Blog 2

For this blog, my goal was to figure out what makes a blog successful and what makes other blogs not so hot. I googled what makes a successful blog, and I was lead to a page on wordpress, which also gave me another opportunity to become more familiar with the site.

The page on wordpress summed up successful blogging nicely with suggestions like (a successful blog is): “Well written, frequently updated, consistent, open, responsive, well designed, aware of its audience, varied in topic, personal, thick skinned, honest, accountable, and funny”.

In her blog, Lorelle shares the suggestion that people tend to revisit sites that have good and substantial content.  When Lorelle suggests “frequently updated”, she means updated with things that are worthy of mentioning.  I cannot agree more here, irrelevant material is boring.  How we present information is also vital, it is important to add humor, good insights, and depth to the topic or issue being discussed.  Moreover, it is important not to jump around to different subject areas all within the context of one blog.  From reading online, and from our discussions in class, blogs need to have a focus, also mentioned above in Lorelle’s hints.  I think good blogs bring something new to the table, present new ideas, and prompt other people to think deeper within, thus the blog becomes personal.  When it feeds us, or reaches us on a personal level, we continue to return for more, which is the blog’s goal. 

Online suggestions on successful blogs also report that visuals and quick downloads are important as well.  No one likes to wait forever for things to load.  Feedback is also crucial for a blog staying alive, this also shows the audience is interested.  Lastly grammar and mechanics are important! Make an effort to spell words correctly (although once in awhile we all make mistakes). It is frustrating to read misspelled words, or sentences that do not make sense!  No one has time for that.

However, it is also important to discuss the creativity of blogs.  If a page has difficult to read fonts, or colors that clash and are distracting, I leave the page.  The appearance of the page sets the tone for the blog, so it is important to pay attention to details that may seem trivial, they may have a greater impact than we think.  We must continually place ourselves in the seat of the reader.  This in return goes back to the focus of audience and purpose. 

My next step was to google different types of blogs, and to be honest I never thought to do this before.  My goal was to get a feel for the different dynamics of blogs with different purposes. 

I found a commercial blog, with a whole bunch of advertisements and videos to check out.  There wasn’t a lot of writing, so it was interesting to experience a blog of this dynamic. 

The political blogs I found included new stories and interactions to other sites with many related links, a quick way to get a run down of the latest news.  If one was to blog on this site, it would be important to stay “with it” otherwise the blog would not hold an audience’s interest.

A humanitarian blog  had a different feel than the political or advertisement blog, the tone was different, and there was a lot less “noise”.  One humanitarian blog I found focused on hurricane Ike from September of 2008.

Undoubtedly, I found myself taking the time to read  blogs that focused on my interests, and I was completely surprised at how many blogs exist, apparently there is a lot of stuff out there to read!  I feel as though I have a better idea of how to make my blog successful in this class, and in the future if I choose to dive into blogging (not related to academic purposes) I have a better idea of what is needed to make them succeed.



Beginning WordPress. . .

Blog One:

This is a whole new world to me!

I still feel there is a lot I do not understand, but my main goal for this first assignment was to learn how to navigate the themes, colors, definitions, and basics of wordpress. 

When first choosing an appearance, I found that some appearance themes were more complicated than others, so I chose a very basic, easy to navigate theme to prevent frustrations.  However, I did figure out how to change the colors of the theme, that was fun and I was able to be creative, yet remain basic.  I also found because I have worked on myspace in the past, changing the background and colors of the page was easy for me.  However, I could not figure out how to change my font?? Perhaps I choose one of the non-font changing pages.

I think I have a better understanding of definitions, and I added a widget to my sidebar, it is a “calendar” widget, and I am not totally sure what it is supposed to do, but I was just happy I succeeded in adding it to my sidebar, and I will focus more on widgets later.  I understand the difference between a post vs. a page, and I was quite excited about inserting media!! I added a beautiful picture on my “about” page 🙂 The picture is really big though, I should have chosen a smaller format, and I tried to go back and edit it, but I spent entirely too much time on that, and I came to the conclusion that I can’t make the picture smaller after I post it, at least I could not figure out how to do so.  Next time I will just choose the “small” option when posting a picture.

I did not insert a link yet, but I understand how to do so.  Basically the dashboard looks to be the heart and soul of our pages, and this is the screen I need to learn how to navigate fluently.  Overall, a little overwhelming at first, yes, but the more time I spend the faster I will learn!


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