Update on my blogging experience

So remember back in that post when I talked about the things I wanted to do improve on my blog? I think I’ve done a pretty good job so far. I’m required to post once a week, but I try to throw in some other things just for fun every now and then.

I’ve also been making it a habit to add some pizzazz to each post. I’ve even managed to add some relevant videos to some of them. I try to include links to fun and interesting pages, as well as kickbacks to some of my own blog posts to increase my web traffic.

I’m most proud of myself for figuring out how to add a new page of information. Last night, I created a page that links to all of my classmates’ blogs.

My new goal is to ensure that I update at least twice every week, which might be a struggle, given that there are about eight weeks left of school and a lot to be done between now and then. I’m trying not to panic!


CMS? aka Can’t-Miss Software!

In reading chapter 7 of Entrepreneurial Journalism this week, I discovered the keyword, keyphrase rather, of Mark Briggs’ discussion of technology that is available to those doing an online startup: CMS, which means content management system.

The chapter explains that there are three types of CMSes, which is a fancy way of saying who hosts your website and what the design and behind-the-scenes area look like. The types he mentions are (1) simple and free website-hosting sites, (2) those powered by blogs and (3) full open-source CMS sites.

Briggs goes into detail describing each system and how it works, and he spends a particular amount of time on WordPress. As you can see, my class chose WordPress for our blogs this semester. The main reason behind this has to do with web analytics, which I’ve discussed in this post and that one. For me, the huge upside to WordPress is that I had actually used it before without realizing it. Confused? Let me explain.

I spent a little time working for a magazine that frequently updated news releases, product descriptions and archival material to its family of websites. When I started the job, my bosses taught me how to post those updates, and they frequently referred to it as “the CMS system,” but I never really knew what that meant. As it turns out, the websites were powered by WordPress, but I never made that connection until I started running my own blog. It’s a small world after all.

What I found interesting about Briggs’ explanation was a little something called Weebly. It’s a hosting website that lets users design their sites using a drag-and-drop function. Because I have a strong background in desktop publishing, this definitely sounds like my kind of project. I’ve been thinking about building my own website for personal brand recognition, and I love that Weebly also includes a blog function, so I could maintain my resume and contact information on the main site and keep a blog that could show my real personality. I haven’t tried Weebly yet, but it sounds fantastic. Have any of you used it before? What did you think? Is there another program that you like even better? Watch the video above and let me know what you think.

Am I doing this right?

I figure if you’re going to do something, you might as well put your whole heart into it, right? Similar to the stance I’m taking with my thesis (That’s another fish to fry, I will blog about it one day.), I am deciding here and now to put a little more thought into this blog.

I’m going to try to include more pictures, links and update the “about me” section. I have gotten a head start by finally figuring out how to add a photo of myself. Most of the things I’d like to do will take some time for me to learn, so please be patient. I’ve done WordPress before, but it was a much more fill-in-the-blank series of actions at a publication that I worked for.

Does anyone have any suggestions on what I should do to make my blog more interactive? Drop me a line and let me know!

Here’s to progress!