Saturday, May 12, 2007

Blogging, a Gathering of Medievalists, and a Talking Koala

In my role as the moderator of the blogging forum on Absolute Write I occasionally check around the web for information that will help my fellow bloggers. A few days ago a new blogger was having issues with posting and asked about blog hosts/software. I did a quick Google and found Blogging Basics 101. I thought it was helpful and written in a friendly, approachable tone. They are currently running a series of guest blogger posts by people using different blog hosts. I hope you'll visit. Tell me what you think, either here or in the thread on AW, should you be a member there. (and if you're not - join! It's free and a fun place to hang out)

I started blogging with Moveable Type software on my own domain. Some online friends of mine had Live Journals, so I joined there. Very different experience. I had no clue how to customize the blog at (I do now, but I haven't played around with it in a while - it needs work, I know). Live Journal had templates and a pretty easy to use interface. The other advantage of LJ is that you can limit the access to your blog by making it "friends only" - a nice feature if you want to be able to let off some steam in a safe environment. Cuts down on trolls, too. Most of my posts on LJ are friends only - in case you clicked over and wondered why I don't have any posts up to speak of...I have a lot of posts - you just can't see them.

After joining Absolute Write I found that there were various members there who had blogs here at Blogger. One of them seemed to only allow comments if you were a member of Blogger. I thought, what the heck, it's free, and joined.

As you can see, I've been fairly active here ever since. The posting interface is easy to use, there are a lot of nice features and changing the template isn't too hard with a little bit of HTML or CSS knowledge. I'm quite happy here, although I still, occasionally, wish I could figure out how to post what I write here over on my own domain. Yes, there's a way to do it, but it still befuddles me - even after many friendly attempts to explain it to me. Someday I'll just bite the bullet and give it a try. If I disappear from the blogosphere, you'll know I botched it. Hope I figure out how to back up my blog, too.

Completely random stuff:

I've been getting emails from a Rabbi. They are very nicely done, full of news and information. The most recent email is about summer camp and included an invitation to a Shavuot Dairy Buffet and a reading of the Ten Commandments. And this joke:

A husband looking through the paper came upon a study that said women use more words than men.

Excited to prove to his wife his long-held contention that women in general and his wife in particular, talked too much, he showed her the study results, which stated: "Men use about 15,000 words per day, but women use 30,000."

His wife thought awhile, then finally she said to her husband, "That's because we have to repeat everything we say." The husband said, "What?"

I'm not really sure how I got on the mailing list. The only thing I am sure about is that I don't want to report it as spam - it just seems wrong, somehow, to send these pleasant notices off to the same folder with the v1@gr@ and EUROLOTTO WINNER!!!1!! emails. I have this nagging sense that it would be a hit against any good karma I've managed to accumulate to do that.

My dear friends MacAllister and Medievalist are at the International Congress on Medieval Studies this week. I hope they're having a lot of fun. *waves*

New online comics I've become hopelessly addicted to: A Girl and Her Fed, The Devil's Panties (not Satanic Porn!). A Girl and Her Fed has a talking koala and the ghost of Ben Franklin. The Devil's Panties is about a young woman artist and offers a glimpse into the world of comic book conventions and rather interesting clubs as well as her even more interesting friends.


Thumper said...

It's pretty easy to use Blogger, but have it point to your own domain...that's how I'm doing it with You just need to tell Blogger your FTP info, and you update the blog like you do with one hosted at Blogger... Very easy :)

Crabby McSlacker said...

Thanks Dawno, for the Blogging 101 basics link. I'm new to this blogging thing, and am finding resources for newbies harder to find than I would have thought, given how many people there are already doing it.

I tend to run aground pretty fast at the official Blogger help forums--seems like you ask a question, and someone refers you to a link that is either nonresponsive or too complicated to figure out.

(I'm still trying to figure out how display less than all "labels" on my sidebar in Blogger, for example. I've grouped my posts into 5 major categories, but you have to choose between not showing labels at all or showing the complete list, which is huge. Maybe the Basics folks can help).

Sorry to get so specific! But its an example of some of the many things that seem like they would be simple to do in Blogger but aren't. Overall, I like it though.