Lazarus Long, “Time Enough for Love”, (Robert A. Heinlein)
Amazing to be able to share a couple of thoughts with some folks that are real. Although there remain some that may be reluctant to reach out and actually connect beyond social media they are still considered e-cquaintances in some capacities, because I have spent a fair share of time interacting with them during their “quality” time. So, when one of them that matters asks some thoughts on blogging/site sharing, you can smile a little and make the public reply a little more valuable than just a few DM’s back and forth.
How you doing?
So I have a website with over 100,000 impressions. That does not make me an “expert” but it does lend some credibility to my sharing some thoughts on how that can happen for anyone who wants to remain dedicated to “creating content for free” – this is key, you have to be willing to give your thoughts, your words, your interactions away for free most of the time. An example of this working well again recently for me, is Twitter. My following was developed the way it was, and it came directly as a result of my initial 6 months, with over 80% of my interactions retweeting/sharing others more than my own content. Much of my content remained here, or in my creative writings and projects because I chose to leave it/them/me here/there for my own reasons.
So without getting into that side of the discussion, let’s assume you have something to say (*we all do, and respect for that is CRITICAL. This is different than having to honour the words or respect that thought. Be clear about that, because it goes hand in hand with this next principle.) and that is just as important as the medium that you want to use to say it. For example, if you are a complex writer and you do not want to try to “cloud” more of your interactions – unless that is your intent. If you are trying to get quick, comedic or commentary based posts up, with a little more detail then just a tweet, or a Facebook update (*puke, fucking Facebook, but a necessary evil in the publishing world – some, like me, will wait until their publisher puts a gun to their head to “re-activate” the interactions, but when they come, it will be a classic Soyuz hatch undertaking.) then you can keep a simple click and engage photo/media/content template in order very easily. Especially if you are a proven social networker able to build your following with content, interactions and the right tools and resources.
I believe when I thought about getting more into blogging, close to 8 years ago – it was a different world. Not talking about long form, or the watered down 500 word salvo’s that are “informative”, I am talking about technically speaking. I still look back at some of that content, and discovering some that was here and there. I had to “cut my chops” on some of the platforms that were clunky as fuck, and always fidgety. The clean and WYSIWYG (*What You See is What You Get) platforms today offer some unique enhancements and social aspects that one should consider somewhat before “diving in” to creating more of their content, or their own “gulch” of sorts if you dig the gig. *wink*
I am going to consider each of these like a geometric shape.
The most simple of which would be the circle, followed by a triangle, and then the square. Again, keeping it simple for this summary, as I am well aware of geometry and the multitude of shapes. Thanks.
The circle is going to be the simplest, because it is all within that circle. In one fluid motion, you can create a WYSIWYG blog, with great templates, widgets, SEO power (*search engine optimization – if you are looking to drive content for your art, creations, products, you are going to want to make sure you consider this) and a very easy and simple way of creating a post. Add your text, format a little (*if you can format in a Word document, you can do WYSIWYG) bring in a picture or media and boom.
My two favorites here for new start-ups/simple expressions/clean impressions are Blogger and Tumblr, as both integrate well with Twitter type social interactions. Blogger can be thought of more as the “micro-website” and can be customized with a purchased URL, to have it appear like a more legitimate website. For me, Tumblr is something that can expand a little on the “social networking scratch pad website” with a heavy reliance on images and short text posts. For those that “care” both Blogger and Tumblr may have a “stigma” attached to them from some folks, so if you are looking for mitigating that or controlling your image, you may need to bump up to the triangle.
*When you hit this stage, or the previous if you are a bit of a late adapter, you may even want to be considering something like the age old question – how to make money with Twitter? Tweetadder can help do that, on the side, as you go about doing what you are wanting to do anyway – whatever that is. Wealth is always relative, and I will be sharing the blessings from the Tweetadder journey soon enough, it has been a blessing in so many ways.
The super-star of the “free blogging” platforms is WordPress. Like all of the blogging sites, or most, it has a paid model that can be attached to it for enhancing the blog, but in fact, it is not what I would consider a “blog”. I consider it a website, straight up. For example, WordPress.org is different then the WordPress.com site. This is where the serious start to separate from the casual blogger/poster, and look to define and cultivate their own site – technical geeks can create masterpieces from this platform, and some of the world’s largest brands and service providers swear by WordPress. In my opinion, the support and the security, along with the resources makes this the real game changer with the right ISP/hosting.
A simple way to look at WordPress is in terms of “Twitter” development. When you first get into Twitter, it is all about interaction in the trenches. You do not know about tools, or resources that can help you weed out the spammers, or the weak poster, or the clique and bullshit fuqtards – you go about it the long way. You use tools that are there to make it easy, like WordPress.com as a complete package. WordPress.org begins to more fully develop when you see that other tools you control allow you to make more efficient use of your time. So you unfollow the deadheads, or the limited interactions. You can sort out content that is not appreciated, and even make sure to get your daily fix of the asshole that can write some mind melting stuff, and can be irritable enough he wants to make a statement about his own timeline and does not give a fuck if anyone is offended – I hear he is emphatic about this stance *wink*
WordPress as a platform will allow you to create, and customize what you want in any way you care to. The problem here for the initial blogger, especially with WordPress.org, is that it can get confusing fast. You may make some mistakes, a couple of which may cause you more grief than otherwise if you are not careful. Taking your time, and climbing slowly is the absolute ONLY way to dig the gig, but please, allow me to drop some invisible brown acid in that beer and clarify the two biggest issues – security and efficacy/efficiency.
