I was scanning the web this morning and read a post titled “Where are the Women in WordPress?” The title made me wonder if it was a guy looking for his soul-mate through a dating website or hot singles WordPress blog. Then I realized the post was written by a woman. As I began to read the post I was pretty much disappointed. It’s always disappointing when one gender berates another or lumps a group into a stereotype. Asking where the women are in WordPress seems a rather silly question when anyone working with women and WordPress can tell you that women represent highly in the WordPress community.
Women are at the forefront of WordPress. They are the users who use it to blog their ideas and manage their business websites. Of course men use it too. Women though like WordPress because it puts the control of their website in their hands—I’m told they like the feeling of empowerment. It’s also easy to go from novice to full-fledged blogger or webmaster in a short period of time—I’m told women don’t have a lot of time to tinker around learning new software (believe me, I understand that point!).
You don’t have to look into university classrooms or tech schools for WordPress developers. The composition of graduating classes isn’t an indicator of who is working with WordPress. Why? It’s open source software so anyone with knowledge of PHP can develop for it. No college degree needed. Hop on and enjoy being part of WordPress.
No obligation, no registration cloaks who is working with WordPress. I see women (and men) WordPress users through my web practice. I’ve also gotten to know developers of both sexes. WordPress is truly open source—there’s no means of tracking the demographics of who blogs with it and who develops for it. When you download a new Plugin it won’t tell you if the developer was male or female—no sexism on WordPress.
So if you’re wondering where are the WordPress women… check out the blogs in your community, the websites of entrepreneurs in your business networking groups and WordPress site developers like myself. You’ll find plenty of men and women making WordPress work.
WordPress is genius— publishes your posts on a unique URL (you know, that thing that starts with HTTP://). This goes on behind the scenes and helps to organize your blog.
If your blog is set up so that new posts show up on the Home page, you’ll notice that the newest posts are always right there, first in line to be read on the blog. However, it’s important when sharing your posts to share the URL (again that address that starts with HTTP) for a single post. It’s logical, if you share the home page it will change with newer posts. If you share the address to a single post, people can go right to the post at any time and see what you want them to see.
Here’s an example: If you send an email or an enewsletter with a link in it to your blog’s Home page you run the risk that the reader may wait to open it. What if you add a new post before they read your email? They will see your newest post not the one you wanted them to see.
Another time to watch your post links is when sharing on Facebook or other social networking site. If you use your blog’s web address visitors will land on your blog. If they check-in on the social site later, you run the risk that your Home page will be showing a newer post and they’ll miss your important post.
These issues are solved by linking to a single post. So to find the link to a single post you can open the WordPress dashboard and locate your posts. Just below the post title there will always be the link to the post and you can even get a shortened URL to use when you’re short on space.
On most WordPress themes you can also go directly to your blog, click on the post title, this will take you to the single post. Just copy the web address at the top of the screen in your browser window. That’s the URL to share.
Looking for a way to make your blog more lively and engaging? How about some “live blogging?” You may have stumbled upon a live blogging event for a red carpet entertainment event (you know, the reporters who post comments about fashion and celebrity gossip) or a sports event where a blogger takes commentary to another level by posting several times during the game covering plays and players.
Recently the Portland Press Herald (that’s a Maine news blog) covered a breakfast cook-off. Let’s check-in to see what 3 elements they included to this live blog take shape.
1. Stack Your Entries In Chronological Order. The cook-off takes on suspense and a sense of timing by adding to their event post every few minutes. They remember that all good writing has a beginning, middle, and an end, so their last post is a wrap up of the event. A live blog without a wrap-up leaves readers hangin’.
2. Include Photos. Not every event, especially virtual events, lend themselves to photographs. However when you have photos you have your reader’s attention.
3. Tell Time. Don’t forget to differentiate each post by posting the time. Live blogging implies being timely. When configuring your live blogging plugin, be sure to set the time.
4. Say It’s Live. I’m big on putting it in the post title– say it’s “live blogging” so the search engines will pick it up.
Going to a conference or trade show? It’s your chance to blog live. Doing a webinar? It’s an opportunity to do live blogging.