Hello, blog. I’ve missed you. It’s been a while.
This post is probably the most boring I’ve ever written, but it’s a bit of a test. A new platform, new I/O, new environment, it’s all new.
Years ago I tried to start a blog without really knowing that’s what I was doing. I was trying to do things the hard way – I’d write an article on the front page of my website, archive the previous post by hand, try to update all the links manually… It was a mess. At the time I was working in the art department of a local print shop, and was responsible for typesetting and designing the newsletter for the Siouxland Senior Center. I remember the day the newsletter’s editor brought in that month’s articles – including one on blogging.
I had no idea…
Not only were other people doing the same thing I was, but there was software out there that did all the tricky parts! Astounding! And even more surprising, there was a whole community of folks out there, blogging on nearly every subject I could think of… My horizons expanded dramatically.
I signed up for a Blogger account because their logo was neater than Blogger’s main competitor, WordPress, and started writing. I’d go to work every morning and hope for a slow day. In odd moments between design jobs I’d zip out a sentence. By the end of the day I’d have a post ready to publish. Sometimes it was just a paragraph, other times a full-blown essay. I enjoyed not only the distraction and the artistic release, but much more importantly I enjoyed the people I met – all of whom I’m still connected with today through Facebook. I felt like I was part of the community, a virtual neighborhood.
I blogged for years, and enjoyed it massively. The opportunity to express my views and get feedback from my peers was priceless. But then two things happened in close succession that effectively ended my blogging.
The first thing was that I quit my job at the print shop and started my own little freelance company, HippieBoy Design. Suddenly instead of working eight hours a day with a few minutes each hour to peck away at an essay, now I was working 16 hours a day seven days a week to make ends meet.
The second thing was Facebook. It fit my new life perfectly – most of my blogging pals were also on Facebook, and it’s soooo much easier to jot one or two sentences a day in Facebook than it is to actually flesh out an entire blog post. And the feedback on a Facebook post is immediate, overwhelming, and massively addicting. When you write a full-blown well considered blog post, you’re lucky if ten people read it, and I considered getting six comments to be fantastic. On Facebook I can write a sentence about my breakfast that nearly a thousand folks will see and will get reactions from 50 people in a day.
So my beloved blog withered on the vine, unmourned by any but me.
Over the years, as my blog languished, I started to see more and more websites that were utilizing WordPress as a CMS solution. Eventually I designed a few websites in WordPress for customers, and configured several blogs for my customers. Each time I’d consider more and more seriously moving my blog from Blogger to WordPress. I liked the interface better, the versatility. But the technicalities of converting were daunting to me.
For the past eight or ten months I’d occasionally pull up my old blog and stare at it for a few moments, an idea for a post in mind. But it looked so outdated and clumsy to me that I couldn’t even think of writing. All I wanted to do was move my entire www.radloffs.net site over to WordPress and reconfigure and redesign everything – but I couldn’t bring myself to do that either! In my mind, I’m not allowed to work on personal projects if my customers aren’t seen to first. So the blog sat in the back of my mind.
A few days ago I mentioned my humdrum conundrum to college pal and blogger Allen Andersen. “I can convert it for you, no problem,” he said. “I like doing this sort of thing.” To be honest, I can’t imagine anyone liking that sort of thing at all – the coding, mental gymnastics, research, I hate all those things. I want to write silly essays, take pretty pictures, make pleasing designs, and annoy people with my bass guitar – not struggle with the mechanics of it all… So I was thrilled to hand the keys to Allen.
And I’m VERY grateful that he actually did convert my dusty old blog over to WordPress for me! Hurray and Huzzah! Thank you thank you thank you!
His job was to do the nuts ‘n bolts and he done did it well. My job is to make it pretty and write neato content. I’m looking forward to writing again. I’m sure it will take me months to get the aesthetics where I want them as (again) I have a hard time working on personal projects before my customers’ projects are finished.
But I’m going to write. I can blog on my iPad during my lunch hour and (as I’m doing now) at ten at night whilst laying in bed watching Mythbuster reruns and eating popcorn.