Learning Curve

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I worked on the blog a bit this week though the changes weren’t all that noticeable. I added an image of a typewriter to the previous post for several reasons. First, because I love old typewriters, and this gives me an excuse to decorate with one. The second is because I didn’t know how to post a video of Don Graves. The video would have been a little off focus, but the new learning would have been way cool.  Finally, following a dictum of Donald Murray’s, the rules of the blog have made themselves known to me – every post must now have a picture.

I learned what a blavatar is and thought I had created one based on Sue’s card. It’s supposed to appear where the W is in the address line as well as serve as my avatar when I post on other people’s blogs. I found the video on WordPress’s website very helpful, but apparently I misunderstood how to apply it. I’ll try again in the future.

I did successfully add other WordPress blogs to my blogroll. I searched on the website for those that dealt with writing and education. Those that I liked I added. I read their blogrolls and added those that I liked that I found there too. I also added one I accidentally found when I Googled a Jen Bryant book and the Discover Writing Social Network after I obtained permission from its creator. I didn’t know the etiquette for this since it’s not strictly a blog.

I also added some categories to my posts. I’m still not sure how they differ from tags. I read the support page (where I stumbled onto blavatars) and on the forum. I asked around at the Writing Project. No one else seems to know so far.  I think this distinction is important to driving  people to my blog.

I’m still not sure if the RSS thing is working or not and/or if not, how to fix it. I also really like what Sheehy has on A Teacher Writes. He calls these super quick posts Miniblogs. I’d like to do something similar, but can’t figure out how. These would be perfect for the shout out I want to give Captain Sullenberger’s My Turn column.

As time goes on, I’ll let you know when I conquer these (How hopeful am I?) and other challenges. Stay posted.

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Published in: on February 23, 2009 at 3:28 am  Comments (2)  
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  1. Hey Judy, I’m so glad to see you moving forward with your blog! Let me see if I can help with some of your questions and then offer some unsolicited advice. Categories vs. tags: Think of categories as overarching themes you will be writing about, maybe literacy, reading, writing, technology, blogging, frustrations, etc. Every post must have a category or it will be assigned the category “uncategorized.” Think of the categories as the words listed in the index of a book. Tags are more like keywords from your post. In the case of what I just wrote, my tags might be questions, advice, categories, tags, and themes. You do not have to have tags, but it is a way for readers to search through your posts to find things they are interested in reading. I am not 100% sure this is correct, but it’s my understanding. Now for the unsolicited advice, which you are welcome to ignore: First, I wanted to read more of your posts, but they seem a bit long, and as a typical busy reader, I couldn’t get to all of them. There is no hard rule about this in blogging, but I see blogging as a shorter-length writing medium (excuse the wording of that – it’s not yet 5 AM). Just something to consider. Secondly, I see that you still have the WordPress subtitle under your title (“Just another WordPress.com blog”). You can change this in Settings under Tagline. Finally, when putting in links, it’s best to use the title of the article (or video or whatever you’re linking to) and make it a hot link. You can do this by typing the title, highlighting it, then clicking on the link button on the tool bar (in blue letters, underlined). I hope this information is helpful. I am certainly not an expert on blogging, but I wanted to give you some feedback. There’s so much you can do with your blog; even though it’s easy to set up, learning the details takes time. You’re doing great!

  2. Dear Diane,

    Thanks for the feedback. When I get home from Mexico, I´ll try your suggestions. The Internet cafe isn´t conducive to experimenting.

    Hasta luego,
    Judy


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