How a Style Guide Can Help Your Team Stay Professional

This article came to our attention via the Grammarly Blog

How a Style Guide Helps Your Team Stay ProfessionalRunning a small business or team can be immensely rewarding. You enjoy the flexibility and lack of bureaucracy and can make decisions independent of a large parent company. You can craft your product with care or personalize your services because you know that every customer counts. The tradeoff is ...

Read More - Source: Grammarly Blog

Dancing on the Beach

I want to get well and take my wife dancing. We never go dancing… but she sometimes will dance with me just a bit. The last time was a few years ago at Virginia Beach. I became very fatigued while walking the beach late one night with her and the grandkids so I started back to the motel but they couldn’t find me when they came back…

I had found a band playing and was there listening to them… She came looking for me and we swayed to the music for a while… It was a really good memory. Those little memories are the most wonderful things sometimes. A whole week at the beach boiled down to an hour listening to music and holding hands… swaying… smiling!

The only other memory I have of that trip was Ice Cream… mint chocolate chip… A huge cone. It was good and my grandkids laughing and playing on the beach… They thought I wasn’t having a good time… I was having the best time… just being me. Just being me with them!

Autopost Blogging

I’m not going to give out all my secrets here. It’s taken me several years to figure all this out and I build these sites for myself and others… I’m not about to write an article to compete against myself. But I’ve received requests over time asking how I do what I do.

The sites are powered by WordPress…

I host most of the sites on a GoDaddy Shared Hosting Account from my own ParadigmDomains.com where I’m a reseller. GoDaddy provides everything you need to get started but their database is somewhat small for a site that might grow huge after running for a time. I run my databases from a VPS to have the larger databases and unload some of the ‘stress’ from the shared host.

I also build at least two more sub-sites on a multisite server placed on a second GoDaddy shared host. The three accounts and/or servers together run about $40.00 per month. You can combine all of this into one if you need to save some cash but be warned… if this takes off you’ll need the bigger database and the two subdomains are ‘where things really happen’. They will require more horsepower if things become lively.

The two sub-sites import my RSS Feeds I use Feed WordPress which should be fine for all import tasks. The first subsite is considered an offline accumulator while the second is considered a holder.

The main site also runs Feed WordPress and XMLRPC.php. The main site uses it’s Feed WordPress to pull feeds from the ‘accumulator’ via RSS while the ‘holder’ account pushes new posts via Syndicate Out. The ‘holder account’ and/or the main site run the Press Forward system via their plugin.

Finding Feeds:

First, do several searches in your target niche markets. You’ll be looking to pull RSS Feeds into your blog via the accumulator sub-site. Once you find a suitable feed you’ll want to add that feed to the accumulator’s RSS Feed importer. You’ll need to tweak the setting of the accumulator to only import around 50 words of the syndicated site.

TIP: When nominating an article via Press Forward’s ‘Nominate This Bookmarklet’ you can also have Press Forward add their RSS feed to Press Forward’s feed import abilities. You can relegate Press Forward to your ‘holder tasks’ and let the holder account act as a secondary feed accumulator also.

TIP: You can use the API at YouTube to create YouTube RSS Feeds also. Your mileage on this may vary widely. I don’t use these much but I’m not really crazy about videos. Your site and market may dictate other results.

Note: The site called ‘holder’ is for feeds that need manual intervention and or editing. You’ll add those feeds to the RSS Feed Importer there. One thing you’ll want to do is set your importer to ‘manual posting’ by importing to ‘pending’ status.

The Syndicate Out Plugin used with the holder sub-site triggers on published posts. Edit the posts as you see fit and publish. If Syndicate Out is configured properly it will fire and upload the new post to the main website.

With accumulator, the main site will pull an RSS feed from the accumulator to itself and import the posts automatically. You can opt to import those feeds as pending and then use the Autopost plugin to post these on a wider schedule. I’ll leave that as an exercise to you, the reader.

There are other plugins I use with this setup. But these are the ones that make autoblogging happen. Here’s a list of the rest from my Guided WP website GuidedWP – Essential WordPress Plugins and Tools list.

You may at times find sites that get upset about you pulling their content for syndication… I’ve been doing this for five years and only had two requests or comments in that time.

One was early on from someone who said I was going to get sued immediately and the second was a complaint from someone who couldn’t understand why I pulled other feeds from sites like his but ignored him. It was a simple manner to add his feed and then reassure him all was working and well. He was delighted.

If you’re at all worried you might want to consider forming an LLC and also consulting with an attorney.

Respond promptly to any complaints explaining how this is a service aimed to benefit the niche market, the businesses and the vendors within the market you’ve chosen. Include instructions on how to OPT out (which should be your first action and already done anyway) and how to block the site from pulling further Feeds via IP.

