News from my other blogs

January 4, 2013

This note is to welcome in the New Year and provide links to my other blogs: (About 25 pages, mostly in a Video archive section, and more than 100 blog posts on journalism topics, going back to 2008; see its “Old News” page for links to another eight years of blog posts on an earlier system.) (It has more than 50 pages linked to its top-of-the-page menu, as well as dozens of blog posts discussing individual radio programs, which are playable or downloadable from the posts.)


Timeline tool

June 23, 2012

You may not be able to use this tool within a site — I haven’t tried yet — but on sites that allow full use of javascript libraries, Timeline looks very useful for research reports and storytelling where chronology plays a part.

For historical stories or complex recent events, this open-source tool uses Google’s spreadsheet and javascript libraries.

Pretend your textbook’s speech by Michael Gartner was actually given at Radford and that you were in the audience with your laptop or smartphone…

Pretend the “comment” area on this message is actually Twitter: Enter one or two “tweets” about some aspect of the speech.

(maximum 140 characters, but 120 is even better to leave room for “retweets” and “hashtags”)

For example:

“I’m going out to buy a Wall Street Journal, a dictionary and a bow-tie.”

For a guide, here are 120 characters (spaces and punctuation count):



WordPress security links

March 11, 2012

Being based on the interaction among widgets, scripts and theme page templates built by many hands, WordPress sites can fall victim to hacks, pranks and destructive attacks.

While WordPress is amazingly easy to use, learn about its underlying JavaScript and PHP programming languages and SQL databases, and their vulnerabilities.

Keeping links up to date

November 14, 2011

This is mostly here to put a fresh date on this demo blog-post section of the site.

It’s also just a reminder that this is not my main blog, or even my secondary one.

See Other Journalism and Newspaper Heroes on the Air

WordPress generates an RSS feed or “subscribable content” for all of the posts in a blog, including the blog section of this site. It also generates another RSS feed for any comments on the blog posts. For you as a publisher, RSS is a way to “syndicate” the contents of your blog to other Web publishers, or other sites of your own. For example, I use RSS to publish summaries of my main blog on my home page.

(“Really Simple Syndication” is what the letters mean to most users, although there’s a longer, more technical, and very boring history.)

The addresses for both the “post” and “comments” feeds are usually in a menu at the bottom or in the right column of a WordPress site, unless you hide that menu from visitors. (Even for-free sites give you great control by letting you assemble page sections with its “widgets.”)

You can also post a link to an RSS feed anywhere on a page, just the way you would post a link to any other Web page. Browsers may treat the feed link differently from other links. For instance, clicking this link with Firefox will produce a dialogue box inviting you to “subscribe,” while clicking it with Safari will show you a page-view of the feed contents:

Basically, an RSS feed allows people to use a variety of programs to read or subscribe to the contents of a blog, a news site’s headlines, podcast, or other content. A little orange or blue “radar antenna” icon is usually the giveaway that a site has a feed or that a browser has a built-in feed reader. (When you “subscribe to a podcast” in iTunes, you are actually using iTunes as an RSS reader.)

Contents of “Pages” are not included in the WordPress’s RSS feeds — only contents of blog-style dated “Posts.” Blog posts are usually the main or home page of a WordPress blog. This site is different, as noted on the Home page: It’s a demonstration of using WordPress with a “static” front page, with the blog assigned to a menu item instead.

See my main blog for a page discussing the differences between pages and posts.

See more notes on WordPress on my third WordPress demo blog.

And if RSS is all new to you, see my oldest blog for a page about RSS, a comparison of RSS and blogs, and another about podcasting history, as well as this 1994 PC World Magazine article I wrote about RSS “aggregator” programs, back before most browsers and iTunes had added RSS-reading to their features.

The blog is secondary

May 27, 2011

On this demo site, dated blog posts like this one are not the main thing… The “Home” link on the menu goes to a static page. These blog posts are available on the “XBlog” link — although I could call it anything, starting with “X” moved the heading to the right side of the menu.

The game of the name

June 11, 2009

University e-mail honchos insist on basing my e-mail address on “Robert,” although everyone calls me “Bob.” As a result, “rstepno” versus “bstepno” (or even “rbstepno”) versus just “stepno” or just “bob” can get confusing. Since my students will be using blogs as well as e-mail, and as the WordPress organization doesn’t seem to mind, I’ve created blogs under the three main variations, with a “Rosetta Stone” link list here: is this one was started as “bob’s classroom demonstrations” is where I began experimenting with images and templates is a WordPress blog now, but was started with a different service; the tech experts at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society were able to move all of the content from the old service to the new one. Pretty cool!

See also: