virtualDavis

\ˈvər-chə-wəlˈdā-vəs\ Blogger, storyteller, flâneur. G.G. Davis, Jr's alter ego…
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Blog Out Loud with Les Miserables

I’ve been thinking a lot about theater lately. Even more than usual. A leadership transition at our Depot Theatre (@DepotTheatre) and a recent debate with Porter Anderson and Viki Noe about the relevance and roll of live theater in the digital age primed me to appreciate Susan Silver‘s post, “12 Most Fabulous Blogging Lessons from Les Miserables”. She’s distilled a dozen tips for better blogging from Victor Hugo‘s novel-turned-musical.

I want you to learn how to blog out loud by following conventions drawn from musical theater. Open up and sing with the 12 most fabulous lessons from Les Miserables. (12 Most)

Here are my favorites from Ms. Silver’s list:

  • Think globally: Just like Les Miserables, “your blog also has an international audience you can accommodate.”
  • Sing it: Find your blog’s unique first-person voice and sweep us up in your song.
  • Diversify: “To give longevity to your content utilize multi-media. Speak in the voices of all the platforms you have available; print, video, blogs & more.”
  • Be thematic: Discover, define and refine your blog’s narrative threads.
  • Epicosity: Like Les Miserables’ epic song “One Day More”, “every once in awhile it is fun to write a piece with a grand scope.”
  • “Heart Full of Love”: Court a niche/topic/theme that you are genuinely passionate about.
  • Write for longevity: Les Miserables’ endurance is inspiring. The novel is 150 years old, and the musical has been performed for a quarter century. Aim for nothing less!
  • Bring down the curtain: My bride frequently reminds me about this one! “We need to take off our blogging hats at the end of the day. Make unplugging from the computer a routine. Enjoy the time you have with friends and family.”

Great tips! And I’d like to add one slightly less obvious, but no less important lesson that bloggers should learn from Les Miserables: Not everyone will love your blog! That’s okay. Despite Les Miserables’ storied success, it doesn’t appeal to everyone no matter how well it is produced, performed or attended. Know and grow your audience, but don’t get discouraged by those who neglect your niche or criticize your song. Sing better, sing louder, sing louder. And before long your audience will be humming along with you.

Migration Time

Serengeti wildebeest migration, Tanzania

Wildebeest Migration, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania (Image by Marc Veraart via Flickr)

Welcome to the future. virtualDavis is migrating.

Unlike the annual wildebeest migrations across the Serengeti, Masai Mara and Liuwa Plain, it’s been almost a decade since my last migration, and I’m not searching for greener pastures. Not literally, at least. I’m not abandoning my URL, but I am transitioning the site from Drupal to WordPress in order to standardize and simplify daily blogging. I am still (and will continue to be) an outspoken Drupal enthusiast and advocate. Organizations and individuals building websites with sophisticated CMS should at least consider Drupal. If they don’t they obviously have time and money to waste. Let them waste it. It will help buoy the economy. I continue to use Drupal for sites that I maintain and/or develop, and I intend to for a long time. Drupal is to website developers what Creative Commons is to content creators. Times ten. Or a hundred!

So why am I switching to WordPress? If Drupal is the CMS Holy Grail, I’ve come to believe that WordPress is the blogging holy grail. It is intuitive, easy to use and teach others to use, incredibly well supported and for all practical purposes it has become the “Dixie cup” of blogging software. I do wish that it offered a bit more robust, non-blogging CMS potential, but for my current needs (blogging across multiple domains), consolidating my interface to a single, effective platform offers me a major value.

It will take some time to make the transition, so until further notice I encourage you to stick with my regular domain where I’ll keep a link posted to the temporary site. Once I complete the migration from Drupal to WordPress, I’ll shift the new site to the old URL. Until then, thanks for your patience. Heck, thanks for following my blog in the first place!

FYI: If you’re looking for current happenings, you might want to check out virtualDavis on Twitter, virtualDavis on Facebook or virtualDavis on Google+. Or drop a note!

Why Writers Need Bloggers

I’ve come to see book bloggers as indispensable to authors, especially first-time authors.

~ Miriam Gershow

When Miriam Gershow (@miriamgershow) published her novel The Local News she landed coveted reviews in The New York TimesMarie Claire andLadies Home Journal. Home Run! Or not…

It turns out that even a top drawer print run and allstar mainstream media buzz, the job still fell to her to keep the novel visible and selling. And she did, due in part to her discovery that book bloggers are an essential (and friendly) ally.

One of the most surprising things about book publishing is that after the initial fanfare and reviews and readings… there is almost a deafening silence… suddenly it was my responsibility to keep the buzz going. (Guide to Literary Agents)

For Gershow, and for an ever-increasing parade of authors, the blogosphere and its social media cousins offer affordable word of mouth relationships directly with readers. As the data maelstrom grows louder and more overwhelming, more and more readers are tuning out. Traditional marketing channels are less effective than they used to be. But bloggers invest themselves day after day in cultivating a loyal readership. Blogger recommendations are respected, trusted and acted upon.

