412. Blogging Hints

I disclaimed technical skills in my last post, but I know a few things. I didn’t bail out of HTML because I didn’t understand it. I did understand it, but it was too time consuming.

There are a few features in WordPress which I rarely see bloggers taking advantage of. Insert/edit link is one of them. In fact, I just used it. Take a look at the words “my last post” in the preceding paragraph. If you click on them, it will take you to my last post.

I’ll show how it was done, but first a caution. The drawing at the top of this post was done quickly on a very old vector graphics program, with limitations. The arrow is added to draw your attention. The icon above the arrow, and the one to its right should be rotated 45 degrees, but it would explode if I tried that on my old program.

If you want to link a new post to an old one, first go to the old one and copy the permalink. You can identify it because it says permalink. Now come to the new post, highlight the words you want to identify your link, choose the Insert/edit link icon above the arrow and paste the permalink into the floater. Then be sure to hit the right angle back arrow afterward, or nothing will happen. All done.

You can also link to things you didn’t write. When I wrote about the worst story ever told (See 238. The Worst Story), I was referring to W. W. Jacobs’ The Monkey’s Paw. Since it is in public domain, you can find it in its entirety on the internet. That’s what I did when I wrote about it a year ago, and I linked to it. Things worked fine then, but now it gives a 403 error.

Nothing lasts forever on the internet, except misinformation.

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All this brings me to my second hint: If you read it a year ago, it isn’t true.

About five years ago, when I was just thinking about blogging someday, I bought and read a book about SEO (search engine optimization). SEO is the holy grail of websites. Do it right and everyone will be reading your posts. How do you do it right? Nobody knows because they keep changing the rules.

Every word of that SEO manual was gold when I bought it. Every word is false today.

Sloppy posting makes internet reliability even worse. If you are going to Octoberfest, beware. The date you got off the internet may be for Octoberfest of 2012.

Hint 2.1: Nobody ever takes down outdated internet data.

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Final hint: HTML is good to have in your back pocket.

Here we are reaching the limit of my knowledge. When I do this kind of thing, I have WordPress: the missing manual open to the appropriate page, and I don’t do it often. However, if you need the result, it is worth the work.

I use HTML to put virtual chapters in archived material. For example, Blondel of Arden, which just ran in Serial, is also available in Backfile. It was serialzed in 13 parts; when it went into archive, I kept those 13 parts as virtual chapters.

Go to the menu at the top of this page, to Backfile, follow the drop-down and click on Blondel of Arden. You will see a series of blue, underlined numbers from 1 through 13. If you click on one of them, it will jump you to an equivalent number in the body of the short story. That way, if you don’t read it all at once, you can go back later and jump to where you left off.

All it takes is some very short bits of code which I won’t try to teach you. But how do you get the code into the post or page in the first place?

Look at the drawing at the top of this post. In the upper right are the words Visual and Text. Visual is the default. The next time you write a post, follow up by clicking Text. You will see what you have written, translated into HTML. That’s where you go to slip in your little bits of code, but unless you are familiar with HTML, you need a good book or a good friend at your side the first time you try it.

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