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This simple WordPress plugin created by Måns Jonasson is useful for almost anyone who maintains a WordPress site of any size, but it’s especially useful if you maintain documentation of any kind and have a frequent need to update screenshots. It does exactly what the name implies — it makes it easy for you to replace one image file (or any other type of file) with another. No more uploading a new file and deleting the old one, or confusion over versions or file names.
Once you install and activate this plugin, you’ll find a new button labelled Replace Media at the bottom of the Edit Media page. Click this and browse and select a file from your computer. You then have two choices — you can either retain the original file name (renaming the file you’re uploading if necessary) or you can replace the file and use the new file name, changing all existing links to the old file to point to the new one. For the first option, you need to be uploading a file of the same type, but for the second option you can replace your original file with one of a different file type, like a gif with a jpg or a Word document with a PDF. Nothing fancy, but a great timesaver!
Enable Media Replace — Read more or download this popular plugin here
It’s easy to share a tweet on your library blog or website. You might want to do this if you’re writing about Twitter itself, or if there’s a tweet on your library’s Twitter account that you want to share. Or you might see a tweet on someone else’s account that you want to share. You can just quote the words, of course. You can just quote the words, but it’s easy and effective to embed the tweet directly in a post or page. This presents it in the Twitter context, with all the metadata including date, time and location information, with all links active, including Favorite, Retweet and Reply.
Here are two examples, taken from my personal Twitter account, the first just a plain tweet without an image, and the second with an image:
Children's Illustrators Donate Artwork to Benefit Local Kids: http://t.co/9lDZwfGkqS
— Elizabeth Thomsen (@ethomsen) August 27, 2013
Outdoor Seating at the Beverly Public Library http://t.co/aB9SdYv4d6
— Elizabeth Thomsen (@ethomsen) August 18, 2013
You’ll find the Embed option under More on the Twitter website: just copy and paste the code and added it to post or page. If you’re using WordPress, it’s even easier. First, find the URL for the individual post by clicking on the date/time stamp for the post. (For new posts, it will give a number of minutes or hours since it was posed, for example, 30m or 2h, otherwise it will have a date, like 18 Aug. Copy the link location or follow the link to get the URL, which will look like this:
Paste it on a new line in a post or page, save the draft and click Preview to see how it looks.
This is a useful WordPress feature, something that formerly required the use of a plugin. But there are times when you want to show the URL for a tweet without having it embedded in the post, as I did above. Just make the URL bold or enclose it in the <code></code> tag to turn off the embedding.
Twenty Ten, the default theme for for WordPress 3, features a prominent header image. It comes with eight header images installed, photographs by Matt Mullenweg, the founding developer of WordPress. (You can read more about these photographs on his blog: The Headers of Twenty Ten)
Here are a few ways that you can customize the header images for your site:
Change the Header
If you don’t want to use the default image, there’s an admin panel where you can select one of the others. Just go to Appearance –> Header and scroll down to Default images. Look at the thumbnails, and click to select the one you want.
WordPress.tv is a video training and support site, just launched today but already an amazing resource. You may never need to read a book, wade through the Codex or search the forums again!
The How To section has a large and nicely-organized collection of short screencasts showing how to use various features of your WordPress site, whether it’s on WordPress.com or self-hosted. This includes the most basic functions, like Writing and Publishing a Post, As a trainer, I was especially happy to see these, because they’ve done a whole lot of screencasts that I was planning to do myself, and done a much better job than I ever would have! I like watching these full-screen with the HD on. The quality is excellent, very crisp and clear, and they are all nicely embeddable, like the one below which shows how to rearrange the elements of the writing screen.
In addition to the how-to videos, there are also WordCamp presentations, interviews and much more. It’s much easier to learn how things work by watching a video than by reading instructions, and I’m looking forward to watching this great new resource develop!
Wish you had time to make your website more interactive? Try adding simple, fun polls! It only takes a few minutes to create your own polls using one of the free polling services.
The sample on this post was created using a free PollDaddy account — feel free to make a selection and click on Vote to try this out. You’ll be shown the results by percentage. In this case, I allow the user to choose “Other” and input their own answer. The names they add this way aren’t seen online, but I can see the full results on the PollDaddy website.
You can set options to try to limit users to a single vote by cookie or IP address, but either method might be problematic on library workstations. But there’s no statistical validity to this kind of polling anyway, so use it just for fun. These are especially popular on blogs and pages for kids and teens.
If your blog or website is running on WordPress, checkout PollDaddy’s WordPress plugin to make it even easier to add these to your site. But on any site, it’s pretty much just a matter of filling out a form and then copying and pasting a snippet of code to your post or page.
I like Polldaddy, but other sites are similar. If you pay for an account, you get more options, but you may find you can do everything you want with a free account.