Tag Archives: wordpress

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To A Support Ticket

No ticket – not an option!  Buh-bye!

bluehost1

My web hosting company, Bluehost, has opted no longer to offer tickets for support. Instead, they are seeking to focus on chat and phone as primary communication channels for website issues.

As someone who has run sites for nearly two decades now, this is unheard of. On one hand, I absolutely understand how support tickets can be a bottomless pit for support staff, often containing not enough information to address an issue.

On the other hand, I’ve often enjoyed the convenience of opening a ticket then getting back to work while awaiting a response, then having it documented as the conversation progressed, sometimes with it being emailed back to me for future reference (from Bluehost & others).

I had an issue with my art website, RSMITHINGS.com this morning, and within 10 minutes I opened a chat session and it was resolved. Plus, I’ve had great help from Bluehost’s phone support in the past as well.

bluehost2

So in my own personal experience, not having tickets has been so far, so good. Still, this is a major shift in approach. I reached out to Bluehost support via Twitter for some details, and they confirmed the switch:

I have mixed feelings about this, but hey, if my issues can be resolved faster this way, I’m all for it.

What do you think? Do you prefer phone, chat or tickets for website tech support? Let us hear from you in the comments.

For When You Don’t Feel Like Blogging

Writing a blog post shouldn’t be a big deal, especially if you’re serious about blogging. That said, there are going to be days when you just don’t feel like it.

Blogging

Check out the full series of blogging-themed images
I created over at Flickr and feel free to use them on your own blog.

Having done this for over a year now, a couple times per week steadily, I can fully attest to the occasional lack of motivation – but I always fight through and deliver the goods. Along the way, I’ve picked up these tips for those dark moments when you might not feel like keeping up with your own blog.

1. Have some posts in the bank

In those spells when you feel like writing, or when an idea hits, try to go with it. Take two minutes to get your thoughts into a few sentences or headings you can easily expand upon later. I’ve found the best tool for doing this is dictation software, or at the very least, the drafts feature in WordPress. I’ll even email some ideas to myself as a way of quickly capturing a subject or notion I know can be expanded upon down the road. That way, when the time is right, the content is ready to go.

Language Is A Virus

Another great site for
writing inspiration: LanguageIsAVirus.com

2. Know your inspiration

Have some role models or examples of sites you enjoy on hand to get you thinking about material for your own blog. Or, as Janet Aronica aptly states over at Shareaholic (among the many other excellent tips there):

“Consume the content you want to create.”

By being able to easily refer to your sources of inspiration, you’ll be more likely to generate your own material with your unique perspective – which is the very best part of having your own blog. Set up some bookmarks, feeds, subscriptions, or whatever aggregation method works best for you so you can get inspired and have your own creative juices flowing.

3. Keep it simple, genius

A blog post does not have to be 10,000 words, nor should it be. In fact, brief is often better. I’ve found some of my most popular posts are sometimes the ones with just a compelling image and only a few sentences. Being handy with the phone cam and always on the lookout for quality visuals to share is something I enjoy, and also something I recommend for having interesting blog fodder at the ready.

What do you think? Are these suggestions useful? What tips would you suggest for drumming up motivation or inspiration in blogging? Let us hear from you in the comments.

How To Write The Perfect Blog Post

I don’t often straight-up repost content without elaborating much, but wow — this is one great infographic. And I don’t often say that either. Click for full-size, see what you think & share your thoughts below (credit: Alex Mangini of Kolakube, Derek Halpern of SocialTriggers; first spotted at FamousBloggers via Gregory Ciotti):

PerfectBlogPost

What do you think? Do you employ these practices? Is this really a recipe for perfect post? And if not, what else would you do? What would you do differently? Let us hear from you in the comments.

How to Turn Off Comments in WordPress Pages

The WordPress platform makes many things about a website or blog easy, and customizing your visitors’ experience by choosing to turn comments off or to allow comments for any given page on your site is no exception. Here’s a quick tutorial:

How to Disable Comments In WordPress

  1. Go to the main list of pages in your dashboard
  2. Hover over a title and click “Quick Edit”
  3. Uncheck the “Allow Comments” button
How To Disable Comments In WordPress

How To Disable Comments In WordPress:
Go to Quick Edit, click Allow Comments. Boom, done.

That’s all there is to it!

If you like this post, you might like the rest of my blog — try the social media section for more on blogging & related subjects.

Hey Look, A Photo Booth! This is Private… Right?

Dec 08 2011 21:12PM 7.453 cc94094a,

Me and the Mrs. having fun in the photo booth. Good clean fun.

So I was at this fundraiser last night, which was a huge affair and likely a roaring success. I’m very proud of our community for coming out to have a fun time while supporting a good cause and enjoying the downtown nightlife. There happened to be this photo booth setup with props and instant prints — you get behind a curtain, take 4 digital photos in 10 seconds, and get a printout instantly. It was even free! (Or, included in the price of the event ticket). Totally fun.

And hey, you can even go online to view them the next day. The guy handing my prints told me so, and there’s a website on the back. Easy-breezy! Cool!

I hope he told everyone else this, because everyone else’s photos are there as well. What looks to be every… single… photo. My guess is that these have been screened for gang signs, product placement and, um… body parts, but I wonder if everyone realized their snapshots would be available for the world to see the next day?

Congratulations, You’re Famous!

If there was a sign stating these would be online, complete with social sharing buttons on every pic’s page, I didn’t see one. Not that I’d ever do anything at a public event that I wouldn’t want, you know… public, but being behind a curtain in a booth implies an idea of privacy, especially when you walk away with the prints in your hand. That is no longer so in our technoconnected world, and to assume otherwise is naive.

Click for full size (new window)

Say, there’s no way someone’s gonna post this on a blog, right?

Don’t get me wrong — I think the modern photo booth is a fantastic idea and I hope the venture and this local franchisee makes a million bucks. What with the rise of vintage effects and retro cameras now supercharged with the speed, portability and low cost of digital photography, I think it’s wonderful to bring back an “old-timey” experience, and especially to make sharing easy. But I gotta wonder if — and do hope — everyone else pictured is cool with that.

What do you think? Have you ever been in a “for-real” photo booth that uses film? Or have you ever done one like this with digital prints and social media capability? Does this raise privacy issues, or should we all assume we’re free game? Tell us in the comments.