Archive for the ‘WordPress’ Category

Regenerate Thumbnails WordPress Plugin

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

I’d been needing a plugin that would fix my past thumbnails that I had already saved. I should have known that there would be a plugin that would do it that’s appropriately named Regenerate Thumbnails. If you’ve ever had to play around with Thumbnail size, then you can understand how great this plugin is.

Full Disclosure: I haven’t used it yet, but it’s from a popular WordPress developer and I found it from another WP core developer who used it successfully. In fact, this post is so I can easily find this plugin in the future as much as anything else.

Learning to Blog – True Slow and Steady Entrepreneurship

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

I always love when people ask me what I do. I use to give all sorts of convoluted answers, but now I just simply say I’m a blogger. After they close their gaping mouth, they then start trying to ask questions which basically ask the question, How do you do that?

Of course, the real issue is that most people don’t understand the type of blogging I do. Most of them just think of their wife’s blog or a family blog that they might know about. They don’t realize that blogs have an amazing power outside of just sharing stories about your family.

The other assumption that people make is that as a blogger I JUST write stuff. While I guess at it’s core, writing blog posts are essential to blogging, there’s so much more to creating a successful blog.

I’ve been pondering on how to share the knowledge I have with other people that want to do what I do. At first I considered teaching a summer course, but finding a location and the right pricing model made it so I never did it. A few recent happenings have prompted me to basically create a new premium blog that will teach someone how to blog.

It will probably take me a few months to create, but here’s an off the top of my head outline of the topics I want to cover:

-Choosing the Right Blog Topic (Passion)
-Key Points to Setting Up a Blog (plugins, hosting, platform, etc)
-Creating Great Content
-Marketing the Content
-Monetizing the Content

There are a whole lot of sub-topics under the above topics, but you get the idea. I think it shows the real core of what you need to be a successful blogger.

My approach is different than many other people. I won’t be claiming any get rich quick scheme. In fact, I’ll do quite the opposite. Blogging is the epitome of slow and steady entrepreneurship. However, done consistently over time it can have amazing rewards!

I just wanted to put this out there. More details to come in the future. If this interests you, let me know in the comments.

3 Keys to Blogging

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

I’ve been discussing the concepts of blogging with a lot of people lately. As I discuss blogging, I think that being a successful blogger requires 3 key items. Ok, maybe I shouod define successful blogger. I’m talking about a well read blog that generates money for you. Of course there are other potential benefits to blogging. Sometimes it is just cathartic to write something down. Some people are just looking to network and raise their profile. These and other reasons to blog. However, the following are what I consider to be the 3 keys to building a successful blog that generates income for you.

1. Generate content.
2. Market the content you created.
3. Monetize the pageviews you’ve generated.

3 simple steps. Although there’s a lot more to each point. So, I’ll be covering each of the 3 areas in a future blog post.

Summary of 2010 Blog Posts on CrashUtah

Friday, December 31st, 2010

I found this really interesting WordPress plugin that summarizes the activity on your blog for the past year. Pretty cool. It’s not the perfect format with this theme, but you can still see the data. You can see I picked up my blogging regularity towards the end of the year. I expect this will continue in 2011.

In 2010 I wrote 36 posts and added 1 pages to this blog, with 3 attachments in total.

The number of posts in each month:

August:

  9 (25%)

September:

  6 (16.67%)

October:

  12 (33.33%)

November:

  10 (27.78%)

December:

  17 (47.22%)

The number of posts in each day of week:

Sunday:

  2 (5.56%)

Monday:

  8 (22.22%)

Tuesday:

  9 (25%)

Wednesday:

  7 (19.44%)

Thursday:

  11 (30.56%)

Friday:

  12 (33.33%)

Saturday:

  5 (13.89%)

At what hours I publish new posts:

0:

  1 (2.78%)

4:

  1 (2.78%)

6:

  4 (11.11%)

7:

  3 (8.33%)

8:

  6 (16.67%)

9:

  6 (16.67%)

10:

  3 (8.33%)

11:

  4 (11.11%)

12:

  3 (8.33%)

13:

  3 (8.33%)

14:

  2 (5.56%)

15:

  5 (13.89%)

16:

  2 (5.56%)

18:

  1 (2.78%)

19:

  1 (2.78%)

20:

  2 (5.56%)

21:

  2 (5.56%)

22:

  2 (5.56%)

23:

  3 (8.33%)

In 2010 the posts were commented 25 times, from which 6 comments (24 percent) were written by registered users/authors.

