Posts Tagged ‘How To’

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A Quickstart Guide to Blogging with WordPress

November 23, 2010

Eyeball embedding - $29/year. Check under "Upgrades" on your Dashboard. (Use your good eye.)

Welcome to WordPress!

Starting with your first post, the future is today! There has never been a better time to be alive and have opinions, as our easy-to-use features will have you up and running in no time!

It’s time for you to set free those unedited (and unspellchecked) thoughts and start “bringing the noise,” WordPress-style! Are you ready to become part of our exclusive team of over 200 million bloggers?

[If the answer is “Yes!” please proceed.]

Excellent! We’ll just need a valid email address.

[Don’t have one? Well, no worries, Luddite. You’re still free to peruse our selection of 500+ million blogs (only one-third of which are abandoned) and view our inserted ads. Unfortunately, you will not be allowed to actually “blog” and will be mocked incessantly by those who joined the 20th century back when it was still the 20th century.]

Naming Your Blog

Now that the confirmation is out of the way, you’re ready to begin! We’ve chosen your username as the default URL (laydeekillah64) but you can call your blog anything you want. Before you choose, you may want to consider your blog’s subject matter. Here are some ideas:

  • I like shopping!
  • I like CPM!
  • I have advice!
  • I know stuff!
  • I share music!*
  • I’m Wiccan!
  • I’m easily entertained!
  • I have ADD!
  • I’m not sure if I agree with your politics!
  • I don’t do research!
  • My mom thinks I’m funny!
  • ICP4EVAH!!1!
*Your blog has been deleted for Terms of Service violations! Thanks for playing!

Now that you’ve figured out what you want to write about (ICP4EVAH!!1!), it’s time to set your title (ICP4EVAH!!1!). Don’t worry. For maximum confusion, you can change this at any time via your header options.

Ah... "Default." Excellent choice.

Choosing a Theme

It’s time to choose a theme! We currently have hundreds to choose from, so feel free to spend the next several hours perusing them before settling on one of the five that are actually useful/attractive. Or just leave it set to the default (see above), which will give your blog that timeless “almost abandoned” look.

Getting Readers to Your Blog

Now that you’re (presumably) writing, it’s time to get some readers. After all, if no one’s reading your posts, then your blog (and, by extension, you) has no reason to exist. You have plenty of options available to get that Pageview ball rolling!

Oh, look! Over 350,000 "Observational Humour" blogs, 349,000 of which include zero instances of either "observations" or "humour."

Blog Catalog, Blogger, etc.

With a simple but complex signup routine, your new blog will now have the opportunity to be ignored by thousands of new readers, all of whom are loudly promoting their own blogs. By harnessing the collective power of hundreds of self-interested parties, you should be exchanging links with India-based new scrapers and shady Vietnamese porn sites in no time at all!

This cute little "Digger" symbolizes the thousands of users furiously burying your submission.

Digg

It may take some time to get your blog seen by this unfocused and rigged popularity contest, but if you manage to make the elusive front page, look out! Your page will soon be overrun with thousands of one-time visitors! Those few who choose to leave a comment will most likely point out that they’ve seen all of this before, usually several decades ago or caustically correct your grammatical errors. You may also find yourself completely out of bandwidth and on the receiving end of sternly worded messages from your hosting network. Fun, fun, fun!

The WordPress Dartboard O' Instant Noteriety

Freshly Pressed

Outside of Digg, nothing will give you a larger temporary stat boost than being “Freshly Pressed.” Our crack team of blogologists scan new posts daily, looking for new, exciting posts that meet our randomly enforced criteria.

If you should find yourself “Freshly Pressed,” brace yourself for an onslaught of new readers and commenters who will congratulate you on your “Freshly Pressed” status before wandering off to the “next ‘big thing’/link on the list,” leaving you feeling like a former child star whose Disney-propelled ship has suddenly sailed, thanks to the onset of adolescent ugliness.

Commenting

There is perhaps no easier way to get new “eyes” on your blog than through commenting. Visit other like-minded blogs and leave insightful/hilarious comments (see examples below). If other commenters are intrigued by your brilliant insight/humor, they need only to click on your name to visit your site.

  • “Insightful!”
  • “Great job!”
  • “Check out the blog!”
  • www.laydeekillah64.wordpress.com
  • “Hilarious!”
  • “You guys are soooooooo funny!!!!”
  • “LOLOLOL!!!!!!!!”
  • “Acai Berry Flavored Viagra Cheap!”
  • “I just wrote something dealing with this exact subject at my blog, only approaching it from the angle of writing about something completely different! Please click on my link!”

 

Conclusion

Now that you are armed with all the information you’ll ever need ever, get blogging! Remember these two adages:

– You’re only as good as your last post!
– The Internet abhors a vacuum!

Good luck!

