Blog 2014: Adding social media links

Where I learned how to add social media buttons, and where I found them

Today, I added custom social media links to my secondary menu, which appears on the left sidebar in the Twenty-Fourteen WordPress theme I’m using now. I did this because Twenty-Fourteen doesn’t have social links in the theme, and I wanted them near the top of my blog layout. To learn how to add them, I started by reading the WordPress Support article “Add Social Media Buttons to Your Sidebar or Footer.” When I did a Google Image search of ‘free social media icons’, as suggested in the support article, I found my favorite icon set at GraphicsFuel: 20 Popular Social Media Icons (PSD & PNG). Thank you, GraphicsFuel!

What code I used

I used the HTML shown on the support article, but I amended it with a bit of CSS to put some padding (space) to the right and bottom of the buttons so they didn’t look stuck together. While I was at it, I took the width and height properties out of the HTML and put them into the CSS where they belong (since they are style, not structure). Here is a sample of the style code I added to the img element for my customization:

style="width:35px;height:35px;padding-right:5px;padding-bottom:5px;"

How it looks today

Of course things will change with time as I change themes or widgets, but here is what my blog looks like as of this writing, with the new social media button links I added to the left sidebar:

A screenshot of the front page of my blog on July 7, 2014
A screenshot of the front page of my blog on July 7, 2014

Why I wrote this

I always like to share what I learn with others who might benefit, and I like to give credit where it’s due. I hope you find it helpful. Please let me know.

Me, hiking

Blog 2014: The Lifestyle category

Me, hiking
Me, hiking by the North Mountain Visitor Center in Phoenix, Arizona

I was looking for a category for my blog posts about accessibility, ethics, politics, human rights, love, relationships, and family, so I Googled some of those terms together, and the top result was lifestyle. A very nice definition I found on Wikipedia was:

Lifestyle may include views on politics, religion, health, intimacy, and more.

This sociological definition helped overcome my reservations about using the term lifestyle. You have to understand that there is a historical tension between straights and gays about lifestyle. You may have heard the expression “the homosexual lifestyle,” as if there were just one lifestyle for all gay people, and as if everything that made up a person’s sexual orientation and entire way of life outside of the bedroom could be reduced to the a lifestyle. I remember a gay activist saying, “so they [straight people who condemn “the homosexual lifestyle”] have a life, and we get a lifestyle” (as if a lifestyle were somehow cheaper than a life). Well, maybe it’s time to let go of those old connotations and embrace the definition of lifestyle as simply a way of living, minus the judgment.

Another reason I picked the word lifestyle for this category is that some people classify blogs as either lifestyle or niche. Since my blog is a combination of niche and lifestyle, I chose lifestyle for those posts that do not fit a niche (like interpreting), but instead are about, well, “life.”

I might change the name of this category, but for now, that’s why I’m calling it Lifestyle.

Blog 2014: Changing taxonomies

A couple of years ago, I split my multi-topic blog into five blogs, and decided to make my main one about Interpreting and Translation. Since those were the only topics, I decided to make my categories Articles, Editorials, Essays, and Vlogs. This year, however, I decided to reel it all back into this one blog. Since once again my blog would be about several topics, I needed to return to a more topical taxonomy. I changed the old categories to tags, and created new categories to fit my topics: American Sign Language & Deaf Culture, Business, Communications & Media Studies, Creative & Performing Arts, Photography, Education, Interpreting, Linguistics, Food, Lifestyle, and Travel. This taxonomy is a work-in-progress (especially Lifestyle).

I looked to the blogosphere to see how other bloggers were naming their categories and tags because I wanted to make it easier for people to find my stuff. One of the sources I found was this Popular Blog Categories infographic:

most-popular-blog-categories-chart

That got me wondering what other WordPress bloggers were calling their tags and categories, so I went to the WordPress Reader to explore Tags:

WordPress Tags Feb 9 2014

Some of these tags are ephemeral, like Blackhistorymonth; however, most of them are perennial words for what I’ve written about under different headings. I compared them with my tags and decided to go with the majority of bloggers on some of them: I changed essays to musings, editorials to opinion, and I split off posts tagged articles to either research or stories.

Taxonomy is a balancing act between what I want to call things and what others want to call things. I like to have my style, but if most people are using different words for the same things, I am willing to use their words so they understand me… within reason. I still won’t say presently for currently, but I like musings, opinion, research, and stories. Thanks, bloggers!