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May 2 2008

Wordcamp 2008 – San Fran – The Original

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As anyone who knows me knows, I have a special spot in my heart for wordcamp San Francisco, the original!

In fact when it comes to wordpress and Matt Mullenweg I am like a crazed Beatles fan from the 60′s.

In homage to Matt's new theme

This year it has been announced that Wordcamp San Francisco will be on August 16 at the Mission Bay Conference Center.

I am actually going to miss the overheated, no where to sit, no way the bathrooms could stay totally clean, no where to park, gritty feel of the Swedish American Hall.

It should be a blast!

The wordcamp site is not taking signups yet although I check it every week or so.

I will keep snooping around until I figure out where to sign up, then I will post it here.

I highly recommend you go! Where else can you hang out for like a half hour asking Matt Cutts questions because nobody else there knows who he is. This year though, I smell a change in the air…

By the way, while we are waiting for wordcamp 2008 san francisco to begin, start thinking about what the ultimate snack would be to eat while you are listening.

April 23 2008

Absolute Beginner Blogging #8 – Those Funny Links called Trackbacks

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You will start to notice at some point comments showing up on your site, that are quotes from someone else’s site. If you click on them, you will find someone else who linked to you.

The problem is at least initially, that many of these are actually junk, and here is why.

There are websites out there where the owner does not bother to actually create any content on the site. Instead he will just steal your writing and put it on his site. We call these stealers of writing, scrapers. Yes, there is probably something you could do about it, but it is often just not worth the work. The scrapers are usually doing it so they can put ads on their site and make money off of it.

If there is a good link to your site, when you click on the excerpt, it will take you to the page on the other site. The other sites page will then have an original article that might reference your site, and not just be a rip off of your writing. If I link to one of my friends blogs, Taylor and his new bride to be, then it will show up in his comments as a quote from this page. Taylor can then let that excerpt show up in his comments, or he can delete me if he thinks this is spam!

You can usually sort out quickly if it is a scraper site linking to you or a real one, by just looking at the site. If the site is full of other peoples stolen materials, then it is just junk, and I would delete the comment. If it is a link and an excerpt from someone’s real site, then you can either leave it, or delete it. For some of my sites I just delete them so it does not take people off of my site. For this site, I usually leave the comment and the excerpt in my comments.

These excerpts and links by the way are called trackbacks.

Here is a list of all the wordpress beginner blogger posts
How to Blog for Absolute Beginners – #1 Start
Absolute Begining Blogging #2 – Catagories
Absolute Beginner Blogging #3 Leaving a Comment
Absolute Beginner Blogging #4 Handling Comments
Absolute Beginner Blogging #5 – Modifying a Published Post
Absolute Beginner Blogging #6 – Generating Viewers
Absolute Beginner Blogging #7 – Links
Absolute Beginner Blogging #8 – Those Funny Links called Trackbacks

April 20 2008

Absolute Beginner Blogging #7 – Links

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The internet lets you create a link from some words on your page, to another page on your site, or a page on another site. When someone clicks on the link, they are taken to another page. If you have made it to the point where you are reading this, you have probably already done a lot of clicking on links.

Before I teach you how to link, you should learn a couple of rules. These are not laws, they are not even based on politeness or courtesy, they are rules set by Google to follow if you want to show up in the search engine called Google.

Google’s representatives have stated in a nutshell that they don’t want you to link to bad neighborhoods. These are sites where there are naked peoples, sites where you can gamble, or to sites that are extra sneaky.

Google helps people find the sites they are looking for in a given category. The strength, and the weakness of Google is that it will rank you higher if you have lots of links going to your site. The main way Google measures the importance of your site is by how many, links are going to your site, and how important the sites are that are linking to you. How does Google measure the importance of a site? That is right, by the number and quality of links going to it, and so on, and so on!

So when you start, don’t take links if someone offers to exchange links, and don’t link to sites that are involved with anything sneaky, illegal or naked! (If you want to do good in Google.)

To create a link to another page is simple. My friend Jeremy put a picture of my wife on his main page.  It is kind of a big deal, because like 100,000 people can read one of his posts.

 

You can see the actual picture on this page, click here.

So how did I create the link?

I went to the page I wanted to link to.

Then I selected the address in the top of the browser of that page. That is the part that says, http://www.blahblahblah

Then I clicked at the top of the screen on Edit.

Then I clicked on Copy.

Then I went back into my wordpress blog where I was already logged in.

I then selected the text (In this case it was the words, “click here”)

Then I clicked on the little button in wordpress directly above my writing that looks like handcuffs.

