Archive for the 'Blog changes' Category

Reflections on #blogeverydayinjune

June 30, 2010

And now we will return you to you regularly scheduled program. Or irregularly unscheduled program.

It has been an interesting challenge and I am a couple of posts shy of actually making it. It did teach me some things about myself and blogging and so I am glad I tried it. I won’t be trying to keep it up. On the other hand I will be trying to keep up the connections that we made.

These are some of the things that I learnt (there aren’t 30):

  1. Posting every day is hard work and time consuming for me. It wasn’t so much that finding the time that was difficult as finding “a” regular time. Mornings are as busy here as in any other house and I like to spend the free morning time catching up on other people’s posts tweets etc. Night times are OK but I am not a night person and tend go to bed early. I am also not as clear thinking after a hard day’s work. I posted a couple of times at lunch but a lunch 1/2 hour wasn’t long enough for a well constructed post.
  2. Inspiration can strike at any time which can make me late for work or late to come home when I stop to post. Or make hubby express frustration that I am blogging AGAIN. I can’t schedule that so I won’t be promising to make a certain number of posts per week.
  3. My first rule of blogging was “have something to say”. Some days I just didn’t.
  4. I read some time ago that the worst thing was a blog full of posts apologizing about a lack of posts. It stops now.
  5. Questions can be interpreted as challenges
  6. Writing knowing that I have an audience changes my perspective.
  7. Coming to know and connect with that audience via their personal blogs, comments and tweets REALLY changes my perspective. I found that I was writing much more like I was telling a story or having a conversation.
  8. We are all complete people and posting everyday can mean having to blur the professional and the personal lines and letting go of self imposed rules.
  9. Following from that it was difficult to start posting personal subjects, which I had to in order to have something to say some days. It felt wrong on this “professional” blog. I somehow reserve that for twitter or facebook in my mind. A big thing that will be occupying my mind in the months coming up will be my kitchen renovation. Do my readers really want to hear the gritty details?? I also wondered all the time whether I was “oversharing”. Strange- it’s not something that I worry about in 140 characters, just long form posts.
  10. Stranger- I didn’t apply that judgment to others and I really valued learning about them via this challenge and felt I knew them better via their “personal” posts.
  11. I kept forgetting the hashtag.
  12. I started with a theme in order to have something to post about. I have posts on that theme still sitting in drafts. But after I did a couple I felt they were much too snarky and negative. It has been a hard month at work and any negativity was bringing me down further. I felt my negativity coming through those posts making them even more snarky in my eyes. So I left most of them in the drafts.
  13. Having a life gives me something to post about. It also give me less time to post.
  14. My post about hubby’s gig was as much an experiment in mobile citizen journalism/life stream recording from my iPhone as a post about our lives.
  15. My current theme (White as Milk) is not good for posts with lots of pictures. I should try another.
  16. I am not a natural writer. Writing for me takes some time to edit and grammar check (thank god for browser spell checkers). Practice hasn’t changed that.
  17. Some topics I thought I may have been repeating from old posts and I had to search to make sure.
  18. Memes make posting easy except when they are topics too revealing. But don’t bring comments.
  19. I also observed and tried a couple of alternative post styles- as though I was seeing if they fitted. But it was like I was using someone else’s voice.
  20. Minor observation. My trained tendency, even after 25 years of knowing differently, is to write in the third person passive. I hope (but I know that they do) that they are not still teaching Science undergrads that. I just had to go over and edit all of this post.
  21. My assumption that I should not do link posts because my audience would have already seen the information that I was linking to was wrong. I shall try more of those.
  22. My most viewed and commented post over the 30 days was the one that got everyone crossposting – about blogging itself. But it started as the sort of post I would have ordinarily have made and a homage to Dorothea. It was just serendipitous that the timing made it relevant to 30+ other people.
  23. Numbers viewing does not correlate to numbers of comments. Except when they do.
  24. There is a hierarchy of validation of blogging for me:
    1. viewers
    2. comments about my ideas- not necessarily on the blog post
    3. my ideas being discussed in another blog
    4. then the highest compliment. When someone takes an idea in one of my posts and it solves a problem for them. And they let me know.
  25. However, validation is nice (OK- it’s lovely) but not why I post. I post to get an idea out of my head and into a form where I can see it and judge it. The act of writing it out make me structure it better.
  26. I was too busy writing and reading to give good comments. I will try to fix that.
  27. I apparently only have mind space for a certain number of posts. My posting on our in-house blog for my colleagues, which is mostly link posts, declined a lot.
  28. From the above – I need to but have yet to find a balance in these things.

Theme peril

September 10, 2008
by IndiepoprockJesse

by IndiepoprockJesse

After looking at page after page of wonderful WordPress themes today, trying to find a “temporary, close enough” one for our work WordPress implementation, I decided that the theme on this blog was far too boring. So I picked something more colourful. I like that the links are very easy to see.

Unfortunately, though the theme was listed as having widgets, that function seems not to be working. Those boxes that you can see on the sidebar are not optional. So I can’t add back my “recently clipped or saved feed”. If you miss it let me know. Maybe I will change the theme again. Or I could just send you the feed URL itself.

Second change(s)

June 15, 2008

1. In the first iteration of this blog I had a theme in which the RSS feeds for the blog were displayed via a link (not an icon) on the “Meta” widget and I placed it low on the right hand column. On the top of that column was (and is) a widget displaying my recently shared and clipped posts which because it uses an RSS widget also displays an RSS icon/link. One of my readers (my hubby) mistook this for the link for the feed for the blog and subscribed to my shared posts instead of my blog feed. A lesson in usability- make things obvious. I could have made a RSS icon by placing some HTML in a text widget but I decided to change the theme instead. I will probably change themes fairly often. It gives me the opportunity to discover what I would require from the perfect theme. Using WordPress.com as my host means my choice of themes is relatively limited and I can’t change the CSS without paying for an upgrade.  Something for the future- I’ll build up to it.

2. I also wanted to add a library blogroll to the sidebar – in part to pay tribute to all the wonderful librarian bloggers out there and in part to suggest possible sources to anyone new to the biblioblogosphere who may happen to pass this way.  Ideally a blogroll is a dynamic thing and stays in sync with where ever I am reading these feeds. I often add and delete feeds. However the way Newsgator (and Google Reader and Bloglines) generates the link to your feeds is via a small piece of javascript – something not supported by WordPress.com for security reasons. The compromise was to temporarily sync my library folder feeds from FeedDemon to Newsgator. Then in Newsgator find Settings/Edit locations/Web edition/OPML which gave me an OPML URL (after I ticked “expose OPML to all users“). Then in the admin for this blog under Manage links/add new I found a link to Import links. This allowed me to specify an OPML URL. It sure saves adding the links to a blogroll one by one or even downloading the OPML file to a local drive then uploading it to this blog. The compromise it that it will not stay in sync. I will have to repeat the process from time to time until I find another workaround.

First change

June 11, 2008

I just added the Meta widget to quickly make the RSS link obvious. What is it with wordpress themes that hide the RSS icon link in the Meta widget? The readers don’t necessarily want the link to wordpress.org or the admin client but they do (or should) want an oblivious RSS link.

Note to self- add RSS icons in a text widget or learn CSS enough to rewrite WordPress themes. Start a to do list on this blog.