The continual price drop of memory for computers is simply amazing. The bloggers here at the Cyber Wigwam collectively tickle close to 3 Terabytes of memory every time we meet. WordPress blogs and applications do have a bit of a memory load. The ease at which we can generate content and store it helps us to amass a tremendous amount of “stuff” in our computers and hard drives. Here at lept Like A Blog we have turned to external hard drives and USB memory sticks as storage devices. The main thing is to remember to back it up. Hours of work can quickly dissipate when a memory device fails. In one case we have worn out an SD chip where the pins have become detached and one computer will not read the chip. Luckily, not all chip readers are created equal and some of the computers at Council Blogs will still read it. Which begs the question. How big is the cloud and how often is it backed up? Just like Click and Clack, our parting close is “and don’t backup like my brother!”
Most of the bloggers here at the Cyber Wigwam have kept up posting on a regular basis. Inside of the WordPress dashboard their list of draft posts is minimal. In a few rare cases the list of draft posts is quite long.
With spring in the air and May Day around the corner it is time to think about allowing some of those great ideas to sprout. Who knows what profound thoughts lurks in those top of mind ramblings. WordPress.com has a neat feature that allows you to send a link of your draft post to trusted advisors for their feedback. It is called “Request Feedback” and is a button below the post editor box in the Writing Helper box.
Your trusted advisors will receive an email with a link to your draft. When they click on that link they can view your draft and have a box to comment. You can then look at the list of comments in the same Request Feedback box. So now that spring is here, take a look at those lists of draft posts and see what can be finished up.
If you would like to join the bloggers at the cyber wigwam for weekly posting sessions, send the Chief an email.
With April showers misting outside it is time to revisit the SEO advantage of metatags in your blogging. Sort of a strange name and WordPress has shortened it to “Tags.” All the bloggers here at the cyber wigwam have moved their Tags sidebar box up under the Publish box to be a little more prominent. Tags are one of the most important elements of getting SEO* advantage from your blog posts. It is like hanging tags on your blog post that say “Find Me!” We’ve had cases at Council Blogs where one blog post with very unique tags can be found on the first page of Google. The really neat thing that our bloggers find is that they can attach their blog posts to their other social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Maybe someday, even YouTube. At lept Like A Blog we call this the Social Media Marketing Framework.
*SEO – What the heck is that? Search Engine Optimization.
Like the 3 elements of the shamrock there are 3 good reasons to adding blogging to your web presence. Of course, that’s assuming you have a web presence. If you don’t then adding a blog is an efficient way to develop a web presence too. Here at the Cyber wigwam the bloggers realize that having good content is what readers are attracted to.
1. “Content is King”
The more you have something genuine to say the more people will be interested to read. It doesn’t necessarily have to be profound. Just like the old adage, “be yourself.”
2. Keeping Fresh
With unique content comes great responsibility to keep it up. Consistently providing your readers with news is almost as important as the news itself. People will be attracted to your ability to keep them informed when you set a pace and stick to it. We find at Council Blogs that once a week is a good pace. You don’t kill yourself but if published regularly, your readers are kept informed.
3. News is attractive to Search Engines
Search engines like finding new stuff. What’s newer than your post with unique content? We find at the cyber wigwam that the more natural, “organic” methods for SEO incorporate consistency and good tagging. There is no better way to keep your readers satisfied and at the same time increase your “findability” than publishing your blog posts. Well, YouTube videos can be as powerful but require a little more energy to produce. Actually, some bloggers at the cyber wigwam are repurposing their blog posts into YouTube videos. That works really well too! You can find training and courses in both at lept Like A Blog.
Most of the bloggers here at the Cyber Wigwam leave little clutter in their draft list. They have the discipline to publish their WordPress posts on a regular basis. As with all social media marketing, consistency is second only to Content. If Content is King, then Consistency is the Prince. If you have a robust list of choices in your draft list it might be time to utilize them in a princely fashion. Our best advice at lept Like A Blog is to simply tell the story of your business. We live and breathe our business everyday and it is easy to forget that other people aren’t as versed in it as we are. Telling people about the boring repetitious parts of our business doesn’t seem interesting but that is the easiest way for people to get to Know, Like and Trust us. Publishing your post on a weekly basis is a good discipline and is a reasonable frequency to consistenly update your followers. So just like Mardi Gras where the idea is to clean out all the fat before Lent, it is time to spruce up and clean out the drafts in your WordPress post list.
January is National Mentoring month (you can read all about that here) and here at the Cyber Wigwam we are considering the impact of having a mentor. You can attend classes at lept Like A Blog in Social Media. But if you want a little more help you can consider a mentor. Just like any topic, having someone pass along their experiences in Social Media can shorten your learning curve significantly. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, WordPress or YouTube you can spend a lot of time to master them. If you need help in social media you can email the bloggers at firstname.lastname@example.org and begin a dialogue.
With cold weather hitting us in Illinois, we feel winter right around the corner. It is time to take a look at that long list of draft posts and see if one can be freshened up and published. The good news is that WordPress allows you to save lots of drafts. (No winter pun intended) The bad news is that WordPress allows you to save a lot of drafts. It can cruise along with you in your inspirational wisps of wit capturing those dutifully. But when your creative juices drop off you hit the save draft button and the list grows. So now it’s time to check the list and see if there is something that can be finished. Here at the Cyber Wigwam we counted 40 draft posts between all the bloggers just waiting to find the public domain. When you get ready to click the Publish button, double-check that you have your tags selected. Here at Council Blogs all the bloggers have moved their Tags box up underneath the Publish box in the sidebar of the editing window. What tips do you have to share with the bloggers? Feel free to share and comment below.
After cranking out parts for the last month the chiefs at the Cyber Wigwam have declared the Makerbot Replicator a good tool for 3D printing at home. After a small learning curve, the Makerbot has the blogging club armed with keychains and personalized dog biscuit cutters. Click here for more on the cutters. The next experiment is using 3D panoramic imagery to make miniature 3D busts of the bloggers in the blogging club. The technology has advanced where a digital camera can be used as a 3D scanner. Stay tuned for the progress on that experiment. The Makerbot Replicator is a 3D printer a little bigger than a breadbox that extrudes ABS thermoplastic to realize a 3D shape. The Makerbot Replicator reperesents an excellent approach to 3D printing essentially out of the box. Feel free to comment on your 3D printing experiences below.
Volkswagen’s Fun Theory project sponsored a number of interesting experiments in making mundane things, FUN. One of the projects was to fit a trash receptacle with a motion detector and a sound card. When someone added some trash, the motion detector triggered a sound file to play which sounded like Wile E. Coyote plummeting to the bottom of the canyon floor. You can watch the video and see the results here.
Rapid Prototyping or RP describes a number of technologies that includes 3D printing. Turning an X-Y process into the 3rd dimension. The technologies involved keep getting better in resolution and larger size components that can be made. Fortunately, other advances are making the technology more affordable. Advances in the open source community for microcontrollers like Arduino are allowing designers to easily and affordably copy these big brother technologies in a desk top version. Here at the Cyber Wigwam we added the Makerbot 3D printer to exhibit the capability of 3D printing. Soon, tepees and arrowheads in 3D will be adorning the cyber Wigwam. At the root of the Makerbot is the Arduino micorcontroller technology. Massimo Banzi presents an excellent overview of open source ideals and how it impacts creativitiy below.