More interaction on WordPress – Get feedback – Polling is as easy as 1-2-3

SMvoteWordPress is adding a lot of functionality beyond posting and commenting. At a recent meeting of the Council Blogs we practiced at polling. You can now add a poll directly in the WordPress editor similar to an image and it will be published with your post. See the sample below.

A 24 hr Day in the Life of a 3D Printer

photoWe overheard the Makerbot talking to itself at the 3D Cyber Wigwam today…

12:00 am I’m awake but no one is stirring. The part from yesterday is still on the build plate.

          • 5:30 am The Boss is awake. Time to look sharp.

5:35 am That door clamp is removed from the build plate. That was a 3 hour build. I put a lot of layers into that one.

5:36 am Boss wants to change filaments. I have to heat up the head.

5:37 am Pink? What’s he got in mind now?

5:38 am Oh Boy, here comes the instructions. A piece of cake. This one is only 23,462 blocks.

5:39 am Build plate is heating, come on.

5:43 am Build plate is 110C. Fire up the extruder.

5:44 am Build plate is 110C, Extruder is 220C.

5:45 am Bring the build plate up and start extruding.

5:46 am First layer complete. Hmmm, interesting pattern. Now for layer 2. This one has 3 solid layers to begin.

5:48 am Now we begin the honeycomb fill. Trace, trace, trace.

6:15 am Ooo, the extruder is getting too hot, a little more fan.

7:00 am I see, this is a personalized key ring that looks like a karabiner.

7:10 am I see. It’s personalized with writing on the side, “Rachel.” That must be why it’s pink.

7:20 am Now to finish the top layers.

7:30 am Complete! TaDa! Ring the bell.

7:31 am They must be in a hurry today. They are switching in a new program. 264,516 blocks. This one’s going to take a while to crunch.

7:32 am The build plate hasn’t cooled too much. Come on, get to temp.

7:34 am Build plate up to temp, Bring up the extruder.

7:37 am OK! Let’s start laying some extrusion. Hmmm, interesting pattern.

7:38 am Got to fill it in.

7:39 am Next solid layer.

7:40 am One more solid layer.

7:41 am Now the honey comb. How deep is this thing?

rrhoneycomb

7:42 am I think it’s another one of those roof rack accessories. Time will tell. It’s not too often we have a large radius like this.

8:30 am Oh, boy this is getting boring, we’ve done the same pattern now for 40 layers. What’s that in human speak? 1/2 an inch?

8:45 am Temps ok. Something different coming up. Oh goody.

8:50 am A couple holes on the side wall. Careful that they don’t sag.

9:40 am I feel like I’ve spent my life on this pattern.

9:45 am Hey, it’s time for the top surface. It’s got the part number in it. That’s what those funny notches were.

9:50 am One more stitch, we’re done! Lower the build plate. Turn the heaters off. Ring the bell.

10:50 am Did anyone hear us?

11:50 am Did anyone hear us? This part is complete.

12:50 am Hey, anyone out there? There’s a part on the build plate.

1:50 pm Hmm, we finished it, right?

2:50 pm Should we ring the bell again?

3:50 pm We could do it again. No, that wouldn’t work. That thing is still sitting on the build plate, in the way. Besides the heaters are all cooled off.

5:50 pm Just our luck they’ll show up at supper time and expect us to work.

7:50 pm Hey, someone pulled the program chip out. Maybe something will happen.

8:30 pm Finally we got that thing off the build plate. It was starting to grow barnacles.

9:30 pm Here comes the program chip. What’s in store?

9:31 pm 860,567 blocks? That will take us all night!

9:32 pm Build plate heater on. Hey you’ve got to get to 110C, don’t take all day.

9:52 pm Build plate up to temp. Fire up the extruders.

9:55 pm OK! Start laying extrusion.

10:05 pm Hmm, this pattern looks familiar.

10:30 pm It’s similar but different. Time for honeycomb.

11:30 pm I see, it’s pretty much the same except they made that hole bigger. Make sure it doesn’t sag!

11:59 pm This is boring. I feel like I’ve been doing this all day. Move, extrude, move extrude, move, extrude. How deep is this thing anyway?

Does 500 Gigabytes help you to remember? Don’t forget backups!

500GUSBThe 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!”

April showering of SEO in 2013: tags

metatagWith 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.

St. Patrick’s Day — Time for getting those blog posts out in 2013

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.

These shoes are made for blogging – lacing up your posts in 2013 – Mardi Gras

CBDraftsIs your draft posts list approaching 50% of the total?

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.

5 Productivity tips for Busy Bloggers in 2013

ctlkeysEver wonder how you could be more productive in your blogging other than typing faster? The left hand shortcut keys are your answer. If you want to be more productive like the bloggers here at the Cyber Wigwam you can practice using the shortcuts listed below. Adapted into Windows from the early Apple days who pulled it from high-end workstations at the time, there is a series of keys that give your left hand something to do while your right hand is busy with the mouse. Once you get used to how they work you can increase your productivity. The letters don’t literally make sense but are chosen to use the lower bank of left-most keys to make it easy for your left hand. The technique is to use the Ctrl key. The nice thing is that most applications support the functionality. Here are the keys:

Ctrl-Z : Undo
Ctrl-X : Cut
Ctrl-C : Copy
Ctrl-V : Paste
Ctrl-A : Select all

The Apple keyboard works the same and you can use the Apple key instead of the Ctrl key. Get more productive and practice using your shortcut keys today.

Do you need a Social Media Mentor in 2013?

blog_mentorJanuary 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 councilblogs@tpmtech.biz and begin a dialogue.

Cyber Tuesday – not too late for stocking stuffers for your dog

You missed Cyber Monday but the beauty of the internet is you can still order things online and receive them in time to stuff them in a stocking. You can click over here and order your customized dog biscuit cutter any time during Cyber Week and get it in time for stuffing in someone’s stocking. Order early and you’ll have time to make a batch of biscuits too! They are even safe for Santa to eat. Check out the recipes here. The cutters are made special to order with your dog’s name with the 3D printing technology of the Makerbot. Many of the dogs of the bloggers at the Cyber Wigwam will be spoiled this Christmas with their personalized dog biscuit cutters. You can spoil your dog too!

dog biscuit cutter customized with your dogs name

Winterizing your blog for 2012

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.