Thoughts on Blog Setup

17 Apr

This is my first blog. I would think that would be obvious by now, dear non-existent reader. I mean, just look at the place; sparse yet eye-bleeding design, only two posts to my name, a lack of widgets and links on the sidebar, with barren pages roaming the site. Seems pretty typical of a blogger starting out, right?

And why, you may ask, do new bloggers not bother to begin with these things, even with posts telling them exactly how to start out? Do they like avoid advice? No! But in order to get posting, one must first post, and then worry about the details like making the blog pretty later.

Right?

Well, I’d like to think that’s why everything is still messy. But here, let me tell you what I actually did to prep myself to start posting…

  1. I read tons and tons of blogs. In fact, I’m still doing this, though not as much now since I’m only reading them at home in my spare time (aka when I’m not playing WoW). And doubly in fact, I didn’t even read them in order to start blogging; I read them because they were interesting. But, it certainly helps you to think ‘I could do that too!’, now doesn’t it?
  2. I researched where I wanted to put my blog. As you can tell, I decided on WordPress, because it has lots of shiny tools… and I didn’t really want to make yet another google account to log in and out of if I used Blogger (I’m still grumpy at them for adding everyone to Buzz automatically).
  3. I spent days trying to come up with names. Names for the blog, names for my WordPress account, names for that new email address I ended up making anyway. In fact, that what was holding me back from starting this blog the most; an appropriate name. ‘Me Myself And All Of Them’ isn’t the best blog name in the world, but it’ll work for now.  (Alt in the Family and Oh look, and alt! are much better, but they’re already taken by a couple awesome blogs. I curse myself for not being clever enough to think of them first! XD )
  4. I joined Single Abstract Noun, or SAN, the blogging guild on Argent Dawn (US). It’s Alliance, ’cause they couldn’t be awesome like the EU chapter that is Horde on their Argent Dawn server. Talking to everyone there and how quite a few of them had blogs was very neat, and really made me want to start a blog even more than reading blogs. Funny how that works, huh?
  5. I actually made the blog. That’s an important step in blogging, or so I’ve heard. That means I finally made my WordPress account, spent hours and hours picking and repicking themes, messing with those themes settings, adding and subtracting widgets, adding and subtracting pages, and generally making a mess of the internet.
  6. I made Categories! That’s right, at this moment, where you only see 4 or 5 categories on the sidebar right now, I have 20 of the suckers at my command. The category tree goes at least 3 deep (so far), and has complexities that I’m sure I won’t remember later (such as ‘When I write  post in This category

So after all of that… I posted my very first post. But after that – which surprised me – there was a lag time for my posts. I started writing posts that would not be suitable to be my first post. And when I started to write the first post, I became… distracted with other things, causing me to write more unrelated posts. It seems that I have 8+ drafts at all times (though, really, I haven’t been doing this all that long, so we’ll see how my draft bucket is like later); although, most are incomplete, with  just a post title or a few notes in a list format.

But what really adds to the lag time is the fact that I don’t seem to finish a post in one writing session! What I think would be a short post (such as this one), grows into a much larger beast, one that I can’t finish writing in one day. So I write a bit the next day, and then another bit the next day, which in the end leads to a disjointed mess (yes, more than it is already) that needs to be rephrased and rewritten. And the editing phase takes much longer than I think it should. But that’s why you never see any mistakes*.

Sorry for this mini-rant about blogging. I’m a little surprised about how different my initial experience is than I thought it would be. The posting rate? Slower (I now gaze upon daily blog with envy). The number of ideas? More than I thought, if the number of draft posts I have indicate ideas (that may not be true). Are they interesting ideas? Well… maybe not as interesting for you as they are for me. Hopefully that will improve with time and experience (but for who!? We will never know).

And with all these revelations about blogging stated, I have one more to add: You should read this blog in an RSS feed instead of coming to the site. Why? Because the site is still ugly, and I don’t think I can post much more often than once a week, meaning a feed is the best way to keep track of when there are new posts without visiting the site each day and then seeing no content, yet again (not that I’ve ever had an experience like that).

That was a surprise conclusion, wasn’t it? Glad you thought so too.

* Disclaimer: There will always be mistakes.

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