My mate Amanda, of the Something to Ponder blog fame, has recently been posting about blogging. I’m not trying to be confusing: if you think about it, writing about blogging then posting the writing on your blog is a perfectly sensible thing to do !
It was in discussion with her on this that I realized another point that can be raised under the topic heading is not so much how to write one, but how to follow one. Did I hear you mutter “Ridiculous !” ? – then this post isn’t for you !
I have two sisters (now, when once I had four). The eldest lives in Paris*, in her flat that she bought a good few years ago, after her husband had died; and the youngest on a small holding in the Huon Valley area of Tasmania, together with hers. Whereas the latter knows a shitload about computers and everything associated – lots and lots more than I do – the former has led a life of academic intellectual learning in the areas of philosophy and psychology, and not, as did no. 5 in her academic career, in IT.
So up there in France is no. 1, missing nothing in life but a wider understanding of all techo stuff. I recently forced her to sign up to this blog so that she would be apprised of the various breath-taking aspects of my existence; and she now needs to know how to take in the whole glorious sweep.
So. There are dozens and dozens of “themes” (entire ‘look’ of any blog) from which every blogger chooses, and they have hundreds and hundreds of ways of differentiating themselves. As well, bloggers can choose to customize, which means an even greater divergence of appearance. But as I’m going to talk about mine, I don’t have any of those frightful numbers to write about.
Things to Watch My chosen theme has a rather unsatisfactory way of showing hyperlinks (which are links to Other Things on the Web). All you can see when you’re reading a post is a very faint underline beneath a word or a phrase – as with my mention there of a hyperlink .. However, if you move your pointer so that the pointer thingy is over the word, you’ll see that the phrase changes colour, yes ? – and there’s your confirmation that it’s a link. What’s more, every link I include opens in a new tab, so that when you’re finished with it, you just X it shut and you’re back to my blog.
Things to Note When you get an email telling you I’ve posted, and you click on the underlined subject heading within that email, you’ll be taken directly to that post and only that post. In other words, the rest of the blog seems not to be there – but it is. As you read the post, scrolling down as you go, you’ll reach the end and find a reference to the previous post, which you can click on. And at the bottom of that one there’ll be references to both the one before that and the one you’ve just left, and so on: it’s possible to navigate your way through any entire blog in this fashion. But having read that particular post, you need only click on either the name of the blog or on the overhead menu button that says “Home” to find yourself having the whole blog once more at your fingertips.
It’s when you’re in the individual post rather than at the front of the whole blog that you can see the category under which the piece has been ‘filed’ (you can search for other posts using these), and also the tags that you can use to search for posts including that term, whatever it is. E.g., if you were to click on chickpeas in my tags, you’d bring up a few posts that are recipes including chickpeas in the ingredients.
The menu buttons at the top are for pieces that stay there and are never pushed back by new entries.
Erhmmm .. Oh yes, comments !
Things to do At the bottom of each individual post that you’re reading you have the opportunity to pass a remark on it. Bloggers LOVE readers to do this: it’s the only true way of judging readers’ commitment. I know (well) a blogger who has something like 12,000 followers, but she believes there to be roughly 100 who are genuine readers – those who fairly regularly write comments. How this happens is that a person sees a post in the ghastly thing WordPress calls “The Reader” – a kind of daily digest of posts across the entire spectrum – and likes it a lot. S/he then presses the follow button and up goes the number of readers. But thereafter said person never again visits that blog, and eventually deletes it from her/his list of followed blogs, but the original number on the original blog doesn’t change. It oughta !
Very long post, and more than likely missing key things. JDB-once-JAD will have to ask about anything she still needs to know.
*having obtained all approval necessary to Parisian living for Aussies: she has her résidence !