Two Ways to Start a Blog

create on wp

  1. Free and Easy!
  2. Inexpensive and not as easy.

There are good reasons for choosing either of these options.

  • With free and easy, you don’t host your content, so you don’t have complete control over its destiny.
  • With free and easy, you don’t pay for hosting and you don’t have as much to learn* about WordPress.
  • Inexpensive and not as easy means you pay a nominal cost to purchase a domain and host your blog – this gives you complete control over your content.
  • Inexpensive and not as easy means you have a few more things to learn about managing your blog.

*You’ll learn WordPress to some degree with either, or both options – it is an imperative.

We are going to explore the 1st option here.

First, let’s oversimplify things.

Here are three steps for starting a blog.
None of these is any easier than the others, and each step depends upon your approach, preconceived notions, and decision making skills.
Leaving creativity out of this process will make things go quickly and get us to our ultimate goal of having a fully functional blog where we can then feel free to express our creative skills.
So, we build the frame, then paint the picture! (Put down your paintbrush and think, “structure.”)

  1. Think of your topic, subject matter, what you plan to present; and name it. (Ex. mygrandkidsphotos or mynovelapproach or cookingwithkate, etc.)
  2. Using that name, create your blog on WordPress.com. (You must be able to log into email to get through this step!)
  3. Customize your blog and modify existing content, or create new content. You are now a blogger!

Seriously, that is all it takes to get started.
These three steps, with details, are shown below.

  1. Think of your topic, subject matter, what you plan to present, and name it.
    1. Realize your name must be unique (in the WordPress world.)
    2. Your name may be a combination of words, like: “mygreatgrandkids.”
    3. WordPress will help with suggestions, if your name is already taken.
  2. Using that name, create your blog on WordPress.com.
    1. Point your browser at: https://wordpress.com/ and click, “Start a Blog.”
    2. Use your email address, your name from step 1, and think of a password.
    3. Log into your email and click to confirm the message from WordPress.
    4. Really, you are done! Your blog is now ready for your content.
  3. Customize your blogsite and modify existing content, or create new content.
    1. Choose a theme.
    2. Edit the page and the post provided by WordPress.
    3. Or, create a new page, or post, or both.
    4. Here we begin to learn how to work with WordPress.
    5. Your blog – the creation of it, was finished at completion of Step 2.

Congratulations!

HTML and CSS

html_cssOne of my business associates, from DNP, Greg Kain, asked me about a drop-down menu and I had to step into the “way back machine“, to rediscover my HTML and CSS roots. In the end, I created a web page to demonstrate the simplest approach to a drop-down menu, based on an example provided by one of my many hosting providers.

Here, then, is that example.

Windows 10 Settings and Control Panels

My issue was that I could not remove the directory “windows.old” after upgrading to Windows 10.

what is cortanaSo, I asked Cortana and got this:
Delete your previous version of Windows
One month after you upgrade to Windows 10, your previous version of Windows will be automatically deleted from your PC. However, if you need to free up disk space, and you’re confident that your files and settings are where you want them to be in Windows 10, you can safely delete it yourself. Keep in mind that you’ll be deleting your Windows.old folder, which contains files that give you the option to go back to your previous version of Windows.
Deleting your previous version of Windows can’t be undone.
Go to Start, enter Settings in the search box, and then select Settings.
Select System > Storage > This PC and then scroll down the list and select Temporary files.
Under Previous version of Windows, select Delete previous versions and then select Delete.

Help from Microsoft – Was this helpful?

Not just, “yes,” but heck yeah!!!Remove Windows Old

Pointing out the difference between Settings and Control Panels seems obvious to me, now. Because of my experience, I’m prone to taking shortcuts with Windows. So, I was thinking that if I was to open the System (settings), why not just click start and type, “system” in the search field – which I did. Then I chose the System control panel and could find no place there that would allow me to get to “storage.” However, if I type “storage” into the search field, I am presented with “Storage, System settings” as the top result. Choosing that puts me on the path to solving the problem, in accordance with the instructions provided by Microsoft.

Do you need help with getting Windows 10 up and running on your computer? Or, maybe your website needs some sprucing up, or you’ve always wanted to start a blog, but you didn’t know where to begin!

Drop me a line or give me a call and I will help you with anything related to communications and computers.

