Tuesday, July 25, 2006
The vision thang
Kent Newsome pointed me to a post on Darren Rowse's ProBlogger site, a group writing project called If I had to start my blog again. Since OmegaMom is almost (yes!) a year old, it seems timely to look back and think about what I would have done differently. First and foremost, I would have purchased a domain name, paid for a hosting service, and gone with Wordpress. The lack of categories on Blogger just bugs the snot out of me. I'm not alone here; whenever I go trolling through the help forums (fora?), category-less-ness is one of the predominant themes. You'd think that the folks at Blogger would take note, but nooooo! Someone explain this to me. Articles abound on hacks and painfully twisted methods of incorporating categories on a Blogger site...why don't the Blogger Powers That Be gussy up their (very basic) service with some frills of that sort? Clickable calendars are another huge lack. At the time, though, the thought of actually paying for a blogging service, for something that was a mere whim, a lemming-like fall off the blogging cliff because all my online buds were doing it, was preposterous. Pay good money? Shit, no. Secondly, I would have actually posted more regularly from the start. It wasn't until I got a hit counter that I realized that--amazingly enough--someone was reading my stuff (the aforementioned online buds). And it quickly showed that if I posted regularly, more people started showing up. And more people started linking to me. OmegaMom is small potatoes as blogs go. Real small. I'm up to an average of 70 hits per day, which is nothing compared to the big guys. I've crawled and clawed my way up to a Technorati rank of about 58,000. But if I were to start again, I'd jump in with a post a day, come out of the sidelines swinging, as it were. Thirdly, maybe a little more structure? A regular theme to hit on a weekly basis? I'm not sure. There are some blogs out there that have specific subjects, tightly woven posts that hit upon A Theme. It's grand that there are people who are so focused, but I think that it would just plain bore me to death. A little of this, a dash of that--just consider the ol' Omega gal a blogging butterfly, floating from subject to subject. Fourth: Start earlier. I came late to the blogosphere, goodness knows why. I started out online on Usenet, frolicking happily on alt-callahans. I moved to other Usenet groups, then boards and email lists when researching pregnancy, how to get pregnant, what to do about infertility, then adoption. Each step of the way, I'd find a new forum, a new group to interact with...and then I hit the jackpot with the debate boards on iVillage. Woohoo--mommies with brains! Wow! But "blogs"...? Just posting links you like? What a weird idea. Who'd want to share their favorites, for gosh sake? Who on earth would be interested in someone else's favorites? (Hey, I never said I was an early adopter. If I had the foresight that some people have, I would have purchased stock in Micro$oft back when they first came out with Windoze, and I'd be a multi-millionaire by now.) I'd come across some early online journalers, who I liked, but it seemed like a lot of work. I had no idea that "blogs" could be something like that. It wasn't until I enjoyed the freedom to write whatever you wanted, whenever you wanted, easily, that the appeal of blogging really grabbed me. One thing I did right from the start: having a group of buds to link to, and be linked from, was good. It provided this blog with a jumping-off point. The realization that a few folks were reading me kept me going. Another thing I did right from the start was to start looking at other people's blogs on subjects I was interested in, reading their posts, commenting on them, and linking to them. A third thing that was good was to randomly sample blogs on Blogger. A few jewels popped out of the interminable dreck, folks who seemed interesting and wrote well. Perhaps it's time to do another dip into the blogging sea to see what can be found out there. Thanks, Darren, for an interesting exercise in navel-gazing!