Blog post

Day 12 – UBC – What Question?

In today’s blog post I’m supposed to answer a question that comes up often in my comments. I don’t have the answer. In fact, I don’t even have the question. But what I do have is a question of my own. It’s a question that I ask myself constantly.

How the heck do you work out the Comments section on a blog site?

This is the one thing that has kept me up at night since the Blog Challenge started. I have ‘plugged-in’, tweaked, and deleted everything that isn’t nailed down in the back-end of my site, and still I haven’t worked it out. I was lucky enough to be able to sit down with my tech-guru on the weekend (thanks Ricky), who went straight to the source of the problem. He unchecked a box here, checked a box there, and Voila!, I was able to find the comments, under the heading of Comments. I walked away from the table, confident that I would now be able to see the comments people have been leaving, and know where to find them in future.

Problem solved – Except?

I still can’t get the comments to land on my actual blog page. I’m not complaining, just stating a fact. When I didn’t know much about my website, and my site was much more simple, comments used to just land at the bottom of the blog post. I would approve, or not approve them, and that would be it. But when I got a bit more technical and started adding more Plug-ins, the wheels started falling off the wagon. It seems that plug-ins, much like humans, have fall-outs with each other. And when they don’t get along, or stop talking to each other, it gets ugly.

And there, in a nutshell, is my problem.

How do I get the Comments to land at the bottom of a blog post on a WordPress Website?

All answers to this problem will be gratefully accepted, and I thank you in advance!

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Posted by Maureen in Blogging, 0 comments
The July Ultimate Blog Challenge

The July Ultimate Blog Challenge

I can’t resist a challenge! – well, as long as the challenge fits within the reasonable limits of my comfort zone.  A recent email had the word ‘Challenge’ in it, so naturally it got my attention. The email was a call to action to sign up for the July Ultimate Blog Challenge. It sounded simple enough – write a blog each day for thirty-one days – so I signed up. But it’s the ‘each day’ bit where I usually come unravelled. I’ve been known to set all sorts of agendas to keep me on track, but my creative-train is easily derailed. It doesn’t take much: an invitation here, a slack day there, and before I know it – I’m panicking about a deadline.

I can usually get the writing part done reasonably fast, but it’s the other bits that make the difference between meeting deadlines – and hearing them whoosh by.

The Support I Need

My websites are built on the WordPress platform, simply because the support from WordPress is phenomenal. WordPress Meetups and WordPress WordCamps are for learning new things, as well as getting answers to questions and solutions to problems. Meetups are held monthly in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, so I get two opportunities a month to learn something new.

WordCamp Brisbane 2017

WordCamps are less frequent, usually once a year in any city, and provide a weekend of learning. You have the opportunity to attend as many talks as you can comfortably fit in over two days. Everything from novice topics, to the highest level for developers, is covered at WordCamp. While costs might vary slighltly in some cities, I only paid $50 for the WordCamps I attended, and that covered admission, food, after-party, t.shirt and lots of swag (that’s tech talk for freebies – thank you WordPress!). Generous sponsors contribute to the cost of the event so that we can attend without breaking the bank – and they bring lots of swag too – (thank you sponsors!).

Smart-casual wear is fine for the After Party (WordCamp Brisbane 2017)

Getting your ducks in a row before you hit the ‘Publish’ button.

Okay, these are Canada Geese, but you get the picture, right?

The real value of Meetups and WordCamps is the networking. It’s the people you meet before and after each session that really makes the difference. The true value of networking, according to networking guru Sally Eberhardt, is the sharing of ideas and information. And I couldn’t agree more.

At WordCamp Sunshine Coast 2016, I met some other bloggers during one of the coffee breaks. One of them shared some valuable information about a Plugin that monitors the readability and the ‘find-ability’ of your website – (thanks Di Hill). I downloaded and have been using Yoast ever since. When I get the readability right, I get a green light, and another green light when I have all the right elements to make my site more ‘findable’. With WordPress websites, adding a Plugin or two is easy, but since I plugged-in Yoast, the days of writing a quick blog have ended. If I choose to ignore the suggestions, I can still write and publish a fast blog. When I follow the suggestions, it slows things down, but it is SO worth it. When you get all your ducks in a row, you get a green light. I love that green light!

