My wonderful husband purchased a domain name for me to host my blog! I will resume writing posts tomorrow. For now, I’m getting this site up and running. I hope you enjoy.
It has been a few days since I last posted. My 30 day experiment is going to take awhile to complete. I did not envision my venture into blogging to be this difficult. I prioritize living life over writing about it, which brings me to the topic of today: lifeblogging, also called lifelogging, lifeglogging, and lifecasting. I had not heard of this prior to yesterday, when my husband mentioned it as a possible blog topic. So, I’ve done a little research and thought that I would share it with you.
Lifeblogging involves wearing a computer/camera device to capture your life. The images or audio then can be streamed to the Internet. A new device from Memeto for $279 is available this summer and is described on their site as “A tiny, automatic camera and app that gives you a searchable and shareable photographic memory.” Other ways that people lifeblog are to record their physical stats, such as steps walked, heart rate, and sleep.
Why would anyone do this? As Francis Bacon said, “Knowledge is power.” We can estimate how much time we spend on our various activities, but often we underestimate some activities and overestimate others. By having an exact account, we can see if our lives match up to our expectations and presumably, change them if they don’t. For example, I now use a pedometer app, which has encouraged me to walk more.
I wondered though, why would anyone post all of this information. Well, that goes to the question of why does anyone post anything. Facebook, as well as the proliferation of blogs, proves that people want to share. Maybe it is our narcissistic nature. Indeed Facebook, blogs, Instagram, etc, are also widely viewed. In my opinion, this satisfies our voyeuristic natures.
I am not going to lifeblog, at least not at this point. I value my privacy, and I’ve probably read too many dystopian novels. Would you consider lifeblogging?
I want to make clear that this post title refers to renewing the blogger’s interest and not the readers’ interest, which is a topic for another day. The reason for this post is that I’m getting bored. I feel stagnant, and it’s only Day 12. I don’t think it’s just me. There are a number of sites dedicated to finding topics, including ideas for every day of the month in 30-day blogging challenges.
I’m not satisfied with what I’m finding on the Internet. So, I’m looking to you for input.
- How often do you post?
- What do you do when you are at a lack for what to post?
- What do you do to renew your interest in your topic?
Leave comments with your thoughts. Maybe we can learn from one another.
I choose to blog using my real name, which is a personal choice. There are certainly good reasons for and against blogging anonymously. This post: 5 Reasons to Blog Anonymously (and 5 Reasons Not To) on ProBlogger provides good information to help you make your decision.
Although I use my name, I would never do any of the following, and discourage you from doing so, as well:
- Home address
- Mother’s maiden name, which would also include listing my grandfather’s last name (However, I would not advise using this as a security question on anything. This information is too easy to find.)
- Anything else that I use as an answer to my security questions. I would not mention what street I grew up on if I selected that as a security question for e-mail, banking, etc.
- Passwords (obviously)
If you choose to blog anonymously, there are a number of great sites that can direct you how to do this. One that I find particularly interesting is Blogging Anonymously 101. Remember that many on-line profiles are linked, so all of that has to be taken into consideration when making the decision to blog anonymously. For me, I decided that it was too much effort. I didn’t really have enough of a reason to blog anonymously either.
More importantly than protecting your own privacy, you must protect the privacy of others. Posting too much information about someone else on your blog can cause all sorts of problems, including legal.
Remember that nothing can be erased once it is out there. Deleting or editing posts does not get rid of the original content. A cached copy is still out there.
I have missed a couple of days blogging because of being sick, but hopefully that is all over now and you can get back to having daily posts from me–lucky you!
Today, I have spent a great deal of time reading about what to include and not include in an “About Me” page. I found two that I thought were especially helpful. Are You Making These 7 Mistakes with Your About Page? and 30 Inspiring “About Me” Pages. The first link provides good advice, while the second one provides some great examples. Unfortunately, the links are a little outdated. The thumbnails were relevant though.
Please check out my “About Me” page and tell me what you think.
I mentioned the book Bloggers Boot Camp, by Charlie White and John Biggs, in my first post. The book was too much for me to take in at first, prior to starting my blog. However, I’ve gone back to it now and found it to be a treasure trove. While the 2012 copyright makes the book slightly dated, the information is still relevant.
The first two chapters address an audience that has not yet started blogging. It explains how to find your niche, choose a platform, and gather necessary tools (computers, cameras, software, etc.). The really great part about this section is that it gives minimum, mid-range, and ideal suggestions, depending on how you plan to blog and what amount you want to spend.
The book goes on to detail what and how to write, including basic html and and photo and video editing. This is where the book loses me a little. It’s too much information in one book. However, it does work for me as a reference book. I skimmed most of the chapters, stopping when I found something particularly relevant or interesting. The “How to Write a Blog Post” includes too much how to write. Some people might find that helpful though.
