How I Blog

Today it is a blogging challenge, I have not blogged a challenge before so this for me is new. Lorelle on WordPress is a prolific blogger for bloggers and those interested in Blogging. She has issued challenges before but this is the first that I have completed. Today Lorelle issued the challenge “How do you Blog?”. It is a question that I know the answer to but I did not ask the same questions that she has so I thought I would do so.

My motivation for blogging is that I enjoy it and I like having a platform for my opinions and thoughts. I don’t get overly concerned if I have not blogged for a while and I don’t force myself to blog, that just results in crap posts. So without looking for it I found the challenge and decided that it would be fun to do and I thought others might be interested in it. That is one of the motivations that move me to blog. I see something or read something and I get an urge to blog it.

Obviously my blog resides on WordPress, which I really like. WordPress is feature rich and while limited in some ways the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. When blogging on WordPress I use the WYSIWYG interface. I find that it suits my purpose and I don’t need much else. I have looked at some blogging clients and while enticing I don’t think they offer more than the WordPress Interface. But when I blog on the podcast blog I use a program called Qumana. A great application that allows quick posts. The big advantage to Qumana is the way that it intuitively handles links. You can drag and drop them into the post. If you are creating link by copying and pasting, when you open the window to paste it – it has already pasted it. Nice. One disadvantage to Qumana is that it does not do pictures well. I can’t get it to format them in a way that the web-page likes. So that means the text is not wrapped around the picture the way that I want it to be. I manually adjust it pain in the butt, minor gripe though. Well worth checking out if you want to post hard and fast.

I just use my home computer for blogging. Don’t use any fancy wizardry like cell phones or even a laptop. I don’t even own a laptop! I have a hard wired connection to the Internet at home. No wireless here, for me that would mean extra hassel for no reason.

I source stories from my own life experience. Often those posts are part of me working things out in my own head. But I tend to do it in a rather non obvious way and rarely use public blogging as an outlet. I like to keep my offline and online life separate for the most part. Although I have a few close friends on-line that know whats happening in my life generally. My blog mainly focuses on technology, the Internet, news and current trends. Sometimes I will blog about something amusing that I find and want to share as well, but it is usually tech based and geeky.

I love RSS. It is in my opinion one of the richest sources of information, customisation and conveniences of the modern Internet. I am the first to admit that despite these great advantages for users; for new users it can be difficult to understand and utilize. For that reason I am always trying to motivate people to take advantage of the technology and I am always willing to assist my friends and family if they show an interest. So I spend most of my on-line time reading and interacting with RSS feeds.

Not long after I discovered podcasting I found myself a very good RSS reader, I use FeedDemon. Even though the trend is towards web based applications I have stayed with FeedDemon. Top application in my opinion. So it is here that the source of a story might hit me. I don’t usually replicate a story, rather put my own spin on it and I think that is what blogging is all about. I don’t write to be read either. If no one reads this I don’t care, it would be nice though.

I am heavily involved in podcasting and the community around it. So you will see here posts on topics revolving around podcasting and my podcast The Global Geek Podcast. I won’t just blog to promote the podcast but talk about issues related to it. Like the audio production and editing. Also the dramas that are behind the scenes. This to me is great if you like the podcast as you get a feel for the other side of the production.

In our WordPress stats I get the search terms that people use to find Rooster’s Rail. I have used these as a basis to answer a question that a reader has posed in their search term. Especially if this is one that comes up a lot. I have also posted a top 10 search terms post which was fun. This is very rewarding for me because I am addressing peoples problems without them knowing that is what I have done. I think that is cool. In that is another thing that I blog about; I tell people the mistakes that I have made so that they don’t make them! Or help them resolve a problem that I have had in the past.

As far as my post construction, I have never used video. I am not keen to either. It seems like the opposite to what a blog is all about. If I wanted to do that then I would hit YouTube or something similar. Unless I found a video that I could write about, but even then it would have to be rather compelling. I would prefer to link to it rather than embed it. I do tend to use company logos a bit and sometimes a great picture that I took, but not so often with the pictures. I do use screen-shots to illustrate a point or highlight a website, I think you need that sometimes.

I have two blogs and they are very different and the motivation for writing to both is just as different. Here I write for me and on the podcast blog I write for my listeners. Not sure if that makes for very different blogs; but I think it does.

I hope that I have fulfilled the challenge, do you think I have? One criticism I have of myself is that I tend to write long posts. I find that I have yet another thing to add or opinion to have. I wonder if I would have more readers if my posts were shorter. But I could never say that I didn’t say everything I wanted to. Thanks for the challenge Lorelle.


James’ Take on Skype and Family

Tonight my brother and I had a chat via Skype, it was great, plus our families got together on the video. I blogged about this sort of thing before, technology making a real impact on people’s lives and making a difference to how they communicate.

I think James had a think about all this and he blogged about it. His words are touching and for me ring very true. Nice blog post mate and I think others should read it too. So go and check out The Gray Matter and James’ take on Skype and what it meant to him.