Don’t pull feeds more than every two hours (even less is good). And only use the Title and about 30 to 50 words max. I always set my titles to the permalink of the contributing site.

Tip: Be very careful with images and videos. Some images are from sites that charge fees to use their images. You need to know they can come back on you with a sizable bill. Most proprietary images are watermarked but not all.

Same with videos. Don’t embed videos but instead provide a link to the video only. This is one of the reasons to have the holder account.

The holder isn’t auto published to the internet. Holder shouldn’t ever be linked to from the front end of your website. Neither should the accumulator sub-site be linked to.

A Note on Monetization: I use the Ebay Partner Network and LinkShare. You’ll want advertisers who provide RSS Feeds if you can find them.

Feel free to ask me for any other info. I may choose to expand on this and answer that way. I may choose to not answer due to a conflict of interests.

There’s much more to this than what I’ve covered but for the most part, a WordPress user should be able to read the docs and figure this out.

I’m considering covering other options to this such as using forums, ad servers and advertising, Press Foward, Buddy Press, eCommerce Store Fronts and possibly even CBOX with all the above.

Your positive comments and requests may drive further info.

A Three Pronged Plan for my WordPress Based Endeavors

Part 1: An Appliance!

I have a concept for a ‘box’ with Linux, MySQL, PHP, Apache, and WordPress sitting under a desk. That will be where the next generation of WordPress based websites will begin. It’s an appliance for creating a website on the WordPress platform.

Once finished enough for first publication, the Appliance will sync up with the actual website and transfer the content up for initial publication. Subsequent updates will occur on the ‘box’ and be ‘syndicated’ or synced when finished.

Notice I said syndicated first. I think syndication onto multiple ‘owned’ websites might be a good business model for many bloggers and website owners. Besides cross-promotion on the owned network, being open and organized around syndication is a good place to be for the prolific content creator or marketer.

Proper distribution via syndication may be the only promotional work ever needed by many bloggers and hobbyists.

Part 2: A Federated WordPress

I’m convinced even more that WordPress needs to embrace the ‘Fediverse’…

Tonight on Shark Tank I heard the phrase, “Facebook giveth and Facebook taketh away”. A stark reminder that promotion on the commercial social media platforms is a perilous place to be basing business upon.

The Indie Web is a good answer to that predicament. It is not perfect and sometimes creates some very strange ‘bedfellows’ but federation across the Indie Web opens outlets that may sometimes be fleeting, Willy Nilly, and capricious but the presence on the Fediverse also opens up steadier outlets and further cross-promotion.

Part 3: Guided WP

There’s a lot of WordPress ‘pieces’ that are fantastic for building out a really awesome, highly functional website. But each of those pieces can be absolutely daunting to implement and maintain.

For instance, I’ve been playing around with something called WP2Static lately which is an amazing plugin from Leon Stafford that takes the output of a WordPress website and converts that to static HTML pages to be rendered by a cheaper web hosting account at blindingly fast speeds.

It’s a very impressive setup but you almost need to be a WordPress guru (Or Leon Stafford himself) to make it work initially. Pair that up with my ‘Box’ concept though and toss in a Guided WP account and you have that guru ‘on staff’ and the WP2Static preconfigured when you spec out and order the ‘Box’.

I’ll be coming back here over the next several months and expanding this article but this was to give you an idea of the possibilities.

The Fourth Prong?

IPFS! I’m thinking an IPFS server is a pretty darn good idea for storing images and some of those static pieces of a website. I’m already using that some for images pertaining to my reading list/book suggestion posts.

Right now I’m using a manual method with the IPFS companion browser extension to save those images.

It sure would be nice to be able to store media images over there from the WordPress media library. 

About the Author… Jeff Hawkins is an active WordPress developer and entrepreneur who writes about his adventures when he’s not busy being a grandfather and a WordPress Support Volunteer!

Mr. Hawkins can sometimes be found espousing his theories as facts on various outlets including Quora.com.

 

Is AutoBlogging right for me?

Best Survival Books – 7 Titles Handpicked by a US Marine

I’m (Mike of Military Backpack Guide) a former US Marine and IRAQ veteran, and this is my list of the absolute best survival books.  Books you can learn from, and live by.  The problem is that there are a ton of books about survival but lots of them are, well, junk.  Not junk in the sense that the author didn’t try, just more like books that tend to be a compilation of other books, original works that have been consumed and regurgitated, and every other “not that great” reference in between. That’s one of the reasons why this is the “top 7” and not “top 10”.  I refuse to stuff this thing with unnecessary entries just to make a number.  This is officially  the best collection of survival books this side of Mars– neatly organized, and updated for 2015.  Of course, if you’re not a book learner, there are plenty of survival schools throughout the world too.