I’ve been limbering up for long enough..

… now it’s time to get out on the track, and start sprinting.

My random blog posts have probably been a bit too random lately and need reining in a bit (okay – a lot!). While I was holidaying overseas earlier this year, I signed up for the Ultimate Blog Challenge for January. It seemed like a great idea at the time. Piece of cake, I thought; I have plenty to write about; I can do this. Then disaster struck. I broke my wrist and ended up in a full cast. The cast started at my shoulder and ended just above my fingers, with a quirky bend at the elbow. I couldn’t tie my hair back with one hand – it just can’t be done, but I managed to type – very s-l-o-w-l-y. So I wrote blogs for the challenge. I didn’t manage every day; in fact I didn’t even get half-way, but I gave it a good shot.

At the time, I was also negotiating with the Travel Insurance company to get me home for possible surgery. I’ve used the same company for years and now I know why. They organised amazing flights and took care of everything I would need for a very comfortable trip home. I managed to dodge the surgery, but that’s another story. It would have been great to have seen more of Seattle, but I will remember with fondness the people I met while I was there. It’s the people you meet that make the difference between a good trip, and a great trip.

So let the Ultimate Blog Challenge begin!

Hopefully I will make it through to the end of July with thirty-one new posts, all my ducks in a row, and have successfully completed the July Ultimate Blog Challenge. My floors might not get up-close-and-personal with the vacuum cleaner for the entire month, and I might be living on cheese and crackers, but (hopefully) I will have thirty-one new blog posts completed by the time July bids us farewell. And with the first day of the new month just one sleep away, well at least here in the Southern Hemisphere, I’m starting to panic already.

I can do this! I can do this! I (think) I can do this. And the only way to do it is roll my sleeves up, and start; so let the Ultimate Blog Challenge begin!

These are ducks! – but they’re not exactly in a row – yet.

Journey through the July Ultimate Blog Challenge with me: by subscribing to my Blog.

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Posted by Maureen in Blogging, 0 comments
Blog Post Challenge

Blog Post Challenge

The Pen Is Poised And The Gloves Are Off!

Let The Blog Post Challenge Begin

Today I signed up for a Blog Post Challenge – to post a blog each day of January. So, I’ve taken off the gloves, the virtual pen is poised, and I’m ready to write. Given that I’m already a few days behind, I either have to write fast to catch up, or resign myself to the fact that I’ve failed before I even begin. I’ll try the former but live with the latter if I have to.

Ready To Write…

It’s Personal

My idea of blogging is that it’s a personal thing, well, for me anyway. I don’t have a set theme for my blogs, apart from the majority of them just neatly slipping into a travel theme. But I like to think I’m a personal blogger – someone who just writes because it’s fun and it usually seems like a good idea at the time. So if you choose to follow me on this quest, don’t expect miracles because there won’t be any. I’ll just be plodding along, building up my mental muscles and stretching my creative biceps as I go.

Inspiration?

When I travel, my blog is filled with photos, held together with the memories of being there. Inspiration comes easy when you have stood in front of the magnificence of the Taj Mahal, or the splendour of the Bund and Shanghai Harbour at night.

Standing in front of the Taj Mahal

The Bund – Shanghai

Or ‘No Idea’?

When I am not travelling, my blog is interspersed with silent pauses as I sit in silence, wondering what the heck to write about.

My day usually starts with a ritual coffee on the verandah to ease into the morning, and continues with nothing more exciting than a trip to the mailbox.

So dear followers, if you are subjected to a flowery description of the path leading to the mailbox, you’ll know I’m home from whatever exotic island I’ve recently travelled to, and I have no idea where the next inspiring thought will come from. And this is indeed the blog post challenge.

The path to the mailbox

Time Will Tell

One my favourite songs by Air Supply is ‘Making Love Out Of Nothing At All’. Now let’s see how I go making a story out of nothing at all. Can I create a gripping read out of something as mundane as opening the mailbox? Will I post a blog a day with the Blog Post Challenge? Only time will tell.

Given that I’m already a few days behind, I either have to write fast to catch up, or resign myself to the fact that I’ve failed before I even start. I’ll try the former but live with the latter if I have to.

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Posted by Maureen in Travel, 2 comments