Monthly Archives: March 2015

Recommended Reading: The Art of Nonfiction

The Daily Post

I’ve always been suspicious of writing advice given by authors. Like parenting advice, it’s based on knowledge that’s highly intensive, but also extremely limited: even the most prolific writer has intimate, unfiltered knowledge of the writing process of exactly one person — him/herself.

Instead of a list of tips or steps to follow (not that those can’t help every once in a while), what I love is listening to writers narrate their own experiences. They often tell compelling, illuminating stories about coming into their vocation, of finding their way into stories, and of dealing with the pleasures and challenges of a difficult and opaque process.

If some word appealed to me, I’d say it over and over again. It would go around in my head the way the snatches of a song would.

(John McPhee, The Art of Nonfiction No. 3)

“The Art of Nonfiction,” a series of interviews with authors at The Paris…

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New Themes: Boardwalk and Sela

The WordPress.com Blog

We’re celebrating the New Year with two free themes: Boardwalk and Sela.

Boardwalk

Boardwalk: Homepage

Designed by yours truly, Boardwalk is a clean, simple, and responsive theme.

Boardwalk: Responsive Design

Powered with horizontal scrolling and built around large featured images, Boardwalk is the perfect choice for photobloggers and those of you looking for an unconventional — yet elegant and creative — theme.

Learn more about Boardwalk at the Theme Showcase, or preview it by going to Appearance → Themes.

Sela

Sela
Sela isn’t your typical business theme. It’s a vibrant, bold, clean theme with lots of space for large images, designed by WordPress.com’s own Ola Laczek.

Sela puts the focus on your business with a bold front page template, a grid page template to showcase your products or services, and integrated testimonials. To make your website truly unique, you can upload a logo, customize the background, and choose a color scheme from…

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Rock the Boat

BitterSweet

When it comes to food, little luxuries are not necessarily about overindulgence or decadence so much as they are small gifts you give yourself; modest treats to look forward to on an average day. Especially in the lean days of early January, it’s important to maintain these simple pleasures while everyone else seems to demand austerity, as if trying to atone for their holiday dietary sins. Luckily, it’s not difficult to reward yourself with something both sweet and healthy at the same time! Looking to the tropics for inspiration, a charming new juice shop in Honolulu offers papaya, re-imagined as a breakfast dish dressed beautifully enough to pass for dessert.

It’s far from a complex concept, but at The Salted Lemon, they’ve perfected the art of building an unsinkable papaya boat. Local orange and pink-hued fruits, more brilliant than a sunrise in paradise, are hollowed out and stuffed to…

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New Themes: Cubic and Wilson

The WordPress.com Blog

It’s Theme Thursday and today I’m happy to present two new free themes: Cubic and Wilson.

Cubic

Cubic: Homepage

Designed by WordPress.com’s own Thomas Guillot, Cubic is a clean, simple, and responsive theme.

Cubic: Responsive Design

With its single-column, grid-based design crafted around large featured images, Cubic is the perfect fit for photobloggers.

Read more about Cubic in the Theme Showcase, or activate it on your blog by going to Appearance → Themes.

Wilson

Wilson Blog page

Designed by Anders Norén, Wilson is minimal yet bold. It’s a clean and simple theme for personal sites and blogs — make it your own with a site logo. Use post formats to highlight your content, add a custom menu, or take advantage of three widget areas.

Read more about Wilson in the Theme Showcase, or activate it on your blog by going to Appearance → Themes.

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Notifications just got a boost!

The WordPress.com Blog

If you’ve been tuning in to Hot Off the Press, you’ll know about recent updates to the WordPress.com interface along with some fantastic technical upgrades. To continue the momentum, we’ve introduced more interactive and robust notifications throughout WordPress.com. (Coming soon to a Jetpack blog near you.) Keep an eye on the new interface and let us know what you think!

Why the change?

We care about giving our users a streamlined and consistent experience across their devices. Unlike the old design, our new notifications look practically identical whether you are looking at them on a computer or on your Android or iOS device.

Under the hood, we’ve completely rebuilt notifications for faster performance. Better yet, if you are a developer you can grab the raw data yourself from our new API, which is much cleaner than before. We want to empower you with information, giving you the creative freedom to…

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Drawing Insight From Your Annual Report

The Daily Post

Note: Annual Reports weren’t sent automatically to all users. You had to publish at least one post for the year and get over five-hundred views in 2014 in order to generate a report.

At the end of 2014, when we were ringing in the new year, the busy data wizards at WordPress.com prepared and emailed a “2014 in Blogging” Annual Report for many of our blogs:

annual report

Your report was a fun snapshot of your blogging activity last year, including:

  • your blog’s total views
  • the total number of uploaded images and published posts
  • your most-viewed posts and top referring sites
  • your most active commenters

Understand and Analyze Your Stats:

As we’ve said before in our Stats Wrangling series (listed at left), analyzing these sorts of numbers…

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