Archive for books

WordPress 24-Hour Trainer

Posted in Blog, education, social media, Social Media Book Reviews (by A. Dustus) with tags , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2010 by dustus

Unlike the title suggests, I read WordPress 24-Hour Trainer through a course of many sittings. It took me a little less than a week to finish this book. So don’t plan to learn this all in a day, unless of course you have a photographic memory and prior experience with all the functions of the WordPress interface. Then again, it might just be me. While I don’t speed read, I also don’t read terribly slow.

While I feel the title is a bit misleading, this resource is worth it.  Debateable book premise aside, George Plumley explains everything clearly from major concepts to tedious procedures.  Having used WordPress for a while now, I thought I knew most of the features of this rather intuitive platform. Nonetheless, Plumley’s work presents many insights into optimizing content and planning posts.

WordPress 24-Hour Trainer begins by explaining how WordPress “thinks” from search engine standpoints.  Not only is this important for sharing work, in my opinion it’s really interesting. Sometimes, blogging books bombard readers with info while displaying confusing graphic figures. Not so with this one. It is incredibly easy to follow this teaching tool.

Overall, Plumley’s work is a great resource; especially for beginning bloggers. Also, this book comes with a great supplemental DVD, which enhances many of the advanced printed lessons and proves very helpful when configuring files and customizing.

Reviewing Social Media Books

Posted in Blog, education, social media, writing with tags , , , on September 28, 2009 by dustus

Recently, some readers have asked me for tips regarding blogs and social media.  While their professional backgrounds vary greatly, the similar questions stirred me to flashbacks—the recall of many frustrating hours spent trying to understand the possibilities that do exist online.

Here’s what I’ll do… In addition to what you’ve come to expect from The Dustus Blog, I’ll begin posting brief reviews on the latest social media books.  I’ll only write about the ones that have helped me the most.  Maybe it will help you as well? (That page is currently under construction).  I hope to post the first review on Friday.  Want a little hint about which book I’ll discuss? Curious?

Ask yourself, “WWGD?”

Thanks for visiting!
Adam Dustus

Author and Reader at a Crossroads

Posted in Blog, education, people, social media, writing with tags , , , , , on July 22, 2009 by dustus

“Change is inevitable – except from a vending machine.”
~Robert C. Gallagher

The other night I felt like I caught a glimpse of the future. I was reading James Joyce’s classic Ulysses on an Amazon Kindle. While the Kindle 2 is a little pricey at this stage in the game, Ulysses was only .99 cents to download!  I realized right then the direction publishing has already taken.  To my traditionalist literary friends, take comfort in knowing that you can at least say goodbye to paper cuts!

“Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney estimates that Amazon sold 500,000 devices last year and will become a $1.2B a year business by 2010.”
source: http://tinycomb.com/2009/02/03/just-how-many-kindles-were-sold-last-year/

While still maintaining a reverence for the way I grew up reading, I believe the printed book will become an antique over the course of this next generation (this change will most likely be broadcast through electronic media, blogging, and microblogging).

Part of me is torn on this promised societal change. But then again, I resisted email when it began!  Media downloads could very well prompt a great advancement in educational technology, benefiting the entire learning landscape—especially as high-functioning, portable “assistive technology” for children with disabilities.

Nonetheless, I’ll miss the feel of holding a classic, even the musty smell of really old ones.  More so, I’ll miss the fact that I can’t deface a book by scribbling sloppy notes all over the margins.  I’m willing to give that up if it helps the environment. Depending on how these electronics are disposed of when broken, this could become an environmental friendly teaching tool that in the long run can save future scholars (and countless school districts) exorbitant textbook fees. Think of how many textbooks for college kids across the country are recycled via buy-backs for two years or so (at a ridiculous profit, taking full advantage of poor college students) until the new edition is soon thereafter released, and in many cases sold for well over one hundred dollars.

What I have to get over is this: It feels different reading on the Kindle 2.  I love reading printed books.  I always will.  However, I love technology too and find the good and useful in it.  Thus, I consider myself an author and reader at a crossroads. This is such a unique time in history.

On a much more personal level,  I was reading on the Kindle 2 and my eyes became tired.  I enlarged the font with minimal clicking and voila!  Much easier to read.  In fact, it took one day for my professor friend with a visual impairment to extol the virtues of this device. I thought that was really cool.  Incidentally, she’s going to write a thank you email to Amazon.