Literally, not figuratively: more WordPress themes for writers in 2016

It’s been a good couple of years or so since I summed up themes for writers, and since I’m still a writer, I think it’s time to do it again. If you’re a writer, a publisher, or just someone with an idea for an online magazine, these themes could help make your site look a little more like ink on page.

Continue Reading

Playlist: New Orleans Jazz Fest 2016 (weekend 2)

This year, I’m hoping to actually head on vacation (finally!) so my beautiful wife and I can take that honeymoon we’ve been talking about doing since we got married.

Keep in mind, we got married back in 2014, when the weather was hot and New Orleans came to Sydney. That was the dream, since both my wife and I had left our hearts in New Orleans. I left mine back when I was a kid, and when I went back on holiday with the girl who would eventually be my wife, she left hers there too, and I knew she and I would be linked.

The wedding was on November 14, 2014, and there’s a webpage showing the day, but there hasn’t been a honeymoon yet, due to the constraints of work.

This year, though, we’re hoping to change it, and Jazz Fest is on the agenda.

I don’t need much to get myself geared up for New Orleans — the music, the people, the food, the vibe; sheesh, I’d probably live there if I could — but just in case you wanted to get a glimpse of what Jazz Fest will be like on the second weekend, which is when we’re hoping to be there, I’ve been working on a playlist.

Continue Reading

Taxonomic tracking: how to find articles by using site construction

I’ve been a member of the technology media in Australia for over five years, and if there’s one thing I’ve seen from the journalism side, it’s that often members of the PR world don’t quite know how to quickly track what we’re doing in our realm.

I can see how it must be complicated: we’re all writing tons of articles. I generally run the site I work for ( by myself, and even I can’t remember half the stuff I’ve written. Tech journalists are always writing, generally at a frantic pace, and in some ways you could say we’re all pushing out so much work that it’s hard to keep up with it all.

I’m sure I’m not the only one to get emails asking for links to stories, and for a PR trying to find the story for their reports, I can see why emailing a journalist could be fruitful. It doesn’t help that website searches can be very unhelpful, and much of this is due to the nature of website search engines just generally not being very good (apologies, we can’t all be Google).

I’ve never worked in PR — a quick look at my wardrobe will tell you that — and I’ve heard that people who work in this field regularly have to make daily or weekly reports showing the client which media has written about the topic. Tracking all of this can’t be easy, especially when there are a good 50 of us working on random stories, forcing you to visit our sites and trawl through listings of articles until you come across the magic one.

I understand that, and as a journalist who also codes websites, I can see how this can be a problem.

However, there is a solution, and for a lot of websites across Australia — and no doubt the world — it’s staring at you right in the face, and most PRs (and I suspect journalists) don’t even know it.

Continue Reading

Literally speaking: the best WordPress themes for the text obsessed

As a writer, I have this obsession with text and letters and sentences and words.

This happens possible because I do this whole writing thing day in – at work, where I write technology journalism at – and day out – when I go home and write books and other pieces of nonsense that spill out of my head and onto the page.

This obsession with writing makes me want to have a webpage that speaks more in words than playful designs, so much that the big words become the playful designs.

A few years ago, I attempted this style with what is my current WordPress theme, a modification and severe customisation that I later called “Spontaneous Box.” This theme relies heavily on Ozh’s Random Words, a plugin that pulls various lines out of a file and shows them on specific parts of the page.

To date, there are well over 50 in the system, and I want this to still be a feature in my new site, in a redesign of my page.

In fact, an upcoming redesign is exactly why I’ve written this, to show some of the themes out there that point speak in text and showcase big shiny words that yell loud and clear to the reader.

So here we are, reader, with a list that might be helpful to you. If you’re a writer that wants a WordPress theme that says “hell yes, I’m a writer,” this list is for you.

Continue Reading

Button fail on Leigh’s holiday

I wrote this on the plane so apologies ahead of time if there are typos, grammar, and punctuation issues. The iPad virtual keyboard isn’t the best on-screen typing experience:

Thirteen hour flights are evil.

I don’t think I know of anyone who especially enjoys them, and if i ever find someone who does, I may actually feel the urge to taunt them, before asking why the hell they could love such a thing.

Continue Reading