TOP 10 commenters in 2010:

  • John Lynn's Thoughts » Blog Archive » The Start of Something Great: 1 comments
  • tas: 1 comments
  • The Value of Local Events | JohnThoughts: 1 comments
  • Happy Labor Day | EMR and HIPAA: 1 comments
  • Smuggle Me » Shutting Down Smuggle Me…Mostly: 1 comments
  • Jeannie Pitt: 1 comments
  • Laura Giaimo: 1 comments
  • mason: 1 comments
  • Monetizing My Blogs | JohnThoughts: 1 comments
  • Heather in BC… & Beyond! » Hello Orlando!: 1 comments

TOP 10 most commented posts in 2010:

The number of comments in each month:

August:

  3 (12%)

September:

  9 (36%)

October:

  3 (12%)

November:

  6 (24%)

December:

  4 (16%)

On what days people comment:

Sunday:

  3 (12%)

Monday:

  1 (4%)

Tuesday:

  2 (8%)

Wednesday:

  10 (40%)

Thursday:

  4 (16%)

Friday:

  5 (20%)

At what hours people comment:

3:

  1 (4%)

6:

  3 (12%)

7:

  1 (4%)

8:

  1 (4%)

9:

  5 (20%)

10:

  1 (4%)

12:

  1 (4%)

13:

  2 (8%)

14:

  2 (8%)

15:

  2 (8%)

16:

  1 (4%)

17:

  1 (4%)

20:

  1 (4%)

21:

  2 (8%)

22:

  1 (4%)

Summary generated by 2010 Summary plugin by Tomasz Topa

“If I Could Pay to Have That Feeling I Would”

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

Ever since I read this post about open source motivations I’ve had a lot to think about. The post and some of the related posts were fascinating. However, I’ve been completely struck by a comment that Matt Mullenweg (founder of WordPress) put in the comments:

When I receive earnest or polite emails, I either forward them on or answer them myself. Most of these people are quite lost and probably don’t even realize my role in WordPress when emailing me. But the gratitude expressed and knowing I made the world just a little bit better for a little tiny moment is worth more than a few dollars worth of donations. In fact if I could pay to have that feeling I would.

The last line is completely fascinating. It resonates in a fantastic way. A few days ago, I tried to describe this feeling to someone who knows very little about computers and particularly open source. I used it in the context of helping a friend fix their computer problem. The blank stares on their face told me they didn’t quite get how I reached this point of discovery. Just says to me that these people I was talking to hadn’t tasted the joy of helping someone fix a problem that they couldn’t fix themselves. Often a problem which is incredibly simple for me, but heart breaking to the person having the problem.

I totally agree with Matt when he says…

“If I Could Pay to Have That Feeling I Would”

Chew on that for a little while.

I’m Such a Minimalist

Saturday, December 11th, 2010

As I think about my use of various technologies I realize that I’m really a minimalist. I’m all about finding the easiest way to do something. For example, when I first started with Firefox plugins, I was installing things left and right. Quickly I realized that I didn’t want to have all those plugins installed. Plus, when it was time to upgrade Firefox, I was always afraid to upgrade since I wasn’t sure what impact that would have on all the plugins I’d installed. I quickly removed a whole bunch of plugins which sounded like a good idea and just left the ones that I used regularly.

When I started WordPress, it was a similar story. There were a ton of plugins to do all sorts of cool things with WordPress. I added one after another and loved a lot of the extra features. Then, it was time to update WordPress. Unfortunately, in the open source world not all the plugins get updated for the new version of WordPress like they should. So, this would mean that I would have to go through and test to make sure that when I upgraded WordPress, that my plugins would all still be working.

Yep, you can imagine that I quickly started removing the WordPress plugins that weren’t really adding any value to my life. Not to mention I moved to a number of more mainstream plugins which I was certain would be upgraded as WordPress released new software (ie. plugins from WordPress in many cases or plugins with enormous install bases). However, I still wanted as few plugins as possible. It was all about value.

This really goes on and on in my life. For example, as much as I love automation, I’d rather have a car that didn’t have all the bells and whistles. The more features it has, the more places it could break. When something breaks it takes me away from doing what I really want to be doing. Some people like fixing broken things (and there is some satisfaction doing so), but I prefer to create things.

