I have been a blogger now for 13 whole days, so I figured this would be a good time to provide an experiential update.
Once upon a time I had a website. In fact, that’s how I met Lynn, and that can be a story for another day. But my friend and then co-worker Fred did all — and I mean all — the technical lifting. I just wrote the words and handed him the pictures.
So when I signed up for WordPress and they asked me to rate my technical savvy, I checked “beginner” — and then proceeded to ignore every helpful road sign WordPress erected for me along the way.
When I picked a theme for my site, I skipped all the banners labeling the easy-to-use themes and honed in on “Interstellar 2.” As I mentioned before, it sounded spacelike, but so far I’m not seeing it.
What I like about it is the way it sets my opening photo as the background. What I don’t like is that you have to push the “read more” button to get to the full blog entry, and what I really don’t love is how these giant photos stack one on top the other for storage.
I haven’t bothered to spend much time searching for other themes to try, and in the meantime I’ll apologize for the totality of my home (and so far only) page, because it seems crowded and confusing to me.
I have learned a few small skills along the way. The first Youtube video I attempted to embed, using all the fancy tools on the bar at my disposal, failed. The next day, I just pasted the URL and suddenly there was video. I have also now managed to link text back to a previous entry.
At one point WordPress exhorted me to provide something “About” myself, and somewhere along the way I blundered into that setting. It doesn’t seem to be on the homepage, but it appears at the very (way down) bottom of each entry.
I have also somewhat successfully navigated some small number of “widgets.” I don’t know what a widget is in blogspeak — I guess same as a regular widget: a small gadget designed to make life better for us all. So at the top right under “Menu” one can find a contact button, which no one has used — or if they have, it didn’t work. I guess I’m assuming an e-mail would come to me, but I haven’t tested it.
There’s also an “archive” button that doesn’t mean much since we’re still in the first month of this endeavor, and then there’s my crowning achievement to date: One can now search by category. So far I only have one category, “House.” The stated objective of this blog was to allow friends and family to follow progress on our Someday Ranch at their own level of interest, but somehow I have meandered off into all kinds of other topics, none of which I have bothered to categorize. Yet. It could happen. It might not.
Then there seem to be a couple of options for following this blog, at least one of which seems a lot more difficult than it needs to be. I’m not sure why one would need or want to sign up for a WordPress account just to follow a blog, and that seemed to be a requirement. But then there must be some easy way to sign up, because I inadvertently ended up following myself, and I still have no idea what I did.
Here we could offer a metaphor about the significance of following one’s self, but I’ll leave that up to someone wittier and/or more philosophical than me.
About my followers: within minutes of launching my blog (first entry provided for me by WordPress, whether I wanted it or not), I had two followers, both fellow bloggers, neither of whom I recognized. Then I got some real followers, and now I appear to be the target of clickbait. The last two days I foolishly got very excited that I was getting “likes,” but it turns out they’re all from my new best friends: LatestNewsPW, BestNewsPW, CelebrityNewsPW (what on Earth do you suppose “PW” means?), AmaNewsInfo and DidYouKnow.
The one “real” blog following me is Weld Air and Water — and that would be Fred and his wife, my salsa sibling Wendy, whose birthday is tomorrow, and their organization in Greeley.
I was also annoyed that WordPress was going to require me to moderate every comment readers made, but I think I’ve figured that out as well. Once I approve your first comment, you’re in, and feel free to comment with impunity. The reason for this became clear when I discovered the folder for Spam comments. Not comments about the canned meat, but the comments in not particularly literate English that want me — or you, dear reader — to click on some innocuous (I’m certain) link.
CBS This Morning keeps warning me that by the middle of next year, 40-plus percent of all calls to cell phones will be robocalls. I guess we’re already there, here in the blogosphere, and it must be a constant battle for the likes of WordPress to provide a platform for self-expression while keeping the wolves of the internet at bay.
So thanks for reading, if you’re real, and thanks for boosting my posts, if you’re not quite a legitimate news feed. In the meantime, I’ll keep you posted (a blog pun) on my growing technical prowess.