Many of us have become aware of the importance of social networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or blogging but many struggle with where to start, what to say and how to use it to support their practice. If this is you, stay tuned to this corner where we’ll explore the notion of blogging and other social media.
In this post let’s explore the blog software called WORDPRESS and a key feature they offer with an account–your profile. Let me begin by first explaining there are 2 types of WordPress blogs. If you are into web design, you may be interested in using the open source version of WordPress, which anyone may download and use to configure a blog they host themselves. This means you pay for your own hosting of your blog. Places such as www.GoDaddy.com is a popular WordPress self-hosted site. They do most of the installation for you, which means you still don’t need to be much of a web expert to manage it. The advantage of your own self-hosted blog is primarily commercial. You may advertise and place direct payment links on your own hosted blog. Community built on a self-hosted blog is usually just your own unless you are partnering with other similar commercial blogs. If you join someone’s commercial blog, you become a member of that site and your profile is only good for that site (if they allow it at all).
On the other hand, over 71 million people from every spectrum of society, including major media outlets like The New York Times, have started a blog on the popular free platform www.Wordpress.com. You are reading a current example of this here at www.RepatterningJournal.com . Anyone may leave comments on a www.Wordpress.com-hosted blog without registering as long as the web owner allows it. You only need to register if you want your own blog. We highly recommend that you do get a blog account at WordPress.com for many reasons:
- once you are orientated it is an easy way to have a website with sharing tools.
- sharing tools allows you to build communities around shared interests and you have access to the pool of 71 million blogs.
- it’s free and they take care of all the scary administrative stuff
- it is widely recognized by marketing experts as a perfect place for anyone beginning a business to start a web presence. Media expert Mitch Joel of Twist Image recently said if he had to do it all over again–out of all the tools out there–Wordpress.com is where he would start.
The WordPress.com service was founded by a company called Automattic in 2005 as both a free hosted service and as a partner or affiliate of the open source software program http://www.WordPress.ORG. The post you are reading is hosted at the free service. Click here to find out more about the differences between the free WordPress.com and the self-hosted software (which looks identical but is quite different) at WordPress.org.
Why Set Up Your Profile at a Blog? – One of the great services offered by WordPress.com is their Gravatar service. This is an adjunct type of service that allows you to update your profile and make it portable to any other blog where you are participating. Essentially if you register for a blog or as a subscriber, you may set up your public profile using both the WordPress profile page and their Gravatar service. Your Gravatar once set up follows you to any other blog in the free WordPress.com community where you may be visiting. Some private blogs may also incorporate the Gravatar service. When you leave comments on those blogs, your Gravatar information is linked to your name in the comment, so you don’t have to keep setting up your profile information for each blog you visit. This is where you can do a bit of shameless self-promotion. If you have left an interesting comment or asked engaging questions or shared information related to the post, it is often reciprocated with the interest of web visitors in both your name and your profile picture. Who can resist mousing over the link to your name and finding out more about who you are, what you do, what else you are talking about? Think of times when you may have done this yourself–clicked on a name that leads to nowhere versus clicking on a name that leads at least to some photos, a blog or an interesting ‘About’ page.
In my web coaching service I meet many individuals who are reluctant to set up their online profile. This is unfortunate because if nothing else, just setting up your profile with links to your website or a basic contact page can gain you valuable attention on line for your business or practice. What I tell everyone is that your profile is like the Orientation step in the Repatterning process where we check for our orientation to others for being welcomed and resonating with welcoming others. Your profile and picture gives a web visitor the equivalent of warm eye contact, a handshake, and builds trust. After all, if you can introduce yourself and let others know who you are online, then you may be trusted with a discussion of what matters and lay the seeds of trust for working further together. In marketing land, setting up a standard profile is the equivalent of getting to know someone before asking them out on a date.
Here at the Repatterning Journal anyone may leave a comment without registering. Your first comment must be approved by the moderator and after that they are automatically approved. However, few participants have filled in their profile information. The comments left without your profile linked up may leave the reader wondering who you are and how to get intouch or worse–to not trust your name or your words. There is not enough eye contact or hand shaking. We’d love to improve our community here by having all commentors fill out their Gravatar profile. It is fairly easy to do and can offer you a way to share with the public all of the places where you may be found online. It is a perfect place to have your LinkedIn address, blog address, website address, YouTube channel, Twitter account link and more.
How to Set Up Your Profile at WordPress.com – First of all, if you think you have already set up a WordPress.com Blog account for yourself, find your username and password or retrieve it from WordPress using their “Forgot Password” feature.
- Next login to your account at www.Wordpress.com or your blog address (look for the Login Link).
- When you login you will be at your dashboard or administrative area with navigation buttons in a column on the left side of your screen.
- Scroll down to the left side navigation button called Users and mouse over or drop down menu. Select MY PROFILE.
- A profile page will now pop up in the middle of the page. You now have a few options. Personally, I encourage you to first fill out the fields on this page as completely as possible. Press SAVE.
- You will also notice this line at the top of the page inviting your changes at Gravatar:
At this point, click the gravatar link (which is another service but linked to WordPress.com) and update that profile as well.
Be sure to also upload a good close-up picture of yourself (always better than a logo) as part of your profile.
Remember to press the SAVE button and you are done.
Now when you leave comments folks can find really connect with you and get to know better.
Comments and questions welcomed.
Carolyn Winter (my gravatar address)