Category Archives: Blogging

Simple Tags Makes Adding Tags to Old Posts Easy

Tag Cloud

It’s one of those things that I’ve gone back and forth about for years. I never started this blog with the idea of adding tags to posts. In fact, when I started it way back on Blogger, I don’t even think you could.

By the time I could, and wanted to, I had years of old posts without tags. Going back and trying to tag those items seems like a ridiculous amount of time and effort. So it hadn’t ever happened.

Lo and behold, a couple of weeks ago, I heard about a WordPress Plugin called Simple Tags. Not only does Simple Tags let you create auto tags, so even if you forget to tag a post, it can assign tags based on keywords, but it lets you go back and do the same thing for all of your posts.

Now, basing it solely on matching keywords isn’t a perfect solution, but in this case, there was no reason to let the perfect be the enemy of what is clearly better than doing nothing. So I came up with a list of keywords, and went ahead and let Simple Tags do it’s thing.

For example, if I used the word Twitter, or Facebook, in a post, let’s go ahead and add that tag. Same for Apple, Google, Microsoft, and so on. So now there’s a nice set of tags, and even a tag cloud, to help you find more posts about the same subjects, and I can continue to fine tune my tags to create some interesting ties to posts on the same subject.

Now I’m going to do the same thing over at the Child Abuse Survivor blog too, which has been going almost as long as this one.

 

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WordPress Issues Bug Fix

I knew something weird was going on. My co-blogger over on the other site tried to create a new post last week, and it disappeared on him.

I found that odd. When I logged in, as the admin of the site, there was no indication that he had created anything. We had planned to try again in the next day or two, when I saw an announcement about a Wordpess 3.8.3 release, less than a week after the 3.8.2 release. Working for a software company, I know that a quick version update means something was wrong with the release, and sure enough, in the announcement post, I saw what looked like an explanation for what had happened to Ken’s post.

The “Quick Draft” tool on the dashboard screen was broken in the 3.8.2 update. If you tried to use it, your draft would disappear and it wouldn’t save. While we doubt anyone was writing a novella using this tool, any loss of content is unacceptable to us.

As the post goes on to explain, there is a possibility that the draft is in the database, if you update quickly, since the database will only save those sorts of lost drafts for 7 days. Sure enough, Ken’s partial post was in there after I applied the update.

So go apply the update before you try and save any drafts!

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A Different Perspective on Social Networks

I can still see you

 

Let’s look at social networking from a different perspective, shall we?

As I’ve made my way around the interwebz recently, I’ve been reading up quit a bit about increasing traffic to a blog, or increasing engagement with your fans, etc. Call it a professional curiosity, as a blogger I’m always interested in the latest best practices, what’s working for others, what isn’t etc., but as I’ve made my way around, I’ve also realized that just about all of the social media advice out there is 100% targeted toward people with something to sell. While some of the advice is still worth checking out, I can’t help but feel overwhelmed by the commercialism of it all.

Look, I’m not against commercialism, every business has to make money, and they do so by selling things. I’m all for that. But even individuals who aren’t trying to sell something have a place in social media. In fact, as someone who’s been blogging for over a dozen years, without it being part of a business, I’d say there are lots of reasons to have a large social media presence any way.  Continue reading

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Facebook Making Pages More Useless

Given recent history of Facebook not showing posts from pages that you’ve liked and actually want to see posts from, the fact that they are coming out now and telling page owners that they are going to be displayed to even fewer fans in the future has me thinking about just dropping my Facebook pages altogether.

Given their response that the best way to reach the same people who have asked Facebook to show you their updates, is to purchase advertising, I’m tempted to not bother with trying to keep up Facebook pages for my blogs any more. Originally, I set up pages there as an easy way for people who used Facebook to follow the blog there, but obviously Facebook has decided that you shouldn’t be allowed to do that as a blog reader unless he blog owner pays for advertising. So, if you really want to follow this blog, check the sidebar for the RSS feed or email subscription. Don’t use FB to follow your online news sources.

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WordPress Sites Being Used in DDOS Attack?

This article caught my interest:

Just in the course of a few hours, over 162,000 different and legitimate WordPress sites tried to attack his site. We would likely have detected a lot more sites, but we decided we had seen enough and blocked the requests at the edge firewall, mostly to avoid filling the logs with junk.

Can you see how powerful it can be? One attacker can use thousands of popular and clean WordPress sites to perform their DDOS attack, while being hidden in the shadows, and that all happens with a simple ping back request to the XML-RPC file:

It caught my interest because for the last couple of months, I’ve been dealing with a problem on this site, tens of thousands of requests to post via XML-RPC, causing huge traffic bursts, time outs, and all sorts of other problems. So much so, in fact, that I’ve taken some pretty drastic measures to re-route requests to that file to null.

