Questions from a Blogging Neophyte

I’ll admit it: I missed the boat on this whole blogging thing. 

But now that I’m here, I got some questions that need some answers. This list is by no means exhaustive, but it’s all I could write while my Grade 8s were taking their Algebra Skills Assessment:

  1. How do I use those footnotes like dan?
  2. Are there any support groups for my addiction to Google Analytics and ClustrMaps?  (Note: I’m not blogging for the numbers, I just like the cool visuals.)
  3. What are the benefits to self-hosting as opposed to using Edublogs? How much would it cost me?
  4. Other than ‘borrowing’ Jeff Utecht’s list, is there a decent primer on how to use all these cool widgets, tools, plug-ins, etc.? What are all the cool kids doing?
  5. How many widgets, plug-ins, etc. does it take to cross over into the “excessive” and “distracting” categories? Is there a general school of thought on blog design and layout akin to using PowerPoint?
  6. How much time do you put into writing/editing/uploading content?
  7. Is Twitter the blogging equivalent of methadone?
  8. How do I explain my newest interest to my wife?
  9. Where do you find the time?

3 thoughts on “Questions from a Blogging Neophyte

  • April 22, 2008 at 7:44 am

    Well, I can answer a few of these:

    1 – footnotes: the tag “sup” will get you a superscript (in the proper brackets of course)
    4 – I don’t know. I’ve never know what the cool kids were doing. I’m okay with that.
    6 – not enough
    7 – yes
    8 – let me know when you find out. My husband won’t read mine. He doesn’t get it.

  • May 6, 2008 at 11:33 pm

    1) I use Textile which supports footnotes. I hacked it to provide a back link.

    2) Support groups? Lemme guess – they’d meet via blog…

    3) Benefits of self hosting: (a) more room for customization, especially if you hack your own themes/widgets (b) your own domain name (c) you get other webstuff (site, mail) along with it. (d) I pay $20/year for domain name, plus $60/year for hosting with shell access.

    4) How to find out what the cool kids use? When you see something you like, ask them.

    5) Too much light makes the baby go blind. I added a bunch of widgets at first. Then I started rewriting some of them to be simpler. Then I just started tearing them out. I’m down to 4, one of which only I can see.

    6) I alternate between too much, and not enough. I try to focus on quality rather than quantity, though there are times where I’ll do fluff just because I haven’t posted in a week, and I’ve got nothing uplifting to share.

    7) I don’t twitter. I prefer depth over breadth, and I don’t see that there.

    8) My wife is as geeky as I am. She doesn’t blog, but we did meet via some forum software that I wrote way back when.

    9) Time? I need to reflect on my practices to improve myself. I may as well do it in public so that I can get other people’s feedback.

  • May 7, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    @JackieB – My wife is interested! My wife is interested! WooHoo!

    @Mr K – Thanks for the heads up on Textile. I don’t think my inner-geek is strong enough to understand exactly what your post means. Give me some time, though. I’m a fast learner. I’ll think about self-hosting if I stick with this long enough. I’ve never been able to keep a (paper) journal for more than a few months. Let’s hope the novelty of blogging never wears off for me.

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