Source: Best Survival Books – 7 Titles Handpicked by a US Marine

The 15 Best Survival Books Ever Written | Outdoor Life

Not everyone’s a Navy Seal or an Eagle Scout. So for those who haven’t received hands-on training in survival skills, studying a quality survival manual is your next best option. Whether you have a full library of self-preservation books, or you are looking to buy your first survival guide, check out our some of our favorite titles.

Source: The 15 Best Survival Books Ever Written | Outdoor Life

Why You Should Read These Articles Here…

You should read these articles because…

This is a lovingly built collection of thoughts, sayings, and interests built by me… the Meanderthal!

I’ve worked pretty hard to try to find the best people and sites for me to follow and I share them here, ” Because it feels wrong not to share them”.

These are writers, bloggers, and Podcasters who I don’t always agree with but know what they are talking about and share some common beliefs with me.

I bring them to you. I hope you’ll read and even follow them… even if that means you won’t have time to follow me anymore. That’s what friends do for each other.

Click through the snippets to the referenced article… follow that person if they strike a chord with you. Join that site. Get involved with the Indieweb if you want. Go play with your trains. Take a hike. read about trucks, and oil wells, or Space. Armchair travel the world. Bicycle your town.

I’ve tried my best to find cool stuff for you to read. If all else fails read a book.

Or go on a ghost hunt!

It’s probably here or will be soon.

 

10 Ways To Explore The Internet Archive For Free

The Internet Archive is a treasure trove of fascinating media, texts, and ephemera. Items that if they didn’t exist here, would be lost forever. Yet so many of our community members have difficulty describing what exactly it is…that we do here. Most people know us for the Wayback Machine, but we are so much more. To that end, we’ve put together a fun and useful guide to exploring the Archive. So, grab your flashlight and pith hat and let your digital adventure begin…

 

Read More – Source: https://blog.archive.org/2018/03/07/10-ways-to-explore-the-internet-archive-for-free/

IPFS

Encouraging those creative souls with the means to cleanly work offline then publish online on their timetable while not stressing their own website as much. The local boxen would be a real boon to auto bloggers with heavier loads.

100 Best Books by Black Female Authors, 1850 – Present | ZORA

The ZORA Canon, our list of the 100 greatest books ever written by African American women, is one of a kind, yet it exists within a rich cultural tradition. As author and New York Times contributing opinion writer Kaitlyn Greenidge notes in “Why We Need to Acknowledge the African American Women’s Canon,” her insightful and moving introduction to the list, Black artists and cultural leaders have been compiling documents of this sort since the 1700s, first as part of an ongoing argument against White supremacy and slavery. Later, during Reconstruction, as a reminder to the newly literate Black population “that they were not alone.” Later still, to catalog the abundance of the Harlem Renaissance (the period that brought us Zora Neale Hurston, for whom ZORA is named). And in contemporary time, less to prove the value of Black women’s voices and their humanity than to “go about challenging the work of figuring out what this space would mean for us.”

Source: 100 Best Books by Black Female Authors, 1850 – Present | ZORA

The Utmost Breathtaking Tourist Sites in California – All She Wrote

I recently just got back from the ravishing state of California this past winter break. The things to do and see in this state is limitless. Every city and region is known for something. This December, we traveled from Sacramento through San Francisco, to the central coast.

1. Golden Gate

As soon as we landed, we headed towards the Fisherman’s Warf which is located in the heart of San Francisco. San Fran’s Wharf is definitely interesting. Right near the bay, the downtown wharf area contains a variety of gourmet restaurants and high tech corporate buildings like Google and Reddit. As prosperous as this area is, it is a bit on the dirty side. I would keep your eyes peeled as you would in any downtown area.

Read More – Source: The Utmost Breathtaking Tourist Sites in California – All She Wrote

6 things I wish I knew the day I started Berklee | Derek Sivers

This is a talk I gave to incoming first-year students at Berklee College of Music today: September 5, 2008.

#1 : Focus. Disconnect. Do not be distracted.

My favorite part of the movies is the training sequence, where a young Bruce Wayne, Neo, or Kung-Fu Panda goes to a remote location to be trained relentlessly, nonstop, past all breaking points, until they emerge as a master.The next few years can be your training sequence, if you focus.

Read More – Source: 6 things I wish I knew the day I started Berklee | Derek Sivers

New wp-config Tweaks You Probably Don’t Know

The wp-config.php file: One of the most loved WordPress feature for some, one of the worst nightmares for others.

There are countless tips and tricks in a plethora of articles, and you can’t get enough of them; however, this article is aiming to be different. In this article, we’re going to get familiar with eight new wp-config tricks that are less known than functionality such as turning off post revisions, increasing the memory limit, or other similar features.

Don’t forget to backup your installation! The tips in this article do not change any database values nor do they play with any files (except wp-config.php, of course) so you can just download a copy of your wp-config.php file, but you can backup your database and files to make sure.

