Archive for July, 2015
We read hundreds of blogs and websites every day, from up-and-coming voices and established pros alike. We love visiting those sites on WordPress.com, but it’s just as rewarding to see other platforms embrace the work of writers, journalists, and artists who regularly publish here, introducing it to new audiences.
Here’s a selection of WordPress.com bloggers who recently made a splash.
A mathematician at work
Terry Tao is a veteran blogger, publishing prolifically on his site since 2007. He also happens to be a Fields Medal recipient and one of the leading mathematicians working today. The New York Times Magazine just ran a fascinating profile of Tao and his work by Gareth Cook. Cook follows Tao around the UCLA campus as he explains his most important contributions to the field.
Even those who experience great success through their college years may turn out not to have what it takes. The ancient art of mathematics, Tao has discovered, does not reward speed so much as patience, cunning and, perhaps most surprising of all, the sort of gift for collaboration and improvisation that characterizes the best jazz musicians.
Tao has earned a reputation for being a gregarious, generous colleague — and the piece is studded with testimonies of his collaborative spirit (including a cameo appearance by Izabella Laba, a fellow mathematician and WordPress.com blogger).
The Toast, a humor site with a literary, feminist bent (and a self-hosted WordPress site to boot) has been one of the web’s favorite destinations for satire and witty writing since its inception. And just in the past few weeks, two WordPress.com bloggers had pieces in the site’s lineup.
Author Lauren James, a young adult writer with a physics and chemistry background, recently wrote “The Hogwarts Houses of the Periodic Elements: A Critical Analysis,” a post as full of unrepentant geeky fun as its title suggests. And last month, linguist, internet language specialist, and blogger Gretchen McCulloch published her most recent essay, “A Linguist Explains How We Write Sarcasm on the Internet” (essential reading for all bloggers, naturally).
Via Gretchen McCulloch’s essay at The Toast, a proposed early-20th-century “irony mark.”
Beyond hot takes
Bloggers share writing in a variety of genres and tones on their sites, from short, impassioned reaction pieces to probing longreads. The same versatility is easy to discern in the pieces we highlight here.
Tressie McMillan Cottom, a sociologist and blogger renowned for her powerful prose, recently reviewed Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me, one of the season’s most talked-about titles, at the Atlantic.
My mother once told me that black progress meant fighting for your children to never know you. Coates knows his son’s body is vulnerable but he worries first here about his son forgetting. He is afraid of losing his son to the “new black” of multiculturalism that absorbs blackness and spits out beige history, beige politics and beige faiths.
“On Manliness and Joan Didion,” a thought-provoking blog post by writer and teacher Frank Strong, patiently explores the murky boundaries of gender in Didion’s writing voice, as well as in discussions of her work. Frank’s essay was picked up last month by The Millions, a prestigious online literary magazine.
Lastly, just this past weekend Rebecca Schuman, who blogs frequently at pan kisses kafka, scored a viral hit with her Slate column, “I Am Terrified of Taking My Child Literally Anywhere.” It’s a raucous, absorbing piece on parents, misbehaving kids, and the people who mistreat the latter — and especially on our dangerous tendency to react to these stories online with unnecessarily extreme rhetoric. It’s a great read for anyone who ever sat behind a crying baby on a flight (or for anyone who was ever the parent of such a baby).
Was your blog just featured in the media? Has a recent post generated a healthy dose of buzz? We’d love to know about it — share your story with us in a comment.
Have you just started blogging (welcome!), or are you looking to breathe new life into a blogging habit that’s fallen by the wayside? Blogging U. is a great way to get on track, with bite-size assignments, a supportive community, and staff to support you. This August, we’re offering Blogging 101— and registration is now open!
Blogging 101: Zero to Hero — August 3 – 21
Blogging 101 is three weeks of bite-size blogging assignments that take you from “Blog?” to “Blog!” Every weekday, you’ll get a new assignment to help you publish a post, customize your blog, or engage with the community.
You’ll walk away with a stronger focus for your blog, several published posts and a handful of drafts, a theme that reflects your personality, a small (but growing!) audience, a grasp of blogging etiquette — and a bunch of new friends.
I have fallen in love with blogging all over again. It’s been wonderful. I am learning so much, and my blog is looking better than ever.
How do Blogging U. courses work?
Blogging U. courses exist for one reason: to help you meet your own blogging and writing goals.
- Courses are free, flexible, and open to all.
