A brilliant idea is defined by how hard you slap yourself in the forehead, saying, “gee, that’s awesome — but so obvious, why didn’t I think of that?” Anthologize is that simple, elegant, “it never occurred to me” idea that I have been waiting for forever: a WYSIWYG way of drag-and-dropping together a linear narrative out of what is often an amalgam of reverse-chronological, jumbled-together, blog posts. Export it into an online, web-accessible “book” or even a proper ebook in the PDF, ePUB or TEI formats that can be exported and popped into your favorite ebook reader like the Amazon Kindle or Sony eReader.
Here is part 4 of the series I will post over the next few months based on chapters from my new book, A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization.
This book is meant to be a guide to building an optimized foundation in the Social Web for beginners and advanced users alike.
Chapter 4 of the book is about building a Website using WordPress as a Content Management System (CMS). (As an immediate example, SocialMedia.biz is a site powered by WordPress.).
The following excerpts are from A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization:
Chapter 4: Building a WordPress Powered Website
The Anatomy Of A WordPress Site
Let’s look at the main elements of a WordPress site. Each of the examples in this chapter has these general areas, just represented a little differently. …
Some 730 people turned out at WordCamp, about double last year’s number. Here’s a Flickr set of WordCamp photos I took.
The biggest learnings came right at the outset, when Tim Ferriss (pictured above), author of The Four-Hour Workweek, gave a deep dive into what has worked and not worked on his well-trafficked blog. (I finally got to meet Tim and invited him to attend a future Traveling Geeks trip abroad.)
Learnings: What works in a blog post
Ferriss’s suggestions were useful not just for beginning bloggers but also for veterans who like to pick up a trick or two.
• For archived blog posts, just a simple change in the title wording from the default “Categories” to “Topics” increased click-throughs significantly. (I did this on my blog years ago.)
• He finds RSS “less and less valuable” because it reduces traffic (and thus, presumably, the potential for advertising income) and gives uers an easy excuse for staying away from his site.
I recorded a video back in November 2006 titled WordPress.com – Step-by-Step Tutorial on How to Blog that has garnered 145,036 views. However, WordPress.com has gone through a number of look-and-feel updates in the last three years, so I thought I would update the video.
Both services are versatile, but WP has pulled ahead
People still ask us all the time which blogging platform they should use. (Micro-answer: It depends on what’s important to you.) A few weeks back the team here stared down the issue ourselves when we made the decision to switch Socialmedia.biz from TypePad to WordPress.
Why did we do it? Let me explain.
First, a word of praise for TypePad. I began blogging in May 2001 after interviewing Dave Winer, Doc Searls and Dan Gillmor on the subject for this piece in OJR. They looked like they were not only having fun but doing something that mattered. So I started on a Manila blog, switched to MovableType, and then became one of TypePad’s early customers when Ben and Mena Trott of Six Apart rolled out what was then the Mercedes Benz of blogging platforms.
By that time I was fairly comfortable with CSS and Advanced Templates, so the cookie-cutter offerings of Blogger or LiveJournal never appealed to me. Besides, my blog was evolving from personal commentary about media to a business focus on social media, and I rechristened New Media Musings as Socialmedia.biz in 2005. TypePad gave me the ability to design a slick-looking blog with rich, archived content and even some third-party doohickeys in the sidebar.
But over at WordPress, a revolution was brewing — and finally reached the point where I could no longer ignore its pull. In WordPress.org, Matt Mullenweg (pictured above) offered a free, open source platform that thousands of developers were coding for. (We opted for self-hosting rather than the hosted wordpress.com version.) Somewhere between 2007 and 2008, WP became not only comparable to TypePad, but better. Not because of Matt’s coding prowess, but because of the power of crowdsourced development. I now find myself attending WordPress Camps, alongside BarCamps, Social Media Camps and other open media efforts born of my involvement with Ourmedia.org.
We’re continuing to experiment with offering the latest, most useful set of tools and resources around social media while making robust use of WordPress plug-ins. So you’ll see additional changes here in the coming days and months.
One widget we like is from Slideshare.net, which can be configured as a vertical or horizontal widget. (A widget is simply a piece of software code that runs independently and does something useful, like bring you the latest news headlines.)
Today, Slideshare.net hosted Presentation Camp, the first of a series of Barcamps on the subject of online slideshows (motto: “no more death by PowerPoint”). I had hoped to attend the event, held at Slideshare’s headquarters in San Francisco, but am too far behind on a number of project deadlines. But you can follow the tweets from those in attendance at Twitter Search.