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If I had more time…

December 18, 2007

This isn’t going to be some philosophical post about life and loss, or what the holidays mean to me, or any crap like that.  No, this is an egotistical and self-serving follow up to our Lunch and Learn yesterday.

Basically, I had 10 minutes to talk about the mechanics of how to set up a blog.  I used my friend’s company as a case study for the exercise.  Unlike Eva, who had careful notes with her on the podium, or Joe, who can wing anything and sound like has been prepping for months, I kinda let things fly up there.  I got into Blogger, set up the blog, and talked about how to write a post and add things to the sidebar.  It wasn’t bad, but as soon as I sat down, I thought of about a thousand things I wanted to say and show people.  I could have gone on for a hour up there (not that anyone would have wanted to hear me).  So here I go…this is what I left out and would have included if I had more time, and frankly if I had thought of it.

1. I wanted to show how frakken easy it is to set up a blog on Blogger.  Again, pick your poison – you can use WordPress, TypePad, whatever.  It’s gotten so turnkey that anyone can have a blog up and running in minutes.  What I didn’t say is how intimidating that first post can be for a blogger.  You think, that’s where you set the tone for everything, the first thing people see when the come to your site.  WRONG!  It’s just a post.  Put something there.  Break the seal.  Write it, and then move on to post 2, 3, and so on.  Once you get past that hurdle, you’re ready to make it happen.  Joe talked about how his entries take no more than 5-10 minutes to be conceptualized, and little more than that to be written.  I don’t think he was saying that applied to the first few blog entries a person does.  Yes, it does get easier over time, but don’t beat yourself up if at first you’re a little rusty. 

2. I talked about how you can hide your blog from other viewers and search engines, so if you do want to start one, you can get it up and running to a point where you’re comfortable to have others look at this.  But be careful with this.  You’ll find reasons why it’s not picture perfect, all buttoned up and ready for the world to see, when the reality is that any blog will always be a work in progress.  Hopefully, it will never be “done.” 

My blog header is not perfect, I’m always fooling around with layouts, and every time I think it’s running pretty easily, something happens that causes me to rethink everything.  That’s the fun of the format.  You can adjust on the fly to whatever direction you decide to go.

3. When I was in school, a teacher I respected greatly said that writing was an art, and needed to be treated as such.  Just as you would set aside time each day to practice an instrument, you need to set aside time each day to write, she said.  It makes sense now that I am blogging.  I set aside time, sometimes first thing in the morning before everyone is out the door, other times at lunch, to “feed the blog”.  As Joe said, if you are struggling and nothing is coming to you, move on.  But get into the habit of trying to put something in there around 5 times per week.  The more you do it, the easier the words flow. 

That’s all I can think of for now.  I do hope to find more of my colleagues out there in the blogosphere.  For me, that’s the ultimate payoff.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. eva permalink
    December 20, 2007 4:29 pm

    Just so you know, my notes weren’t that careful (there were screenshots to keep me on track since my train of thought derails, like, all the time) and I think you gave a great intro to Blogger (while subtly tossing in that there are many better options – long live WordPress!)

    This follow-up, though, is also great and I am in total agreement with items 1, 2 and 3.

    Blogs are a constant work-in-progress (like the people who write them) and that’s but one beauty of this fluid medium!

    -eva

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