Better safe than sorry—frequent backups are always good!

Source: New wp-config Tweaks You Probably Don’t Know

10 Best Lightweight Linux Distributions for Older Computers in 2019 [With System Requirements]

What do you do with your old computers? The one which once had good hardware configuration but now those are considered outdated. Why not revive your old computer with Linux? I am going to list best lightweight Linux distributions that you can use on your older PC.

While our focus is on older computers, you can also use most of these lightweight Linux on relatively new hardware. This will give you a better performance if you use your computer for resource-heavy usage such as video editing on Linux.

Let’s see which lightweight Linux distro you should use.

Source: 10 Best Lightweight Linux Distributions for Older Computers in 2019 [With System Requirements]

Five Spaceships will be Docked at the ISS by Tomorrow.

As of tomorrow morning, there will be five space vehicles parked at the International Space Station.

The SpaceX Dragon space freighter, the Northrop Grumman Cygnus resupply ship, and Russia’s Soyuz MS-13 and MS-15 crew ships are already there. The Russian Progress 74 that launched Friday at 4:34 a.m. is expected to dock to the Pirs compartment on the station’s Russian segment at 5:38 a.m. Monday, Dec. 9.

NASA TV and the agency’s website will provide live coverage of Progress rendezvous and docking at 4:45 a.m.

Dragon and Progress are two of four robotic spaceships that currently fly resupply missions to the ISS. The other two are Japan’s H-II Transfer Vehicle and Cygnus, which is operated by Virginia-based Northrop Grumman.

See also:  https://www.space.com/russian-progress-cargo-spacecraft-launches-space-station.html

Though not a freighter itself, the Bigelow BEAM is also docked there… Bigelow_Expandable_Activity_Module The BEAM is an inflatable module that is being used as extra storage space and carrying out some experiments to judge the suitability of inflatable/expandable modules for use in space as habitats and utility compartments.

 

 

An Electric Drill named Lionel… Part II!

My post about Lionel the stinky electric drill might have bought a smile or two and prompted a memory of old train sets and such…

https://meanderthal.executivewp.com/2019/07/29/an-electric-drill-named-lionel/

There was another part to the story I didn’t tell…

Lionel came with a handful of small drill bits. That was one of the reasons I bought it. I needed a drill and a couple of bits since my box of bits was inside of the drill case and my buddy was heading for a job by himself with my good drill and kit.

I chucked a bit into good ole Lionel to drill a hole in a piece of metal stock. Easy job!

Bit seemed sharp enough and ‘bit’ into the work just fine then caught once and immediately started spinning again. Quit cutting also. Stopped to look. Something looked odd.

When the bit caught it turned itself ‘left handed’. I have never seen that happen before. The bit was running in oil and was not hot. Just some very cheap steel.

I tossed the bits… all of them… didn’t seem safe… or all that useful!

How I Build Websites (A loose manifesto) – Rhoneisms

Here’s some loose and evolving thoughts about how I build websites. I’m mainly writing this for my own use and something I can point potential clients to about what I believe in. It may be of help to others as well. I’ll continue to update this post as other ideas/thoughts/statements/beliefs come up.I believe in simple, clean, fast, purpose built websites. I will not be clogging up the pipes with vapid stock photos or meaningless cruft. The websites I build have one purpose — information delivery. I build and design them to fulfill that goal. If you want fancy, you can find that everywhere and pay a price far higher than I charge for it. I don’t do that and those that hire me hire me because I don’t do that.Before I even begin to build a website for a client, I engage in a deep conversation around two simple questions: Who is coming here and what are they looking for? I design the entire site around the answers to those two questions.

Source: How I Build Websites (A loose manifesto) – Rhoneisms

The Ultimate Joshua Tree National Park Travel Guide

This post appeared first at Outside Magazine: Travel

It’s embarrassing to admit, but ten years ago, when I first started going to Joshua Tree National Park, I got lost. I’d been shuffling along, marveling at the sheer magnitude of the fractured monzogranite towers, when I realized that the trail had vanished. I clambered atop the nearest p...

Read More - Source: Outside Magazine: Travel

Incorporating a few Old School Blogs into our Stream Here.

I have a list of ‘Old School Blogs’ from somewhere (I can’t remember where). I’m working my way through them and have a subsite over on my OffLine Task Handler Server to pull feeds from there to then reflect those selectively back to here.

https://meanderthal.executivewp.com/2019/10/12/old-school-blogs/

I can’t pull all the posts from all the feeds to this site as it would overwhelm the “Poor Lil’ Ole’ Meanderthal Blog” but I think a random snippet reflection here would be a fantastic addition and I’m looking forward to building that over the next couple weeks.

Stay Tuned!

 

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