text ad costs you almost nothing, not enough that you could even notice it. An ad with an image costs a bit more, especially if the image moves or lights up or does anything other than just be an ordinary image. A larger image costs more, of course. But, ads at this point cost so little bandwidth you would not notice them unless you visit a lot of sites with a lot of ads all the time.

When you get up the food chain to ads which use scripts and then video… you’re paying enough to notice the bandwidth each month.

I use add-ons to turn some of the bandwidth sucking advertising off. It is not 100% but it helps. It helps keep my Internet bill from being even higher each month.

I have to pay for bandwidth each month. I used to have the light Internet account, paying about $50 each month. That was enough to pay. Over 12 months I’d be paying $600, plus tax (which is also higher in most of Canada than the US). What could you do with an extra $600 in your pocket each year?

Anyway, to help make the Internet affordable again I had the cable TV turned off and I began doing what I can to shut down all video posts and ads. Using the web browser add-on will only go so far. The other thing I have done is to not watch video posts.

Seems a simple thing to just choose to not watch video. But, it’s not.

Video posts come up all the time.

When I want to find a tutorial for using a WordPress theme or plugin… it’s in a video post. Annoying when this happens, especially when I have paid for the theme or plugin and now have to pay to use it (or at least to understand how to use it).

Network sites I write for want video added to the posts I write. This means going to YouTube to find second hand content which I have to watch in order to make sure it is relevant and will add some information or resources to my own original post for the site. This annoys me because I have just written original content and now I have to link to someone else, giving them my bandwidth, my time and space in the post I worked on. Aggravating all the way around and this is where most of my extra expense comes from each month on my Internet bill.

Even with protection from browser add-ons I still get caught with video advertisements. There are still more of them out there which have found a way to get around the blocks I have set up.

I think people who post videos (without giving a text alternative) are arrogant or just thoughtless.

It is thoughtless and careless to assume everyone else around the world is just like you. It is arrogant to post videos just to make yourself seem important.

The one time I think a video post is a good and sensible thing is for a tutorial – where it will help people to see what is being done and how it is done. Any other video posts are just people showing the world how important they are. It should be more important to make sure you are communicating with your audience, in a way which suits them best, rather than catering to your own self importance.