Becoming a better blogger

(The following is a condensed version of my talk on how to improve your blogging skills during the Visayas Blogging Summit last Saturday. The summit was well-attended and had several corporate sponsors, an indication that blogging has indeed gone mainstream in Cebu)

WHAT’s the goal of effective blogging? What should you strive for if you want to build a blog following beyond your circle of family and friends?

Make it worth readers’ time

Why should readers take time to visit your blog? Why should people read your article? Today’s high-paced, technology-driven culture offers a lot of distractions. There are billions of web pages on the Internet. Why should people, who are not your friends or relatives, take time to read your blog?

People visit a blog or read an article because of either or both of two things: 1) they’ll learn something from it, or 2) they’ll enjoy the experience of reading it. Strive to provide both but one out of two isn’t bad.

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Giving people Ubuntu envy

While preparing for my presentation to the staff of the Sun.Star website last week, I was a bit worried whether Ubuntu Feisty Fawn would detect and work with the office’s LCD projector.

I’m a stickler for backups. I finished my OpenOffice Impress presentation in the laptop and then converted it into a PowerPoint file. I then saved the file in my USB stick and phone’s memory card.

ubuntu presentation PRESENTING WITH UBUNTU. Demonstrating installation, maintenance, and upgrading of WordPress to Sun.Star website staff. Click on photo to enlarge.

My Ubuntu laptop runs an Apache, PHP, MySQL server for local web development and demonstration. I recreated an Apache server on my USB stick using UniformServer in case (dear God no!) I would be forced to use any of the Windows XP units of Sunnex, the department that runs the Sun.Star website.

Just in case I encountered problems, I did a web search for issues with Ubuntu and LCD projectors and then copied possible solutions for different problems. I assumed, correctly it turned out, I wouldn’t be able to access the Internet in the remote Camotes Island resort we were billeted in.

Come presentation time, I was crossing my fingers when I plugged the LCD projector cable into my laptop. I need not have worried. It worked flawlessly.

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Presentation zen: Bill Gates vs. Steve Jobs

Presentation Zen does a good comparison on the visual presentation styles of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. From their presentation styles, you can see why Jobs is considered the icon of cool and sleek designs. His presentation style is to be expected from a man responsible for products like the Mac Mini and the iPod Nano. Jobs shows how to achieve “maximum effect with minimum means” in presentations. Check the contrasting presentation styles here.