Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

To Automate or Not to Automate Blogging Tasks: That’s the Question

Filed under: Blogging — by at 6:04 pm on Friday, October 30, 2009

Being a successful blogger means way more than being an engaging writer on a somewhat consistent basis. A successful blogger juggles many hats: writer, researcher, community-builder, web designer, techie, networker, marketer, statistician, and entrepreneur (if one desires to convert this all-consuming hobby into an income source) are the hats that most readily come to mind. Needless to say, a successful blogger always has something to do. For someone operating with only one thumb, the to-do list is never-ending!

To take this blog the next level, which is still to be determine where exactly that next level is, some changes need to be in the works, including, possibly, automating a few tasks.

While wearing my community-builder hat, I attempt to thank (via email) new readers when leave their first comment and I invite them to stop by again – to let them know that i did indeed see their contribution and that I appreciated it, and to welcome them to my blog’s community. However, unfortunately, I don’t always get to it and, to be honest, it bugs me. I don’t want to be an absentee blogger. On the other hand, my left thumb can accomplish only so much.

In searching for a solution, I came across the WordPress plugin Comment Relish that “sends an e-mail message to users who comment on your website who have never commented before.” But, reading some of the reviews and responses, some bloggers were concerned the automated email may be seen as spammy; annoying rather than welcoming. Scratch that idea!

A few weeks ago at BlogWorld, listening to a WordCamp Las Vegas panel with top-notched bloggers Chris Garrett, Darren Rowse and Jeremy Wright, a bunch of useful WordPress plugins were rattled off, including Thank Me Later. Although a similar concept to Comment Relish, Thank Me Later “is highly configurable. It allows you to create multiple e-mail messages and to send the message after a pre-defined amount of time, making messages appear more unique and people-friendly.” Sounds intriguing.

As my current readers, would you have objected to receiving an automated yet personalized email a day or two after leaving your first comment, thanking you and perhaps pointing you to hidden gems on this blog, after I had approved your comment?

Have you say:


Please share any other plugins this blog must have to make the most of this left thumb! Thanks.

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Swine Flu and Successful Blog Posts: An Unlikely Combination

Filed under: Blogging,Living with a disability — by at 12:39 pm on Wednesday, October 28, 2009

After feeling completely wiped and feverish with chills for a few days, then feeling liked I had been pushed in the stomach on Monday, with some unpleasantaries following, Tuesday morning found me in the emergency room. The diagnosis: I have symptoms “suggestive of the swine flu”.

A prescribed box of Tamiflu from the British Columbia Pandemic SupplyPerhaps I was “abusing the system”, given I wasn’t feeling too sick, yet, but I wasn’t taking any chances. I appreciate that doctors didn’t expect me to make it through my first night here on earth and that the last 43 years (next Wednesday!), I’m not ready to call it “quits” quite yet! I wanted to nip this bug early before my symptoms worsened. I’m now on a five-day treatment of Tamiflu from the British Columbia Pandemic Supply.

I would have happily sat out this phenomenon, but, unfortunately, this bug is non-discriminatory and includes anyone. From a study I read earlier this year, which I now cannot find, but this news report echoes the same results: “Almost two-thirds of the children who died with swine flu had epilepsy, cerebral palsy or other neurodevelopmental conditions. In a previous flu season, only a third of pediatric deaths had those conditions.” Admittedly, I am not child age, but I am not about to quibble over a few years. That report had me scared! And hearing reports of healthy adults with no “underlying conditions” dying from H1N1 didn’t help to calm my fears.

So…I’m going to do something very un-Glenda-like and not push myself. Once I hit publish on this post, I am going to back to bed.

Before I’d go crawl into my bed with my kitty, I’d like to leave you with this:

This weekend Blogger Extraordinaire Liz Strauss celebrated her 4th blog birthday. She invited her readers to share their most successful blog post. This was my contribution:

Although I stopped by yesterday, I was stumped on which blog post to share as my most successful post. How is the success of posts measured? My mind went totally blank, which, you know, is rare.

Last night, while watching tv in bed because I was too dead to even move, one post rose to the surface of consciousness.

It is a post about a lesson taught by a wise friend; a lesson I still hold dear today. Every time I implement the lesson, I feel my wise friend sitting on my shoulder, reassuring nodding with warmth and approval, “It’s not about you; it’s about them. Say thank you and accept their words graciously.”

