Archive for the ‘Adventures Online’ Category

New WordPress Packages Introduced

Monday, February 6th, 2017

Thursday, 2-2-2017, I presented at my BNI in Marlborough, MA. As the other BNI members are my sales force, I introduced several new packages that I have begun rolling out this year.

Karen Callahan presenting 2-2-2017

Introducing new WordPress packages at my BNI 2-2-2017

These multi-month to year-long packages include irresistible offers and bonuses including input from and conversations with experts in related fields. The packages are themed around:

  1. How to add SEO to your WordPress Website
  2. Easily keeping your WordPress website up to date
  3. Keeping WordPress and the plugins updated
  4. Website Design (Redesign) and Development package

I am on a quest to help WordPress website owners work as independently as they wish – and – you see that the first two packages are designed to set WordPress do-it-yourself’ers up for long-term success.

I’ll be posting the details about the WordPress packages including sign up forms later this month and next.  Be on the lookout!

Giving Thanks in a Fun Way

Monday, November 21st, 2016

Last Thursday, Nov. 17th 2016, we had loads of fun at my BNI meeting while contributing to a great local cause!

Karen Callahan's BNI group

BNI Marlborough, November 17, 2016 (about 1/2 the group)

BNI is a business networking group that meets weekly. Every week, each member gives a 45-second presentation that helps the other members understand what a good referral for their business looks like.

On this Thursday, in the spirit of giving thanks and the gift gifting holidays, each member brought a non-perishable food item to donate to the Marlborough Community Cupboard. Then, during their 45-seconds, they told the story of how the food item ‘represented’ their business or their target audience.

Good fun was had by all as we were reminded how creative everyone can be. Some members even surprised themselves! And, we were all reminded how good ‘giving’ feels and how giving in a group setting multiplies the good will!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. May you be blessed with little traffic, warm hugs, and a full belly!

4 Tips for WordPress Website Security

Friday, July 8th, 2016

Karen Callahan speaking

Here I am, Thursday, 6-23-2016, presenting to my BNI group in Marlborough, MA.

I opened with a fun, something-no-one-knows-about-me story that involved a 13-hour train ride in Spain, an ex-con, a knife, and the threatening of my life. Ahhh… but you will have to meet me for a 1-to-1 to get the whole story!

One of the questions I had been asked to answer that day was:

What is the new gold standard in WordPress website security?

If only there were one thing that could be done for complete protection! That day, I responded with two quick tips:

  1. Create difficult, lengthy passwords
    This is a simple measure that deters a lot of would-be hackers. An easy password is like leaving the keys in your car or the front door to your home unlocked. The first step in self defense is simple locks. (You know that some burglars and car thieves are opportunists looking for an easy score and will move to another car or another house when they find that your car and home are locked down.)
  2. Host your WordPress website with a reputable hosting company
    Do research. Search for “company_name reviews”, and read the reviews. Check websites that exist for discussing the pros and cons of website hosting firms (i.e. WebsiteHostingTalk.com). Remember that you get what you pay for, so, opt for a mid-priced website hosting account and not the cheapest.

If I had had more time, I would have added 2 more tips that do-it-yourselfers can do to protect their WordPress websites. The full discussion is in my LinkedIn Pulse article, 2 tips to make your WordPress website less attractive to hackers. In the article, I recommend

  1. Updating the software often
  2. Keeping the website hosting account lean and mean

Running old WordPress versions and old plugin versions and keeping unused files in your WordPress hosting account set up your website as a desirable breeding ground for hackers. In those conditions, hackers can work undetected and inject code into your website.

Code that messes up your website. Code that downloads Trojan viruses to your visitors’ cell phones and laptops. Code that kidnaps computers and holds them for ransom. Code that establishes your hosting account as a spam email hub.
–Karen Callahan, 2 tips to make your WordPress website less attractive to hackers

You can take steps to avoid being the “hub” of malicious activity. Learn how to clean up your WordPress hosting account

I write these 4 tips for protecting a WordPress website here because a good, non-techie friend of mine often reminds me that not everyone is a professional WordPress developer like myself, and when you are a non-techie, “You don’t know what you don’t know“. Now you know! Remember to backup your website often, and especially before upgrading WordPress and the plugins.

