Blogging FAQ

“Why do you have a blog?”

“I usually try to avoid the question, but today I’ll face it. I like to see my stuff on the internet. And, it’s a good way for me to keep a diary, or journal, of the events of my life. Here is the one place where people can go to keep up with me, rather than everybody emailing me all the time. Although in reality, people don’t email me all the time to find out what I’m doing now, and what’s more, I like it when they do. But in my fanciful future, I will have many friends who want to keep in touch with me and I will not have time to email all of them.”

“What makes a good blog?”

“The best blogs have a focus on a particular area -any area, of life. People obsess about the best way to keep goats inside a fence or how to grow large turnips, or they can get informative about anything from pavement striping to Mojave sand crystals to canopy bed tapestries. So, what is the focus of my blog? It’s to keep a log of the events of my life.”

“Is this interesting to others?”

“No.”

“Is it on one topic?”

“Yes, ‘My life’s events’ is the topic.”

“That doesn’t count; it’s too broad -or narrow as this case may be.”

“Umm… the topics come and go in phases, depending on my shifting interests (Blogging is one of them). I haven’t been able to maintain a paper and ink diary for any length of time. I think my previous record is somewhere around six months, with at least one entry a week. This diary happened to include September 11, 2001 and my activities in NYC on the previous days, and is quite interesting to me. This has made me a believer in the benefits of ‘logging events’ -although I don’t think I could name them, other than the nostalgic purposes.”

“Explain some of the obstacles you have overcome in establishing this blog; were there any particular areas that brought frustration and determination to your life and blog?”

“Of course! Notice the name of this blog: ‘another blog’. It’s in small letters and it doesn’t bring any particular excitement or glimpse into what the blog may contain. “

“The name sounds like something someone would enter while filling out another blog application form when they were exhausted in trying to come up with wizardly names for their blog, and it sounds kind of like they typed that in for a filler before changing blogs and moving to yet another host.”

“…Which is precisely what happened in my case. I started with a Lycos blog, and then made a trial Blogger blog before landing here. I was frustrated with the first blog, and determined to keep going until I found something that worked. The first one I had with Lycos, and I didn’t like the way that Word 2007 didn’t sync properly. Backing up a little; blog writing screens intimidated me. I couldn’t seem to get inspired while typing into a little box surrounded by blinking and dancing ads. I decided to use Word 2007 to write posts on a page without ads, and take advantage of real editing tools and a speedy spell checker. Another gripe I had with Lycos was, -because I typed the post on a tiny window, I often discovered grammatical and spelling errors after it would post- every time I would edit the post, Lycos would add an ‘edited note’ at the bottom of the post. This was annoying to me because it appeared as if I might be a highly transitional writer with all kinds of afterthoughts. I’m not saying that I never have afterthoughts, or that I am not transitional, but with Blogger I am master over those revealing notes.”

“Where do you want this blog to go?”

“I don’t want it to go anywhere. I want to keep it. I would like to be recognized by search engines for specialization in a field. To date, the search phrase ‘my life’s events’ has not resulted in linking to this blog. I may need to get a bit more definitive with topic selection to have better results.”

“Have you taken any search engine optimization steps?”

“Yes; some baby step, at least. I’ve set up my Webmaster page with Google and submitted a site map. This has resulted in Google crawling my site regularly. I added a label cloud: this was a fun HTML project involving the copying and pasting of gibberish into the background of the page template. I’ve been very religious about labeling posts. I intend to add even more HTML experiments, and incorporate more links to other websites and blogs into the scheme of things. I’m hopeful that some of these actions will eventually bring more traffic to this blog.”

“Any final remarks?”

“Yes, I just want to add that because this is my blog -although Google technically is loaning me privileges (thanks, Google)- I can and will write anything I want to. On these pages I am master of truth and (hopefully not too much) fiction. Please correct me in any errors you find, make comments, return, and link my way.”

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