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Blogging How-To Links

Why Every Beer Blogger Needs a 360 Camera

Disclosure: I may earn a commission if you use my referral links below to make a purchase. This involves no extra cost and benefits me as a content creator. Thank you for your generous support!

I presented at the Beer Bloggers and Writers Conference (recently rebranded as BeerNow) in August 2018. I participated in the “Lightning Talks” part of the conference. Seven of my fellow conference attendees and myself each had five minutes to “expound on something related to their involvement in the beer industry.”

I, of course, chose to talk about my 360 photography experience. The goal was to share some practical advice and no just advertise what I did so I skip chatting about BreweryFinder.org. The short presentation I gave was captured in 360 degrees from the stage just in case you want to see my chat for yourself.

Why Every Beer Blogger Needs a 360 Camera

Amazon has the Ricoh Theta V (the camera I currently use) available for purchase right now.

My presentation  is on SlideShare and embedded below:

Categories
How-To

Adding “Read Time” To Your WordPress Posts

Let your readers know what sort of time commitment they are getting into before starting to read your posts on a WordPress based site. People are busy and need to have a reassurance that they can read your post and move on in an expected amount of time. Reading Time WP is the plugin I use to get this done automatically every time I post something new.

Install the Reading Time WP by going to your Admin Dashboard -> Plugins -> Add New.

Search for “Reading Time WP” and click the Install Now button. Now, then click Activate.

Once the plugin is installed you can look at the settings for the plugin by going to Settings -> Reading Time WP. You should see this:

The plugin automatically adds the “Reading Time” to the beginning of your post excerpt and main content. If you don’t want this to happen simply uncheck these boxes and click Update Options.

The basic install and activation could use a small tweak in it’s look.

I like adding a line break after “Reading Time” to give the content below it some space to breath. I also like making “Reading Time” bold.

This edit can be done by editing the plugin. Remember to make a backup so you don’t lose anything on your site before editing any plugins or themes.

Go to Plugins -> Editor.

Select the Reading Time WP plugin from the drop-down and hit Select. Now go to line 169 and find this code:

 $content = '<span class="rt-reading-time" style="display: block;">'.'<span class="rt-label">'.$label.'</span>'.'<span class="rt-time">'.$this->readingTime.'</span>'.'<span class="rt-label"> '.$calculatedPostfix.'</span>'.'</span>';

You’ll want to change it to this:

 $content = '<span class="rt-reading-time" style="display: block;">'.'<strong><span class="rt-label">'.$label.'</span></strong>'.'<span class="rt-time">'.$this->readingTime.'</span>'.'<span class="rt-label"> '.$calculatedPostfix.'</span>'.'</span><br>';

If you get an error that the file cannot be updated while doing this edit just deactivate the plugin, make the edit, and reactivate the plugin.

Now the top of your posts will look like this:

If you’re more technically minded and want to add a custom PHP line to your site’s theme to more strategically place the reading time you can get details on how to do that on the plugin’s official WordPress Repository page.

Hope this walkthrough was helpful. If you’d like to say thank you please consider become a Patreon supporter

Categories
How-To

Give Your Photos a Feather Effect in Photoshop

Feather_FI

Sometimes it can be nice to add a simple feather effect to the borders of photos for online galleries or scrapbooks. Here is a simple how-to guide to show you how to make it happen with Photoshop in 8 steps. I’m using Adobe Photoshop CC 2014 in this example but these general instructions will work in many previous versions as well.

1.) Open your image.

 

Feather_01

2.) Set your “Feather” size.

Feather_02

 

3.) Select your “Marquee” or “Lasso” type.

Feather_03

4.) Make the selection you want over your image. 

5.) Click “Select” and then “Inverse.”

Feather_04

6.) Set your Background Color.

7.) Click “Edit” and then “Cut.”

8.) Save your image.

That was easy wasn’t it? If you have any questions leave ’em in the comments.

Categories
How-To Social Media

JustDelete.me

JustDeleteMeFB

Joining the internet is easy. Quitting the Internet and removing your information can be a real headache. Ever tried finding the deactivate/delete area on Facebook? Exactly.

JustDelete.me was created to help make quitting the Internet a little bit easier. It is a self-proclaimed “directory of direct links to delete your account from web services.” Now you can find that ever changing link location with a quick search and click.

The site currently has dozens of services listed including Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and many more.

If you see one missing you can also suggest that it be added. Enjoy!

Categories
How-To Social Media Twitter

How To Add Twitter Card Support To Your WordPress Website

It is easier than you think to add Twitter Card support to your WordPress based website. It took me several days to figure out this easy way to add this functionality to my site. The reason? I just needed to find the right plugin! Two steps really. There it a bit more detail to it, but I’ll walk you through it below.

Make Sure WordPress is Updated & Backed-up. Before attempting any site changes it is a good idea to back everything up. That way if anything goes wrong you have a good place to go back to instead of starting from an old backup or from scratch!

JMTwitter Settings
The JM Twitter Card settings screen is simple to use.

1.) Install, activate & input your Twitter handle/image URL in the JM Twitter Cards plugin settings. Then preview your “card” using Twitter’s Card Preview Tool to make sure everything works like you want.

Twitter Card Signup Screen
You have to be approved by Twitter in order to have Twitter Cards on your site.

2.) Apply to the Twitter Card program. Once you are approved you will get an email confirmation from Twitter. Most (if not all) eligible links from your site shared on Twitter by you or others will then include the Twitter Card summaries. Turn around time on approval varies widely. I’ve had approvals for accounts take over a week and some happen within a day.

My Twitter Account Before Adding Twitter Card Support

Twitter-Tweet

My Twitter Account After Adding Twitter Card Support

Twitter-Summary-Card

This is the two step process that worked for me. There are other plugins that work, but this is the one I found to be most user friendly. Have other suggestions or questions? Sound off in the comments.