How Do You Blog - Prefatory Matter

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  • by Frank Paynter on December 11, 2024

    I blog as if there are readers, listeners, viewers… people with whom I am communicating.  I blog as a member of a community. 

    I use a few simple tools to create my blog posts.  I have blogged in four different environments, using Blogger, Radio Userland, TypePad, and WordPress.  Inexpertly, I use several packages to prepare post content.  I use

    • SnagIt, to grab images from the screen.
    • TextPad is a powerful editor that I use to create files that will be placed in the unforgiving window of the blogging tool, the window that has so many times eaten my posts that when I am being careful, when I care about the post I am creating, when that post has more complexity than a simple link to share with others, I create the post offline using TextPad.
    • I use Photoshop to optimize and re-size images for inclusion in a post.
    • I have a copy of Audacity that I fully intend to use for audio files when I get over my psychological block that has somehow prevented me from using it.  I have a recording of Dervala, and she uses the phrase "posh totty" and that alone should be enough incentive for me to get my ass in gear on this, but alas… something always stands in the way.

    For my WordPress blog (hosted on cheap server space I rent from GoDaddy), I also need an FTP client.  WS_FTP Pro is the tool that I use, but any FTP client will do.

    Yet I am neither geek, nor nerd.  I am not a hacker, a phreaker, a programmer or any variety of technoid dweeb.  I am a writer.  Weblogging is a medium for capturing my work and for publishing it.  How do I blog?  When I am blogging at my best, the answer is "intentionally."  More often, I blog casually, sharing impressions, trying on ideas to see how they look.

    None of this yet speaks to the web services that bubble up and enhance our ability to blog.  Take FlickR,, Bloglines, Google, Wikipedia and the New York Times.  Consider the blogs of dozens of others that every day provide input that sparks creativity, that abrade the consciousness and require response.  Consider the immediate feedback mechanisms that tell us how we’re doing:  the comments and the trackbacks, the feedback provided by Sitemeter or the link data from Technorati.  We blog with all of these providing a context for our work.

    During the week to come, I’ll post information from others on these matters.  If anybody wants to tag or follow the tag set that develops, the tag I’m using is howBlog.  I’m organizing this material in a way that makes sense to me.  On Monday, Jeneane Sessum and Rebecca Blood will provide short takes on how they blog.  Jeneane and Rebecca informed my understanding of what blogging was about when I first began "wiggling my fingers on the keyboard."  Throughout the week other voices will be heard, brief comments from Doc Searls and David Weinberger, Shelley Powers and Sheila LennonDean Landsman will check in, and we’ll hear from literally dozens of others on how they blog. On Friday, Chris Locke closes out the week with a post that takes the top prizes for comprehensiveness, comprehensibility, computronic compo-mentation, and most uses of the word "fuck" in a technical document (2005).  It is simply the gold standard.  It is so good that I couldn’t get the email past the corporate spam filter.   Just as Jeneane and Rebecca informed my understanding of the ethics and community foundation of bloggery, Chris provided an incentive and a model for blogging when I started my first blog with readership greater than one.

    I think this will be a fun week, and informational.  I think it will provide tips and tricks and technical insights, and I know it will also provide poetic inspiration.  The posts will run at Sandhill Trek and at Doc Searls IT Garage.  Please join the conversation this week!

    { 3 comments… read them below or add one }

    Jetson 12.15.05 at 9:41

    Many thanks for this. Big help.

    SB 12.15.05 at 11:12

    Trackback seems to not be working (why is it that I have so much trouble sending a trackback to other TypePad blogs?)

    I jumped on the bandwagon here.

    Um, here:

    genevieve 12.18.05 at 7:44

    Gee, Frank, get that podcast of Dervala up there, would you man?

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