If you write, edit, or publish blog articles, you probably don’t wake up in the morning hoping your blog articles suck. But let’s face it: so many blog articles DO suck. In this short article, I’ll share my extremely simple and fundamental rule for writing blog articles that don’t suck. (If it weren’t for all the evidence to the contrary, this advice would be so obvious as to be unnecessary.)
If you’re a developer like me who builds custom database-driven Web sites and Web applications, you don’t necessarily create a user-maintainable content management system (CMS) for absolutely everything you build. In this article, I’m going to show you a simple and practical low-tech solution for adding content from your clients for database-driven content for which you did not build a CMS. The only tools you need for this solution are Microsoft Excel and SQL (in my case, the MySQL flavor).
Last night, while working on an online order form for a client, I faced the challenge of coding a validation routine for 30 free-form text fields that can only accept values that are measurements in inches and fractions of an inch. If this sounds geeky, I suppose it is. But this story is more about attitude than technology. Finding myself at a familiar crossroads (whether to stay in my comfort zone or step out — that is, whether to venture into the world of regular expressions), I bit the bullet and stepped out. I liked the taste. I don’t think you have to be a developer to find resonance in the moral of this story. At least I hope not.
In this article, I’ll share a custom PHP shortcode function I use for my non-WordPress Web sites to improve their maintainability. This function mimics the WordPress shortcode feature.
If you are a business person prone to griping and whining about the social media learning curve, let me try to cure you. Meet my (91 year-old) mother-in-law.
I’ve been working with a number of clients recently on Web-site CTAs (Calls To Action).
In an effort to reduce ambiguity and confusion and to suggest a common vocabulary for planning and talking about CTA implementations, here are my working definitions of the components that comprise a Call To Action.
I’m kidding with this title, but it’s no joke. This does appear to be the strategy many follow to get Twitter followers. Call me curmudgeonly. But please explain it to me like I’m a six year-old: How does one follow 1,000 people on Twitter (not to mention 99,953)?
We all know that guy, the guy who tweets 48 times a day and appears never to have had an unexpressed thought. The guy who makes you think, “I’m sorry, but you must be mistaking me for someone who cares.” It’s easy to let the fear of becoming that guy discourage us from blogging and posting to social networks. Don’t. You’re probably not that guy. And if you start becoming that guy, people who care about you will let you know.
Social networking is a little like baseball. Neither is rocket surgery, but both have their complexities and nuances. If you’ve decided to finally take the plunge, to give social networking the old college try, I say go for it. But have patience. Be prepared to tread water for a while. Every social network has its own peculiarities that take some time to comprehend.
As of today, Facebook’s embedded posts feature is available to all Facebook users. This feature allows owners of Web properties (like WordPress Web sites and blogs) to embed Facebook posts into those properties.
One might think, “It’s about time,” since we’ve been able to embed tweets in our Web properties for a long time. But hey, better late than never, right?
Check out this post for a live example.