Thinking About Vienna and the Legacy of Mozart

Having arrived a little early for the Transalpine Conference, where I'm giving a WordPress workshop and a couple of presentations, I spent the day wandering Vienna. In the morning I saw the Schonbrunn Palace, which is kind of mind-blowing in how huge and magnificent it looks. It housed 1,500 people at the time, and makes the White House look like servant's quarters. One of the emperor's wives had a special room where she beautified her an...

Day 4 Cartoon [Christmas in June Giveaway]

Here's the cartoon for Day 4 of the Christmas in June Giveaway. The person who comes up with the best caption for this cartoon wins a free copy of Dr. Explain. Add your captions in the comments below. For full details about the giveaway, see this post. Day 4 Cartoon Want to know more about the man behind the cartoons? Check out Ben Minson's blog.

WordPress Tip: “Crunching” and “Burning”

With a title like crunching and burning, it may sound like I'm writing about a painful illness, such as having leprosy with third degree burns and walking on sharp gravel. But actually this post is about the terms some companies use to try to make their applications look super-cool. If you're a web 2.0 company trying to establish your product as the bomb, all the rage, critical to being hip, etc. you can't use generic names and emotionles...

Day 3 Cartoon [12 Days of Christmas in June Giveaway]

Here's the cartoon for Day 3 of the Christmas in June Giveaway. The person who comes up with the best caption for this cartoon wins a free copy of Screensteps from Blue Mango Learning Systems. Add your captions in the comments below. For full details about the giveaway, see this post. Day 3 cartoon This cartoon was drawn by Ben Minson.

Day 2 Cartoon [The Twelve Days of Christmas in June Giveaway]

Congrats to the winner of yesterday's contest. (I added the winner's name at the end of the comment thread of the last post.) Let the contest continue with Day 2's cartoon, again drawn by the talented Ben Minson of Gryphon Mountain. The winner of this caption contest will receive a free copy of Camtasia Studio, courtesy of TechSmith. For full contest, details, see this post. Day 2 Cartoon Remember, add your caption in the comments below. ...

Day 1 Cartoon -- [The Twelve Days of Christmas in June Giveaway]

Here's the cartoon for Day 1 of the Christmas in June Giveaway. The person who comes up with the best caption for this cartoon wins a free copy of Snagit. Add your captions in the comments below. For full details about the giveaway, see this post. Day 1 Cartoon Ben Minson, a technical communicator who blogs at Gryphon Mountain, drew this cartoon. Actually, Ben will be drawing all our cartoons, so get to know him.

12 Days of Christmas in June Giveaway

For the next 12 days, I'm coordinating with various companies to give away a product a day, as part of a 12 Days of Christmas in June theme. This is an opportunity to try out new software that may be new to you, for companies to receive a bit of promotion, and to kick off the blog fun that will last all summer long. Here's how the contest works: Each morning at 6 a.m. MST I'll post a new cartoon, hand-drawn by my colleague Ben Minson of G...

Free video soft: video converter, ipod converter, mp4 converter

This may look like spam, but it's not. If you've ever needed to download youtube videos or other media in an mp4 format rather than flv, this is the tool to use. Works great. (Think about those presentations you might be giving in places that are "offline"). Free video soft: video converter, ipod converter, mp4 converter.

Having Fun with Snagit

This week I needed to create some visuals for a PowerPoint to illustrate concepts related to blogging. Since I have limited artistic ability (perhaps even negative artistic ability), I resorted to a stick figure person as a common theme. I spent a while trying to decide which tool to use to draw with. It turns out drawing a basic circle in Photoshop that doesn't have a solid fill is tedious, as are other drawing functions in Photoshop. So...

WordPress Tip: Implement WordPress's Threaded Comments

WordPress's threaded comments feature is not entirely now; it's been around since 2.7 (the current version of WordPress is 2.7.1). But even though under Settings > Discussion you see the ability to activate threaded comments and indicate how many levels deep you want it to be, you have to actually make some changes to your theme for threaded comments to work. The following screenshot shows an example of threaded comments. Threaded Comm...

WordPress Tip: 10 Reasons Why I Like WordPress

When choosing a blog platform, you have a variety of options: Drupal, Movable Type, Typepad, Blogger, Joomla, Expression Engine, WordPress.com, self-hosted WordPress, and others. But when you start researching the options, WordPress seems to have at least 10 main strengths over its competitors: Abundant Themes. You can choose from hundreds of already developed themes to immediately apply to your blog, so that you don't have to design yo...

Anne Gentle on her Forthcoming Book, Conversation and Community: The Social Web for Documentation

Listen here: In this podcast, I talk with Anne Gentle about her forthcoming book, Conversation and Community: The Social Web for Documentation. Anne explains how we've transitioned from the Age of Information to the Age of Interaction, using social web tools to find the information we need. She builds on her experiences with One Laptop per Child, Book Sprints, and her experiences as a corporate blogger for BMC software. ...

Following the NBA Can Make You a Better Technical Writer

Even if you aren't watching the NBA playoffs (professional basketball), you'll probably get the point of this post. Watching a pro basketball team, one thing you realize is that each player has a special position and strength, and they play those strengths rather than their weaknesses. Kenyon Martin screens for Carmelo Anthony For example, even when Kenyon Martin has an open jump shot 20 feet away, he often doesn't take the shot but inste...

Your WordPress Site Can Get Hacked If You Don't Have This

I helped another person whose WordPress site was hacked this weekend. I've noticed a trend about sites that get hacked. Most of the people installed their WordPress blog either long ago, before the right security phrases were included in the wp-config.php file, or they installed WordPress through an auto-installer that didn't insert the right security phrases. The wp-config.php file is the key file that contains your database name and pas...

STC Toronto's New Five-and-Five Chapter Model

Listen here: In this podcast, I talk with Anna Parker Richards, incoming president of the STC Toronto chapter, about their event-driven chapter model, in which they replace regular meetings with periodic all-day events, charging between $50 to $150 per person. They haven't entirely discarded meetings in favor of events, but have instead supplemented the events with social gatherings. Their new model, the Five and Five Mo...