I then clicked in the box by Link URL.

Then I clicked at the top of my screen on Edit.

Then i clicked on Paste.

(This then pasted the http://www.blah part from Jeremy’s site)

For now you can just leave the target and title blank.

Then click on Insert.

You won’t see the link now until you publish the blog, except that the words of the link will be blue and underlined.

A good place to start is to link from one part of your blog to another part.

You can also practice by linking to this page so others can learn how to link! ;)

Here is a list of all the wordpress beginner blogger posts
How to Blog for Absolute Beginners – #1 Start
Absolute Begining Blogging #2 – Catagories
Absolute Beginner Blogging #3 Leaving a Comment
Absolute Beginner Blogging #4 Handling Comments
Absolute Beginner Blogging #5 – Modifying a Published Post
Absolute Beginner Blogging #6 – Generating Viewers
Absolute Beginner Blogging #7 – Links
Absolute Beginner Blogging #8 – Those Funny Links called Trackbacks

April 19 2008

Absolute Beginner Blogging #6 – Generating Viewers

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The Internet is a conversation, or at least it can be. One person makes a statement, and someone else speaks back. This conversation can easily take place on a blog, or back and forth between two blogs.

One of the easiest ways to get viewers of your blog is to converse with others with similar, or just interesting blogs.

Find a blog you like. If you don’t know of any go to Google’s blog search. Enter in the topic or topics related to your blog, and look for other blogs that seem to relate. Read one of their posts on their blog. If it is interesting, you can click around and read many of their posts on their blog. When you find a post about which you have something clever, or helpful, or funny to say, then leave a comment below it.

Comments on newer posts are more likely to be read. On my blogs, I usually notice comments even on my older posts.

When someone reads your comments, whether it is the owner of the blog or their readers, they may click on your name and follow you over to your blog. Then if your blog has something interesting to say, they may come back. Feel free to ask questions in the comments of someones blog. These are all ways to get the conversation started.

At all costs, I highly recommend that you avoid anything that sounds like an advertisement in your comments. Most of us do not enjoy anything that sounds self promoting in comments.

Stay tuned for more!

Here is a list of all the wordpress beginner blogger posts
How to Blog for Absolute Beginners – #1 Start
Absolute Begining Blogging #2 – Catagories
Absolute Beginner Blogging #3 Leaving a Comment
Absolute Beginner Blogging #4 Handling Comments
Absolute Beginner Blogging #5 – Modifying a Published Post
Absolute Beginner Blogging #6 – Generating Viewers
Absolute Beginner Blogging #7 – Links
Absolute Beginner Blogging #8 – Those Funny Links called Trackbacks

April 16 2008

Absolute Beginner Blogging #5 – Modifying a Published Post

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Lets say you just published a post, and now realized you misspelled something, forgot the category, or just messed up on your writing.

Go ahead and log in to your site.

Click on Manage.

Click on Posts. This will show all of the posts you have posted, with the new one on top.

Click on the title of the post you want to change.

Now you can make any change you want to the title or content.

You can change the category.

You can even change the date by clicking on the word edit, that is right by the date.

Then click save.

Easy, Peasy!

Here is a list of all the wordpress beginner blogger posts
How to Blog for Absolute Beginners – #1 Start
Absolute Begining Blogging #2 – Catagories
Absolute Beginner Blogging #3 Leaving a Comment
Absolute Beginner Blogging #4 Handling Comments
Absolute Beginner Blogging #5 – Modifying a Published Post
Absolute Beginner Blogging #6 – Generating Viewers
Absolute Beginner Blogging #7 – Links
Absolute Beginner Blogging #8 – Those Funny Links called Trackbacks

April 16 2008

Absolute Beginner Blogging #4 Handling Comments

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So by this time, I expect that you have posted a few blogs. If you have a standard wordpress installation, then people can leave comments on your blogs. The easiest people to get to do this, are people you know. Say to your friends and family, “Hey, come read this and leave a comment!”

After they leave a comment it may show up and it may not.

If you log into wordpress you will find a tab that says Comments.

Click on the tab.

If you click on the line that says Awaiting Moderation, then you will see any comments that are not yet showing up. You can select the little box next to the comment to tell wordpress that is the comment about which you are going to tell it what to do.

If you want to approve it, then just click on Approve.

If you want to delete the comment, then just click on Delete.

If you think the comment was crummy advertising, then you can mark it as spam.

Now if you look at the post, you will see the comments you approved show up under the post!

