I think this is my last BlogHer 2012 post but I think this one is the most important one as I share some of what I have learnt in the actual sessions that were held. Here is where I posted about my general thoughts of the conference.
Firstly what I found interesting in the sessions I was in is that no one talks about blogs being on Blogger. They all assume that you have self hosted wordpress blogs because it is the way to go people. Seriously. You have more control over behind the scenes stuff plus there is no danger of Blogger closing down your blog because they feel like it. And they have done that, I know of a couple of big USA blogs it happened to.
Anyway I digress, some of the main points that I have implemented are:
Signing up with pingdom.com – a great site for letting you know when your site goes down (and back up!) and also gives you information on how fast your blog loads. Which obviously is important, I know I don’t hang around waiting for slow sites to load.
Downloaded Broken Link Checker plugin (wordpress only). This checks your site for broken links you may have, which can happen alot due to companies overhauling their websites or blogs moving or disappearing. Apparently Google doesn’t like broken links.
Something that Google does like and that is bloggers that have joined Google+ and use it.
Check your blog on mobile sites ie iPhone, Android and iPad. There are plugins for wordpress users to make your blog mobile friendly.
Use Google Analytics and play around with the pages as it can be very informative. It can tell you what keywords people are using when they find your blog, how long they are there, what platform they are using.
Still on statistics it is good to have a couple of different ones installed and checking things. If one of them goes down then you still have access to your stats, important especially if you are talking to PR folks about site visitors.
Put a cache plugin to help with speed issues. I did this but found that the mobile plugin wouldn’t work so I am unsure how they are meant to work with each other. If anyone knows then please enlighten me!
And I am going to add my own tip… be sure to subscribe to your own blog posts, so you can see what they look like as the reader does. I have subscribed to Nellbe Gluten Free via email and through Google Reader just so I can see and adjust things as necessary.
I really did enjoy the sessions I went to and was so pleased with the amount of information the panelists had.
Travelling half way across the world is going to be stressful enough, adding the fact that I need gluten free food while doing so just adds another little stressful dimension.
Luckily I am headed to America, a country who has food companies that get the gluten free necessity. “This will be easy,” I think to myself.
Then I do some research. I read that unfortunately America’s laws are not quite on the same level of strictness as Australia’s and in fact, anything can be labelled ‘gluten free’ even if it is not. Oh dear.
However, there are dedicated celiac’s (American spelling) out there that share their experiences and I soon find out that there are plenty of American food manufacturers that let you know if their products are made on dedicated lines and to what extent there may be cross contamination issues. Which is a coeliac’s biggest fear really. Well mine anyway.
I checked out some American celiac’s so I could see what they recommend. I also contacted a couple of them via email and they were super friendly and helpful, they basically said the same thing, that New York City is a great place to be gluten free.
Ah that is good news… further research is needed! And I’ll definitely share what I find out.
Image Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Rice Paper rolls are fantastic for parties and a light meal. Perfect for those warm summer nights. Since we love them so much in this house I knew I had to add the twist of the Kellogg’s All-Bran Fibre Toppers to them to make them even more healthier. A really clever way to get more fibre into you. (they aren’t gluten free though so please remember that)
Rice Paper Rolls with All-Bran Fibre Toppers
- packet of rice paper sheets
- bunch baby spinach
- 1 carrot
- 1 spring onion
- 1 capsicum
- 1 cucumber
- 1 tomato
- 1/2 cup All-Bran Fibre Toppers
- Thinly slice all of the vegetables except the baby spinach
- Lay a wet wrung out tea towel on the bench and a large bottomed bowl of warm water. Have a serving plate ready also. (see below for my set up)
- Put one rice paper roll flat in the warm water for 30 seconds.
- Carefully take the rice paper sheet out of the bowl and lay flat on the damp tea towel
- Lay the fillings onto the top end of the rice paper sheet, don’t be tempted to use lots of fillings.
- Sprinkle the All-Bran Fibre Toppers over the filling.
- Now comes the fun part, rolling. Put the top of the sheet over the filling, then the side flaps over, then roll, tucking any filling in as needed. The rice paper sheets I bought had a diagram on the back which was really easy to follow and a great reference.
- Repeat with the rice paper sheets you have left.
- Once on the serving plate, you can cover with a damp tea towel until ready for serving.
- To serve, slice if desired and sprinkle with more All-Bran Fibre Toppers and add a couple of sauces like plum sauce or soy sauce to dip into.
Other ingredients that work well, cabbage, lettuce, sno peas, alfafa sprots, cooked prawns, cooked cold chicken, all sliced thinly.
The best thing about this dish is you can make as much as you need, its super easy to make for 2 or 2o or 200.
In case you have forgotten, I am submitting Date and Apricot Balls, Pumpkin Bread and this recipe, Rice Paper Rolls to the awesome competition that Kellogg’s invited some fabulous mummy bloggers to participate in. The prize is the highly sort after sponsorship to BlogHer conference in New York City.
There are some wonderful recipes that the other bloggers have created, check out the hashtag on Twitter #AllBran to see them all. With great recipes like this in the competition I need all the luck I can get so please wish me luck!
It is end of an era for Things I Know. The lovely Shae has decided to stop hosting Things I Know. Aww… The good news is that an equally lovely Kellie from The Good, The Bad and The Unnecessary has stepped up to the plate and is taking over the hosting reins starting next week.
For now though, the Things I Know I want for Christmas, Birthday or whenever. My birthday is depressingly close to Christmas so I always included the Birthday wish list in with the Christmas.
First off, it would be nice to have the world a lovely place and everyone happy, no starving or abused children or adults. It would, wouldn’t it? So if someone can make that happen, please do but hey, since I like to dream big I want to share what else I would like. I hope you’ll indulge me.
1. KitchenAid Stand Mixer
Top of the list is a KitchenAid Stand Mixer, do not care what colour but any sitting on my bench would help my cooking and time in the kitchen so much. One day.
2. A set of Good Knives
For cooking people, for cooking. I am ashamed to admit that I don’t even know a good brand but I do know I need them.
Surely you saw that one coming? Don’t think I need to explain why I want one. You guys get it.
4. Sponsorship to BlogHer 2012
BlogHer is an Amercian based women’s bloggers conference, it is pretty big and next year it is held in August in New York City. Some of the Aussie bloggers are planning an Aussie invasion, I would love help to get there so if you can… please contact me!
5. Help someone out
Okay so this isn’t something you can buy me but hey if you can buy a present to put under the Wishing Tree at Kmart or Target, or buy a present for someone from Oxfam or World Vision, or head to your local blood bank and give blood or if you are a blogger you can go over to Community Blogging where you can register your interest to get involved, then please do so.
Personally I believe in giving back and have done since I can remember. I don’t want to blow my own trumpet (so I won’t) but I have been involved in different charity organisations in different ways since I was a little tacker. The gift of giving and sharing your time is invaluable, if you could do this then I would be ever so grateful.
What do you know this week?