Archive for guest blog

Building a WordPress Blog People Want to Read (Social Media Book Review)

Posted in Blog, education, social media, Social Media Book Reviews (by A. Dustus) with tags , , , , , , , on November 25, 2009 by dustus

I discovered over the last year that there is just so much one can do with a free WordPress blog. In fact, I used to marvel at how some of my favorite blogs utilize cool plugins and capabilities that my free blog is not able to support. The Dustus Blog could not handle retweets, maps, ads (though I choose not to run them) and all those other coded goodies available to self-hosted blogs. Overall, my design options and ability to customize were indeed very limited with a free blog format.

If you are like me and you’re looking to make the leap to a self-hosted WP blog, then buy Building a WordPress Blog People Want to Read. This book is worth every penny. Scott McNulty walks you through the process of setting up your new self-hosted blog, and he does not skip any of the technical essentials. By the time you finish reading this book, you will be ready to upload all the necessary WordPress files to your host server. Then the real fun begins: you may modify/customize existing templates to fit all of your blogging needs.

I admit that before beginning the process of upgrading to, I was afraid of tinkering with PHP code. However, Scott McNulty is so clear with his explanations and visual guides that the process becomes easy.

Building a WordPress Blog People Want to Read = Fantastic (visit, a direct result of applying my design skills to the information presented in Scott’s book)
Scott McNulty (@blankbaby on Twitter) is the Chief Blogger at Comcast (check out Comcast Voices), co-hosts Fork You, is a senior contributor to MacUser,as well as a frequent contributor to Macworld.

Dustus Blog— Top Post (First Year)

Posted in Blog, education, people, writing with tags , , , , , , on November 9, 2009 by dustus

Old scaleThe Scales of Dustus: Author reviews the experience of reading his novel in Paperback  vs.  on the Amazon Kindle
—by Adam Dustus

Over the past year I have been fortunate to realize a lifelong goal.  Ever since I discovered the sheer pleasure of connecting with books, I dreamed of becoming a thought-provoking novelist.  Having always wondered what it would be like to read my own novel for the first time in paperback, I finally earned the privilege of enjoying the physical proof of High School Asylum.  I was inspired and moved to work even harder by the pivotal experience.  Stirred by many emotions of satisfaction and gratitude, I wrote about that day I received my proof copies on The Dustus Blog  (Twice the Proofs on January 7th). After tearing open the UPS envelope, I marveled at the cover; then read all 366 pages.  Smiling for days, I kept thinking, “Wow, my first novel in paperback!  Can anything top this?” … Read Entire Article
What I like most about this article, besides having created the visual element, is that this effort was my first official guest blog—posted on in August. Being a proud computer nerd and into social media, I visit that website all the time.  So it was truly an honor to be asked to contribute to such a cool site.  Thank you, Michael Duvall!

What Would Google Do? (book review)

Posted in Blog, education, people, social media, Social Media Book Reviews (by A. Dustus), writing with tags , , , , , , , , on October 3, 2009 by dustus

Picture 140I would like to begin this review by first warning the reader: This is book more than about Google and its massive sphere of influence.  What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis (copyright 2009) is an optimistic cultural statement in both scope and form.

Google is more than about the retrieval of posted information. For many individuals it represents an ideal, alongside being a major economic player on the global stage.  As an author or business entity today, you cannot build your “online platform” without understanding Google and the tangible effects of their continual rapid development. As newspapers, television, and other older media may have lost the trust of the people, revenue, and perhaps the overall faith of their consumers (perhaps deservedly so, or not).  Established rule, unyielding corporations, and inefficient bureaucracies—they all change as Google provides immediate relevant information to the masses.

Google does not own the content to everything out there—it simply organizes that information. They make billions selling targeted ads all over the Internet. To me, Google represents infinite possibilities and instant help in the form of immediately answering questions. (In fact, I probably searched Google at least 100x myself while writing this review).  Up until reading this book, I had no idea the extent to which Google can unearth answers.  Throughout What Would Google Do? Jeff Jarvis not only provides useful tips for search engine optimization (SEO); he also presents a cogent argument for Google’s results to be considered as the foundation of a theoretical democratic-meritocracy (a “demotocracy”—I “googled it” to find the term does not exist), which represents the collective will of the people based on what they most seek.  To put it another way, our clicks provide information for what is relevant based on what we all search.

While it may be common knowledge that Google owns the two popular services Blogger and You Tube, there are numerous Google research and philanthropic endeavors in areas aimed at discovering means of more efficient energy, improving the knowledge base of countless fields of inquiry, and connecting individuals, companies, products, and services all through a strikingly simple home page.  Google, along with other prominent figures in this digital zeitgeist (like Facebook, craigslist, Twitter, Digg, MySpace), represent more than a great platform for discovery.  In WWGD? Jarvis elucidates the general philosophical affinities that the aforementioned behemoths of social media seem to encourage.

Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of What Would Google Do? for me is that I find myself contemplating a connected world where the only limits are myself, the extent to which I pursue searchable choices, and the potential possibilities of connecting with others through my inquiries.  As an author trying to build my online platform, I state unequivocally that WWGD? helped me to understand what needs to be accomplished in order to truly be “searchable.”

Bottom Line:   What Would Goggle Do? = Must Read
Jeff Jarvis (born July 15, 1954) is an American journalist. He is the former television critic for TV Guide and People magazine, creator of Entertainment Weekly, Sunday editor and associate publisher of the New York Daily News, and a columnist on the San Francisco Examiner.