Posts tagged Weblogs

Overly Positive Re-Tooling

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A metal toolbox.
Image via Wikipedia

So I figured that with the fact that I now command a small yet faithful audience of 30+ readers or so, that I should try to peek under the hood of the site and do a little re-design. Those of you who visit the main site (and you should, even though Google Reader does the lifting for you) will see that I did a slight re-design, using a brand new WordPress theme framework created by the same author who did my previous theme. Justin Tadlock, by the way, is a brilliant and smart guy when it comes to WordPress and I highly encourage you to check out his theme framework.

Today I’m heading out with the goal of entering a BBQ coma by the time I come home, so I’m still doing a little work under the hood. But what small benefits you can expect include:

  • Threaded comments, so that we can have long exchanges wherein I whittle your cynicism down with annoyingly bright replies to your thoughts.
  • Gravatar support – if you use the Gravatar service you can set an avatar for use in your regular comments for the blog. Gravatar is magic, people – go use it today.
  • Proper excerpting – Longer posts will probably get an excerpt with a read more link, as soon as I figure out why Feedburner is eating my excerpts for lunch and spitting them out to feed its young.
  • Other backend nonsense that only benefits me, but which will basically keep the site clean and not broken.

I’ve also stolen a new smiley off of the Internet. You know, with all the graphics people I know, you’d think I could call in a favor for someone to create one. Ah well – perhaps when I have more motivation. For now, enjoy the new WordPress 2.8-compliant site!

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Blogging Is Serious Business?

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Pandora Are Serious Cat
Image by brownpau via Flickr

Over the past few days or so, I’ve watched the various blogs that I tend to watch from the corner of my eye posting about how serious blogging apparently is. From Tobold running off on Twitter-pated bloggers to Dragonchasers taking a break, and a few others not related to the topics of this blog feeling a bit down in their writing, it’s just seems to be a grey, cloudy atmosphere in the blogosphere lately.

I’m with Ysharros, who scratches her head at the whole idea, or Cuppycake for wondering what’s so serious lately. I’d like to insert a little bit of bright, sun-shiny day into the whole thing, frankly. I’ll start by saying something that in a puzzling way, seems to make people more angry than relieved, especially when you’ve beaten them 6 rounds in a row with cheap Dragon Punches and Fireball combos. But I digress. Ahem.

What I’m trying to say is, much like “it’s only a game”, I think folks need to realize that “it’s only a blog”. Much like games, I think people write blogs because they somehow on some level personally enjoy doing so – whether it’s to have the rather cathartic notion of thoughts spinning in one’s head on (digital) paper or to perhaps shoehorn it into something greater. If you’re not blogging as a means to be paid for it in a journalistic role, then in essence it’s on some level a side gig. So the question is, why be so upset or confrontational about something that is supposed to be peripheral? I get that in some cases, blogs are a personal extension of oneself, and that to be attacked on it is to be attacked personally. But until someone appoints a bunch of folks to have the very thankless, headache-inducing, masochistic job of policing/moderating the Internet, the fact that people don’t like what you say on a blog is just going to happen.

To be hilariously crude for just a second, I’ll just modify an old saying – “Opinions are like assholes, everyone has them – but on the Internet, no one knows who the crap is coming from.” Anonymity is a shield behind which many hide themselves to make some of the most deplorable commentary ever. This is why it’s ultimately not a big deal. I like what I have to say, believe in just about every sunny, wonderful, optimistic word I type, and know that there are far more pessimists than optimists out there. I welcome them to leave comments because it gives me the opportunity to elicit a laugh or at least a /facepalm with my coffee-fed, blindingly bright responses. And at the end of the day, I hit Publish, drop an update into Twitter and Facebook, and go about my day. Honestly, I have more important things to stress over, like why is my laundry all pink today, or what I was thinking when I bought the entire Generation One line of Transformers off of EBay.

Compared to those very real things, blogs just don’t make the cut.

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