I do know that when a book is talked about in the blogosphere—especially by the insatiable bloggers with their insatiable readership—it keeps that book alive in the public consciousness.

Besides, authors have far greater accessibility to bloggers than they do to mainstream media outlets. So time and effort invested in courting bloggers is far more likely to pay off. But that’s not all, Gershow confides. Writers need book bloggers for their delicious soul food!

And… bloggers are good for the writer’s soul… They remind me that what I’m doing matters. And for that alone, they are worth their weight in books.

20 Best WordPress Tutorial Blogs

WordPress is one of the most popular CMS and blogging platforms around, mainly because it is free and it is 100% customizable… I will showcase 20 of the best WordPress Tutorial Blogs that have written many wonderful and insightful articles with various tips that either helped me optimize my blog for SEO, helped secure my WordPress installation from hackers, to finding the best WordPress themes , or even creating my own WordPress theme for my blog. (Web Design Fan)

I recently helped a friend with her blog, poking around under a WordPress hood for the first time in years. I was impressed. It’s a whole different beast from what I experimented with years ago, and I now understand why it’s the world leader among blog/cms software when ranked by number of users. Impressive! And I’m going to keep exploring in the weeks and months ahead. This posting is a great springboard for new-to-WordPress bloggersDo you know of any other great WordPress resources?

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How to Get Traffic for Your Blog

Seth Godin (author of Tribes which is captivating me at present) offers an epic list as “a partial answer” to the question, “How can I drive more traffic to my blog?” Here are my “Top 10″ favorites from his list:

  1. Share your expertise generously so people recognize it and depend on you.
  2. Encourage your readers to help you manipulate the technorati top blog list.
  3. Tag your posts. Use del.ico.us.
  4. Do email interviews with the well-known.
  5. Encourage your readers to digg your posts. (and to use furl and reddit). Do it with every post.
  6. Post your photos on flickr.
  7. Highlight your best posts on your Squidoo lens.
  8. Point to useful but little-known resources.
  9. Ping technorati. Or have someone smarter than me tell you how to do it automatically.
  10. Write stuff that people want to read and share.

Posted by Seth Godin on June 03, 2006 | Permalink

Read the full post here: sethgodin.typepad.com

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Honey, Don’t Bother Mommy. I’m Too Busy with My Blog!


Photograph via New York Times

Yes, they had come to Bloggy Boot Camp, the sold-out first stop on a five-city tour. It is the brainchild of Tiffany Romero and Heather Blair, the founders of the Secret Is in the Sauce, a community of 5,000 female bloggers. Boot Camp is at once a networking and social event, bringing together virtual friends for some real-time girly bonding, and an educational seminar designed to help the participants — about 90 percent of them mothers — to take their blogs up a notch, whether in hopes of generating ad revenue and sponsorships, attracting attention to a cause or branching out into paid journalism or marketing.

via New York Times

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Top 10 Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Blog Using LinkedIn

1. Complete Your Profile
2. Increase Your Connections
3. Customize Your Website Links
4. Answer Questions
5. Update Status
6. Join Niche Groups
7. Post Comments In Groups
8. Add RSS Feed to Groups
9. Create a Group
10. Add the Blog Application to Your Profile

(Graphic and list via problogger.net)

Flâneur Videos All around the World

2min15 is a video blog to share urban life in different cities around the world. Videos with a length of 1min to 2min15 using digital cameras and basic editing software is the base of the project. This blog was created with non commercial purposes.

2min15 is interested in expressing a personal side of life in cities and the way people live it through different cultural situations. The increase of disposable technology as digital cameras, telephones, iPods and webcams makes it easy to express it without losing its essence and making it accessible for everyone. Every city has its own sounds, colors, languages and even smells. 2min15 would like to create a place where simple videos show their people, streets, cafes, women, architecture, parks, subways and specially, the flow between them.

via 2min15

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Urban Flaneur Guidebook

An urban flaneur is a wanderer who travels around the city as a casual observer and gives an interpretation of what s/he sees. An urban flaneur disdains the idea that one can encapsulate a city into a list of landmarks or dissect it into parts as one would a corpse. In this light, I am launching this new blog about experiencing the city in its totality. I welcome any relevant comments.

via The Urban Flaneur Guidebook

A new face on the flaneurial block. Welcome to Michael McAdams! Keep to great posts coming…

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Writing Where She Goes

 

Writing RoadsJulie Roads is a writer, a blogger, a speaker. Writing Roads proclaims her wares, and her blog captures the whims and woes of the writing/copywriting/momming existence. Julie Roads is on twitter too, if you want the even more unfiltered soundtrack. And the website design? Clever and organized albeit slightly cluttered. In a good way. Like a writer’s desk…

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