My About page currently states “I plan on actually producing content in 2008, lol”. You may wonder why I bother. Steve Yegge’s You Should Write Blogs (even if nobody reads them) probably contributed to pushing me over the edge, so for convenience, you can blame him.
I’m calling this a half-year review despite the fact that I started this blog last year. I dumped in some junk from years ago, just to give it a home, but I didn’t really start posting regularly until March. It’s just psychologically convenient to use January as the starting point.
Overall, I’m pleased. I’m averaging about 10 posts per month, which is more than I expected. The quality’s not so great, but as I said in a comment earlier this month, “[M]y first goal in starting this blog was to get into the habit of simply posting something, since I had doubts of having the time or motivation to do even that much. Thus, I tend to hurried, short posts linking elsewhere with some quirky comment at the end; really, itâ€™s still just an experiment.”
I want to produce more original content in the future, but that’s much harder work, and I have Other Stuff I have to take care of first — I keep finding excuses not to spend time composing “worthy” articles. Of course, a world of juicy material is out of bounds, since I can’t really say much about friends, coworkers, or my job without suffering painful consequences — they know where I live.
An additional problem is the number of feeds I subscribe to. There is, essentially, an infinite amount of material being produced, so no matter how fast you read, no matter how efficient your filters, it’s impossible to keep up with it all, absorbing all the time you’re willing to spend. No matter how interesting the information, I have to step back and say “I don’t care”. So, my next step is to delete most of those, only keeping the few low-volume feeds I really enjoy reading. Maybe then I’ll have more time for original thought, lol.
Another significant bit is that we’ve switched to a four-day work week, at least for the summer. I find that I really need that third “weekend” day to wind down and shift mental gears, maybe get some quality meditative time.
So, what to look forward to? I’ll still produce a lot of spur-of-the-moment junk posts, but do expect some more pithy items now and then. Over time I expect the balance to shift that way. Since I’ve yet to develop a “voice” or “theme”, just expect random topics.
Do you have suggestions as to the best places to host a blog?
Take this with a large grain or two of salt due to my limited experience with the alternatives….
If you’re just starting out and want to experiment, I’d suggest setting up a free blog at WordPress.com. There are other blogging sites, but that’s the one I’m familiar with.
Later, if you decide you need more control over your blog, and your own domain name, you can move to a full web hosting provider. Again, I’d stick with the WordPress software, which is available at WordPress.org. Due to its popularity, WordPress is usually available pre-installed. WordPress.org itself has a list of recommended providers.
I rather arbitrarily chose to use DreamHost, among other reasons because they provide shell (command line) access. As you can see from other posts on my blog, they’ve had some downtime issues, but I weathered them out since this is just a vanity site, not for income. DreamHost and others like them are inexpensive, and you get what you pay for.
This is just to let you know what I did. It’s easy to experiment, try different services, and move things around. Even after you get a moderate body of work online, it’s still possible to relocate, though it’ll get harder as your content and/or customizations increase. YMMV.
Ultimately, just have fun.
[edited to fix URL typo]