In social media, where it is all about “them”, it may be strange that I chose a post in which “I” learn a valuable lesson as my most successful post. But, this lesson has better equipped me to interact with my readers, friends and colleagues, both online and in-person. Isn’t that a success?

The lesson? How to respond to the remark “You’re such an inspiration!”

Thanks Liz for all who you are and all that you do for others. I’m sure your Dad is proud.

Cheers to you, Liz!

Now I’d like to invite you to do the same. Feel free to share your most successful blog post, in however way you define success. Or, if you are without a blog, share your most favourite post or article from anywhere online – whether it most deeply touched you, moved you to action, made you laugh or was the most useful. Whatever. Share. Others might enjoy it too.

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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Celebrating Thanksgiving Vegas-Style!

Filed under: Blogging — by at 4:00 pm on Monday, October 12, 2009

Hey everyone, by the time you see this, Darrell and I should be safely in Las Vegas, God willing, for our one and only holiday this year, and, of course, for BlogWorld Expo.

Just a reminder, with Jane Wells (appearing via video) and Damien Patton, we’ll be presenting “Three Faces of Blog Accessibility” at WordCamp Las Vegas at the BlogWorld & New Media Expo.

When: Saturday, October 17th, 2009, at 1pm
Where: Las Vegas Convention Center, towards the back of the Exhibit Hall

If you’ll be there, please join us. If not, the WordCamp sessions will be recorded and submitted to the following week. I’ll post the link.

Last but definitely not least, I’d like to wish my Canadian readers and friends a very Happy Thanksgiving. It has been a tough year for many, but we are all still here!

I’d like to thank you all for your continued support, friendship and for making this blogging thing so rewarding and fulfilling. I am truly grateful. Thank you.

Happy Thanksgiving!

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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Join Me for WordCamp for Free

Filed under: Blogging — by at 12:31 am on Monday, August 17, 2009

Last week I announced I’m presenting at WordCamp Fraser Valley on Saturday, August 22nd, at SFU Surrey Campus. I now have the pleasure of giving away one full-day pass ($75 value) to one blog reader!

WordCamps are great ways to meet other local bloggers and to learn more about blogging and the blogging platform WordPress. Check out the speakers for WordCamp Fraser Valley.

Let’s make this giveaway simple! If you are interested in attending WordCamp Fraser Valley and are in the area next Saturday, leave a comment by midnight (Pacific time) on Tuesday, August 18th :

  • If you’re a blogger, please share your best experience from blogging.
  • If you have been considering starting a blog, please share why you would like to blog. (WordCamp is a great place to get started with blogging.)

A winner will be randomly drawn from the comments and announced on Wednesday.

Simple enough? 

Readers’ comments via Facebook, Twitter and email are always welcomed. However, to be eligible for this free pass, please leave your response in a comment below.

Good luck!

(Caveat: My husband Darrell is ill with pneumonia and we are heading back to the ER on Monday. Depending on what unfolds this week, I may need to regrettably bow out of WordCamp. The winner will still receive the free pass.)

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The Left Thumb Blogger is off to WordCamp

Filed under: Blog Accessibility,Blogging — by at 1:24 pm on Monday, August 10, 2009

Saturday, August 22nd, I am off to camp; WordCamp, that is.

“What is WordCamp?” you ask.

Great question! According to The WordCamp Report, a WordCamp “is a 1 or 2 day conference for WordPress users and developers. The focus is on how to be a better blogger, on the development and future of WordPress, and other topics of interest.”

View of SFU Surrey from myy home office window WordCamps take place in places around the world. This particular camp, WordCamp Fraser Valley, is being held at Simon Fraser University’s Surrey campus (SFU Surrey) – mere blocks from home. I can even see it from my home office window. No transportation hassles this time – woohoo!

I’m not only attending WordCamp, I’ll also be joining the line-up of local speakers by presenting “How POUR is Your Blog? Tips for Increasing Your Blog’s Accessibility”. This presentation rocked SOBCon: Biz School for Bloggers in Chicago back in May!

If you’re anywhere near the vicinity of SFU Surrey on August 22nd and if you blog or are considering blogging, come join us for WordCamp Fraser Valley. Tickets are still available.

Hope to see you at camp!

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If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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