It’s my first anniversry today. I’ve been blogging, in fits and starts, for a month! As I was warned it can be very absorbing and waste (or perhaps consume would be a better word) a vast amount of time. I’d never even read a blog before and I’ve discovered a whole world that I hadn’t realised existed, with lots of interlocking communities. So I’ve probably spent longer scooting around the edges reading everyone else’s contributions, admiring their blog spaces and following their links than I have actually posting anything myself. I have noticed that, although the Excel site hosts quite a large number of blogs, there seem to be very few people who post regularly (and are you all maths teachers?!) and a lot who have only posted a few times.
Personally I’ve found it’s a very steep, possibly vertical, learning curve. I think I’m moderately computer literate although it’s a bit like “I know what I like” art appreciation – there are certain things I know how to do but beyond those I’m lost. Writing a post is reasonably straight forward but what about all those other things? How do I know if someone’s put new posts on their blog? Commented on mine? Get lists of blogs I’m looking at on my blog? Where was that interesting blog I came across by chance? What’s Flickr & how do I use it? Why do I get spammed when I try to comment on someone else’s blog? And a whole heap more besides – as I said in reply to a great post about blogging for beginners by Jonesieboy.
After his post, I had a look at Technorati & Bloglines, managed to register and then thought ‘now what?’. I’m afraid I still don’t understand how to get all these things to work to my advantage, I still can’t figure out what an RSS feed is and whether I dare subscribe to it or not, and as for using this opml file – well you’ve lost me there! I need to spend a lot longer sorting these things out in my very small brain which should be dealing with reports on some of our finer sealochs, sorting out Christmas, revising Int 2 maths and working out how to get 3 of us to 3 different places at the same time this evening. I also suspect we’re the only people in the country to rip out our only bathroom 7 days before Christmas with people coming for the holiday.
I suspect I am not unique in this regard (apart from the bathroom that is) and that one reason there are a number of blogs with very few posts is that people get so far and then grind to a halt. Most of us with only limited knowledge/understanding simply won’t have the time required to sit at the computer and start figuring it all out. What we need is blogging for beginners but taken one step back, to blogging for numpties. It’s probably already all out there somewhere, if only I can find it. If I do, I’ll let you know. Meanwhile, I may start compiling my own idiot’s guide as I gradually unravel the secrets of blogging that I know are no secret to all of you guys!