- You’ll get a new task to complete each day, along with our best advice and favorite resources. Do them on your own time, and interpret them however makes sense for your specific blog and personal goals — we’re not grading you, we’re not checking to make sure you complete every task, and there’s no “wrong” way to use the resources we give you.
- We’ll send you a new assignment via email each weekday at midnight GMT. Weekends are free.
- Each course will have a private community site, the Commons, for chatting, connecting, and seeking feedback and support. Daily Post staff and Happiness Engineers will be on hand to answer your questions and offer guidance and resources.
Ready to register?
Just fill out this short form! There’s no automated confirmation; you’ll receive a welcome email just prior to the start of your course. If you’re on a mobile device or reading this via email and don’t see the form, you can register with this link.
One of my girlfriends asked me the other day what’s new with the Handbag Report, and I was embarrassed to admit that it’s been months since I last blogged! While being pregnant is no reason to neglect my readers, I was totally exhausted up until week 38. I could barely make it through the day without constantly napping, so blogging dropped to the bottom of my to-do list. Now that I have celebrated the arrival of my baby boy, I’m happy to say that I’m officially back to blogging again!
Happy Theme Thursday! Today we’re introducing three new free themes to our collection: Libretto, Lovecraft, and Publication.
Featuring big, bold drop caps and oversized images, Libretto is ideal for showcasing longform writing or stunning imagery. Its classic design and typographic details will give your blog a sophisticated, elegant look. Fully responsive, the theme adapts easily to tablets and other mobile devices, ensuring that your content is easy to see.
Get to know Libretto in the Theme Showcase, or give it a spin by activating it from Appearance → Themes.
Lovecraft, by Anders Norén, is a fashionable solution for your personal blog or website. Prominent custom headers and featured images give your visuals a bold presence, three footer widget areas offer plenty of space for secondary information, and striking typography and attention to detail makes your content the star.
Check out Lovecraft in the Theme Showcase, or activate it from Appearance → Themes.
Meet Publication, an elegant blog and magazine theme that features full-screen Featured Images, crafted by Automattic’s own Thomas Guillot. It’s perfect for sites about fashion, food, travel, or design. With balanced typography, colors, and attention to detail, Publication helps you create visually stunning posts.
Learn more about Publication at the Theme Showcase, or set it up by going to Appearance → Themes.
You’ve booked reservations for the getaway of your dreams, only to realize that your old rubber flip flops and big beach T-shirts may not be fitting for the resort. Whether you’re honeymooning, or simply relaxing with friends and family, part of enjoying a vacation means being able to dress your best. Easy, comfortable resort wear outfits that translate quickly from day to night will help keep your suitcase tidy and your summer vacation stress-free.
Resort Wear Outfit #1: Drawstring Shirt Dress With Gold Details: Consider this the grown-up version of your favorite beach tee. Add wedges, a classy tote, and a longer statement necklace. Golden lens aviators pick up the metallic detailing of the wedges, necklace, and shoes while also keeping it casual chic. This look is equally appropriate for a night on the town or day by the pool.
Resort Wear Outfit #2: Striped Skirt with Embroidered Crop Top: Beat the heat while staying on trend! This look is perfect for a nice meal, a walk through town, or a shopping adventure. The embroidered crop top and high waist skirt create a flattering silhouette, with bold contrast. The color palette of the outfit is reflected through the blush bag, pale watch, and two-toned espadrilles. Gold detail jewelry adds a dash of polish and helps pull the look together.
Resort Wear Outfit #3: Chiffon Bow Top with Pleated Shorts: This is a great choice if you’re planning to get out of the resort and walk around town. This adorable bow tank top and pleated shorts are breezy and comfortable without looking frumpy. Delicate details and colors, such as the tricolor charm bracelet, folded triangle earrings, and coral clutch add feminine styling to this chic and effortless look. The light blue watch and coral espadrilles add functionality to this outfit, making it perfect for any occasion.
Resort Wear Outfit #4: Kimono Dress with Flats: Watch out, poolside! This outfit is about to set the tone for a seriously glamorous day. The loose, lightweight kimono dress and slide sandals add comfort and style, while subtle gold details accentuate your bronzing process. The drawstring fit of the dress creates a flattering shape and its plunging neckline frames your jewelry perfectly. Viola!
Resort Wear Outfit #5: Maxi Floral Dress Coverup with Sunhat: If you’re spending the day around the resort, this red maxi dress is a perfect fancy coverup for a day at the pool or beach, and the entire look transforms quickly from swim-ready to dinner appropriate. The floppy beach hat and angular sunglasses pick up the subtle black lines of the dress and bathing suit. Dangling gold earrings and a contrast bangle bracelet help make this look pop, while the over-sized tote adds practicality.