Here is a list of all the wordpress beginner blogger posts
How to Blog for Absolute Beginners – #1 Start
Absolute Begining Blogging #2 – Catagories
Absolute Beginner Blogging #3 Leaving a Comment
Absolute Beginner Blogging #4 Handling Comments
Absolute Beginner Blogging #5 – Modifying a Published Post
Absolute Beginner Blogging #6 – Generating Viewers
Absolute Beginner Blogging #7 – Links
Absolute Beginner Blogging #8 – Those Funny Links called Trackbacks

April 15 2008

Absolute Beginner Blogging #3 Leaving a Comment

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One of the most amazing advancements that comes with blogs that has not been seen much on the Internet before, is the ability to leave comments.

In real life, this would be illegal. You can’t walk out of a restaurant you have been to and just spray paint your opinion on the side of their building. With blogs you can come close.

Go visit a blog such as this blog. At the bottom of the page is a place to write a comment. Sometimes it will also ask for your name, and other info. Under your name, fill out your name. Where it asks for your e-mail just put it in.

Where it asks for your website, type in http://www. (then enter the address of your blog).

If you do it right, then when someone looks at your comment, and clicks on your name, they will be taken to your blog.

Then it may ask you to do a math problem, or read some cryptic numbers. This is so you can be distinguished from a computer trying to put ads on the blog.

When you write a comment, I suggest you write about what the person wrote. I recommend you avoid writing about your own blog, or trying to advertise it. If your comment is interesting, then other people will click on your name and find your blog. If your blog is interesting, and you update it frequently, then they will keep coming back to check on you!

Try leaving a comment here to see how it works on this blog about blogs you can read on your phone.

Stay tuned for more!

Here is a list of all the wordpress beginner blogger posts
How to Blog for Absolute Beginners – #1 Start
Absolute Begining Blogging #2 – Catagories
Absolute Beginner Blogging #3 Leaving a Comment
Absolute Beginner Blogging #4 Handling Comments
Absolute Beginner Blogging #5 – Modifying a Published Post
Absolute Beginner Blogging #6 – Generating Viewers
Absolute Beginner Blogging #7 – Links
Absolute Beginner Blogging #8 – Those Funny Links called Trackbacks

April 15 2008

Absolute Begining Blogging #2

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O.K. so you posted your first new post.

Congratulations!!

A category is simply a way to organize your blogs so someone can find what they are looking for. An example is a famous guy I know who works at google mostly writes about google, but occasionally writes about food, so he has a category called food.

So now you look at the categories section, and realize that you have posts under a category named 1, or some other random name that makes no sense. So if you want to add or change a category here is what you do.

Log into your blog.

Click on Manage.

Then click on Posts.

Under the categories column you can see what category each post is already assigned to.

Click on the title of the post you want to change the category of.

Scroll down until you see the word categories.

Click to select one of the categories you want the post to be assigned to.

Click a mark you want to remove.

I recommend that you only have a post assigned to only one category.

If you want to add a category, then just click on Add a Category, type it in, and click on Add.

It becomes unwieldy to have more than around 20 categories, so plan in advance.

Then click on Publish, or if it was already published, click on Save.

That’s it!

Next post is about developing blogging friends!

Here is a list of all the wordpress beginner blogger posts
How to Blog for Absolute Beginners – #1 Start
Absolute Begining Blogging #2 – Catagories
Absolute Beginner Blogging #3 Leaving a Comment
Absolute Beginner Blogging #4 Handling Comments
Absolute Beginner Blogging #5 – Modifying a Published Post
Absolute Beginner Blogging #6 – Generating Viewers
Absolute Beginner Blogging #7 – Links
Absolute Beginner Blogging #8 – Those Funny Links called Trackbacks

April 14 2008

How to Blog for Absolute Beginners

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Absolute Beginners Blogging Article #1
This is a series of posts I am witting for very beginning wordpress bloggers.

My bloggers are not paid, and their links are for real!

Go to your login page.

It will usually be the address of the blog, followed by wp-login.php.

Here is an example.

httttp:///wwww.thenameof site/yourblog/wp-login.php

Then enter your user name and password. Make sure you get the capital letters right if they are part of it.

Then click on the word Write.

Enter a Title in the Title area.

Write your blog in the Post area.

Scroll down to the categories, and select one and only one category.

Scroll back up and click on Publish.

