I took a drive down to Cherry Hill to visit a friend to talk about his website, social media and running a business. I'm no expert, but I provided guidance on using WordPress to host his website content. WordPress is a popular content management system with wide developer and designer support. Choosing a template was the easy part but I went over the basics of creating content as well as some SEO basics.
We talked about social media, something I've worked hard to learn much about over the last few years. I'm getting better at using it and the rewards for a small business can be significant.
As a reward for helping him out my friend packed me some of his restaurant favorites to take home for my family. This vegan buffalo wing sandwich is delicious. The purple cabbage added a nice crunch and texture, and the sandwich has just the right amount of ranch dressing. I'm not vegetarian but if I lived or worked in the Moorestown area I could see myself eating this regularly.
Manuel Hernandez, a Community Advocate for Ning send me shout about the growth of the social network.
Ning.com is a platform that lets you create your own social network for anything. It has been experiencing phenomenal growth and just recently passed the 170K mark.
Manny and I became acquainted shortly after he created, TuDiabetes.com, a social network for people touched by diabetes ( I have Type 1 diabetes ). TuDiabetes is among hundred of community sites created with the Ning.com network system. Ning allows anyone to create a social network site for free within minutes of creating an account. It features integration with Flickr, Facebook and YouTube for members to personalize their experiences with the community. Community builders or administrators have access to powerful SEO and other analytics tools for building out and branding their network.
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A few months ago I started taking a leadership course. Inside that course I took on a project, "You're Not Alone!" to build an online community for people with fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia is characterized by muscle, joint, or bone pain, fatigue, and a wide range of other symptoms.
My wife has suffered from it for a few years. I have watched her struggle; unable to help her other than saying a few words of encouragement. The inspiration for my project is my wife and Manuel Hernandez, founder of TuDiabetes; a community for people touched by diabetes. I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2006 and had found the TuDiabetes site through the blogging community. I reached out and asked Manny for help in creating a similar community for fibromyalgia. He warned me that in the beginning it would seem like nothing was happening but gave me a lot of ideas on how to get things going. The article below is about blogging and grass and patience. I think it is about commitment versus attachment to outcome.
Sometimes Blogging is Like Watching Grass Grow
Similarly - a blog needs to put it’s roots down in it’s first few months and can take a lot of work - for seemingly few results. However there’s more going on under the surface than you might think. While reader numbers might not be great those first few readers can spread the word of your blog far and wide, the decisions you make about design, SEO, topic, voice etc all can have a lasting impact upon your blog.