ME and Ophelia

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Asks Lisa as she prepares to move from BLOGGER to Movable Type

Currently, Lisa Williams is thoroughly preparing herself for porting her weblog from Blogger to Movable Type. So, instead of what she calls her usual "rush-in-headlong-and-swear-when-you-meet-an-obstacle" approach, she's been taking time to do a lot of reading before doing anything. Here is Lisa's post about it, and why it is, quote: "Scary!!"

Personally, I like the features of MT but love the solidness of Blogger. It's trusty and simple to use, dependable and rugged with no fiddly bits or quirky surprises, has no space limitations, support is brilliant, friendly and efficient, everything is completely free of charge and it's owned by the fab Google. What more could one want?

Yesterday, Blogger kindly upgraded me, free of charge, to BlogSpot Plus. This blog is now free of banner advertising. More benefits too, including (I hope) BlogStats site traffic service, exclusive to Blogger users. It appears that Blogger is upgrading free BlogSpots, upon request. They probably get revenue from the banner ads in free BlogSpots, so I'm not sure that I should be shouting about this...


Recently, a friend pointed out a few things about my blog, that I too have been thinking about: there's no real thread running through it, archived posts on particular subjects are difficult to find and there's too much stuff to sift through. He shuddered to think how much stuff there'd be in six months, and suggested that I delete some old posts to concentrate my blog on six subjects. My post yesterday explains how I've tried to solve part of this problem with the installation of a search box in my sidebar.

I've been thinking along the same lines these past few months but am still concentrating on finding my feet. Firstly, to test if I can consistently keep up with blogging and publish on a daily basis. Secondly, to explore the blogosphere, see what it's all about, read and get to know other blogs, and find out what different people around the world are talking about. Thirdly, to learn about blogging software, camera phones, picture blogging, and installing basics like RSS, permalinks, commenting and discussion facilities.

Next step is to get all the blogs I read into some sort of feed, so I know when they are updated. This will enable me to read more blogs, instead of manually clicking into each link. But the more I read about RSS the less I understand. Time will tell if I get why Lisa says "it's pretty cool" that you can make an RSS feed for virtually any site just by typing its URL in MyRSS.

I've toyed with the idea of moving over to an MT template, to make it easier to file my posts into categories, but decided not to. I'm very happy at Blogger. In fact I love Blogger and Google in the way that I loved my first Apple Mac, at work 16 years ago.

The categories I enjoy reading and blogging about are (1) community and the blogosphere (2) world politics and getting one's voice heard to make a difference (3) home user technology and business services and ideas (4) household and food management and tips (5) health and medical research breakthroughs (6) Ophelia, the animal kingdom and nature.

Not thought through properly. Still digesting. Where to fit in other bloggers' posts that do not fit into the six categories. What about employment and business opportunites, science, art, space exploration and technology? Where would my posts on personal, Bosnia and NASA fit in?

I thought of starting a special blog about Bosnia and ME/CFS because they are specific ongoing issues where blogging could make a difference fairly quickly. Guess my posts on the future of computer dating, relationships, friendship, networking, jobs and business opportunities would fit into the "community" category.

Perhaps I'll create a blog for each category. That way, I can write a few lines about "community" in my main blog and provide a link to the full post in my "community" blog. A Google search bar facility within each blog would help readers to find things they're particularly interested in. One blog could hold my blogroll and reference links. So, if my laptop crashed and died, I would never lose my favourites because they'd be stored by Blogger.

Just floating thoughts. Ideas that are germinating. I'll go to great lengths to avoid moving away from Blogger and getting involved with CSS, HTML and so called "whacky MT tags"!

Besides, I get a sense of accomplishment from simple blogging. This weblog has not cost me a penny. It proves that almost anyone can start blogging. Even if people are unable to write, they could find a way to blog pictures. All one needs is access to the Internet. Information on and free access to computers and the Internet can be found through people, educational bodies, public libraries and cyber cafes around the world.

I enjoy proving that almost anyone can start and maintain a blog for free. And, pointing out that once bloggers find ways like Babel to translate any blog into the language of its reader, the world could become our oyster here in the blogosphere :-)

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 12/02/2003
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