LEARNING TO BLOG: MOVING ON

Standard

There have been eighteen practice posts in this blog.

What have I learned from all that practice?

  • that you learn to blog by blogging
  • that you learn to post by posting (regularly if possible)
  • that you learn technology through lots of trial and error (and a little bit of help from your friends)
  • that you find readers by reading (and liking and following)
  • that writing well can’t hurt (if you’re a writer)
  • that shameless self-promotion also helps
  • that it’s time to stop the practice and start the performance

So I may be gone for a few days, while I struggle with “Start A New Blog,” fiddle with widgets, and like that.

In the meanwhile, if you find yourself missing “Learning to Blog,” here’s something more for you to read. It’s not really blog-like, but you might like it anyway — a scrap of memoir that appeared a few years ago in Persimmontree, an online magazine of the arts by women over sixty.  I’m told it sounds like me.

You can find it at www.Persimmontree.org/v2/spring-2010/a-story/

If you do like it, please let me know by leaving a comment below.  It’s always helpful to learn how readers respond to one’s writing.

And never fear.  Once I conquer the technical bits,  I shall — like MacArthur — return.

See you soon.

LEARNING TO BLOG: 2-2

Standard

FOOLING AROUND

It seems the best way to learn to navigate WordPress is just to fool around.

A/k/a learning by doing.

LeMasney, teacher of the Princeton Adult School class I’ve been taking, says he fooled around a lot before he became proficient.

Well, I want to be proficient, too.  (Even though I still think longingly of TypePad, where they allegedly do everything for you.  If you pay.)

So I too fooled around last night.

FOOLING AROUND TAKES TIME!

As you can see, first I found out how to introduce color to posting.

Then I found out what my second follower was up to. (Yes!  Now I have two!)  This one seems to hold a black belt in blogging, so I clicked over to Amazon to download his How-To-Blog book to my Kindle Cloud.  $9.95, if you’re interested; you’ll find it under “Books: opinionatedman.”

[Thought: I’m probably going to learn more about blogging from opinionatedman than from my $69 course.]

And then I b-r-o-w-s-e-d.  Because WordPress says the way to build a following is to visit other blogs and comment.  Is a following a good thing?  if you write, you want to be read, no?  (Pace Salinger.)

Initially, I searched for my would-be following in like-minded women past sixty who blog.  Found a nice old man who likes to sit on his porch. (And watch the world go by?)  Found a gorgeous professional writer and counselor who’s the mother of teen-age daughters (so she’s fortyish?) and who writes about age.  (I’d trade with her in a heartbeat!)  Found another self-styled oldster who’s really into gardens and flowers.  I have a black thumb.

So I’m 0-0 in the “like-minded women” search.  I know, I didn’t fool around enough.  They’re out there somewhere.

Another time.

But guess what?  I did stumble upon a Russian, don’t ask me how, who’s perfectly bilingual.  Well, his writing is perfectly bilingual.  (Don’t know what he sounds like.)  His blog title is “Bright Moments Catcher,” which explains itself when you learn that he’s a photographer. He lives in Belgorod (haven’t looked it up yet), and is only thirty-five.  But I did like his photos — enough to comment on them, as WordPress advises.  Except I couldn’t.  He had chosen a WordPress theme with no place for comments.

So I had to write him an e-mail of appreciation instead.  (E-address was on his blog.)  And that took time.  Whatever it looks like, I don’t just type and send/click/publish. I go back, revise, reconsider.  The man I live with says I have a punitive superego.  He’s an (almost-retired) psychiatrist; he may be right.

No answer to the e-mail to Russia, at least not yet.  But “Bright Moments Catcher” did check out “Learning to Blog.”  Silently.  (No comment, no follow.)  How do I know?  Because he showed up on my “Stats” map of visitors and views this morning as 1 visitor, 3 views from a brightly red-colored Russia.

(Actually, the map showed a brightly red-colored Soviet Union. Russia isn’t as big as that any more, WordPress. Get with it.)

I don’t think I’m Catcher’s glass of tea, though.  He only “viewed” one post and the “About Page.”

And now it’s time to do another “Learning to Blog” post.  (Yesterday’s.)

Oops.  It’s not.  There’s been too much fooling around.

IT’S TIME FOR BED ALREADY!

That’s what man-I-live-with is saying.  He’s turning out the lights.  The pussycats are running up the stairs.

I have three days left to contrive three more posts.  I can do that.

Goodnight.