 

 

2015 WordCamp Rhode Island – Sept. 25 & 26

Friday, August 21st, 2015

Through the years, you know that I have attended as many of the local WordCamps as possible, and documented (here) lots of what I learned. WordCamps are a great way to learn more about WordPress, but also to connect with other WordPress enthusiasts. And I mean enthusiasts! In the 11 years I have been developing with WordPress, I have attended a lot of general networking events, seminars, conferences, workshops, and meetups, and none measure up on the enthusiasm scale to the WordPress-centric ones. There is something about WordPress that brings out the nice in everyone. You feel comfortable and connect with others and learn in a stress-free environment.

2015 WordCamp Rhode IslandThis year, I am happy to announce that I am one of the organizers for the 2015 WordCamp Rhode Island.

WordCamp Rhode Island will be held at the New England Institute of Technology – East Greenwich Campus, Friday and Saturday, September 25 & 26, 2015. There will be three tracks, Beginners, Developers, and Business, and presentations and workshops will be geared to ALL levels of WordPress experience and knowledge.

Attendees receive a logo T-shirt and WordPress-related swag, breakfast tidbits, lunch and snacks both days, and entrance to Saturday’s After Party! Who doesn’t like a party?

Students go for free and the rest of us pay $20 (for ALL that!). Purchase your tickets today!

Not convinced? More reasons you should attend 2015 WordCamp Rhode Island!

 

 

Rotary International U.N. Day

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014, I had the privilege of going to the United Nations with other local Rotarians to participate in Rotary Day at the U.N.

“Each year at Rotary UN Day, more than 1300 Rotarians including many Rotary International Directors, Foundation Trustees, past Senior Leaders, and guests come together at UN Headquarters in New York. The program is designed to inspire and educate all participants as well as provide insight into the relationship between Rotary and the United Nations…” (from http://riunday.org/)

It was a wonderfully UPLIFTING and SOBERING experience.

It was uplifting hearing about the positive results of global and single-location programs.

At the Economic Development break out session, the panel spoke about an Entrepreneurship Camp (video) that was held in Port-au-Prince, Haiti in June, 2014. The program included two weeks of business workshops, taught networking skills, and paired each Haitian participant with a mentor with whom he/she will connect periodically via technology.

At the Human Trafficking break out session, the panel spoke about the magnificent progress made in Bihar, India. The programs teach and empower women, at-risk and survivors of slavery and sex trafficking, to make a salary to support themselves.  The audience was introduced to several of the participants in the program via a video. Sadly, we were introduced to a tiny young girl who was later raped and murdered and thrown in a river.

The call to action was to practice conscious buying by purchasing fair trade products. Purchasing fair trade products will raise the demand for products that have been certified to use vendors whose workers are paid legitimate wages and work “regular” hours. The name of one program in Bihar is Nomi Network. Nomi has its own label, and is active in Cambodia as well.

It was sobering to hear the numbers of human beings who still need help, and, in particular the numbers of humans who are being preyed upon by other humans. The statistics related to human trafficking are astounding.

“Approximately 32 million people live in slavery today. This modern day form of slavery is a $99 Billion industry. Said to be the most profitable illicit industry in the world, it is quickly growing and surpassing the illegal sale of drugs and arms.” (from http://NomiNetwork.org)

Staggering information. I will be practicing conscious buying by looking for Fair Trade labels and shopping at the Nomi Network website.

So, it was a surprising day. I expected to network with other Rotarians and learn about programs that I had no knowledge of previously, but, I didn’t expect to return home, still  shaking me in disbelief at the numbers associated with human trafficking and now knowing that my country, the United States of America, the Free country is one of the #1 consumers!

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Here’s some photos of the day:

commencement-speeches

Commencement speeches

entrepreneurship-camp-haiti

Economic Development Panel

karen-callahan-marilyn-perry

Me and Marilyn Perry before session

waiting-for-session-to-start

Fellow Rotarians waiting for session to start