Write everyday for 28 minutes for 28 days. #28daysofwriting
via Tom Barrett

Tom Barrett has started up #28daysofwriting again. This is my reflection on the idea of a habit and a sustainable blogging practice.

Further reading:

Bookmarked 10 Tips For Making Your Blog Posts Easier To Read by Kathleen Morris (The Edublogger)
Here are ten tips for making your blog posts easier to read.
Kathleen provides ten tips:

  1. When it comes to writing online, paragraph structure is more of an art than a formulaic science.
  2. Professional bloggers generally opt to use larger sized fonts now as it enhances the readability of online text.

  3. Heading tags not only enhance your blog post visually but help organize the content of your blog. This helps search engines like Google scan and categorize your information.

  4. Most writers know the value of bullet points. Listicles, or posts with numbered lists, are hugely popular too (hey, this whole blog post is a listicle!).

  5. From a visual point of view, hyperlinks or bold words are another good way to make key pieces of information in your post stand out. It draws you in when you’re skimming or scanning the page.

  6. Breaking up your text with some visuals can definitely make your blog posts easier to read.

  7. If you do use color, remember to be consistent

  8. Left aligned text is best

  9. If you want visitors to be reading your blog posts, you probably don’t want them distracted by too many widgets on your sidebars. Furthermore, excess widgets can slow down the loading time of your blog.

  10. You might not realize that vision impaired visitors to your site may be using assistive technology like screen readers or other software which reads the page out loud. This software will read the alternative text (alt text) instead of the image.

Personally, the headings was only a recent realisation, with Tom Woodward even going to the length of removing H1 as an option, while Amy Burvall talks about developing a palette involving two core colours.

Bookmarked It’s Fun, It’s Here! Highlights Theme for WordPress (CogDogBlog)
The only place I ever saw Highlights for Children magazine was at my dentist office, a short distraction while waiting for the drilling and fat fingers of weird old Dr Cooper. The tagline of the magazine was “Fun With a Purpose”. But no connection here, except the name, it’s a brand new Word...
Alan Levine has pushed out another HTML conversion that reminds me a bit of Adobe Spark Pages. I think that I like it even more than the Big Picture theme that I used as a ‘home page’. The question I am left wondering about starting from scratch (or a basic starting block) is how hard it would be to bake in microformats or maybe the plugin is enough?
Liked Sometimes They Come Back by Jim Groom (bavatuesdays)
Documenting my work on this blog has basically defined my career. There is no way I would have remembered this assignment, no less gotten kudos from strangers more than a decade later, if I hadn’t taken the time to blog it. I am increasingly convinced that blogging is a long-term investment in your soul, and this is the most recent dividend.
Liked Microblogging by Paul Robert Lloyd
Maybe a growing disillusion with social networks and the recent resurgence in blogging will bring with it an interest in these newer IndieWeb standards. I’d love to see more consumer-oriented publishing tools adopt MicroPub and Webmention so that their empowering capabilities become available to all. And it’d be great to see competitors to Micro.blog, each with their take on how to fix the problems we’ve uncovered during our embrace of social media. We have the technology; we just have to use it.
Bookmarked 16 Best Alternatives to the WordPress Jetpack Plugin (WPBeginner)
Are you looking for the best alternatives to the Jetpack plugin for WordPress? Check out these best alternatives to the WordPress Jetpack plugin.
The team at WPBeginner provide a useful reflection on Jetpack:

Like all things in life, Jetpack plugin comes with its own advantages and disadvantages that you need to keep in mind when choosing Jetpack alternatives.

### Pros of Using Jetpack Plugin

These are the advantages of using Jetpack plugin on your WordPress website.

  • One plugin to rule them all. You get all essential features in one easy to manage package.
  • Jetpack is highly optimized for performance with Automattic’s (company behind Jetpack and WordPress.com) powerful infrastructure running in the background.
  • It has a nicer user interface than your typical WordPress plugins.

### Cons of Using Jetpack Plugin

Following are the disadvantages of using WordPress Jetpack plugin on your website.

  • Using Jetpack requires you to create a WordPress.com account.
  • The Jetpack core is free but many of its features require a paid subscription.
  • It has limited email functionality. You cannot email your subscribers without publishing a blog post.
  • Your website becomes dependent on one plugin which makes it harder to replace in the future.

 

Bookmarked More on the Role of Audience in Social Spaces
We’ve got to stop telling people who are new to social spaces about the “power of audience” because the truth is that most of today’s audiences are muted at best, choosing consumption over participation in nine conversations out of ten.
Bill Ferriter questions the story that we keep on telling about audience and instead suggests three approaches that should be encouraged:

(1). Bring Your OWN Audience

Instead of trying to build a huge audience of strangers, concentrate on building a small audience of peers

(2). Be a Participating Member of Someone Else’s Audience

Start commenting on the work of others.  Start responding to people’s posts in Twitter.  Let people know that you are listening and learning from them.  Show gratitude for the time that they put into thinking and sharing transparently with others.  Provide challenge to their core ideas — and then push those ideas out through your networks.

(3). Draw attention to the ideas of your audience

I want you to think about my buddy Bob for a minute.  He took his own time to read my original bit on audience.  Then, he took even more of his own time to craft a reply that challenged my thinking and articulated concepts that I hadn’t considered. Instead of spending that same time on his own growth, he was making an investment in me and in our intellectual relationship. That matters, y’all — and I need to respect that investment in some way.


Ferriter has been writing a lot recently about reflection, audiences and comments. Personally, I have taken to being more intentional with my comments by sending comments from my own site. This has had its hiccups, but I think that it offers an alternative future and positive possibility.