Creating ideas for post a week 2011!

My commitment to the “Post A Week 2011” went south this last week. Yes, I missed a week, but I am back on track with this article.

Scott Berkun’s, creator of the Post a Day 2011 campaign, topic-a-day suggestions are great for creating new posts. My problem was they were not aligned to the content I wanted for my blog. This left me in a dilemma. How do I create my own suggestions for topics to post? I think I found Continue reading “Creating ideas for post a week 2011!”

WordPress cultivating features – not just a blogging platform

The WordPress team continues to develop new features into what was already considered an excellent blogging platform. Over the last few years, WordPress has matured into a content management system (CMS) for all kind of web sites. This became very evident at a recent Sarasota Association of Realtors® Tech Expo. Real estate Agents and industry consultants presenting at the Expo were touting WP as the platform of choice to build a diversity of  real estate web sites with different marketing strategies.

When looking for an inexpensive CMS platform to blog or create a web site, WordPress offers two solutions. The first solution is hosted by WordPress itself which can be found at WordPress.com. This solution is an easy and inexpensive (FREE)  method to start a blog or web site. The free version offers basic functionality with options to upgrade your service for a fee (See image 1 for upgrade fee schedule as of 11/14/2010).WordPress.com Upgrade Services fee schedule

Real estate agents can easily create a web site designed to specifically market a single property with a few hours of work. The dedicated property page is a marketing tool that promotes the property to the Internet consumer and generates links back to the property information page on their own web site. View this example for a Sarasota loft for sale at 1415 5th St, Sarasota, Fl. This page was created in less than an hour and all that was required to create the page was content and uploading images.  This is a process that does not require a technologist to create a marketing asset for the Internet.

The second solution provided by WordPress is the ability to download WP and install it on hosted servers. A little bit of techy knowledge is required to go this route, but once the first WordPress web site is completed, the others will be a snap. This journey requires a web hosting company to install WordPress on their servers. WordPress & Go Daddy hosting is a good combination for your site. The benefit of this process provides flexibility to add a plethora of plugins and widgets to enhance the consumers experience with the site and creates the ability to generate as many web sites as allowed under the hosting providers program.

Many web sites today are running WP under the hood in this manner. TechCrunch and TheSaundersBlog.com are some examples of sites that uses WP as a web site platform. This is where WordPress has its greatest strengths. As an example, Real Estate agents marketing niche areas can collectively collaborate to build one powerful area site with dynamic, compelling, and interesting content. Each agent publishes content for their niche market area with links back to their personal web sites. With a group of four Agents, the distribution of creating stories that consumers are anxious to  read are shared by the group. Using this strategy each Agent would be required to produce one story a month.

With either WordPress solution, creating these collaborative web sites that are relevant to consumers is a strategy to drive more consumer traffic towards Agents.

As WordPress continues to build features, the platform becomes stronger as a real estate marketing tool. How the platform will be utilized is only limited by the imagination of those who learn and adapt WordPress as an Internet tool.

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YouTube SimpleGallery for WordPress

YouTube SimpleGallery let’s you build a gallery of YouTube videos either in a post or a page with thumbnail images and customized titles.

Building articles containing multiple videos has always been a challenge. When layering videos into an article, the spacing of text and video would always conflict to the relevancy of the content. YouTube SimpleGallery allows you to integrate a gallery of videos throughout your article with ease. As shown below, I have three videos in a gallery from my YouTube account. The titles are customized and the order of the videos is determined by the directive in the post. The Shadowbox support and the ability to create your own CSS to style the gallery really makes YouTube SimpleGallery 1.0 a must have for your WP blog.

[youtubegallery]
February 2010 Frost in Florida|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3j8DduIHtP8
Measuring an Ecosystem – Joan Durante Park, Longboat Key, FL|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIvrUr8UCDE
Lakewood Ranch Marching Band – Desoto Heritage Parade, Bradenton, FL|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QswfKhR7yUU
[/youtubegallery]

Now I have another section of text and can create another gallery of videos from different publishers.

[youtubegallery]
Google Analytics for WordPress|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnUXzbvXxSQ
WordPress Tutorial – Critical Installation Cleanup Tasks|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyONaw5c-Nk
WordPress Tutorial – Setting up and using Adsense Ads|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQfTQUaROis
[/youtubegallery]

UPDATE: DRG – 09/20/10 – WP Minify plugin that compresses JS and CSS does not allow Shadowbox and YouTube SimpleGallery to function properly. This is what I have found so far. The error generated is as follows:

[20-Sep-2010 23:08:04] PHP Warning:  filemtime() [<a href=’function.filemtime’>function.filemtime</a>]: stat failed for /davidgumpper.com//wp-includes/js/scriptaculous/prototype.js in /davidgumpper.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-minify/wp-minify.php on line 711

Linking WordPress Blog to Facebook

I have been very busy at work lately with the redesign of our company web site and the multitude of projects. As a result, I have been delinquent in researching new techniques for cool Internet tools. Linking your WordPress Blog to your Facebook profile using the Facebook API is the latest integration that peaked my interest.

Have you every ask the question “How can I automatically share my blog posts with my Facebook community? Yes you can! I found this cool little WordPress plugin that links into the Facebook API so you can do this. I had to figure this one out and the steps didn’t come that easy, so I decided to make a video showing you how this can be accomplished.

The only prerequisite is your WordPress blog must be on a hosted server and it needs to be version 2.8.4. The plugin is WPBook from John Eckman. John did a nice job with incorporating the Facebook API integration. His work made the installation very easy to perform and configure. You can see the result at Dave Gumpper’s Profile page on Facebook.

The video does provide a step-by-step instruction, so have fun and learn. If you need help with this or anything with WordPress, contact me at dgumpperATyahooDOTcom. If you have any comments regarding the steps or the video, please add them to the post. ENJOY!!

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WordPress 2.8 Is Out. IMPRESSIVE!!

WordPress 2.8 is out and it is very impressive. The WordPress upgrade feature in 2.7 performed flawlessly and this blog was upgraded in minutes. YES, MINUTES!! No more time spent downloading the source, FTP the source up to the server, and then running the update.

Everybody in the world has blogged on every feature of 2.8, so I’m not going to go into details and will link to articles that provide better information. What I will say, WordPress as a content management system for web sites is becoming the most innovative product to streamline publishing content to the Internet.

A few items that are great in this release:

  • Browsing for a new theme within WordPress just like you can with plugins, but on steroids. Upgrading to the new theme is a click away, it is that simple.
  • The administration section now is becoming cleaner in design and usability. This is one area in need of improvement, especially in providing content creators with the access to create posts.
  • Widget and plugin management is so sweet!!! New layout and features to improve an administrator’s life.
  • The syntax highlighting when editing files in WordPress is a developers dream.

The guys at Automattic have out done themselves again. Great Job!!

Links to more information:

WordPress 2.8 Release and New Features

WordPress.TV Video of New Features