Nearly all websites exist so that visitors will transact business, whether that business involves goods,
services, or your own brand. Before any transaction can happen, however, people have to be able to
fi nd your website. This section is about promoting that brand and your site on the web through content
sharing and social networks, not search engine optimization or “SEO.” SEO and getting your
site discovered are covered in Chapter 12.
Promoting your online identity is one of the major reasons to amass your online interactions into
one place. You can collect all of your social media interactions on your website to showcase your
professional involvement in a community or profession. This can highlight your expertise in one or
more specifi c areas as well as expand your potential audience to different groups. It can really function
as a type of business networking among different potential readership groups.
Even if you’re not using a public persona for business purposes, the same goal of centralizing all of
your online activities amplifi es the benefi ts to your hobbies or your personal passion. If you participate
in social networks for home beer-brewing, why not aggregate those activities into one location?
If you attract attention because of your witty insight or accurate and knowledgeable information,
aggregation is one way to become recognized as an expert in your fi eld of interest. A nice side effect
of this aggregation effect is that the larger the number of links that point back to your website, the
more the popular search engines will fi nd your site, as covered in Chapter 12.
Collecting information from multiple sites into your WordPress site makes it easier for others to
fi nd that information. Your readers or potential audience don’t have to keep tabs on all the different
places in which your updates could be broadcast or shared. In the same vein, how will clients know
to check your latest YouTube promotional video if they do not know it is even available? Collecting
this information into a primary source brings all these different data points in front of your audience’s
eyes through content aggregation. And in the end, it drives traffi c to your site rather than
away from it, because your site becomes the one true source.
This is a classic long tail content problem, and is worth discussing a little more. Your website is just
one source of content in hundreds of millions out there. But the people you intersect and activel
Google Maps, or really any mapping service, is a commonly requested item. If, for any reason, you
want clients to actually visit your place of business, or want them to attend a certain event, you need
to provide directions. Online mapping and direction services such as Google Maps are ubiquitous
for this now. It is hard to remember how you found your way around town before, but at the same
time, you now have the social benefi t of location-aware services.
Anyway, you want to add a map to your site. Google provides a nice mechanism to simply embed
a map in your site using its tools. You can fi nd this in the top right of the Google Maps page. Copy
the code and paste it into your WordPress post or page. It is that simple and it works.
Google Maps seems like a prime candidate for oEmbed functionality, but it is not supported. So for
now, going back to the old-school copy-and-paste is the most straightforward way to embed a single
map into your WordPress website.
When using your website to sell a product or service, or gain potential customers for your business,
your WordPress installation is more overhead than profi t center. On the other hand, personal journals
or blogs with large readerships often drive nontrivial advertising rates, picking up the online
equivalent of local or national newspaper display ads. In this section, you look at various aspects of
the money game, from confi guring ad boxes to becoming an affi liate merchant site.
If you’re wondering what this section is doing in the middle of a content aggregation discussion, it’s
here because advertising is a syndication issue. You’re either taking someone else’s idea of an attractive,
keyword-specifi c ad and placing it in your content stream, or you are putting your own ads into
someone else’s display slots. Just as it is important to consider audience fragmentation and multiple
or parallel channels for your readers, you also need to think about the impact of your site’s display
advertisement on the visual and user experiences.
Themes and Plugins
Multisite handles themes and plugins differently than standard WordPress. All sites in your network
can run the same plugins and themes, or they can run a completely different set of plugins and
themes. The fl exibility of this really showcases the power of Multisite in WordPress.
To view all themes installed in WordPress, visit the Themes menu. The Network Admin Themes
section lists all themes in a list similar to the standard WordPress Plugins section. The major difference
is that rather than an Activate link for each theme, you’ll notice a Network Enable link
instead. Network Enabling any theme listed will make that theme an available option for all sites
in your network. This doesn’t actually activate the theme, but rather makes the theme available to
site administrators under the Appearance ? Themes menu in WordPress. This allows you to control
what themes are available for your site administrators to choose from.
Plugins work differently from themes in Multisite. Plugins can be Network Activated, which means
the plugin will run on every site in your network. If a plugin is not Network Activated, it can still be
activated at the site level. This means that you can run plugins on any, or all, sites in your network.
To view all plugins available for use, visit the Plugins menu. Here you’ll see a list of plugins that have
been downloaded to WordPress. Clicking the Network Activate link will activate the plugin across
every site in your network. If a plugin is not Network Activated, it will be available to activate at the
site level under the standard Plugins menu.
