12 January 2006

Technical Aspects of Blogging

My God. I thought I was just here to write. This blogging thing is more complicated than I thought. I feel like the guppy set loose in the big bad sea, with nothing but Google to protect me. I guess it's part of my inherent type-A-ness, but if I'm going to do a thing, I'm going to do it well, with an understanding of the dynamics, the scope, the possibilities. Although I am a bit tentative about writing this, simply because I know I'll come back in a few months and laugh at how sophomorish my understanding was at this time. There are books written on blogging! I am laughing my butt off even as I type this. Hello! If you're devoted to your medium, work within it! There's something profoundly disingenuous about writing a book about blogging. And one of the books I found is nothing more than... you guessed it... a collection of essays formerly hosted on blogs, but gathered together, "to give them context." I shudder. Seems to me that folks actually blogging are the ones to listen to about blogging. And there are gobs of them. ProBlogger has heaps of really deep material that I've just started dipping my big toe into. Performancing.com has the delightful trait of showing me just how much more to know there is. Blogging for Fun and Profit is a kinder and gentler version of similar data. Some of the allure of any given blog is the visual impact. I have seen some glorious custom-designed sites out there, and frankly, I want one. Natalie R. Collins' is particularly striking. I want to break free of the blogspot-generic-template, and do something really fabulous. Course, that involves talent (which I don't have) and money (which I will get more of). Good thing I have webdesigner friends who can help me out. Course, that all just hangs off your blogging platform. I hopped onto this home at Blogspot simply cause it was easy. But no. It's never just easy, is it? I'll be reviewing tools, apparently, thanks to this article from the USC Annenberg School. Frankly, I'm just grateful to, at this point in my blogging career, understand half the language in there. The comparison chart alone sorely tested my new vocabulary. For a lot of folks, blogging is the kinder, gentler gateway to the publishing world. I just found BookAngst 101 this morning, and recognize all kinds of folks I know there. And of course, How To Blog is a huge Technorati category. As it is whenever you start researching something new to you on the Web, you click, and read, and click.... I'm probably hundreds of pages deep just now. And feeling like such a small fish. Discussion, meta-discussion, uber-meta-discussion. I think the toughest thing to hang onto in this firehose of information is.... Veracity. Oh, yeah. Apparently "I just wanna write!" is some form of copout out there in the world. You have to find your group, your designation, you have to get blogrolled, you have to be listed on Technorati, you must have your RSS feed working flawlessly. Monetizing is either a blessing or a curse, depending on how you approach it. The amount of tension is just astonishing. It's like it's some perverse form of competition right out of the gate. As if there aren't enough readers out there, and each one must be courted, achieved, and possessed, to the exclusion of all else. Scarcity thinking, that. There's plenty of bandwith for all of us.


At 1/12/2006 04:27:00 PM, Anonymous Bryan said...

Considering that there are annual Blog Awards nowadays, I can see how that just feeds the competitiveness of some.

At 1/13/2006 06:43:00 AM, Anonymous ~ danielle said...

I think the competitiveness is a detriment to writers (or at least this writer :). I write worst (or just don't write) when I feel that pressure. I'm really focussing on writing for myself... I'm not trying to make a career out of it, so that might skew my feelings about it. But I have to write, for myself, for my well being... and maybe someday I'll get published and that will be fantastic. But if I write with that goal in mind, well that's too much pressure and for me, it's in complete contrast to why I write in the first place - it creates stress rather than relieves it.

It's sort of a catch 22 for me... I felt amazing when I had a poem published... but then I felt intense pressure to have my work at that calibur all the time. So I stopped writing. Now I'm trying to start again and struggling with all that. I guess this is just ever present for me.

Thanks for the link the Natalie's blog... amazing stuff...

At 1/13/2006 10:58:00 AM, Blogger Laura said...

so funny...i hope i didn't send you on that wild goose chase just from one email about the endless possibilities of how to customize your design!! ah that's the nature of the internet tho, right, one query spins off into so many answers and other alleys to poke around.

thanks for the nod to my site, i'm stoked to get into the fun wide world of blog design!


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