WordPress Wednesday: Authors Widget

Published on Mar 31, 2010   //  WordPress

Do you run a multi-author blog? Do you want to give the proper exposure to each of your contributors? While it is certainly important to include this information in an “About” page on your site, there are additional ways you can do this too.

One way is to install the free Authors Widget WordPress plug-in. Just as you can have lists of tags and categories in your blog’s sidebar (or footer), you can use this plug-in to create a list of the authors who contribute to your blog. The information can be displayed in the form of a standard list or in a format similar to a tag cloud.

For each author, you can show the number of articles written and published to date. There is also a link to each author’s RSS feed, as well as the ability to include the author’s avatar next to his or her name. In order to use the “cloud” display style, you will need to also install the SEO Tag Cloud plugin.

For more information, including screenshots and a download link, visit the WordPress Plugin Directory to find Author Widget.

Business 101: Making Concessions for Positive Impressions

Published on Mar 30, 2010   //  Business Topics

While it is certainly important to provide a valued product or service to the public, it’s perfectly understandable that a major focus of any business is the bottom line. Whether you run a small business or a large corporation, you need it to be profitable and make money on a consistent basis. However, you need to expand your perspective beyond the short term.

To best illustrate this, let’s go through a rather typical example. A property management company signs a lease with a new tenant for a period of one year. The tenant is happy with the situation, but circumstances change and she needs to move out earlier than the lease expiration date.

Under the letter of the law, the property management company is owed the remainder of the lease and the tenant is liable for that cost, even if there is time remaining on the lease. Looking strictly at the bottom line, it is the company’s best interest to collect the entirety of the lease. However, the tenant will not be as pleased with this conclusion.

Under these circumstances, it may be valuable to make a fair and reasonable concession to the tenant. If there is two months left in the one-year lease, for instance, they can compromise in saying that the tenant must pay for one of those months. The tenant will be happier and is more likely to give a positive recommendation to future prospective tenants, helping the long-term success of the property management company.

What do you think? Should the property management company stick to its guns and demand the entirety of the lease money or should it be willing to make a concession to the current tenant?

Great Gadgets: The Dualbrella

Published on Mar 29, 2010   //  Gadgets

We’ve all been there, especially if you happen to live along the Wet Coast. No, that’s not a typo. There is a lot of rain in the Vancouver area, so Vancouverites are known to carry around an umbrella under most circumstances. However, these umbrellas are usually designed to accommodate just one person.

Have you ever been in the situation where you needed to share an umbrella with a friend, colleague, or family member? It may not be awkward to get up close and personal with a significant other, but even then, the run-off from the umbrella can leave both of you with wet sleeves.

Addressing this common concern is the Dualbrella from Hammacher Schlemmer. As you can quite plainly see, it’s an umbrella that has been designed for use by two people. It spans six feet wide and three feet deep, giving adequate coverage to both individuals looking for shelter from the elements.

It’s a shame that it only comes in regular old black. Further still, it’s a little on the pricey side of the umbrella spectrum at $39.95 and it doesn’t ship until the end of April. It’s innovative, but you may be better off buying two cheaper (individual) umbrellas instead.

BlueFur Customer of the Week: Dryer Music

Published on Mar 28, 2010   //  BlueFur Customer of the Week

The world wide web is filled with all sorts of personalities and many of these people call BlueFur their online home. From bloggers to retail stores, they make use of the web hosting at BlueFur. Even creative types!

Peggy Messing and Dave Maurakis make up Dryer Music. They’ve been working together for the last decade, writing music and performing together ever since. Their sound is said to be “entirely unlike any other, yet strangely familiar.”

They’ve emerged from hibernation and are ready to hit the music scene again. The debut album was recorded in Montreal and is called Out Like a Light. You can expect it to be released some time this year.

To learn more about what they have to offer and to keep up with these dynamic musical duo, visit their official website at DryerMusic.com. While there, you can check out the photos and link on over to their Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace accounts too.

Showcase Saturday: Smash WP Theme

Published on Mar 27, 2010   //  Showcase Saturday

Just because it is called a premium WordPress theme does not necessarily mean that you have to pay a premium to get it! In fact, the kind folks at Smashing Updates have revealed a new premium-level WordPress theme that is available as a free download.

To go along with the site’s branding, the free theme is called Smash WP Theme and it features a powerful yet classy appearance for your readers to enjoy. The modern layout includes the search bar to the right, a single navigation bar, and a wide sidebar with room to accommodate up to six 125 x 125 ad boxes.

On the back end, they have also included “vast” administration options so that you can adjust some of the theme options without having to dive into the raw code. These include the aforementioned 125 x 125 ad boxes, sidebar button settings, social media settings, Google Analytics, Favicon settings, and more.

For a better sense of what to expect from Smash WP Theme, check out the live demo and then head to the official page to grab the download.

In the Sphere: Coworking and Comments

Published on Mar 26, 2010   //  In the Sphere

And we’ve reached the end of another work week. I hope it has been both productive and enjoyable for you. As we look ahead to a great weekend, here are a few blog posts for you to ponder.

Yvonne Lum posted a guest post on TechVibes, describing why coworking is all about the people. Working at home as an entrepreneur can be quite the lonely experience and it can be difficult to make those personal connections from your living room. With a coworking space, you can overcome both of these obstacles.

RT Cunningham of Untwisted Vortex offers an offers an opinion that may not be popular with certain individuals. Despite the somewhat less than desirable perspectives on the matter, paid commenting and automated spamming work. It can be very annoying for blog owners to go through all that spam, but the “marketing strategy” can be very effective for certain websites and niches.

Raul Pacheco seems to wear many different hats. He’s a social media expert, he’s well ensconced in the academic realm, and he blogs several times a day. To this end, he talks to us about being a workaholic and how he is still able to maintain a relatively healthy work-life balance despite having such a hectic schedule.

Over on Buzz Bishop‘s blog, we learn something that could very valuable to that special someone in your life. Did you know that you can order special cards and letters from certain dignitaries around the world. From First Lady Michelle Obama to the Queen of England herself, it is possible to get a personalized item in the mail from them free of charge.

Lisa Bettany, who most of you may already know as Mostly Lisa, is an avid photographer. In one of her more recent blog posts, she shares some tips on how to take good event photos. Whether you’re attending the Olympic Games, a concert, or some other venue, you’ll want to be properly prepared and armed for the task at hand.

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