Previous Blog Posts

11 February 2010

Once upon a time I was able to write for the wine blog,, tweet, and maintain the Write Technology blog, all while actually working. Sadly, those days have past and I had to let something go. In the end, because I write about tech for, I decided that the Write Technology blog was a bit redundant.

However, the content and comments are captured here. There are occasional useful and interesting tidbits (based on the comments) and I figured they should be preserved for posterity. The Search button in the upper right corner will let you search the entire Write Technology site, which includes all of the blog posts.

 | Posted by | Categories: Blogging |

If you've sat through one of my sessions on Creative Commons and attribution in social media, you'll be interested in this little tidbit of news.

Those good folks over at the Electronic Frontier Foundation have updated their Legal Guide for Bloggers. Similar to useful Creative Commons Legal Guide for Podcasters,
the guide basically tries to clarify all sorts of things that might get
a well-meaning blogger in trouble. The guide clears up things such as
online defamation, intellectual property (copyrights!), trade secrets,
right of publicity, publication of private facts, and intrusion into
seclusion. It also talks about how to deal with online bullies and the
wonderful practice of disemvowelling.


Like all journalists and publishers, bloggers
sometimes publish information that other people don’t want published.
You might, for example, publish something that someone considers
defamatory, republish an AP news story that’s under copyright, or write
a lengthy piece detailing the alleged crimes of a candidate for public

The difference between you and the reporter at your local
newspaper is that in many cases, you may not have the benefit of
training or resources to help you determine whether what you’re doing
is legal. And on top of that, sometimes knowing the law doesn’t help –
in many cases it was written for traditional journalists, and the
courts haven’t yet decided how it applies to bloggers.

But here’s the important part: None of this should stop you from
blogging. Freedom of speech is the foundation of a functioning
democracy, and Internet bullies shouldn’t use the law to stifle
legitimate free expression. That’s why EFF created this guide,
compiling a number of FAQs designed to help you understand your rights
and, if necessary, defend your freedom.

To be clear, this guide isn’t a substitute for, nor does it
constitute, legal advice. Only an attorney who knows the details of
your particular situation can provide the kind of advice you need if
you’re being threatened with a lawsuit. The goal here is to give you a
basic roadmap to the legal issues you may confront as a blogger, to let
you know you have rights, and to encourage you to blog freely with the
knowledge that your legitimate speech is protected.

EFF Legal Guide for Bloggers

 | Posted by | Categories: Blogging |

Technical Upgrades

9 December 2008

There's been a slight technical upgrade at my blog host, Typepad. You and I both reap the benefits.

are a lot of great back-end features that make my life as a blogger a
lot less hassle. But the commenting feature has changed as well, and
it's rather cool. You now have no reason not to come make comments!

are now threaded. This means you can reply to someone else's comment. I
can't tell you how fantastic that is! So if Ed says something that Jane
wants to respond to directly, she can.

The comment form has changed a bit as well.


different? Well, first off, your comment is amazingly important, so you
can write that first. URLs in your comment will be automatically
hyperlinked as well. Once you get your thoughts down, then you can
enter in all the fun information like your name, email (not displayed),
and your own URL. As usual, you'll still have to enter a CAPTCHA code
to post (anti-spam mechanism), but you will get a chance to preview
before posting.

Finally, you can optionally sign up for a free
Typepad Profile that will show your photo and previous comments as part
of your post. It's pretty cool, albeit not required.

 | Posted by | Categories: Blogging |

Due to unforeseen circumstances, this class has been postponed.


Does your business have a blog? Over 50% of US Internet users are
reading more than 133 million blogs, according to Technorati’s 2008
State of the Blogosphere. Most bloggers accept advertising and four out
of five post product reviews.  Bloggers aren’t just techies with an
online journal, they’re the newest breed of product influencer.  To
help you develop your own blog, Write Technology is offering The Art of
Blogging seminar on Nov 18, 8 a.m., at the Hamilton County Business
Center in Norwood.

You can register by calling 859.426.9748 or online at, where you can also download a course
outline. I’ve extended the introductory price of $179. You can also get $20 off the cost by entering code WRITETECH when you register.

Want to know more?
The most successful blogs are the ones with the best content. I believe that too many people focus on the numbers and trendiness of blogging and have forgotten about communicating with their readers.

