What’s in a name/title. Sometimes too much.

photo of surprised squirrel

Photo by Bengt Holm

The magic moment. My first blog was live. OMG. Look at the title. Why didn’t I see that before?

A flash to recent news about the Canadian history magazine “The Beaver”, finding that with the internet, its 90-year old title is no longer appropriate.

My first title, you see, was in fact “go slow, just don’t stop”. I blush to think what search engines would have made of that.

WordPress did say the blog title could be changed at any time. What to use instead. Chris Abrahams’ video (more on this later) says to make it pithy, interesting.

Ignore the squirrels! What else! They have come to symbolize my struggle, reminding me of what I can’t do, evading and mocking me, getting me down. A bit like the 14-year old who refused yet again to go to school today.

They will not get the better of me.  I will learn and apply social media.

So it was back to the edit mode. But let’s rewind this narrative to zero, which was my hands-on knowledge of creating a blog one short week ago.

WordPress rocks

What platform to use to edit, publish and host my blog. It had to be free, easy to use, and deliver an end product that would look at least somewhat professional.  I scanned my bookmarked sites to see what others were using.

Blogger and the WordPress duo–WordPress.com (hosted by WordPress) and WordPress.org (self-hosted)–were the leaders; Tumblr, Typepad and Moveable Type were also contenders. I also came upon a great site with a seven-part series about selecting a blog platform for your needs. For ease of use, support, and versatility, the WordPress-hosted platform got my nod.

In the midst of researching platforms, I found out about the many free high-quality themes (can you call them blog skins?) on Smashing Magazine. There I found (or did it find me) the Chaoticsoul theme, which appealed to my senses as well as my psyche.

When I got to the WordPress.com site, I found it available there as well.

A word to the wise. Don’t look at too many themes. Too many choices engenders paralysis. Or as Chris Abraham said, “so many his head might explode.”

I found his step-by-step tutorial on how to blog kept just the right pace. It also made me smile. Lots. Like his choice of a Yoda backback in demonstrating how to add a photo.

I now see that he has a more recent video, likely more polished, but this one from 2006 worked well for me.

It would have speeded up my launch if I had found it earlier.  The explanations on wordpress.com were good but the tutorial did make some things clearer. When I had my text keyed in, for instance, I noticed it was very long. It took me ages to figure out how to create the “read more” break. Turned out to be a simple one-click action, using the rich text editor as Chris’ video showed. BTW, the WYSIWYG interface and the ease with which you can add WordPress widgets rocks.

To find out more, go to their homepage, click on the “sign up now” button and read what’s behind the features tab. That will give you a good overview of what to expect. And that’s where I’ll pick up a few days from now, explaining more about what I added and why.

The 14-year-old is demanding computer time.

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