Blogging 101: Weekend One

I’m starting today with the following resolutions.  First, I’ll add, “Blogging”, to my Chrome dictionary – no more red squiggly lines for me.  Second, I’ll do all the Blogging University assignments – no longer the scatter-gun approach.  And third, I’ll write an article for each assignments – starting with this one.

Task 1: Spend more time in the Reader

My initial expectations here was that I would see a broad range of presentation styles and widgets, means of navigation and layouts, and that this would guide me in terms of finding  the right theme for me.  Well, it has certainly done this for me – but oh so much more, too.

There are clearly more reasons to write a blog than I ever imagined.  Understandably, not all subjects are of interest to me, but the thing I find compelling on all blogs is the About pages.  And here I discover not only a wide and impressive variety of people, but also their reasons for blogging, many of which reflect mine.

One common theme, particularly amongst new bloggers, seems to be a dissatisfaction with other outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  One might imagine, that with people graduating from social media to blogging, that some bad practices might expand into the blogosphere, but this does not seem to be the case.  And even when a blogger is moved to mention their holiday, a meal in a restaurant or child’s school play, it is done with wit and style and is eminently readable,  So it seems that bloggers are drawn from the best of the social media participants – and I dearly want to be counted amongst them.

Task 2 – Download the WordPress App

I’ve been using the WordPress App for a few days now and running it on my iPad.  Clearly, if my blog is going to be part of my life then much is going to be done through the App.  I don’t expect to write long articles on it, or play around with themes, widgets and customisation, but I’ll certainly use the reader to look at other people’s blogs and check my notifications and statistics, and maybe even post some comments.

Task 3: Write another post

I have written a post called, “Do they trouble you?“.  It’s my fifth post and unlike the first four, which looked at issues that genuinely concerned me, is a competition where I ask my visitors to identify, from old photos, three politicians who, well, trouble me.  One of the reasons I did this was to try including a form in my post that visitors could use to submit their answers, and it all seemed to go swimmingly well.  Very impressive, WordPress people!

Task 4: Share some love in The Commons

Wow.  This is a great site.  And it’s made a great site by the participants.  It’s all too easy to get disgruntled and dejected when embarking upon a project such as blogging, but there is such terrific support not only from others who share my boat, but also from their, “Happiness Engineers”.  I feel like I have received more love than I have given, so far.  Perhaps that’s because I’m amongst the newest of the new, and spend too much time bewildered by the environment in which I find myself rather than thinking about how best I can contribute.  In fact, changing that around is now added to my list of resolutions.