Monetizing Your Site
There are a number of ways to monetize your WordPress site: display ads from one of the larger
online advertising agencies such as Google become an affi liate of an online merchant such as
Amazon that offers commissions on click-throughs that result in product sales, or sell specifi c sponsorship
or banner space on your site to an interested party. When you go down the commercial
route, however, you are also making an explicit decision to cede some of the design and display
value of your site over to a third party. For a personal site, or a blogger, this is usually fi ne. For a
commercial site, this is probably a non-starter. There is also that vast middle ground where your
personal hobby is really a business — think of comic strip sites and larger scale personal op-ed sites.
Passive monetization of your content is nice, and some truly popular websites do throw off enough
advertising revenue to fund small companies, but for the average blogger, advertising is going to
invariably demonstrated to me that social organisms being every whit as
complicated as those of all beings, it is in no wise in our power to force them
to undergo on a sudden far-reaching transformations. Nature has recourse at
times to radical measures, but never after our fashion, which explains how it
is that nothing is more fatal to a people than the mania for great reforms,
however excellent these reforms may appear theoretically. They would only
be useful were it possible to change instantaneously the genius of nations. This
power, however, is only possessed by time. Men are ruled by ideas, sentiments,
and customs — matters which are of the essence of ourselves. Institutions and
laws are the outward manifestation of our character, the expression of its
needs. Being its outcome, institutions and laws cannot change this character.
The study of social phenomena cannot be separated from that of the peoples
among whom they have come into existence. From the philosophic point of
view these phenomena may have an absolute value; in practice they have only
a relative value.
It is necessary, in consequence, when studying a social phenomenon, to
consider it successively under two very different aspects. It will then be seen
that the teachings of pure reason are very often contrary to those of practical
reason. There are scarcely any data, even physical, to which this distinction is
not applicable. From the point of view of absolute truth a cube or a circle are
invariable geometrical figures, rigorously defined by certain formulas. From
the point of view of the impression they make on our eye these geometrical
figures may assume very varied shapes. By perspective the cube may be
transformed into a pyramid or a square, the circle into an ellipse or a straight
line. Moreover, the consideration of these fictitious shapes is far more
important than that of the real shapes, for it is they and they alone that we see
and that can be reproduced by photography or in pictures. In certain cases there
is more truth in the unreal than in the real. To present objects with their exact
geometrical forms would be to distort nature and render it unrecognisable. If
we imagine a world whose inhabitants could only copy or photograph objects,
but were unable to touch them, it would be very difficult for such persons to
attain to an exact idea of their form. Moreover, the knowledge of this form,
accessible only to a small number of learned men, would present but a very
The philosopher who studies social phenomena should bear in mind that side
The simplicity and exaggeration of the sentiments of crowds have for result
that a throng knows neither doubt nor uncertainty. Like women, it goes at once
to extremes. A suspicion transforms itself as soon as announced into
incontrovertible evidence. A commencement of antipathy or disapprobation,
which in the case of an isolated individual would not gain strength, becomes
at once furious hatred in the case of an individual in a crowd.
The violence of the feelings of crowds is also increased, especially in
heterogeneous crowds, by the absence of all sense of responsibility. The
certainty of impunity, a certainty the stronger as the crowd is more numerous,
and the notion of a considerable momentary force due to number, make
possible in the case of crowds sentiments and acts impossible for the isolated
individual. In crowds the foolish, ignorant, and envious persons are freed from
the sense of their insignificance and powerlessness, and are possessed instead
by the notion of brutal and temporary but immense strength.
Unfortunately, this tendency of crowds towards exaggeration is often brought
to bear upon bad sentiments. These sentiments are atavistic residuum of the
instincts of the primitive man, which the fear of punishment obliges the
isolated and responsible individual to curb. Thus it is that crowds are so easily
led into the worst excesses.
Still this does not mean that crowds, skilfully influenced, are not capable of
heroism and devotion and of evincing the loftiest virtues; they are even more
capable of showing these qualities than the isolated individual. We shall soon
have occasion to revert to this point when we come to study the morality of
Given to exaggeration in its feelings, a crowd is only impressed by excessive
sentiments. An orator wishing to move a crowd must make an abusive use of
violent affirmations. To exaggerate, to affirm, to resort to repetitions, and
never to attempt to prove anything by reasoning are methods of argument well
known to speakers at public meetings