In order to change this, I’m offering The Art of Blogging. The course concentrates on drawing readers in by providing great content. The four-hour seminar includes defining an audience, understanding your goals, finding your voice, exploring blog etiquette, measuring ROI, and more. Students will receive a participant guide and access to a private wiki, where they can continue to turn for guidance and discussion after the class has ended.

Readers want to know you’re more than a company angling for business. You can still promote your business through your blog, but do it by putting a human face on your content. This class doesn’t focus on the technology, but on the specific communication skills needed to create an engaging blog.

Your instructor has a clue …
A trainer and instructional designer for over a decade,I created Write Technology in 2003. I offer courses in Web 2.0 technologies and runs an award-winning wine blog., I’m also a contributing writer and professional blogger for Brian Solis’s Silicon Valley social economy blog,

 | Posted by | Categories: Blogging |

Blog Humor

16 October 2008

I always try to post when I find some blog-related humor in the comics. I particularly like today’s Doonesbury, by Gary Trudeau. Bloggers are a hundred million strong! It’s great that large companies are starting to take us seriously, but the traditional media is still a little baffled. Not entirely, but a little.


View full-size image

You can view Doonesbury online at

 | Posted by | Categories: Blogging |

Due to unforeseen circumstances, this class has been postponed as of 11/11/08.


Well, it’s official. Write Technology (that’s me) is offering a class on The Art of Blogging


Here’s the thing – there are a lot of people out there who have blogs, but they don’t know how to really use them.  You see, there’s a lot that goes into writing a blog. You need to know who your audience is, understand what they want, and find your own unique blogging style. This 4-hour seminar focuses on just that – content creation and everything that goes with it. The course is geared towards business blogging, both large and small, but anyone is welcome to attend.

We don’t just talk at you; the class is an engaging discussion to help you improve your blog.

1. What is a blog?
this portion of the class, we’ll define blogging, understanding what
makes blogs different from your average web site. We’ll discuss what
blogs you enjoy, and why. What makes you participate? We’ll talk about
the ROI of corporate blogging and review some successful corporate
2. Blogging Goals
At this point, we’ll
define goals for your blog. There are a few goals you should always
have. What else do you want to get from your blog? What are your ideas
for reaching these goals?
3. Blogging Voice
this section, we’ll define and understand your audience and your style.
What does your audience want to hear? How do they want to hear it?
We’ll work to understand subtle marketing on a blog and developing your
conversational style. We’ll also dive into sharing opinions on blogs,
and whether you want to share them with your readers.
4. Content
most important thing on a blog is content. We’ll talk about where to
find it and how much to research. We’ll discuss consistency, quantity,
and quality. Curious as to where to find images that you can legally
use on your blog? We’ll cover that too. Finally, we’ll review how to
deal with proprietary information and blogging about your company.
5. Blogging Etiquette
cover the 10 Commandments of Blogging, as well as other tips and
tricks, including page breaks, linkbacks, internal links, corrections,
and citations. We’ll also talk about comment moderation and dealing
with negative commenters and criticism.
6. Quick Tips for Growing Your Blog with New Media
finish the day with the phenomenon of talking to yourself, etiquette
for commenting on other blogs, understanding tagging, and some basic
SEO principles. We’ll also cover RSS feeds in more detail.


new comfort level and knowledge for maintaining your blog, participant
guide, access to a private class-only wiki for on-going discussion.

Cost & Payment:
course, regularly $199, is being offered at the introductory rate of
$179 through November 1. The rate returns to $199 on November 2, so
sign up soon!

Credit card accepted via Paypal. To pay with a check by mail or at the door, please contact
Credit cards will not be accepted day-of.

Download a course outline.

November 18, 8 am – noon

Hamilton County Business Center
1776 Mentor Avenue
Suite 160
Cincinnati, OH 45212

How much?
The cost is $179 through November 1. After that, the price goes up to $199.
You can register online and pay via Paypal. Alternatively, you can contact me and we’ll arrange payment via cash or check. Credit card payments will not be accepted day-of and you must be pre-registered.

Anything else?
Make sure you tell your friends and colleagues. I’d love to see everyone there!


Find Michelle Lentz here on Write Technology, on Twitter, Pownce, and FriendFeed.
You can also catch Michelle presenting on Twitter at the upcoming DevLearn ’08 in San Jose.