Resort wear can be simple and flowy, yet stylish. We hope these outfits gave you some ideas to mix and match pieces for your vacation. Have you have a blast!
The post Resort Wear – Outfit Ideas For A Summer Beach Vacation appeared first on Outfit Ideas.
From sweet to savory, these four fantastic food blogs will satisfy your appetite. If you enjoy eating (and who doesn’t?!), check them out and follow them in your Reader so you won’t miss a dish.
The Dinner Party Collective is a collaborative blog dedicated to “reinvigorating the delicious lost art of dinner parties.” The DPC features seasonal full-course menus, photos, and recipes from apéritifs to dessert (complete with wine pairings, no less!) ideal for dinner groups of six to eight. Blogger Margot leads an international troupe of food and wine lovers who contribute recipes and knowledge to each menu’s selections.
The Winter Menu, Southern Hemisphere, June 2015 by The Dinner Party Collective
Vasun is the blogger behind Cupcakes and Curries. Based in Singapore, she cites her grandmother as her culinary inspiration. Vasun’s posts combine detailed recipes, enticing photography, and advice on how to make each recipe your own. We came for the Pepper Chicken Masala but stayed for the Thai-Style Minced Meat Pasta. Be sure to check out Vasun’s recipe list.
Thai-Style Minced Meat Pasta by Vasun
If you’re in the mood for dessert, visit Jane’s Pastisserie. Jane, a chef on the South Coast of the United Kingdom, loves to experiment in the kitchen and hopes to own her own bakery/tea room. Jane’s baked goodies look so yummy you could lose yourself for hours drooling over her recipe list. For starters, check out the Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart, the Easter Nest Cupcakes, and the Classic Buttery Scones.
Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart by Jane
Pia Dirks has always loved to draw food, including the cans and containers for basic ingredients. Draw and Bake is a fun mashup joining Pia’s love for baking and drawing. Here you’ll find fun, colorful, illustrated recipes for everything from Muesli Mounds to Za’atar Carrot Salad.
Muesli Mounds by Pia Dirks
Which food blogs do you visit for inspiration and cooking courage? Share your favorites with us in the comments.
Today, we’re proud to present an improved version of the WordPress.com Reader. We’ve made the Reader faster, with shorter load times and smoother scrolling. We’ve also improved the way we display posts, so you can now see the highlights of each story at a glance.
The new interface works just as well on a mobile device as it does on your computer, so it’s simpler and faster for you to catch up on blogs while on the go.
Keeping track of recent posts from the blogs and sites you follow is now both easier and more fun. Our new cards — which preview each post’s content — highlight great photography and make it easy to scan for something that looks interesting. New typography has improved readability, while the new Full Post View pushes the interface to the background, allowing you to focus on the story, whether it’s composed of text, pictures, or video (or any combination of these).
All these improvements work for nearly any site on the web, not just those hosted on WordPress.com: if it has an RSS feed, you can follow it. If the site happens to be a WordPress.com site, though, just look for the Follow button at the bottom of the page — click it, and you’re done.
We hope you enjoy the improved Reader!
Please note: these changes currently affect the web Reader only; we’re working on bringing these improvements to our iOS and Android apps soon.
BlogHer ’15, one of the biggest and best annual conferences for bloggers, lands in New York City later this week, from July 16th through the 18th. You’ll find hundreds of passionate bloggers, workshops to hone every aspect of your blogging, incredible keynote speakers like Ava DuVernay and Gwyneth Paltrow — and us!
At our Happiness Lounge in the expo hall, you’ll be able to get one-on-one help with your WordPress sites. Staff from across Automattic will also be leading mini-workshops on some of the topics you care most about, and our “WordPress Insiders” panels bring multiple WordPress.com staffers together for informal panels to give you a range of takes on everything from tools to traffic.