Here is a list of all the wordpress beginner blogger posts
How to Blog for Absolute Beginners – #1 Start
Absolute Begining Blogging #2 – Catagories
Absolute Beginner Blogging #3 Leaving a Comment
Absolute Beginner Blogging #4 Handling Comments
Absolute Beginner Blogging #5 – Modifying a Published Post
Absolute Beginner Blogging #6 – Generating Viewers
Absolute Beginner Blogging #7 – Links
Absolute Beginner Blogging #8 – Those Funny Links called Trackbacks

April 8 2008

My WordPress Blog Got Hacked Right Next To Matt Mullenweg

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Elite Retreat was fantastic. One of the best things of all was that on the first day, I got to sit next to Matt Mullenweg in the back of the room. I would have spent $5,000 just for that! When Matt spoke, he spoke about WordPress 2.5 that had just been released and encouraged us to update our wordpress installs.

Here is a picture of my actual computer, with my blog at bodyabcs showing on the screen right next to Matt Mullenweg. I could see my blog looking jealously over at Matt hoping it would work on it.

Matt left that night, and was unable to come back the next day because of jury duty. The second day I was sitting there looking at my bodyabcs blog and I noticed a few letters at the top of the screen. (This must have happened some time in the past week.)

It said 1f57. (red arrow added to be obvious) What the hell is that? I figured that when I was customizing the header I must have added a few random characters without realizing it.

The funniest part is at this exact moment, Jeremy, Shoemoney, Schoemaker started talking about how important it is to update your wordpress instalation so you don’t get hacked. He had no idea that at that moment I had discovered I had been hacked! It was hilarious that I am struggling in the back of the room to save my hacked blog while Jeremy is discussing how to avoid it.

So I clicked open the source code, and guess what? I had added around 500 links to every page without realizing it! ;)

I looked over to my right, and there was Dave Dellanave, Shoemoney’s ace programmer sitting 3 feet across the isle from me banging away on the keys creating fighters.com their new ultimate fighting site! By the way, I hung over his shoulder watching him code, update the site, look at the site, write code, fingers flying, hand coding in a text editor, site evolving, it was beautiful!

So I show Dave my source code, and ask him what is up? He says, without looking up from his coding,

Dave – “You were hacked, what version of wordpress are you using”?

Me – “Achem”… “It is is an old version”.

Dave – ” Update your wordpress software”

Me – “I have no idea how”?

Dave – “Just untar it”

Me- “I know how to download it to my site, unzip it, and then just copy it over, will that work”?

Dave (still clicking on his keys) “Sure”

Me – “I never would do this at home. It is like having a programming lifeguard watching you while you swim”.

Dave – (click, click, click, click, click)

I then go to wordpress.org and download the newest version zipped. I then unzip it. I then copy the files across to my server simply replacing the old one with the new ones.

I then change the password on my database and also change it in the wp-config.php file.

I then confidently open up my blog, and get an error message.

I then literally drop my computer right in front of Dave and say “Help me!”

He then clicks the button that says, UPDATE DATABASE.

My blog then works perfectly, I am now in wordpress 2.5.

 

When I look at the page source, the links are still there.

Luckily Jeremy Hermanns is hanging around and jumped right into my wordpress blog, but not before telling me to clean my keyboard!

One of the truly amazing things that was present at the Elite Retreat was the level of trust amongst the attendees. We all just left our computers opened, often logged into servers and other software. People would leave the room with their machines with all of their million dollar secrets just sitting right there. In this case, I just let Jeremy run wild in my machine, something I would normally never allow someone to do.

Jeremy suggested we look at the footer, to find the links. Sure enough that is where they are.
Half of the links are to zen habits dot net.

 

The other half of the about 500 links are to jp aerospace dot com

Neil Patel then told me he knows the guy who has zenhabits. I laughed pretty hard, and am going to ask Neil to send a link to this page to him. Neil did not think zenhabits would have done this. I looked deeper into this amazingly long code of hack and found more links to jpaeropace dot com. I wonder if he is the real culprit here, and only put the zenhabits links in earlier to throw people off?

Either way, I would love the zenhabits guy and the jpaerospace guy comment here and tell us what is up?

Moral of the story? Backup your blog. Keep your wordpress installation updated!

Getting hacked was really fun. Getting hacked the day after Matt Mullenweg personally told us to update, and a few minutes before Jeremy started talking about why we should update was absolutely priceless! Having a programming problem where I could get help from Dave and Jeremy Hermanns and input from Neil Patel just made it it a fun game. If it had happened at home, it could have been a big pain in the ass.

Having it happen at the Elite Retreat just showed how amazing all of the attendees and speakers were, and how quickly they can solve a problem.