 

Because, I Write. That’s Why.

headshot04192015[1]Answering my own question about why I speak so passionately about blogging…. Last night, I was privileged to be part of an engaging conversation about things related to social media and I launched into an impassioned explanation of how blogging connects your personality to your business. This was one of those times when I wished I had had the opportunity to capture my words, so I could more easily put them into a blog post!

Now, I’ll have to ponder further how to put into words and pictures the idea of “know you, like you, trust you….” and how to achieve that through writing a blog and posting on social media.

For something a bit more personal, check out my other blog.
“Because I write, I am.”

Considerations Prior To Your Windows 10 Upgrade

Image source: http://www.komando.com/happening-now/310826/windows-10-worries-7-things-that-wont-work-after-you-upgrade/all

Image source: http://www.komando.com

  1. Is it necessary?
    The simple answer is, no. While that answer assumes you are happy with your current Windows 7 or 8 operating system, the answer is further qualified or disqualified by benefits and the all-important idea – Free (until July of next year), which is a pretty good deal.
  2. What are the benefits?
    Long ago, I learned to use the sage advice of others to answer my questions. It would take several blog posts to fully detail all of the benefits of using the new Windows 10 OS. So, here is a link to several articles others have written. Do your research and decide for yourself. The primary reason for my upgrade is, that’s just how it is with me. I must run Windows 10, so I’ll know how to help you. And, I like it.
  3. What are the drawbacks?

    Advice extracted from this article: “Better the Devil ye ken, than the Devil ye don’t” — those are wise words, born of much pain.

  4. Why not wait?
    If it really doesn’t interest you, or it doesn’t matter in the least, there’s no reason to not simply wait. Watch the dust settle, or just go outside for some fresh air – it’s so nice in the desert, this time of year! Eventually, Microsoft will issue hundreds of patches and probably, “Service Pack 1,” as it has for other versions of Windows. By that time, Windows 10 should be pretty stable. End your waiting prior to July 28, 2016, however, if you want a free Windows 10 upgrade.
  5. Links I’ve used while writing this post:

________________________________________________________

Today, I was going to take the plunge with Margaret’s computer. My wife has little interest in the version of Windows running on her computer. When I asked her if she would like me to upgrade to Windows 10, she laughed (the best result I can get….) and said, “You may as well ask me if I want the X11 refrigerator! Does it keep things cold? Then, yes.”

The answer to your question is, yes. I think a Windows 10 upgrade, for most people, should have little impact. For power users, it is definitely a meaningful upgrade.

Kim Komando is a great source for advice about Windows 10. She is far more paranoid about the “security risks” of having Microsoft track your activities than I am, however. Still, her site provides a wealth of information about things worth considering before you make the leap to Windows 10.
http://www.komando.com/happening-now/310826/windows-10-worries-7-things-that-wont-work-after-you-upgrade/all

http://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2015/10/16/microsoft-windows-10-free-upgrade-changes/
http://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2015/08/02/windows-10-vs-windows-8-vs-windows-7-whats-the-difference/

http://winsupersite.com/windows-10/details-changes-windows-10-activation-threshold-2

Printing and PDF

Recently, a client wrote to ask, “What’s going on here?” The answer is easy, as is the remedy. What happens is, your computer has looked for your default printer and not finding it, has provided this alternative. Before we go fix the sleeping printer problem, let’s talk about, “Save as PDF” and the potential benefit. Suppose you are going to print an email or a recipe, something that warrants yet another bit of paperwork you will manage. If it is something you intend to keep, might it be nice to have a backup copy on your computer? Save as PDF will produce that file for you. Name it well and put it in a folder that makes sense, so you can find it again, when you need it (or, when you lose the hard copy you are about to produce.)

Now, to fix the problem with the printer, you have to make sure it is “awake” and ready to “talk” with your computer. On many modern printers, the energy saving feature lets them go into a “sleep” mode that may interrupt communications. Simply tap the screen, or maybe push the power button for a second and the printer should wake up. Having done this, the computer should recognize that it can send a print job there, but you still have one more step to do before you’ll see the “Print” button where the “Save” button is now.

print to local destinationsRight under “Save as PDF” is a button labelled, “Change.” Click that button, then click on “Manage,” under Local destination in this window and you should see your printer there. If it is not there, you may have to reboot, to get the two machines to talk to each other again.