Interested? Here’s the complete schedule:
Friday, July 17
- 10 AM: WordPress Insiders: Our Favorite Dashboard Tools
- 11 AM: Express Yourself: Quick Tips for Customizing Your Site
- 12:30 PM: Make Connections: Using Jetpack to Share Your Content
- 1:30 PM: WordPress Insiders: Our Favorite Traffic-Boosting Tips
- 2:30 PM: Fight for Your (Copy)right: Intellectual Property Basics
- 3:30 PM: Making Blogging a Habit
Saturday, July 18
- 10:30 AM: Lock Down: Securing Your Site with Jetpack
- 11:30 AM: WordPress Insiders: Our Blogging Quirks
- 1:30 PM: Your Site, Your Brand: Social Media and Beyond
- 2:30 PM: If You Publish, They Will Come: Traffic and Growth Basics
- 3:30 PM: The Hidden Gems of WordPress.com
You’ll find us at booth 1108, just inside the entrance to Hall One. Stop by — we’d love to chat WordPress or blogging, or just say hi and shower you with swag!
If you can’t be there, you can always follow the fun on Twitter with #BlogHer15 — we’ll also be tweeting with the #WPlovesBlogHer hashtag.
Happy Theme Thursday! Today I’m excited to introduce two new free themes to our collection.
Baskerville was designed by Anders Norén, and it displays writing, photos, and videos in a dynamic, grid-based layout. It features unique layouts for different post formats, to make different kinds of content pop. Baskerville’s design adapts to any screen size, big or small, so your posts always look their best.
Get to know Baskerville on the Theme Showcase, or give it a spin by activating it from Appearance → Themes.
Edda, designed by Mel Choyce, is flexible enough to be used as a photoblog, personal journal, or tumblelog. The theme’s sepia-toned images and stylish color give your content an elegant, vintage look and feel.
Check out Edda on the Theme Showcase, or try it out on your blog by activating it from Appearance → Themes.
Some of the best photographers and professional photo organizations maintain their homes on WordPress.com. See the world through their eyes.
Paul Zizka at Paul Zizka Photography
Paul Zizka is a professional mountain landscape and adventure photographer based in Banff, Alberta. His photographs celebrate the power and beauty of the outdoors, from the sprawling backcountry of Canada to hard-to-access locations in the wilderness. His night landscapes are spectacular.
Susan Portnoy at The Insatiable Traveler
Travel photographer Susan Portnoy focuses on wildlife and indigenous cultures and contributes to various outlets, including Yahoo Travel. She’s based in New York, but as her readers know, she’s usually off exploring a faraway destination. Her recent photo essays from Namibia on her blog, The Insatiable Traveler, are worth a peek.
Himba toddlers in their village near Serra Cafema Camp, Namibia.
AP Images Spotlight shares standout photographs from the Associated Press’ massive collection of images taken from every corner of the world. Browse the Photos of the Day category, which curates timely images from AP photographers across the globe, or enjoy more in-depth photo essays on anything from graffiti in Athens commenting on Greece’s economic crisis to refugees fleeing Burundi to escape ongoing violence.
Aaron Joel Santos at From Swerve of Shore
Aaron Joel Santos is an editorial and documentary photographer who shoots for publications like the New York Times and TIME and covers a wide range of subjects, from landscapes and portraits to fashion and weddings. You’ll get a taste of his sophisticated yet edgy style on his personal blog, From Swerve of Shore. Over the years, he’s wowed us with his images of Southeast Asia — especially Hanoi, Vietnam — and we always look forward to what’s next.
A farmer burning off crop residue in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Various photographs from Hanoi, Vietnam.
Stephanie Dandan at Infinite Satori
We’ve highlighted Stephanie Dandan at Infinite Satori before, but she’s continued to inspire us with her adventures in the Philippines, Cambodia, and currently Australia. She captures the fleeting and serendipitous moments of travel, where at times it feels like you’re awake in a dream.
Hot air balloons in Bagan, Myanmar.
Swimming hole and waterfall in Cambodia.
Managed by Fujifilm UK’s digital camera team, the Fujifilm Blog publishes tutorials (from understanding depth of field to the Rule of Thirds), spotlights on Fujifilm X-Photographers around the world, and guest features offering glimpses into photographers’ creative processes.
David Feuillatre at David with a Movie Camera
After spending years working on visual effects in the film industry, filmmaker and photographer David Feuillatre decided to leave Vancouver, British Columbia, to travel the world, meet new people, and tell their stories. On his blog, David with a Movie Camera, he publishes videos of his encounters along the way, and posts images of vibrant scenes and portraits. Under the Countries tab in his menu, you’ll find photographs by location — Israel, Palestine, Jordan, and India.
The blog of Flickr features the best from the online photo management and sharing site, from curated collections (flags around the world) to photographer features (Canadian photographer Erik Peterson in Tashkent, Uzbekistan). The community-fostering weekly themes (Flickr Friday, Twitter Tuesday) make you want to grab your camera and get shooting.