-CLT

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Excerpts from Time/Life Books “Amateur Handyman” Series

July 17, 2009

As you may have noticed, the Time/Life Book team has been hard at work cranking out title after title on nearly any subject (a partial list here). Today we bring you an excerpt from the Amateur Handyman Series Vol. 4 – Holy Fuck! Water’s Not Working! The Amateur’s Guide to Household Wiring.

Don't be intimidated by electrical wiring. It's as simple as it looks.

Don't be intimidated by electrical wiring. It's as simple as it looks.

Welcome to the Time/Life “Amateur Handyman” series. We would like to thank you for your purchase and point out a few new features in these latest editions:

1. Due to recent cutbacks in our editing department, the Amateur Handyman series is now overseen by Joseph Zimmer (Editor – Fish and Wildlife) and Marcie Whitman (Editor – Potpourri and Knickknacks; currently under investigation for what authorities believe to be “botched arson” stemming from an electrical fire. She is pleading “innocent.”)

2. By opening this book, you agree to our Terms of Service (Appendix A), which includes releasing Time/Life Books, our “experts” and lowest-bidder authors from any responsibility for damages incurred due to badly written or poorly informed instructions.

3. You also (by opening this book) release Time/Life Books from responsibility for any mental anguish or duress caused by our constant referral to our “experts” in quotes (both in the foreword and throughout the book itself).

4. If this book was ordered online, refunds can be obtained by shipping the unused portion to Time/Life Books, guaranteed overnight, insured and with signature verification (at your expense). Your gift certificate (good for its equivalent value in Time/Life Books Amateur Handyman series books) should arrive in the area of six weeks to never.

5. If this book was a late-night impulse purchase, utilizing our 800 number, your credit card will be charged a restocking fee and the cost of prepaid shipping box, which will be sent to you (inside of a much larger box) C.O.D. You may also be subject to relabeling, resealing and other box-related fees. These charges will appear on your credit card statement as “Teen Shemales Gone Wild!”

6. If you borrowed this from a friend or the library, or perhaps are just flipping through it at the bookstore, punch yourself in the face repeatedly. You can stop as soon as you purchase your own copy at the full retail price. Cheapass.

Chapter 1 – Installing a Ceiling Fan in the Basement

Tools you will need (Note – some of these tools may be hard to find or not actually exist.):
Wire (purchase double what you may actually need; you’ll be fucking up a lot)
Screwdriver
Flashlight
Hammer
Pliers
Wire Cutter
Wire Stripper
Wire Restripper
Wire Uncutter
Ohm Meter (tests resistance – you’ll receive a mild-to-fatal shock if proper resistance is not present. If you are somewhere near the correct range, the Ohm Meter will give you a number that you can “Google” for correctness)
First Aid Kit
Defibrillator
Emergency Contacts
Next-of-kin Notification Form (Appendix B)

Step 1. Make sure you have all your tools gathered in your work area. Are you really interested in making several trips up and down the stairs? Or are you just going to resort to banging nails in with the pliers or the end of the flashlight?

Step 2. Locate the junction box. Start yanking down ceiling panels until you come across it. Unless it’s in the wall. It should look like a metal box and be full of wiring. Be gentle, though. Those ceiling panels will need to be returned to their proper spot. Consider marking them with letters or “This End Up” with an arrow pointing to the ceiling.

If you see more wiring than is listed in these instructions, please ignore and proceed to optometrist for color-blindness testing.

If you see more wiring than is listed in these instructions, please ignore and proceed to optometrist for color-blindness testing.

Step 3. Prep for wiring addition. Open the junction box. You should have at least four different wires, all colorfully capped. You should see red, white, blue and green. (For our colorblind readers, veer a rojo, blanco, azul y verde.)

Step 4. Uncap the blue and green wires. You will need to intertwine your new wiring with the existing lines. Grasp the green wire… wait! You did shut off the power via the fuse box, right?

Step 5. As soon as you can move again, shut off the power via the fuse box. You may also want to clean up any urine you may have left at the spot of the “incident.” Water is a helluva conductor. Now with the power shut off, you may notice that it is way too dark to work in the basement, especially at this time of night. Besides, the hardware store closes in, like, half an hour. Take five. We will continue this tomorrow morning.

Step 6. Welcome back! Let’s retrace our steps and get the power turned off. At this point in the day you should have plenty of natural light to work with. Perhaps some sunlight, too. (Ha! Just some “drunken, incompetent electrician” humor! Go ahead and use that sometime.)

Step 7. Now with your two new lines attached to the blue and green wires, you should be able to fire up the fuse box and check the resistance with your Ohm Meter. (Forget all that crap about “red wire” or “blue wire” like you see in the movies. They all lead somewhere expensive and are full of deadly juice.)

If you detect a burning smell, don’t worry. That’s just electricity’s way of telling you it’s still working, despite your lack of skill. Same thing with the flames. They will go out eventually.

Oh, fucking awesome... Thanks for nothing, "lifesaving device!"

Oh, fucking awesome... Thanks for nothing, "lifesaving device!"

