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Why Blog? Get Writing

As many of you know, this semester you have been encouraged to blog weekly either using WordPress or Tumblr. You also have been shown two free resources where you can have web space for free. One of those resources allows for a WordPress installation (actually, more than one).

You may wonder why we blog:

  • First, you will learn about WordPress
    1. 8/19/2011 –  WordPress Now Powers 22 Percent Of New Active Websites In The U.S.
    2. 4/30/2013 (Has March 2012 data) –  How Many People Use WordPress: Statistics, Percentages, and Comparisons
    3. 9/2012 – With 60 Million Websites, WordPress Rules The Web. So Where’s The Money?
  • Second, you will learn how to navigate a Dashboard – and to do a few pretty intricate items
    1. What is the difference between a page and a post?
    2. How can you modify your navigation?
    3. How can categories or tags help you organize your site?
    4. What types of elements can I include on my site?
  • Third, your blog provides an arena to test HTML (see the ‘Text’ tab next to the ‘Visual’ tab? enter your HTML there)
  • Fourth, you practice writing online
    1. Craft your voice.
    2. Become familiar with the best way for you to create content online. Is it a blog? Does typing on your tablet really work?
  • Fifth, you can ask, ‘what works?’ and see what doesn’t
    1. Some code will work.
    2. You can embed items–but maybe not on a free WordPress site.
    3. Test how different themes impact your usability.

What inspires me

I asked each of my students to create a blog and in one of their blog posts I asked them to answer the following:

“In your recent (past year-18 months) Internet use, the website that most influenced you to begin writing online (url). One to two sentences on how this site encouraged/influenced you to write online. Challenges you foresee with sharing your thoughts/ideas/products online (this should be a short list of bullet items).”

In all fairness–not that some assignments are fair, they are in fact to teach–I felt I should do my own assignment.

I would like one day to write and successfully publish a book. I wish to create a series of books, in fact. To that end, and because I saw Janet Evanovich’s website (http://www.evanovich.com/) while nowhere near as sexy as some of the work I’ve created, is full of content.

Negative reinforcement? I’m slipping! When will I ever get to write. I need to write. Since much of the work I do is online, I felt the best way for me to practice writing was to blog.

I’ve tried blogging in the past. My interest wanes.

Why did Janet Evanovich’s site encourage me to write online? Actually, it is hard to remember if this is the exact site. I know I was browsing my favorite authors. I think because this site was so obviously created on top of a blogging platform, I felt it supported the fact that I was destined to blog.

I feel that sharing my ideas online may be fraught with peril:

  • I will need an online spellchecker.
  • I will need to practice daily — that means I will have to type in passwords daily.
  • I will need memory enhancement devices to accomplish the above.
  • I cannot think that having one more blog is all of a sudden going to give me the discipline I need.
  • My Facebook friends will miss me if I truly invest my time in blogging.

I would much rather leave the periods off of those bulleted items, but I am a dinosaur when it comes to some grammatical choices. However, I chose to add periods. You can learn more by reading an article on a site I really enjoy: http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/formatting-vertical-lists.aspx


Why create another blog when you have so many?

I will most likely use this blog for something in the future. I love the idea of having it. I wish I also had alaskaknits.wordpress.com – alas, someone else scooped that one up.

One reason for creating this blog today (I already had the WordPress account in order to have a Gravatar icon elsewhere) was to show the CITS F222 students that WordPress is fast to set up.

It is not exactly easy. There are many options in the Dashboard.

Furthermore setting up Categories and learning the difference between categories and tags is essential to your future in online posting.

The beauty of a thing

Is often in its simplicity.

Years ago I loved reading comic books.

I am a Marvel fan. However, I came across a DC comic that had a character by the name of “Valda” in it.

“Hey, that’s me!”

I’m no warrior–unless you count dealing with cold temperatures without an auto-start.