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Blog Idol.ca Header Image

A member of the judging panel for ComputerWorld Canada’s annual blogging contest “Blogging Idol” this year is Maggie Fox, CEO and founder of Toronto-based Social Media Group.

Fox, who has been blogging for the past six years, shares some valuable advice for those new to blogging or who are intimidated by it.

1. Keep it short

Given that bloggers often have to keep up with a content production schedule that might mean two to three blog entries per week, it helps to keep blog posts nice and short. “You don’t need to blog more than a couple of hundred words to get your point across,” said Fox.

2. The open-ended question

If a topic is of interest, then summarize it in a blog entry and pose a question about it to readers. “It’s a great way to encourage discussion and engagement with the content,” said Fox.

3. Lists

A blogger may come across five to 10 things of interest, in the course of a week, that can be shared in a blog entry. It’s very acceptable to post a series of links accompanied by a few words about what the blogger thinks. “You don’t have to write a novel every time you write a blog post. And, in fact, it’s best if you don’t,” said Fox.

4. Rich media.

Images and videos are a great way to spice up a blog entry, said Fox, especially because readers find that sort of content very engaging and it increases the stickiness of the site.

excerpts from: http://www.itworldcanada.com/news/bloggin-idol-returns/142898

ScribeFire logo

About ScribeFire

ScribeFire is an addon/extension for both the Mozilla Firefox Web Browser and Google Chrome Web Browsers which allows easy posting to all of your blogs right from within the browsers.

Basically, it’s a full-featured blog editor that integrates with your browser and lets you easily post to your blog. You can drag & drop formatted text from pages you are browsing, take notes, upload images, and post to multiple blogs.

You can Install ScribeFire for Firefox Here »
or Get ScribeFire for Chrome here »

Instructions for Getting Started
With ScribeFire

(If you haven’t already installed the ScribeFire addon, you can read these installation
instructions.
)

Once you’ve installed it, you can start using it to simply, quickly
and easily update your blog(s). To open a ScribeFire window in the
browser, use any of the following methods:

  • Press F8
  • Click on the icon in the status bar:
  • Select ScribeFire from the Tools menu:
  • Right-click on the page and select “Blog this page” from the
    ScribeFire submenu.
  • There is also a ScribeFire toolbar button you can use to open and
    close ScribeFire. Add it to your toolbar by selecting Customize
    from the View > Toolbars menu, and then drag the button to
    your chosen location.

The first time you open ScribeFire, an account wizard will appear to
help you connect ScribeFire to your blog. (Here is a list
of the blogging services that are compatible with ScribeFire.) Simply
fill in the information it asks for, and when you finish, your blog will
be listed in the right-hand pane:

To post to your blog, simply type some text in the main editor panel
of ScribeFire, give it a title…

…and click the Publish button:

That’s all there is to it! ScribeFire will post the entry to your
blog, and it will appear in the list of entries in the right sidebar so
that you can edit or delete it later if you want.

Other Features

Other features of ScribeFire allow you to categorize and tag your
blog posts, upload images, set the timestamp of your posts, save
works-in-progress as notes, post an entry as a draft, share your posts
on social websites, and upload files via FTP, HTTP & HTTPS. For help with these
features, see the complete listing of ScribeFire Help topics.

WordPress Logo

Website Magazine article

WordPress, one of the Web’s most popular blogging platforms is about to get another update. And this one is significant. The update, version 3.0, is due in early May and pushes the platform closer to a full-blown CMS. Here are some of the most important new features for Web professionals:

The merging of WordPress MU (MultiUser) is perhaps the most significant upgrade and will play a major role in several industries. In its most basic form, WordPress MU (or WPMU) allows publishers to install and manage WordPress on multiple domains all at once. This means that updates to WordPress (including plugins) can be executed across multiple sites at the same time. That’s an enormous time-saver, particularly for those managers running tens or hundreds of WordPress blogs at the same time. What’s more, MU allows multiple themes to be available and activated to any one (or two or three) of your blogs with a click.

It also allows a blog manager to enable admin privileges for individual users for individual portions of each website. For example, one user can have access to a subdomain for blogging about products, while another can be given access to a section about services. WPMU is ideal for community-style blogs and websites. It’s never been easier for multiple authors to post and for admins to manage. Combine this with a plug-in like BuddyPress and you’re getting into full-blown social media territory.

WPMU integration is going to save time which, in turn, will give the ability to spawn new websites as fast as you can dream them up. This could be a powerful tool for developers, agencies, marketers (creating branded microsites) and even domainers looking to build a little content and traffic, then resell. Here are some details about using WPMU.

Custom Post Types lets users create any kind of content they want, then assign its attributes for easy management. So, you could create a custom post type ‘video,’ then use its own admin section to get a head-start on formatting of those posts, categorization, etc. This will be a great help to multiple-author blogs so that one user can get very comfortable with a specific type of content and not need to worry about site-wide tweaks formats.

Custom Menus lets you quickly and easily add pages and categories, then manage them through a drag and drop functionality – even to add or remove posts.

Custom Taxonomies have been improved and more easily allows the grouping of items across categories, according to how they are defined. Useful, say for an e-commerce WordPress site that wants the ability to sort items by size, price, color, etc.

In all, many of the features and functions of WordPress 3.0 have been in the works (and actively tested) for a while now. What’s changed is that (hopefully) the bugs have been worked out and the process will be much more user-friendly. This should help WordPress spread even farther across the Web and help businesses increase visibility and production using a fraction of the time.


Posted Apr 22 2010, 11:30 AM by Mike Phillips

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