By the way, if you choose the first option and Save as PDF, you can always print the resulting PDF file to your printer. It does give you a nice preview of what will come out of the printer. Sometimes that preview will show you something you didn’t intend to print at all! That’s a topic for another post.

Enjoy!

Five Minutes of Writing for DNP

DNP brochure cover

I’ve started the stopwatch and will stop typing at five minutes, so I can add a couple of images to this post. Then, I’ll use HootSuite to push this post out to two Facebook pages, Twitter and Google+, along with another WordPress site I maintain for reasons I’ll explain to the group.

The point of this exercise is to dispel the notion that Social Media takes “too much time!” Sure, you can spend hours scrolling through every post on Facebook, or perusing every Tweet on Twitter. That is up to you, however, as to how you behave as a consumer of Social Media offerings. What is important here is to show that in less than ten minutes, I can produce one post and have it show up in five more places on the web.

What do you think that does for visibility and SEO? OK, my stopwatch is at 4:54 now….

Time’s up! Pencils down.

So, now that I’ve pasted the text and added an image, we are at eight minutes….
From here, we go out to HootSuite to select the SM networks and ship it!

OK, it took about 15 minutes to go from typing the title of this post, to the finished product being posted via HootSuite.
Images added after the fact:

Dashboard HootSuite my social networks

The Advent of Windows 10

File-Explorer-Fail-Windows-10As much as I wish I could tell you about the wonderful success of Microsoft’s new product…

In the words of Carole King: “A-lack! A-day! O-Woe! Oy-Vey!”

Windows 10 successfully installed on two of my computers. Notice I didn’t say I was successful, but I was pleasantly surprised that I ran into no snags along the way, as some people have reported.

However, I’ve been reading about security issues one should address directly after installation and not surprisingly, there are a few. And, a simple task, like telling me what is eating up disk space failed miserably, after so much promise!

Indeed, there is 13.2 GB of data in my documents folder and there are folders in it, too! File-Explorer-properties

 

Another Think Coming for That One Nobody Who Cares

Who cares? Maybe nobody…. But, I, most often, do! This is my problem.

There must be dozens, if not hundreds, of expressions that are misspoken, misinterpreted, misused on a daily basis by the multitudes who post on Social Media. From its to it’s and your to you’re, to could of and should of and the ever popular, “I could care less…” – it’s like, you know what I mean.25-Common-Phrases-Everyone-Thinks-Are-Correct-export

I’m reminded of the Q&A joke, where the question is:
“Which is a greater problem today, ignorance or apathy?”
And the answer is:
“I don’t know and I don’t care.”

There are so many wonderful resources today, kindhearted souls, who aspire to help you understand the value of your “social media strategy” and your “engagement” or “conversion rate” – all things designed to drive more business to your door, or at least more traffic to your site. It’s heart warming, really. This outpouring of compassion thinly veils the inevitable sales pitch, or ultimately leads to the idea that you must want this kind of stuff daily in your inbox; it is available via links on Facebook and Twitter. I’m the consumer, your prospect, lost, when you don’t get it quite right.

OK, I’ve lost my way, here.
I was driving at this one point, then, “SQUIRREL!”
Oh, wait, here we go….

I was just starting to enjoy an article posted by one of my favorite sources, when I came upon the expression, “you’ve got another thing coming.” Having a keen (not so fond) memory of the first time I had heard this, I’m pretty sure it was, “you’ve got another THINK coming.”

YES, yes, it IS such a small detail. But, it is one of many. This is how it goes, I suppose. You start down the slippery slope of carelessness, then progress to apathy, which turns into a kind of defensive ignorance (where ignorance is a technique you use to be allow you to keep reading, no matter how difficult you find it to dismiss the myriad errors you find in online reading material.)

If you’ve come this far, thank you. Please do “let me have it,” if you’ve found errors and omissions in my writing, I would love to have that feedback. I promise swift corrections. If you would like to simply commiserate with me, I’ll take that, too.

SlideShare from Darren Rowse

It seems we all may need a bit of advice from time to time. Here, then, for your perusal, is some of that, from one of the best. Thanks to Darren Rowse, of ProBlogger, for helping to light the way!

Focus on the positive, be a good example and be willing to take the next step, one post closer to achieving the goal! Thanks for reading. Now I have to learn and post a SlideShare, so I can help my clients with that, too!