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Please don't remind me that I'm poor; I'm having too much fun pretending I'm simply "living green" like everyone else these days.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Organizing my blog

Excuse me while I type talk to myself a little bit this morning.  You're welcome to follow the conversation I have with my organizing self.  I'm making it as a post so I can refer back to it whenever my senior memory acts up.

I really like to have my stuff all organized.... easy to find, easy to use, easy to put away.  This includes my blog.  I want my blog to be easy to find what the reader is looking for (find), easy to read (use), and easy for me to post (put away).  Just like with my fabric stash or my studio.... if it isn't organized, it bothers the heck out of me.

I've been playing around with the look and the features of blogger.  I've put some of the features on the blog just to see how they work.  Some will be removed once I decide on which I like best.  It's kind of like testing different kitchen or fabric organizers to see which is best before narrowing it down to only one or two.

What I really want is for my blog to read sort of like a book.  You open the book and find the index.  The index has chapters.  Under the chapters can be sections.  Yes, that's what I want.  This will be good practice for when I actually do write a book.

What could be the index page on my blog?  Hmm....

I have "buttons" at the top.  I'm limited to 10 buttons.  Clicking on one of these will take the reader to a linking page where I can list an unlimited number of other linking pages pertaining to the catagory. 

I have a "helpful stuff" section on the side bar.  I can put an unlimited number of chapter links there.  Each one could be a link to a page on my blog where I can include more links to individual pages.  Or, I could put links to other sites that I believe could be useful for my readers.  I can have more than one of these "helpful stuff" sections.

I could just use the "labels" feature which is sort of like the same thing as those two.  A person can find what they are looking for using the labels.  The nice thing about the labels feature is that it tells how many pages there are with that label.  I would need to narrow those down to a limited number so the labels list doesn't grow enourmously large over time.

Thinking about chapter titles (labels or links) has my head spinning.  There are so many possibilites for every post.  One post can have different things which means it could link to several titles.  Yet, if I'm going to get this blog organized I must choose a limited number of labels. 

Whatever way I choose to list my chapters for the reader, it's going to take quite a bit of time to put all 180 links into their proper place.  Plus each new post page.  Kind of like organizing stash fabrics.  So many organizing possibilities for every fabric.  By color, value, theme, yardage, etc.  I guess some previous posts could be deleted.  When a quilter organizes their fabric stash, some fabric gets tossed out because it no longer holds interest for the quilter. 

I want this blog to be a little less personal stuff and a lot more instruction oriented.  Just like it would be if I were writing a book to sell.  My other blog is for all the personal stuff.  At the same time, the stuff I write about on this blog is actually stuff I do so that's personal too. 

After all, the whole purpose of me starting a second blog was to be able to show step by step instructions for my friends and keep it all in one place.  Beginning machine quilters should be able to find instructions on how I deal with issue quilts or machine problems by choosing the right links.  Readers interested in constructing cardboard furniture should be able to find the step by step instructions simply by clicking on a link. 

A reader told me how she made her blog look so pretty.  (thank you Linda)  I thought about adding pretty stuff to this blog and then decided against it for now.  As I always say when I'm creating, it doesn't need to look pretty, it just needs to work.  This includes the blog.  First I'll make it work easily for the reader then decide if it needs to be fancy looking.

I discovered that each post title is also the internet link.  Back when I first started blogging, I used some long titles.  Putting the links in their proper place will take a long time because of this.  It requires several steps to find the unique link information, then write it down, then go create the link under the chapter.  I tried copy and paste but that didn't work.  I must be doing something wrong.

Photos?  A whole new set of decisions.  I pay a yearly fee to webshots.  I pay a yearly fee to picassa too.  I pay webshots because that's where I started storing photos several years ago.  When I reached my limit of photos for blogger I deleted 3 or 4 years of posts on my blogs just so I could make more room.  If I keep my blogs going I need the photos.  I must decide what to do with the webshots photos then give that up.  I can't afford to keep paying for what I don't use anymore.

In order to get the best use out of a paid picassa account I need to learn how to use it.  Which means I should also learn to use the photoshop software I have on my computer.  The two probably work best if used together.  This also reminds me.... what will happen to the photos and my blog if I can no longer afford the fee?  Should I include an advertizement on the blog so that I earn enough to pay the photo storage fees?  I don't like advertizements on my blog but it might become necessary.

This is all I can think of for now.  My blog will change slowly because I do have a life away from my computer.  Time for me to get into the studio or maybe I should head to the kitchen first.  I have some apples that need to be put in the freezer and a roast to put in the oven.

Hmm.... what happened to the spell checker?  The updated posting screen doesn't do spell check!  Bummer.  Readers will have to put up with my bad spelling.  How embarrassing.

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