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Removing Post & Comment Dates is a Terrible Idea

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Blogging

I recently read a post on Elegant Themes (aff link) that suggests you should remove the dates from your blog comments and “…Keep Your Discussion Fresh.” They proceed to show you multiple ways to remove dates from posts and comments. Don’t do it. Dates on blog posts are critical for signaling relevance and context to your reader. I can’t count the number of times I’ve read a post I thought was relevant only to realize midway through (because the dates were scrubbed) that it was two or three years old and a pointless waste of time. Now, to be fair, some posts really are date-independent—the information is truly timeless and when it was posted is not important. But in cases like this, I would argue that this material should be reserved for an article section that is built on pages, not posts, and then dates can be removed without trouble. As […]

Boilerplate Instructions, Bane of Modern Software

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Blogging

  I bought a new theme to install for a client this week. Normally, installing a theme is simple. Select theme, upload, install, done. Unless the theme maker has decided to deviate from the standard protocols that we all know and love and which we have been happily following for years. At that point all bets are off. Basically, the only choice now is to open their documentation and start reading their instructions line by line and following every micro-directive verbatim. That is, assuming they have actually bothered to tell you what each little step is. But no, in this case they just told me in generic terms to do what I had already done; the same thing that had already failed miserably. “Go to the Appearances menu and upload your new theme.” they say. Boilerplate instructions. Fail. Now what? Oh, yeah, figure it out for myself! Talk about lazy and thoughtless. Not a great […]

The Ultimate Writing Tool for Bloggers

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Blogging, Recommendations, Writing

Scrivener Helps You Pull It All Together Ever wondered how in blazes you capture, organize and store all your ideas for blog posts so you always have access to them and can quickly find them and start writing? And secondarily, but perhaps even more importantly, do you pine for a program that works with you instead of fighting you every step of the way as you attempt the sometimes hideously challenging work of writing useful and interesting blog posts? These questions have plagued me for many years. In the beginning, and for a long time thereafter, I struggled to manage my ideas and my written words. I wrote ideas on scraps of paper, tried bookmarking links on Delicious to jog my memory and save reference material for later, created multiple text documents in TextEdit and stored these in folders, emailed myself ideas and partial drafts, and tried many far more arcane and […]