Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Post for Wednesday, 14 January 2009
I hadn’t realised that I was completing the Day 8 task as I set out to comment on the other participants blogs.
Day 8 led me to try to add static pages to blogger like you have in Wordpress and Edublogs from the Technically Easy website. Unfortunately, this was not as easy as I hoped. Will have to play a bit more with it. Tried to upload a free Blogger template, only to get the mysterious error message - bX-m0ky5r.
Time to move on a bit. I don’t want to get bogged down and spend hours on something that is not really needed right now. If worst comes to worst, I will go to my Wordpress account.
There is no need to try Day 9 because for now I am not planning to place ads on my blog.
For Day 10 I realised that I had to strike another balance between what went up on the top half of the fold.I rearranged things a little bit. Main thing was to follow Sue Waters and put the RSS feed at the top where it is the first thing that you see.
Was attracted to some blogger templates that had variations of sidebars such as:
1. Sidebar, column, sidebar,
2. Column, two sidebars
Saturday, January 10, 2009
First experience was that I tried to add Google Analytics to the Blogger template. I forgot my own advice of "Make a change, save it, then see what it looks like in a refreshed window."
The result was that the Black background colour disappeared making the yellow sub heads difficult (impossible!) to read.
So I deleted the Google analytics and I'm back to Square 1.
Day 6 task is to email an old timer. So since I am 61 years old, I emailed myself. Got an enthusiastic response back as well. I don't mind talking to myself, but I worry when I answer back.
Day 7 is about planning my blogging for the week ahead. LOL Me? Plan more than a day ahead? And I'm supposed to have a text file on my desktop to brainstorm ideas? and a desktop folder called posts in progress?
There were quite a few good points in the Day 7 tasks. The ones that I paid attention to were the ones about the work flow that he uses.
So for the next week, my blogs will be: Day 8, Day 9, Day 10 . . . you get the idea. But I would also do one on the changes that I want to make to my blog, how to add static pages in blogger, a few more that I have lost track of in a senior's golden moment.
All for tonight - Bill
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Asked Sue Waters about page stats and she suggested this link .
I am still amazed at how a short link like the one that Sue sent me soon fills the browser with about 15 tabs just on the first read through. After going through Sue's links, I wanted to side track again to audio and video podcast information that she has done. But I will still try to stick to the 31 day Challenge.
Day 5 is an activity that I began about two weeks ago - trying to make my About Me page concise and readable. Had another look and wound up adding a few more personal details to try to get a bit of transparency.
All for now - Bill
Doing a blog review of someone else's blog helped me to look at mine in a different light. I'll wait to see what my reviewers say. But my first impression is that plain is better than gaudy. Also to leave out repeating the title. The contrast between the colours of the title and my first heading look crummy.
Will consult one of those colour guides for using colour to set the mood of the site. Is there a colour scheme that reflects humour with reflection without being too serious? I really do have a problem with dead serious sites - I just fall a sleep at my computer.
Will have to get another desk journal to keep adding new accounts, passwords and usernames.
After Day 3 I have signed up for these forums as listed in Sue Waters wiki challenge website:
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Day 2 of Better Blogging Challenge (Audit of a blog site)
Summary - Day 2 ask you to look at a blog and to analyse a series of questions about it.
The guidelines for the web site audit are from the Problogger website. It is shown below with my comments in blue.
From Ms D's website
Don’t talk to them as they do - but watch carefully how they use your blog.
- How do they navigate?For starters, I navigated across the top of the banner of the homepage and looked at the different pages. Then I saw the banner might be a web cloud and tried clicking on it. I picked tidertechie which was the only one that actually worked. I was surprised by the music and the snow flakes. I felt they were more of a distraction - but that's just me.
- Where do they click?I did a short scan of the first three postings and then stopped. did not want to scroll all the to find out where the page stopped.
- What do they pause to read?Paused at headings and then went to sidebar. fascinated by Ms D's file Cabinet widjet. Must try that on my class blog when school starts. Also looked at links and catergories in the sidebar. Found these to be good value.
- What do they skip over?The other posts on the home page.
Once they’ve surfed your blog ask them some questions about the experience.
- What were their first impressions? Did the theme change completely in the last couple of days? First time that I looked at the website a few days ago it was very clean with no distractions. Was I on a different site somehow? Today's site was a bit tizzy with the banner clashing with the cartoon.
- What did they first think your blog was about when they arrived at it? Might be a school blog but nothing definite to show that it was.
- Did they find it easy to read/navigate/understand? Yes. Once I looked at it more closely I felt it was put together pretty well.
- What did they ‘feel’ when they first arrived at your blog? Confusion with the clash between the cartoon and the banner - where I was I supposed to look first?
- What suggestions do they have on how you could improve your blog? I don't really feel confident in offering suggestions here since I am just getting started out with blogs.
- What questions do they have having surfed your blog? Unsure.
- What words would they use to describe the design? Tizzy at first glance but then a well ordered site.
- What are the main things that they remember about your blog 10 minutes later? File cabinet and twitter widgets.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Day 1 of the 31 day better blogging challenge
Just tried the Day 1 activity which is to send an email to a person that has commented upon your blog.
This makes me realise that there is escaping that we all have to become more familiar with advertising, marketing and promoting ourselves on the web.
If you want to try this yourself and join us in a group, please add a comment and also have a look here to get started.