AND OTHER COMPUTERLY THINGS. AND EVENTUALLY, I PROMISE, I’LL START BLOGGING ABOUT NORMAL STUFF.
I have been following along on a dozen or so favorite blogging websites for about two years now, starting with when I was first introduced to my very favorite, Notes From The Trenches. Some of my favorites are listed in the sidebar to the right, and I hope you’ll make time to visit them, because there are some pretty hysterical people out there, I’m telling you. Of course, providing you with that list is the equivalent of shooting myself in the internet foot, because once you read **their** sites, and realize they are about ten thousand times funnier and more interesting than I am, you’ll pretty much abandon me here, but hey, I’ll have done my part to make YOUR life more enriched, you’re welcome very much.
The reason I commented earlier that only “amateurs” seem to use Blogger is that pretty much every favorite blog I have, the author started on Blogger, but then switched over to another site. Debbie E. asked, “But hey, if not "blogger", what??” Well, it appears the question is actually, “If not ‘Blogger’, then where?” It seems most authors start out on Blogger, then purchase their own domain name, transfer their entire Blogger site over, and power it with WordPress or TypePad.
And really, that’s about all I understand. I don’t know if they buy templates, or pay to have them designed, or design them themselves. Are there software programs they use? What, exactly, ARE Wordpress and TypePad??? Where do they buy them? Do they download them? Do they have to take a class? How, exactly, do they get a site set up just the way they want it, and what do they do if there’s a glitch? Are they just BORN with this inherent techno concept gene that somehow missed being implanted in my own brain? And most importantly, how many question marks am I allowed to use in one paragraph??
Since I have the equivalent internet knowledge that a band of pygmy rhinos might have, the entire concept is overwhelming and intimidating for me, hence the reason I’m right here at user-friendly Blogger. Other, more experienced bloggers talk about the “restrictions” and “limitations” of Blogger, and how they want to have their own sites so they can set them up exactly like they want them. Well, yeah, sounds good. In theory. If I only had a single CLUE what they were talking about!
Do you remember when the internet first became commonplace, and people started getting computers for home use? And how everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, started out with AOL, because it was user-friendly, and well, it’s pretty much what everyone was using so you just used it too? And those people who went outside the box and used a service besides AOL seemed like such rebels? How *advanced* they were, and deep down inside you were a wee bit jealous of them because you suspected they had moved on to bigger and better things???
I suspect Blogger is a little like AOL. For now, lots of us use it, and the people who forge ahead, to bigger and better things, are simple more adventurous than the rest of us. Oh, sure, eventually, we’ll all catch up. But for now, I’m going to stick with my little Blogger corner of the world because it works quite well for me and quite frankly, I don’t want to invest the time or the energy in learning something new. I have other things on my list to accomplish. Other, big, important things. Like vacuuming. And napping.
But I’d actually love to hear more about it from anyone who has more experience than me. Which is pretty much everyone in the free world. And probably even lots of people in the not-so-free world.
There are things about Blogger I really, truly enjoy. Like the fact my journal entries are archived monthly and I can link to any previous entry any time I want. Considering my Caringbridge journal history is one, big, humongous, never-ending document, logging in at over 1000 MS Word pages ……… well, “un-wieldy” is a kind word for it. I just wish I knew how to get that entire journal history archived monthly here. And I love that I can put as many links as I want in the Blogger sidebar, and, I must confess, I love, love, LOVE with a pink puffy heart the strip of flickr photos across the top. I love even more that every time I refresh the page, the photos change. I have been known to sit at my desk and hit refresh six or seven times, just to see my children’s shiny, happy faces scroll across the screen. Of course, while I’m sitting here doing that, they are usually in the background, screaming at one another, or hitting one another, or yelling “I’m telling MOM!” in my ears. And of course, hitting “refresh” wreaks havoc with the site counter, and I have to remind myself that of all the hits this page gets each day, probably 95 percent of them are from me. And, every time I open the page, or hit refresh, the song also links over, and I have to pay real money for that bandwidth service, so really, refreshing the page just to see the pictures probably isn’t such a good idea.
There is one thing about Caringbridge that I preferred, and that’s the visitor ID information in the comment section. With Caringbridge, most of you had the ability to leave your name, your city and state, your e-mail address, and your own website or Caringbridge site address, whenever you signed in the guestbook. It took exactly ONE Blogger entry, yesterday, for me to realize that if the only thing I have to go on is your first name when you leave a comment, I have no idea who’s who. I have people with the same first names who check in regularly ….. and it’s going to give me a serious rash if I can’t figure out who’s who here at Blogger. Yesterday, on Kendrie’s CB site, we got congratulation notes from three Karens, two Beths, and FIVE Amy’s … two of whom are both Amy N! So please, if you are kind enough to leave a comment, and I hope you will, try to sign the note with your last initial, or city, or kids first names, or personal website address, or SOMETHING, that lets me know which Katie, or Jen, or Kelli, or Nancy, or Kristin that you are. I know, what a wonderful problem to have, right? It’s just that after reading notes of encouragement from all of you for so long, I feel a connection to you, too, and I don’t want to lose that!
And one last observation regarding the comments section. To the anonymous person who was offended by my language in the last entry, I’m sorry you were upset. I really am. But I have to be honest. In real life, I cuss like a red-neck trucker swilling Pabst at a Nascar convention. I have tried very hard at Caringbridge to curb my potty-mouth and be respectful of the fact Caringbridge is a service designed to help families of sick children (and adults) and not let my trailer-trash talk flap wide on too many occasions.
But here? Not so much.
Foul language isn’t usually necessary, and I promise not to be all “blah, blah, blah, fuckity McFuck fuck” all the time. But, I’m not going to censor myself as closely here as I do on CB. On my Caringbridge site, I will continue to keep it pretty close to my vest and mind my p’s and q’s. But here? Yeah, not so much.
And if you choose to not sign your name to your anonymous post, it will be deleted from the comments section. Anyone can click “anonymous” sender and still sign your name at the bottom of the comment. (And remember, include your last initial, or city, or *something*, so I know who’s who!) If you have a website or CB site, click “Other” and it will let you include that, as well. I really, truly, enjoy hearing from you and hope lots of you will leave comments. But if you click anonymous, and do not sign, then expect to be-gone with your head! Er, I mean, your comment. Unless you are anonymously telling me that my personality is the sunshine of your life and my sparkling eyes and minty-fresh breath are the work of pixie-fairies with magical wings and confetti dust. THOSE anonymous comments I will leave posted.