Step 8. OK. At this point, you will want to remain calm. Where is the closest exit? OK. Where is the closest exit that is not behind a wall of flames? With effort, we can probably fit through that window. Let’s try that.

Step 9.You may want to contact your insurance agency as soon as possible. Be vague about the details, emphasizing words like “pre-existing” and “power grid fluctuations.” This would also apply to your conversation with the fire department. (For more information, see Appendix C – Goofus and Gallant Present: Dealing With A Suspicious Insurance Company.)

Coming up in Chapter 2 – Rebuilding Your Life, Using Qualified and Expensive Contractors.

-CLT

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Fancy Plans Presents: How to Be a DJ

July 16, 2009
ravestorm20420flyer

Yes. Being a DJ is this fucking cool.

Still on a brief hiatus… originally posted February 28.

The phrase “Everyone wants to be a DJ.” has never been more true than it is now. But should everyone be a DJ? Should you? What about that guy? What about if he wore a cat-in-the-hat hat?

Ask yourself this question: “Are my musical tastes superior to everyone else’s?” If this answer is “yes,” than DJing is the career path for you.

While other how-tos may waste your valuable time with instructions on beat matching, practicing and other such non-essentials, Fancy Plans is here to get you into the action!

Let’s get started.

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Room Two, aka the "Broom Closet"

Choose a Name
Don’t underestimate the value of a good name. You will need something short, catchy and original in order to stand out in a lineup of 20 other DJs on thousands of discarded flyers. Some DJs have taken on other personas or nicknames (DJ Tonka, DJ Hell, DJ Qualls, DJ Pro Tools) while other have had more success with a single name (Uberzone, Sasha, Dubfire, Trentemoeller, Ableton). Be creative. Misspellings are not only welcomed, they’re encouraged (Deckwrecka, Boys Noize, DJ Doc Rok, DJ Demonixx, teh Internet LOL).

Choose Your Genre
To put yourself ahead of the pack, pigeonhole yourself into as small a genre as possible. The harder it is to define what the hell it is you’re playing, the easier it will be to appear to be doing it correctly. Some suggestions are microhouse, fidget, minimal, techstep, happy hardcore.

With your new, incredibly obscure brand of music in place, you’ll be able to look down on those who seem irritated, bored or have left the gig completely. They just don’t “get it.” Those who do “get it” will plant themselves on the nearest wall/bassbin or hover in front of the DJ booth stroking their chins thoughtfully. Your local record store will also appreciate your genre choice as they will finally be able to start cleaning out the “Misc” bin.

Put Together Your Set
As you may have noticed, raves and other DJ gigs are not about spontaneity, “working the crowd,” or any other form of mutual enjoyment. Any gig you DJ at should be about you and your amazing, but obscure track selection. If your skills (can also be spelled with a “z” for more wackiness) and track selection are dialed in, your crowd should be unable to tell whether they heard one track or ten over the last hour.

Some do’s and dont’s for building your set:

DON’T Line up the hits
Although your crowd may have spent a lot of money on tickets, drugs and absurdly expensive bottled water in anticipation of a good time, don’t insult them by playing tracks they recognize and/or like. This may work for the Fatboy Slims, Paul Oakenfolds and Judge Juleses of the world, but you do not want to be sucked into their world of drugs, groupies and steady income.

Yes. They can be taught.

Yes. They can be taught.

DO Educate your crowd
As discussed earlier, your musical tastes are beyond reproach and you have finally been given the opportunity to show the world how much their record collections suck. Granted, a lot of your rare picks may go over their heads, but they will be better people by the time their cascade of jeers and water bottles has chased you from the decks (Fun fact: “decks” refers to the wood that generally composes the floor of the DJ booth, much like the “decks” on a boat! Better bring your sealegs LOL!)

Quick test: if they’re dancing, they’re not learning. If the dancefloor seems poised to erupt in an actual good time, hit the unappreciative Neandrathals with some Aphex Twin, Autechre or Labradford.

DO Be aware of your surroundings
As if the general hostility from the dancefloor area wasn’t enough to contend with you may have to fend off ill-informed clubbers who would like to request music, other DJs and their considerable disdain, and irate club owners who would like to express their irritation with your set having chased most of their money out the door.

DO Get paid in advance
This is crucial. Due to your unparalleled genius, you’ll only be invited back by the most masochistic of promoters.

We hope this primer gets you started on your path to stardom, local or otherwise. Future installments will cover other tangential information such as:

Choosing Your Medium – Vinyl, CD or Laptop? Battling the Purists.
Beatmatching – Not Worth the Effort?
DJ Lingo – Decks, Wheels of Steel and Beyond
Advanced DJ Lingo – Trainwreck, Punters and Beyond
Getting Gigs – Does Your Immediate Family Member/Significant Other Own a Club?
Unfortunate Haircuts – Your Ticket to Fame?
The
Club 69 Remixers Guide – Add a 4/4 in One Easy Step

-CLT