Thursday, May 12, 2016

Blogging: One Month In

I love to write and I think I have some pretty noteworthy things to say, therefore, I should be good at blogging, right? Well, yes – And, no.

Allow us (Sarah in Green, Nicole in Purple) to share with you a short list of things we have learned during our first month of blogging:
-Blogging is time consuming, very time consuming. I know Nicole has spent hours upon hours on design, I have spent more evenings focused on my phone than I would like to admit in order to take pictures, edit pictures, read blogging related articles, scour Pinterest for useful material, and the list of online activity associated with blogging goes on and on. I have devoted my lunch hour at my regular job scheduling and editing posts.  We have also designated a once a week evening meeting to evaluate where we are at and where we want to go.
…This was all ‘free-time’ prior to Sometimes Serious.

Building a blog – In the literal sense – is straight up trial & error. It goes something like this … I want to add ‘x’ to the main page … Ok .. how do I do that … Go to Google… Find a couple pages and read through them. Narrow down to the 1 or 2 that aren’t too complicated AND seem to accomplish what I want. Watch a youtube video or 2. Try it. Fail. Re-visit the pages. Try again. Almost get it. Watch the video again. Try again. Yay it works! OR sometimes it doesn’t. And I scrap the idea for a bit. Usually if this happens I vent to Sarah about my struggle and frustration and she says some random thing and – oh that fixes it. I don’t know how she does that .. Maybe I’m in too deep to see the ‘easy’ or obvious way or who knows. At that point I don’t care. I am just happy that she made it work.
For me … initially it was basically finding code and copying it and dealing with it. Now I am getting closer to understanding HTML and actually being able to tweak it in the code. It’s incredibly frustrating but is eventually rewarding … when it actually works .. finally. /sigh of relief

-Twitter is my social media kryptonite. Did you know that if you have previously posted a tweet to Twitter, you have in fact, NOT twatted? Guess what else: people ‘at’ other people. Want to know what new posts our blog and every other blog on the planet have posted? Check the Twitter … or maybe it’s just ‘Twitter’?
…And there you have a pretty accurate portrayal of my understanding of Twitter; need I say more?
-What you ‘see’ may not be what others see. As first time ‘web-designers’ we wanted a user-friendly artistically appealing page. In my opinion, we nailed it. Nicole rocked the chalkboard theme, all of our links were clearly labeled, our posts are carefully named and organized in their respective tabs, picture sizes carefully selected, and we kept the colors basic and classy with a splash of pizazz here and there. It looked fantastic. Then it came time to see what others see (here) and, come to find out, it wasn’t what we intended. The labels at the top were getting the most attention, where the material we wanted to focus on was located in the side tabs. The mobile version spaces differently than the web version and the font used in editing might just morph into something totally different when posted.
… A frustrating lesson learned.

Deciding what to write … Blogging almost requires you pull out the narcissist within yourself. And with that you have to believe that all you have to say is incredibly interesting and that people want to read it. You have to have the confidence to stay true to you and assume that it will be read. Basically I think about what I could write about .. based on what I know. And then I question if it’s something I would pin? If it’s something I would pin .. Is it something I would actually click to go to the page and skim the article? So essentially I am at a crossroads – Am I writing for me or am I writing to get followers … And in the end .. This isn’t my journal and I am blogging to get followers … So then >> What do I write about? I’m still grappling with this so I do not have an answer yet.

 -Bloggin’ ain’t easy, but it IS fun. In the last month, I have learned things I never knew about a best friend I’ve known for 20 years. I have had a place to express myself and we have opened up a place where others can do the same. I have learned new things about the habits of people, new facets of the internet, and read some pretty interesting articles. I have had a chance to open new dialog with my kids about hard work, perseverance, and self expression and even found a way to fill my long every-other weekend drives (thanks to Nicole’s Podcast suggestions J).
…That’s my idea of a good time.


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