Further reading in the book yields a vast amount of information on SEO (Search Engine Optimization), making your blog profitable, and dealing with ethical issues. I’ve yet to fully delve into those, as I’m not to that point in my blogging life yet.
Overall, the book is a great one to have. I wouldn’t recommend reading it from cover to cover, but I would recommend having it as resource. It offers great information on all things blogging.
You may have noticed that I have no images on my blog. I intend to change that with this blog. My husband created this 3D image for my blog:
This is a work in progress. When completed, it will be on my “About” page and in my sidebar
If you want to add an image to the sidebar, you can do this by adding the image widget. However, your image has to have a URL address. Your own pictures don’t have URL addresses, but you can get them, by adding them to the media library within your web hosting site. If you already have the photo on the internet somewhere like Facebook, you can right click on the photo and then click, “Copy Image URL.”
This is a very basic introduction to adding images. I will delve deeper into this subject in later posts.
Well, hopefully, this made sense. If not, forgive me, I have medicine head tonight.
Today, at the end of my first full week of blogging, I will share what I believe to be the 7 most useful tips in starting a blog.
- Read other blogs. There is not a writer out there of any genre, who is not also a reader. Blogging is no different. Read for inspiration and read for technical advice. Start by reading the tools on the blogging site that you’re using, such as http://learn.wordpress.com/.
- Content is king. In addition to hearing this from my husband, I have seen this posted around the web numerous times. It is important to have something to say and meaningful links. All the tools and widgets in the world won’t save your site if the content stinks.
- Proofread. I have to admit that I’m a grammar snob. I get turned off by sites that have silly errors that could easily have been prevented. Reread your blog before posting it.
- Be honest. Without editors and fact checkers hanging over our shoulders, it could be tempting to make something up. Don’t do it. Regardless of why you started blogging, there’s no reason to deceive your readers. Above all, be honest with yourself.
- Be nice. I more often see the meanness in people when I read blog comments on sites, rather than on the blogs themselves, but this could be because I’m not attracted to nasty blogs. Even if you are writing a review of something that is clearly bad, there’s no reason to take pot shots.
- Have a sounding board. For me, my sounding board is Eric, my wonderful husband. I have him read all of my posts before I share them to Facebook. If you don’t have an Eric in your life, ask a coworker or a fellow blogger what they think. It helps, especially when you’re at a loss for words.
- Have fun. There is just no point to doing this if you don’t enjoy it. Sure, there are people out there who make money at it. Even still, they should have fun too. Plus, you’re not going to make money off the bat, even if that is your aim. Play around with it. Don’t get too hung up on SEO and followers when you are first starting. You’ll learn the most by exploring and having fun.
The first 7 of 30 days are finished. I have to say that this has so far been quite a satisfying experience. I look forward to the next 23 days.
Today, I’ll delve into responsive web design. Yesterday, I referred to design themes, which are part of responsive web design. Basically, responsive web design means that a web site’s design changes based on the user’s device. You may have noticed that I recently changed my theme. My previous theme was not responsive and therefore the site was not viewed as easily on a mobile phone or tablet as it was a laptop or desktop. The new design, while not quite the look that I want to achieve, is responsive. This creates a more fluid transition between devices.
Computer sales have gone down in the past year, while tablet and mobile phone sales soared. Unless you plan to start designing apps for the tablet or phone, having a responsive web design is the best way to reach the widest audience.
If you use a free WordPress site, you can type “responsive” into the search bar on the the themes page. If you host your own WordPress site, check out this site: http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/free-responsive-wordpress-themes/
If you use a Blogger site, check out this link to find responsive themes: http://webdesigntunes.com/freebies/free-responsive-blogger-templates/
If you do your own coding, then I doubt you are reading my blog. However, if you are interested in coding, check out this site on responsive web design tools: http://mashable.com/2013/03/18/web-design-tools/
Lastly, if you want to test your website, you can do so at this site: http://mattkersley.com/responsive/
I hope you are enjoying learning along with me.
I’ve been researching more blog following tools, and I’ve decided that it’s best to keep it simple.
You can add JetPack if you have a WordPress blog, but not to other sites. JetPack offers ways to follow the blog, but more importantly, ways to track followers and page views.
If you don’t have JetPack, you can use Linky. With Linky, you can give readers a way to follow your blog. Moreover, you can then participate in their blog loops. A blog loop is a community of blogs that are related. This could attract readers to your site who are reading about similar topics.
While reading about the different tools, I came across this site: http://rachelbrookswrites.blogspot.com/2012/02/linky-followers-tool-yay-or-no-way.html. These are user opinions, some for and against the use of Linky and blog following tools in general. It seems that overall, Google+ is favored. I do think that once you start having too many blog following tools, it can become complicated for your readers and for tracking.
I’m going to stick with using the “follow” widget that the website provides. According to one of the comments in the link above, Blogger also has a widget in their navbar.
That’s it for today. Tomorrow, I will be exploring responsive themes.