What inspires you to write more often in your blog?

It’s kind of timely that just over a week after launching my new theme on UnfoldingNeurons.com with a desire to write more posts I come across two great articles talking about how to be inspired to write.

John Saddington wrote 10 Types of Blog Posts That Helped Me Blog 3 Times a Day for a Year. I had the privilege of meeting John at the ChurchCrunch one year birthday party before a conference I recently attended.  He’s fairly new to the blogging scene but let me tell you as a blogger he has come a long way in a short period of time.  In the words of Micheal Hyatt at the party, “I’ve never seen a more productive person”.  So, this article quickly caught my eye.  If such a busy person as John can blog so frequently, so consistently – how does he do it?  Here’s some of the types of blog posts that stood out to me as things I could do very easily here:

  • Date Specific – picking a day to do a regular systematic themed post (i.e. desktop of the week etc.). Not sure how I’m going to do this yet (or what theme/topic I’d do) but it is something I could do.

Why I think every church and pastor should blog…

This post was published as an article in the “Connections” magazine which is a periodical put out by the Western Ontario District of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada (with whom I hold my credentials).  I publish a regular column for this magazine called “Tech Pass”.  If you are visiting this post from that article please leave a comment at the end!

Hopefully by now, most of you reading this post have heard the term “blog” and have some idea of what it is. If not, then it’s time to get away from the monastery for a bit…

The simplest definition of a blog is that it is a place on the internet where an individual publishes their thoughts. When blogging first started it was viewed as the online scribbling of people with too much time on their hands – people writing about what they eat for lunch or their cat, “Scratchy”. However, blogging has become a journalistic phenomenon worldwide that is even beginning to overtake printed media and large news organizations as the purveyor of ideas, news reports, and articles.

The New Marketing

StreamingFaith.com conducted this interesting interview with Seth Godin discussing how the church isn’t doing a very good job of reaching people with their message in today’s new “marketing era”.  I really like his observations on the usefulness of blogging – something that I think the church is way behind on…check out the interview at, Is Today’s Modern Church Busy Making Meatball Sundaes?

To Christian Bloggers/Leaders: Are you twittering?

Mark Kelley, the News Director for Saddleback Church-Purpose Driven Network, has been advocating a Christian Bloggers Network via an email list obtained from doing a survey put out by Pastors.com and Church Communications Pro. I am intrigued by such a network but hope that it becomes more than just a marketing vehicle and self-promotion outlet. If that happens I’ll bail out before you can say “snap”!

As I’ve given thought to some of the legitimate questions Mark has asked regarding the formation of this network and how it can be useful, my mind has hit on twitter. No, that’s not an adjective describing my state of thought! Twittering is a new phenomenon that has hit the web in the last three months – another offering in the Web 2.0 flavor of the year crowd.

What is Twitter?

Twitter is basically a website that has provided users a way of simply and quickly answering the question, “What is _____ up to now?”. Think it of mini-blogging on steroids. In of itself it isn’t really much – but combined with the Twitter API, the ability to “tweet” from multiple platforms (IM, your phone via text, web, and even your WordPress blog ), and it’s ease of use, the potential for this tool in useful “networking” is limitless.

Choosing WordPress: “She’s got guts”

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Wordpress as a CMS

In the previous article in this series I introduced the first reason for why I chose to use WordPress as the engine for three CMS-like sites that I designed recently. I wrote about the theming/template system in WordPress – the “looks”. In this article I’m going to talk about the “guts” of WordPress.

Why I chose WordPress

2. The Guts

When I refer to guts, I mean the following things that are “inside” the WordPress engine:

i. File Structure

From the perspective of a newbie developer, the WordPress file structure greatly aids in comprehending where things are and what files need to be edited/looked at in the development process. The fact that directory trees and file names are descriptive of their function cuts down on a lot of the guesswork into where things are located.

Here’s the layout of the directory tree structure:

/wordpress (root): You’ll find all the main configuration and base level files such as config.php (database settings), wp-blog-header.php (calls necessary includes and header information), and various feed related files among others. I’m not going to go into detail about each of the files but I’ll just mention that for the most part, the files in the root wordpress directory are what WordPress accesses when initializing.

Choosing WordPress: “ooo doesn’t she LOOK fine?”

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Wordpress as a CMS

In the previous article in this series I gave a summary of some of the core differences between a CMS (content management system) and a blogging engine. I talked about some of the cases where one system is more preferable over the other when designing websites. In the conclusion to the article I mentioned that in light of what I had just written, it would have made more sense for me to go with a CMS for the website designs of Hanover Pentecostal Church, UnashamedSermons.com, and VigliottiWoodworking. Yet, as can be observed from the title of the series I obviously used WordPress instead. This article will focus on the first reason for why I made that choice.

But before I get to that I’ll give a quick rundown of some of the requirements that needed to be considered for each site.

UnashamedSermons.com
UnashamedSermons.com UnashamedSermons.com is where I host all the various sermons I have (and still am!) written and preached while pastoring at my church. There were predominately two purposes for me creating UnashamedSermons. One, I wanted a place where I could archive all my messages and access it for personal reference. Two, I wanted to make available to as many people possible these messages in the hopes more people would be impacted.

CMS vs. Blog…no you don’t need Pepto Bismol

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Wordpress as a CMS

{this is part 2 of the series “WordPress as a CMS”}

WordPress is primarily a blogging tool (or engine as I like to call it!) but I’ve learned in the course of designing three websites that are not primarily blogs that WordPress can also cross over and serve somewhat nicely as a Content Management System (CMS). In the second article of this series I want to talk a little bit about the difference between a CMS and a blog and then in the next article I’ll talk about how this played into my decision to use WordPress for the design of UnashamedSermons.com, VigliottiWoodworking.com, and gohpc.net.

On the surface it may seem that there isn’t much difference between a CMS and a Blog. They both provide some sort of backend interface for administrators to manage the content of the website. They both invite social interactivity via the ability for visitors to leave comments, register as a user, or even become a contributor to the content. Then of course the primary focus of each is the delivery of some sort of content which in later years has involved not only pictures and text but also videos and audio (podcasts and the like). But surface appearances can be deceiving!

The key to blogging for the long haul…

Even though I’m still relatively new to the blogosphere (I’ve been blogging since May 2006 – see my first post!) I have been journaling off and on for quite a few years and blogging and journaling share some similarities in terms of what gives lasting power. Of course, there are pretty significant differences between the two (the primary one being the “public” and journalistic feel of a blog vs. the private and diary feel of a personal journal) but for the purpose of this article I think I can write out of some modicum of experience! Another reason that contributes to a measure of insight found in this article is the fact that even though I haven’t blogged myself until recently, I’ve been an avid reader of other peoples blogs for quite a while – there’s certain things that are common among bloggers with lasting power that stick out to me.
Anyway, the purpose of this article is to answer the question, “What are characteristics that keep someone blogging for the long haul?” According to David Sifry’s, “State of the Blogosphere Report” for August 2006 Technorati tracked it’s 50 millionth blog! Now that’s a lot of writer’s out there – however according to a comment David made in response to Glenn Fannick’s article, “Technorati’s Active Blogs — Perhaps 1.4 Million?“,