One thing I've learned so far: blogging is easy. Very easy.
Why did I choose Google's Blogger service? Mainly because I watched my wife do blog posts. She's good at that, and I may need to ask her for a few tips. On the most part, you just type things in a box and hit that "Publish Post" button down there and it does the rest.
Plus, if I want to upload a picture or video, it does that. And if I want to use some of that html code I learned last year, I can do that, too.
Right now, my blog is kind of plain. I had to choose a template. I chose something that has books in the background. I'm a writer - get it? The template was created by someone called Josh Peterson. I don't know who that is, but evidently he has a lot of templates. I'm sure there are now a thousand blogs set up with the same exact template, so eventually I'll have to change it - we'll see.
First, I took a picture of how my blog looks now, so we can see a before/after. Let's see if I can figure out how to upload a picture. I could ask my wife, but I'm a guy. Let's see what I can figure out on my own. (Yes - it's true - I hate to ask for directions - no tutorials - no wife - one thing I'll have to get over if I want to get published!)
Here's a "Insert Image" button. What happens if I click that? It opens a popup window where I can Browse and choose a picture. Here goes nothing...
Okay - it worked. It only took a minute, but it put it between the wrong paragraphs? Can I move it? Let me try regular cut and paste... Oh, that didn't work. Okay - html skills going to work. I'm going to click on "Edit HTML" and see what happens. Hey - that works. Now I can cut and paste - and now it's in the right place. Hey - while I'm in html editor, I can show off and put in a purple dividing line!!
Whoa - that was too much fun. I'm going back to "Compose" mode. (Note that everything I typed in html is missing a space after each period - note for later: it's easier to type in "Compose" mode.) Next up. It needs a picture. You want to know what I look like, right? How fast can I do this?
Let's see - before getting my picture on the page, I see that my Profile is completely empty. It has my name, but nothing else.
Okay, I'm in the profile. I've checked yes on: "Share my profile", "Show my real name", and "Show my email address". Know that I'm an introvert, and one of the hardest things is to make myself public, but I also know this: if you want to have any hope of getting published, you need to be public. Yet, you also need to be careful. I've chosen my Google email, which is only for business/networking/etc. Never make your personal email public because you'll get all kinds of fun spam and crazy emails.
"Show my blogs": I have no other blogs - not yet. So I'll skip that.
"Show sites I follow": Yes! Very important for networking.
"Identity": Mel-o-rama is my internet persona, but in the interest of being public: my real name needs to go here.
"Photograph": Finally - here comes the big moment. The picture! The problem is, I don't have very many pictures where I don't have my mouth gaping wide open. I hope I can find a good one. Here are some candidates:
Man, so many decisions. For now, I'll go with the last one - the "red shirt - looking to the right" picture, as it's similar to a well-known Orson Scott Card photo. Let's see if I can grab that photo. I'll try inserting a link. I click the "Link" button and...
Oops - it added a link. But I want the photo to show up. Oh yes - I saw a URL Upload option on the Image upload screen. So here we go: Insert image, chose URL and...
See the resemblance? I don't know if I want to ask who's better looking!
Anyways - back to the profile. I choose the image and within a minute... viola!
BTW, I'm noticing a few bugs in the "Compose" window. The cursor does funny tricks, and I find myself going to "Edit HTML" a few times to fix things. Still lots of fun!
Audio Clip? nada.
General? I'm Male, but I'm not putting my birthday. I don't need to get that personal. Besides, birthdays are good for helping identity theft-ers do their jobs. Definitely no astrological signs - does anyone really believe that stuff anymore?
Homepage URL: I'll put my website in there. For now, I'll point it directly to my Fiction page. Though if I make other blogs (music / political / religious), I may have to change this. I wonder: can I have a homepage URL specific to the blog as well as to my profile? Something to look into later...
Wishlist URL? What the heck is that? Don't care - moving on...
IM Username: No thank you. Unless one of you can convince me otherwise, IM is a terrible networking tool. Everything you write is temporary, and it's a tremendous waste of time!
Location: I'll go ahead and put this in. This will be useful for networking with others in my area.
Work? I'll skip that section - who cares?
Extended Info: I'll put a little blurb in the "About Me" box, but that's it for now. Getting sleepy! And then "Save Profile". Whew! Hey - I have a picture now! If I go to my blog - there it is! Over to the right! It's kind of little, though.
Wow - now I'm bushed! Blogging is fun, but getting set up can really wind a dude! Maybe later I can figure out how to get a bigger picture up at the top of the blog. Since I'm done for the night, I'm sure my wife will read this and then show me tomorrow how to get that bigger picture up there. <groan!>
Well, it was fun. Till tomorrow...