Tag Archives: Wordpress

Get Ready To Get Out

A pause from the business of business today.  The folks who host the screed – WordPress – are asking bloggers to participate in a campaign to get folks ready to vote.  As they put it :

WordPress.com has teamed up with the The Pew Charitable Trusts, who, along with Google, and election officials nationwide, have developed the The Voting Information Project (VIP). Together, we’re offering cutting-edge tools that give you access to the customized information you need to cast a ballot on or before Election Day

Since WordPress hosts me for free, a little giving back is always a good thing. I’m a believer in participating in the process if you’re going to complain about it or keeping your mouth shut if not.  As you might have noticed I have a fairly big set of opinions although the political ones don’t show up here.

In any event, Election Day is a week off and every one of us should know the basics of where and when we can vote.  Given the change (no comment) in voter ID laws in some places, you need to know that as well to be sure your vote gets cast.

We’ll be back to the usual ranting tomorrow.


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Filed under What's Going On


One of the best things about digital media is that it’s an open platform.


(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Anyone can plug in and begin producing content or commenting on content that others have posted.  Often those comments can be an interesting or insightful as the original article.  They can also serve to provide balance when a “news” piece strays too far from the facts.  I like reading comments most of the time and I appreciate those of you who take the time to add your thinking to mine here on the screed.

Unfortunately, there are those who use the ability to piggyback on the audiences good content attracts for other purposes.  Here alone, spammers post dozens of fake comments with links back to their crap every day (WordPress has a built-in spam block that works exceptionally well).   Elsewhere, trolls try to take over conversations, so the comments become a soapbox for rants against one party or politician or another no matter what the subject matter of the original story.  It’s not just blog or news sites that suffer this – think about your own friends on Facebook or Twitter – seen any flame wars?

There are softwares that do moderation but they lack nuance and Im’ not sure they can fact-check a politely written bit of utter nonsense.  Research has shown that an environment filled with negative comments can influence readers’ perceptions of the underlying subject matter negatively even when the piece is very neutral.  What does one do?  It’s not an easy answer.  When we grappled with this issue many years ago as commenting became common, the solution my team went with involved, committed community members on a sort of neighborhood watch.  We enabled certain folks who made insightful comments to alert us to issues and eventually even allowed some of them to block and edit to keep a safe, sane environment.

I think that’s about all we can do and still remain transparent while fostering conversation.  People will have issues with your product or service and sometimes they’ll be very loud about their displeasure if it’s unwarranted.  There’s not much one can do when that negativity is expressed via social shares that aren’t on your page but for the places under your control, encouraging polite, factual discourse can be a boost to readership as well as to your credibility and authenticity.  That’s what I try to do here and what I try to get my clients to do as well.  What do you do?  Please comment (gulp!).

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Filed under Consulting, digital media, Thinking Aloud

What If You Can’t Sauté?

and pans

Image by la fattina via Flickr

The end of another week and I’m pleased to return us this Friday to our food theme.  Before I do, yesterday’s post was number 800, according to WordPress.  Thanks, as always, to you guys for encouraging me to keep writing!

Most of us have heard the term sauté.  It  comes from the French for “to jump,” which is what the things in a pan are to do when one is using this technique.  You’ve probably seen it a million times on any cooking show – the cook is standing there, flicking his or her wrist and a pile of stuff jumps up out of and back down into the pan.  I’m not sure if you’ve ever tried to sauté with that technique but it’s a great way to get your kitchen floor washed because the odds are you’re going to put a bunch of food on the floor.  Which of course raises a business point. Continue reading

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Filed under food, Thinking Aloud


Kate the Desktop Computer

Image by Gino Carteciano via Flickr

I have seen the future and it’s disconnected! From what? From the wall, from the wire, and maybe from you if you’re a content creator who’s not thinking ahead. I used to write this on my desktop PC; today I’m writing it on my laptop; tomorrow, I could be writing it on a tablet or my phone (which I do sometimes now in a pinch). Fortunately for me, the CMS I use (WordPress) has versions optimized for each device. It’s not quite so easy, however, if you’re producing content rather than software, especially video content, and that’s going to be a critical fix on your “to do” list if it’s not already. Continue reading

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Filed under digital media

It’s A Dessert Topping! It’s A Floor Wax!

I read an article the other morning and it made me think of the old SNL skit for Shimmer Floor Wax.  If you don’t know it you can watch the skit by clicking this link (I tried to embed it but good luck getting certain video providers to work nicely with WordPress). You might remember it – is new Shimmer a floor wax or a dessert topping?  As with the article, it turns out to be both. Continue reading

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Filed under digital media