This is why in so many aspects of my life I look at ways to minimize and simplify how I do things. Take a look at my blogs and you’ll see that their designs follow the same sort of pattern. It’s all about minimizing and simplifying.

WordPress Contact Form 7 Plugin – Special Mail Tags

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

I’m a big fan of the Contact Form 7 Plugin for WordPress. I’ve used some of the other form plugins for WordPress including the behemoth CForms, but I quickly turned back to the Contact Form 7 plugin. There’s something about just being a Contact Form that I like. I don’t usually need all the bells and whistles. I just want a contact form that will send me info.

Plus, I’ve been finding out that Contact Form 7 can actually do more than I even realized. One example of this is the Special Mail Tags. Basically, it’s a bunch of extra information you can include in the email you receive from your contact form.

I personally use the [_url] which sends me the “This tag will be replaced by the URL of the contact form.” This way I can track my landing pages based on the URL that someone used to fill out the form. It’s a great way for me to know which of my various ad campaigns is working the best.

I love small little tweaks like this that are very powerful. Plus, it’s what I love about the simple, but flexible WordPress plugins like Contact Form 7.

From Hobby to Full Time Blogger: Lessons Learned from 5 Years of Blogging

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

Today I did a presentation at Las Vegas WordCamp called “From Hobby to Full Time Blogger: Lessons Learned from 5 Years of Blogging.” Looking at people’s comments on Twitter, it seems like people generally liked my presentation. I’m not sure how much you will get from the slides below, because as one person mentioned on Twitter: I do presentations the right way where the slides just hit the main points. I don’t ever just read the slides off to people. Either way, check it out. I had a lot of fun presenting my story.

WordPress Cron Developer Plugin

Monday, October 11th, 2010

I’m really shortly going to be diving head first into the WordPress cron (wp-cron) features. I need to schedule some emails to be sent at various intervals. Cron is awesome when it works and you set it up correctly, but it’s definitely one of those things that you need to test to make sure it’s working the way you think it should work. Otherwise, you can get all sorts of crazy results.

So, I was really happy today when I came across this WordPress plugin, Core Control, that shows you the various Cron tasks that have been scheduled by WordPress. I think this is going to be very helpful as I test out the cron tasks my plugin will create.

Internet Entrepreneurship in Las Vegas

Friday, October 8th, 2010

I first moved to Las Vegas a little over 5 years ago. I’d heard good things about living in Las Vegas and to be honest I moved here to be close to family. Luckily family has moved away and so it’s just my wife and our family again and we like it that way. Although, that’s a topic of another blog post.

I must admit that I didn’t move to Las Vegas because I was an internet entrepreneur and Las Vegas is the perfect place to be an entrepreneur. Obviously, if i wanted to do that I would have just moved to Silicon Valley. Although, I’m not a fan of that area, so I’d probably move to the next best thing: Boston (and yes, I know there are a few other decent places as well). In fact, a couple years back I was really close to picking up my family and moving to Boston with a contest called YouBeTheVC to be a full time internet entrepreneur working the forever long hours in a very expensive place and wondering how exactly I was going to feed my family.

To be honest, it actually sounded really exciting to me. I’ve been to Boston a few times and LOVED it there. I hate the cost of everything, but I would have loved to be in that are and be part of what seems to be a much larger internet startup scene. Well, I didn’t win the contest (Thankfully since it turned out to be kind of a sham) and so I stayed in Las Vegas. Long story short, I kept building my blogs and learning about internet startup companies while I was in Las Vegas (you can see my full blog story at Word Camp Las Vegas in a couple weeks).

Now I’m working full time on the idea I was planning to build in Boston, Giving Sports Fundraising. However, I’m not in Boston, I’m in Las Vegas.

In the 5 years I’ve lived in Las Vegas, I’ve done quite a bit of networking. Let’s just say that I haven’t had many chances to associate with other internet entrepreneurs. I started thinking about this when I read Brad Feld’s blog post about creating a startup community in Boulder. It was cool to hear him talk about what’s happened in Boulder with internet startup companies. I wish that the same thing would happen in Las Vegas.

I’ve actually met quite a few entrepreneurs here in Las Vegas. Just not that many internet entrepreneurs. I wonder what could be done to change that. Especially since I really don’t have any immediate plans to leave Las Vegas. I never thought I’d admit it, but honestly my family and I are quite happy right here.