Continue reading

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Zite Gets Gobbled Up By Flipboard

I’ve been using Zite on my iPad for awhile now. I found it to be a really good way to “discover” news stories and other articles that I wanted to share through my Diigo account, and on Twitter. Given that, I’m a little apprehensive about it being acquired and rolled into Flipboard. Flipboard is a nice tool, but I’ve found it a little bit limiting for that purpose. It’s great for flipping through what others have been sharing on Twitter or GPlus, but much like Kevin O’ Keefe, who shared the news about the acquisition, I’ve found Flipboard to be a bit lacking when it comes to flipping through a specific subject and finding relevant stories.

My theory is that Flipboard’s requirements for publishers make it difficult for bloggers and other sites to get their content into Flipboard’s subject sections. I can’t just feed them my WordPress RSS feed, I have to jump through hoops, add images toe very post and so on. I have a job and a wife, I don’t have time for all of that. This leaves those subject areas to be limited to a few big name publishers, which compared to the rich variety of the web, and blogs specifically, is pretty stale.

I’m hopeful that Zite doesn’t head down that same path, but rather that the Zite technology will help Flipboard make improvements on the subject sections. But I will miss my Zite app when they shut it down.

How do you “discover” new blogs, news, opinions or articles about your areas of interest?

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SEO Question

So, if there are any SEO “experts” out there willing to answer a question for me, I’m seeing some really odd Google behavior from one of my sites.

The site in question is www.childabusesurvivor.net.

The problem is this. Once upon a time my site was in the top three hits on Google for “child abuse survivor”, which would make sense, since that is actually the title and URL of the site. Here in the last few months, that has changed. My site doesn’t appear at all for that search. (It is still number 2 on Yahoo and Bing). That made me think that perhaps I was doing something that was hurting my Google rank, so I started to look more into it. First, I checked to see if the site was listed in Google at all. Searching for “site:childabusesurvivor.net” on Google shows me the site, so I know Google sees it. I can look at Webmaster tools and see where it’s getting some clicks and appearances in search, but none of those appear to be the home page. They are searches for various terms that point directly to a single post. There aren’t any search result appearances for the front page.

So it’s being indexed, but Google has apparently decided to push the home page of the site aside in the search results.

In fact, if I go to Google and search for the URL, “childabusesurvivor.net”, that site doesn’t appear in the results. Continue reading

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Blogging Statistics That Make Me Think

I have to admit, a couple of the statistics used in this article about blogging caught me by surprise. Specifically about what a difference there appears to be in traffic and followers between blogs that have daily posts versus those that don’t and that longer posts attract more links. I had sort of assumed that in our attention deficit world, that length and frequency didn’t matter at all any more, but maybe I’m wrong about that.

Is there anything in that post that stands out for you fellow bloggers?

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Useful WordPress Plugins

This is, apparently, what happens when I hot town the day before a training gig, and it’s a rainy Sunday. I start playing around with some ideas that had been running around in my head about the blog.

The first one, was taking the standard WordPress category page and trying to make it a bit more useful. By default, when you click the drop down list and hit one of the categories. WordPress would take you to a page with all the posts in that category. I wanted something more. I found a plugin called WP Custom Category PagseSocial Netwokring page, which has the latest links at the top, then the posts from this blog. I’m hopeful that will provide more usefulness to anyone who happens upon those pages, a sort of place to start when looking at that subject.

The other plugin I’ve added is Responsive Sticky Slider . This plugin allows me to define a category to be used as a slider of featured posts and then use a shortcode on a post to drop the slider in place. I went ahead and created a category just for that slider, and populated a few of the posts that people have hit the most in the past week or two. I also made that post sticky on the front page so it’ll always be on top. Since I’m using the category, it makes it really easy for me to leave that post up there, and switch out what posts show up there. I’m hoping that will help highlight some good tips and tricks that are sitting way back in the archives of the blog. (I have been doing this for more than 12 years now, there’s a lot back there!)

There’s still more that I want to play around with, on all of my blogs. So I’ll be taking what I have done here and tweaking it going forward, trying out some new things, and maybe cleaning up the layouts. Right now the Photography blog is the one that I love the way it looks, but then again, that one has images for everything, so it would look better. That’s blogs twentyfourteen theme and featured post slider is what got me thinking about doing that with my other sites as well. So, if nothing else, playing around over there is giving me lots to think about. That’s not a bad thing. Sometimes, you have to experiment a little in order to spur some creative thought.

Do you have plugins that you love that help you make your site more useful, or help you highlight some of your older content?

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WordPress Security Esentials Videos

Noting these, for myself if no one else. But if you host your own site using WordPress, you might pick up a tip or two from these videos put together by the folks at WPMU Dev. Personally, I might not be taking all of the advice given, even though I realize that might make my site a little less secure than it could be. Just stuff that makes it easier for me to use though, thus displaying the time honored conundrum of computer security. ;-)

WordPress Security Essentials: Say Goodbye to Hackers

WordPress Security Essentials : Four Points Of Vulnerability

WordPress Security Essentials: Password and Username Safety

WordPress Security Essentials : Building A Layered Defense

WordPress Security Essentials: Obscurity Tactics and Backups

 

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