Ready for 2017

PNew year 2017lenty to celebrate already with my blogging! WordPress just put up my 10 year anniversary celebration of blogging on WordPress. I started on Blogger in 2003 and this year I have had a chance to really focus on what I want to achieve through blogging. It is worth thinking about. It helps me clarify my ideas , get feedback, look at ideas and think about them. Blogging is always a journey of discovery and growth. The reflection and ideas building are intrinsic to blogging. My top post for the month and this year continues to be the MiniMac OS shortcuts.  That was a good find and helped me a lot at the time.

I found the 2017 Windows 10 desktop theme at winaero. I really like it and the graphics are very clear and well thought out.

I’d like to thank all my followers on WordPress, all the people who visit my site, all those who connect with me on Twitter from the tweets about the posts and those of you who just come and look. I get a lot of really helpful support and feedback which has enabled me to blog on.

I wish you all a really happy , positive and productive New Year.
wordpress10years

Grow social media

Growing social media sites isn’t really hard. You don’t have to be a business or an entrepreneur to build your online social media image.  There is a knack to it , though. It is important to be yourself, or at least, a genuine part of yourself. You are projecting an image so it’s a case of deciding which part of you you wish to project. There are also images which always work. Yes, the adorable kittens and puppies, but also images and videos which strike a chord in humanity or which make people see things quite differently. When you are on social media sites then the social is important. It is also important to connect your social media sites to a blog /blogs/ Facebook page. A lot of people now have a public Facebook page which is not their original /personal Facebook page. That seems to be working well. When you make a blogpost you can advertise it on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat/Pinterest. Some people also email content too. Social media and blogging can be part of creating a very solid online presence and image. I don’t connect my own Facebook page to anything else and am currently thinking about whether to make a public Facebook page. So what are my tips?

  1. Be friendly
  2. Make positive and genuine comments
  3. Follow a variety of people
  4. Make sure your images are clear (400 x 400    pixels approx)
  5. Work methodically on the image you want to project
  6. Get the right hashtags and notice what is current popular hashtag format
  7. Post regularly
  8. Link your sites to a blog
  9. Look carefully at what you like and you react to and use those ideas
  10. Be helpful

Helene inbetween has some detailed and very helpful ideas for building social media sites.

Is WordPress or Blogger better for SEO?

Good question , actually. I have always taught my students WordPress and how to use WordPress. It has made them think. It has forced them to learn how to put a blog together and it has given them a wealth of templates to choose from and customisations they can play with if they want to. Those were senior students, though. With younger ones I think I might have used Blogger and created group blogs or just one class blog. If it were just a class blog then I  could just as easily have used WordPress.  WordPress does take time to learn. Blogger is just there but you have to select the template carefully so that it looks good. I currently use Blogger and WordPress. I had shifted all my blogs onto WordPress but had left my first ever blog on Blogger until the traffic shifted over. It is a successful blog. The last post, which is highly visible, says I have moved and gives the new web address and yet, my old version is getting more traffic than my new one. My new one is advertised on Twitter. My original version has no promotion or social media connections. This is odd. Normally the SEO comes strongly from social media connections as part of the mix. So I am leaving my old blog on Blogger because this is intriguing. I have started a new blog on Blogger because I want to test it out to see how it goes. So far it is going well but I need to get it solidly established. I could then move it to WordPress. Blogger and WordPress play nicely together. What? And risk killing it? Like my original blog? I need to establish whether moving is a problem for successful blogs. My other blog which was not so successful on Blogger is going far better on WordPress. Do different blogging sites help the SEO of particular categories of content? Normally for SEO you are looking at:

1. Keywords like raspberry macarons, agile thinking, social media, atomic energy, search engine optimisation
2. Social media connections – you promote your blog content and posts in social media contexts to build a network and links
3. Tagging – you tag your posts so they are categorised. My year 10s last year turned this into an art form. They would come up with the most amazing tags because they were the tagging generation. It was a linguistic and aesthetic exercise for them . Tagging is important. Search engines need to know where to find your information
4. Image text – you need to fill in an alt text for the image and you need to say at least a sentence with a video or image so the search engines know what it is. The spiders which crawl over the net see text not images. I’ve used a web crawler. It’s surreal!
5. Content – It’s king. If you have what people are looking for they will come to your blog whether it’s on Blogger or WordPress.

WordPress can make SEO and connections easier because you can link the social media things very easily and you can add the twitter widget. It also has the reader where you get to see other blog posts and other people get to see yours too. The networking support is there for Blogger but doesn’t work as intuitively.
If you want to know more about SEO then Whiteboard Fridays can be very helpful.

Upgrade your blog template

Samsung phone image

Samsung 5 Phone

Blog upgradeBefore you upgrade , go to WP-Admin for your blog on WordPress and to the Tools which is the spanner icon 3rd up from the bottom. Select Export and download your xml file. That preserves your blog as it is.  Do that in any case because it is the back up for your blog. All my upgrades so far have gone well except one so the last one is not going to happen yet. The one which has been difficult has been glitchy and odd. Every other one has been straight forward. I am now reconstructing the tetchy blog and am just about here. If I click on customisations it is becoming jumpy and silly. Patience is a virtue. I am getting there , though. Some blog templates put everything at the bottom because it means they run faster on a tablet or smartphone. Classic mobile you-do-not-need-to know thinking. Mobile technology strips things down and so you are not getting the full experience necessarily of a website as you would on a computer. If you know that, you know what you don’t easily have access to. If you do not know that then we are back to the WYSIATI thinking and it can be limiting. I am trying to build blogs which have good information and then good links out but I also want them to run efficiently. Getting the new templates has really improved mobile performance and that was my main aim.  On a tablet this blog runs without the sidebars and all of that information is right at the bottom after you have scrolled down. On my phone it is more like a burner feed and just shows the text. This blog , though , is now running very fast and effectively on mobile devices and I am now happy the new look. Basically it takes a little bit of time and tinkering.

Change your blog template

E-WOTIt’s a 2D connected world in cyberspace. Icons and embellishments have become flat and simple as we have moved on. I discussed that when Instagram changed its iconic logo. We want fast, we want simple, we want to use phones and tablets so graphics and user interfaces have been rolled back to simple and flat. I have been meaning to update my blog template for a while now because I can see how it has slowed down on a tablet. I always check my blogs on tablets and phones to see how they are performing in a mobile set up. The newer templates are designed for the flat world and so will run more efficiently on mobile devices. Over the next couple of weeks I shall tinker with this template. I miss my old template already but life goes on and you have to ensure that your blogs are running effectively across all devices.  Oddly enough I upgraded the template on another blog to which I don’t post because I have a new version of it on another platform and after the upgrade the old, original blog was pulling in more traffic than the new one and yet, in content, they are identical. Some things cannot be explained in cyberworld but template upgrades are important to ensure you have the best access to the newer design efficiencies.

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