Browser. Mozilla Firefox

July 22, 2009

Everybody has different ways of doing things.  For ease of coaching and consistency this blog will teach things in only one particular way. One of these things is the choice of Internet Browser (the software that you use to  surf the Internet).

Many people use Internet Explorer. However, Dead Men recommends using Mozilla Firefox because it has many extra programs called Add-Ons and or Extensions which I would like you to benefit from in the future. These programs allow you to do all sorts of extra activities not possible in a basic browser  e.g. downloading YouTube videos easily within the browser. (Click here if you missed that post a few weeks ago).

Your computer can have more than one Internet Browser so don’t worry about this; each browser will have its own icon on your desktop and will be listed separately under ‘My Programs.’ You can choose to use either one and you can choose to make either your default browser.

To download and install Mozilla Firefox go to http://mozilla.com

mozilla firefox

Download the program and save it onto your desktop or simply run the program. It will install itself. It will ask you if you would like it to import all your favourites / bookmarks  from Internet Explorer.

Advertisements

Using Ms Word to check your writing

July 16, 2009

For the Internet you need to write well, using short sentences and simple words.  This translates to writing for the average 12 year old – grade 7 reading level. This does not mean that you dumb-down your content; just your writing style!

Ms Word can help enormously with its grammar checking tool if you prepare your posts in Word first.  In addition it can evaluate the reading level of your writing.

In Ms Word go to ‘Tools, Options’ and click on the Grammar tab. Choose Grammar and Style and tick ‘Show readability statistics’.

Ms Word - Check my grammar

Ms Word - Check my grammar

Click on ‘Settings’ to choose the characteristics of ‘Style’ (in older versions choose ‘Formal’). In newer versions you can tell Word how to check your style category by category. Make sure that you ask Word to look out for passive sentences – something you should never use!

Ms Word - Settings for writing style

Ms Word - Settings for writing style

When you have completed your piece (in Word) run ‘Check grammar and spelling’ from the menu; it will now give you the readability scores of your writing.

Ms Word - Flesch Reading Ease and Kincaid Grade

Flesch Reading Ease - Kincaid Grade - Too difficult!!

Flesch Reading Ease

High is easier and low is difficult.
90 – 100 is 5th grade
60 – 70 is 8 and 9th grade
0 – 30 is for college students only
Examples:  Readers Digest is around 65 (good for the Internet) while Time magazine is around 52 (style not suitable for Internet)

Flesch – Kincaid Grade

This number translates directly into the grade eg 6.3 is a style for a 6th grade student

Once you are happy with the results cut and paste your checked text from Word to NOTEPAD (a small program under Accessories – this removes the Word formating that will ruin the layout of your post). From Notepad cut and paste the cleaned text into a empty post screen in WordPress.


Reading, research and reference

July 7, 2009

I believe that people should spend around 30 minutes a day reading and doing research.

Remaining up to date in your chosen areas is important if you are going to present yourself as an expert. Besides conventional resources other bloggers are a HUGE source of information. The question is, how do you find people who are blogging about the same topics you are?

The answer is Tag Surfer, a menu option under ‘Dashboard’ .

Tag surfer on your dashboard

Tag surfer on your dashboard

WordPress suggests and allows you to add and delete tags (topics) that you are interested in.

Subscribe to your chosen tags (topics)

Subscribe to your chosen tags (topics)

You add tags using the field and button provided at the top and you delete them by clicking on the grey cross next to the listed tag e.g. ‘leadership’.

WordPress then draws selected recent posts from other people’s blogs with the tags you are interested in and presents them to you; see example below which uses ‘leadership’ as a tag.

Post suggested by tag surfer

Post suggested by tag surfer

The first five lines above are mainly links.

The top one is the permalink to the actual post on the blog written by the user ‘petermsalmon’. You can click on the user to find out more about him. The Spam link is always provided allowing you to report the post as spam. The list of tags that follow are links to other posts on the tag topic. Note how the user links to the original post i.e. Peter Bregman. He then quotes a portion from it and finally adds his own views on the topic.


Adding links – Hyperlinks

July 2, 2009

Adding links from your post or page to another post, blog or website is normal common practice i.e. you don’t re-type information that is already formatted and available somewhere else. This by-passes problems like copyright etc.

To add links to your WordPress post follow the process shown below.

Adding links (hyperlinks) to your WordPress post

Adding links to your WordPress post

The process.

  1. A link has to be associated with a word, phase or sentence. Therefore select / highlight the chosen part.
  2. The ‘insert link’ icon now becomes available after being grayed out.
  3. The insert link dialogue box opens up and grays out the rest of the screen.
  4. Type in the URL / address to the post, blog or website that you want to reader to go to.
  5. Target. Select ‘Open in a New Window”. This keeps your blog open therefore encouraging the visitor to read your work further.
  6. Give the link a title. This is good for the search engines.
  7. Hit the insert button.
  8. The selected word will now have a link ‘behind’ it; this is shown by the change in font colour and the underling of the link.

NOTES.

A) This process works from the visual editing tab. The same can be done using the HTML tab for webmasters who want to work with code more directly.

B) The Permalink is the URL / address of this EXACT post contained within your blog. The permalink is underlined above.

Each post has its own unique permalink address that gets automatically generated out of the post title (the edit button next to it allows you to change / edit this suggested name). This is the address you would use in another post if you wanted that post to navigate to this post  🙂