When you try to build a model, because you like cars and want to build a really cool Model-T Ford, it is all about how old you are. If you are young, your parents are going to buy you a simple model, with maybe 5-10 parts. You glue them together, create a small car and paint it before the heavens rain down praise on your glorious model. This is an achievement for anyone, so don’t think I am knocking it. It is however, also relative. If you try to get the inexperienced builder a more complex model, not only may they get frustrated and not even be able to complete it, but if they did – it still could look like shit.
If you want your model to look good, you have to take your time. You are going to make mistakes, and you are going to have to learn how to use the simpler plug-ins, only after you have mastered the simple post. It is a game, a passion and purpose. If you like tinkering, and know you are a detail oriented person who demands to know how things work, and even more so, insists on building it all themselves? WordPress is a magical kingdom, but make sure you know someone who has “been there” – and I have said it before, will say it again, and some more folks are seeing it more and more – drop me a line or reach out, I am happy to help in a variety of capacities.
Trust me, it makes a difference not only in your confidence, but in the development of your readers, peers, associates and dare I use the word with no arrogant inferences, friends and fans.
Security in the traditional sense, and in the sense of reliability, remains the most important part of the WordPress undertaking. Do you know what you are doing with some of the programing, and are you aware you could be leaving some items on your site unsecure, and these may pose a risk to you if you are not aware? Having to include various plug-ins, protocals, updates, registrations from WordPress can make it MUCH MORE COMPLEX than it appears. The logic behind the registrations, and the information you provide to WordPress, as well as other 3rd Party Vendor/Service providers means unless you are a person that is VERY clear about how all of that works, you are going to want to work with someone at least as a peer/associate to help provide some advice on choices and options. If you are interested in some more advice, or want to ask a question, please know I am happy to address just drop me a line here at fetaman.com. If you are too paranoid to do that, then you are definitely not WordPress material, or likely going to flush out as a fly-by-nighter.
Reliability is just as important. With WordPress, you have to co-ordinate domain and site registrations, or have Control Panel interactions that can cause the site to go off-line. This is not a good thing, ever. Neither is having the site take more than 3 seconds, because of your structure not some fuqtard VIc 20, to fully load. If you know what you are doing with WordPress and you have cut some of your teeth, you can make sure you are always backed up, secured, on-line. If you do not know that much, but are a technical “geek” and want to leverage the WordPress paid services, they offer clean plans and nice solutions for all levels of entry.
The final layer, is a full blown “traditional” website consideration, with an ISP/hosting arrangement provided by a quality service team that can help keep the site going. I am not at this point, and not going to comment on it. I have no interest in letting my life get even more insane by expanding what is all ready a full-time job equivalent – and more.
*As a side note, I had a conversation with one of my most personable and real “friends” from Twitter about what it takes for them to get “trill traction yo” – it all boiled down to focus. On average, fetaman.com has consumed about 12 hours a day, with much of it in the locked sections that are available to only certain 3rd parties, for reasons only I truly know. They have their reasons for being there, and I have mine for allowing it.
I will end the suspense by pretty much declaring it is creative and team driven content. There are some folks that are interested, and have proven that they want to earn something from doing what they do. All of “us”, including Gus and not a single one is left out, begins with the concept of “thank you” as the largest payment. Recognition, some kind of pat on the back that something that was shared was more than just a flick of a wrist – it was a genuine desire to make sure we knew, something, however fucked it may seem or not, made a difference. That is why I do it. The money, and the fame – lmao – seriously?
Simply put, unless you are a bit of a tech head – stick with the simple text/media/social platform template. The combinations of available widgets and creative content control allows you to use a directed/ghost URL, to actually create the website url/domain name you want, while keeping all the functionality of Blogger and the WYSIWYG backbone. Your best bet is going to be Blogger or Tumblr with a purchased URL.
Right now, I am conducting my own research and measuring some pretty interesting metrics, especially related to some tangent theories on the correlations between actual, and perceived friendships as opposes to interactions, as opposed to measured qualified sitings. Funny, some of the folks that I had “interacted” with earlier have either voluntarily left, or scurried away like cowards, maybe off parachuting or playing their games without frontiers, or just don’t like my stuff in some way shape or form – cool. Is what it is, some sweet lessons in there, as there are sweet lessons in the way you want to extend a hand.
Like this, when everyone is going to think it is fucked, or many will not even read it.
But if you want help, and I do not mean letting me control data or anything, you just want help to have someone add some thoughts, perhaps call them batting signals – well, trust me. I like to play, this is what life is about.
It has nothing to do with money.
It has everything to do with faith.
When you can help, and choose to ask for nothing in return – the return is greater than anything, except for respect for the time that was earned.