I recently contributed my ‘story’ on a blogging forum, and here it is 🙂
Not too long ago, I was a huge blog-skeptic.
As someone who has designed and maintained a site happily with Dreamweaver (now Dreamweaver MX), I felt that blogs were constraining and useless. I had been keeping my own journal here using Discusware discussion board software, integrated as part of my site’s message forums and I couldn’t see any benefits in moving to a ‘real’ blogging system or maintaining something that looked and felt more like a blog.
After all, writing was writing, right?
And with my journal integrated into my site’s message forums, people could easily respond and interact with me using their already-formed login information. But I decided to see what all the hoopla was about anyway.
My initial attempts to blog with Radio Userland confirmed my negative feelings: I found the tool to be confusing, difficult to work with, flakey, and burdened by sub-par support.
Then I discovered MovableType.
Wow! At risk of sounding like a commercial (DISCLAIMER: I have no affiliation with MT except as a user), blogging became fun and conceptually understandable for me. And I began to notice that my posts were getting quickly and effectively indexed in Google, which was pretty cool. After all, which bloggers wouldn’t admit to liking a larger audience? 🙂
Still, though, I had some misgivings. Despite getting indexed by Google, I felt uncomfortable that — to my casual readers — any entries that fell off the face of blog’s front page were essentially gone… poof! I mean, sure, I could have weekly or monthly archives, but that seemed very awkward. Who really scrolled through month-long archive pages anyway?
Luckily, I discovered a handy and wonderful plugin for MovableType called “MTPaginate”… and it enabled me to set up my blog so that people could easily click on navigational links to go backwards and forwards through my pages, even by category. Woo hoo!
Of course, I still have a lot of work to do on my blog (not to mention a lot
of writing!). For instance, I am concerned about balancing bandwidth vs. efficient
content presentation, since right now my front page exceeds 70K, but I can’t
see what I want to hack off of it :|.
In the future, I’m looking forward to converting over my entire joke archives to a blog format, making my collection more organized AND easier to add to.
Definitely much work ahead. In the meantime, I’d be delighted to hear your comments on my ‘journey’ and also your feedback on my blog.