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WordPress Peoria meets Monday

The Meetup group WordPress Peoria will meet from 6-8 p.m Monday, Jan 18, at The Nest, 826-B S.W. Adams St.

The agenda?

We will be discussing registration of domains, hosting your WordPress site, what is SSL and do you need it?!

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Every third Monday of the month we will meet for some WordPress 101. Forget code, we will be focusing on getting started with WordPress with the basics.

Our meetings will be approximately two hours long, with the first hour being focused on that night’s topic and the second hour being an open “Happy Hour” (BYOB) to ask your WordPress questions, announce WordPress news, occasionally discuss recent topics in the WordPress world.

WordPress powers approximately 1/4 of the entire internet, it’s an impressively powerful and still very easy to use tool. Sometimes you just need a little help picking up the basics.

’10 Tips for Keeping a Squeaky Clean WordPress (and Multisite!) Database’

I really need to do some of this stuff.

Here are some tips on how to revitalize your blog

Go read Ten 2-minute tweeks to instantly revitalize your blog.

Hat tip to Tammy Finch at Web Services Inc.

Collaboration– not ‘scoops’ — is the key to survival in the new media

From Journo.biz:

For years, journalistic culture revered closely held, shoe-leather reporting that drove excellence through a heightened sense of competitiveness. News organizations measured success not in their ability to drive revenues (because that was a given) but in their ability to beat the other guy. Break exclusives. Win awards.

The prevalent thinking was that the people benefited when news outlets competed. It was a time when cooperation with other news organizations was viewed with suspicion and scorn.

Then came the Internet and with it massive disruption in the business models that supported American journalism and which precipitated the greatest gross loss of journalists ever experienced in the profession.

Today, we are more likely to get a news story from an app or website without regard for who wrote it and how it gets paid for. And why not? We appear to have far more news sources today than ever before. Convenience and usability are far bigger deciding factors in where er get our news than trust in the reporter or organization that delivered it.

In response, traditional news organizations have cut back on their dedicated reporting staff and relied more heavily on cheaper, commoditized news from fewer and fewer sources. As a result, the content is less differentiated, less specific to the community that is being served and, therefore, less useful and important. It is a vicious cycle and a sad story that has appeared way too many times on the pages of this publication and others like it.

There is another, viable and increasingly effective way: collaboration.

Seven tips on how to edit copy without copy editors

This is some good dvice on how to write sparkling posts without a bunch of silly typos and grammar errors. The emphasis is on finding mistakes, NOT on following style. I approve.

Give me meta, or give me death

I love the meta of blogs.

I want to know how the post was written. I want to know if the post was written while the author was sitting in his kitchen on a rainy day or while she was sipping green tea at Starbucks.

If the writer getting paid for the article. Hey, that’s OK, I just wanna know.  Is the writer writing about the topic because he has real interest, or are sources whispering in his ear? I just wanna know.

Is the writer just writing about this topic because he’s interested in the subject, or is he writing about it because he’s notices he gets a lot more Google hits when this subject is mentioned. I want to know.

What is the interaction between the subject and the author? What’s the personal history between the subject and author?

In a traditional mainstream media environment, the reporter is encouraged or even trained to filter out all the meta information like this. ‘Be objective,’ they are told.

But the citizen journalists is more subjective. The leave the “meta” in. They let the reader in on their feelings, their perceptions, and they clue the reader in on the details that in forma them about the situation.

It’s more honest.

Mainstream journalists take out the “I.”  Citizen journalists put the “I” back in.

 

 

On line news is returning to online subscriptions as a way to pay for content

From Nieman Lab:

Harper’s, The New Yorker, the Financial Times, and The New York Times are proving that readers will pay for online access to worthwhile content. Publishers have come to learn, sometimes the hard way, that Facebook and Google wield an unseemly, even dangerous amount of power over their audiences. A publication can be brought to collapse with the tweak of an algorithm, as Metafilter learned last May, owing to such a tweak at Google — whereupon they instituted a subscription/donation model that appears to be working fine. Facebook now consists of a stream of advertisements interspersed with your friends’ wedding and baby photos. Why should this organization have any effect whatsoever on news, politics, or any other serious area of our culture? It should not. There is Upworthy, there is The Huffington Post, there are penny-ante aggregators of every description, flush with venture cash. Apparently Pinterest drives a substantial amount of traffic to news sites now. Considerations of search engine, advertising, and social media optimization are bound to have an increasingly detrimental effect on what the public can read.

As a reader, I am very eager to pay for better managed, better edited, better looking publications. I do not care to rely on Pinterest, or Facebook, or even Google to learn what I need to know. So it is a great relief to see signs that readers, editors, and publishers are taking back the reins.

An interesting discussion of citizen journalism

This article is about how to use and credit photos and images gleaned from Facebook and Twitter, but it touches on the ethical responsibilities of citizen journalists:

When news breaks, many media organizations turn to social media to find members of the public who become a reporter’s eyes and ears on the ground.

Collecting information in this way has many challenges – for example, verifying that a photo posted on Twitter is real. The key to solving these challenges is holding contributions from citizen journalists to the same ethical standards as work by professional journalists.

That was the main focus of a SXSW Interactive session by Associated Press social media editor Eric Carvin and Digital First Media managing editor Mandy Jenkins.

“If you don’t hold citizen journalists to the same standards, you are disrespecting social media as a tool for journalism,” Carvin said. Figuring out the best way to apply those standards is the hard part.

 

I sometimes can give the impression that all bets are off when it comes to citizen journalism, or “people powered media.” Not true. We aren’t as constrained as the corporate media, but we have some ethical considerations.

Believe it or not, spelling is important, even on the Web

I have had some issues with spelling. Which isn’t good. So I installed TinyMCE Spell Check across the entire Blog Peoria Project network. It will correct the spelling errors (as long ads you click on the “ABC/checkmark” link on your WYSIWYG screen.

Down with BuddyPress, long live bbPress

I tried to run the infamous BuddyPress plugin. It would have let member bloggers communicate internally with each other.

But it kept breaking the ability of people to sign up for new blogs.

So, I deleted BuddyPress and instead installed bbPress. Some background. bbPress is the bulletin board software that a hearty band of coders reworked into the blogging platform called “WordPress.”

And bbPress remained the red-headed stepchild for many years. But recently some official attention was paid to it, and it is a full-throated forum package. And it also exists as a WordPress plugin.

I’ve added the main plugin, and I’ve also added some add-on plugin that explain it’s usefulness. I’ve created two main forums — One for citizen journalism and other about the nuts & bolts of operating a Blog Peoria Project blog.

But a warning: You must be a member of the Blog Peoria Project to participate. You do not necessarily have to create a blog.

bbPress. Yet ANOTHER reason to blog on the Blog Peoria Project.