For ages friends have told me that I should start writing. Other than the occasional annual holiday letter or a surprise 50th birthday tribute, I admit I’ve not done nearly as much writing as I know I should. So after years and years of annoying, relentless, “you’ll regret not having ever done this when you look back on your life” pain-in-the-ass nagging (author’s note to self: Be sure to change the preceding to “supportive encouragement” before you publish – Do NOT forget!) from my wife, I decided to finally try my hand at blogging.
And all I have to say is what took me so long!! This blogging thing is a SNAP. You do not need to have five years of html programming experience or be an expert in RSS feeds, tagging, and php. And you don’t need to know about plug-ins, widgets or feed burners. You don’t need to understand the meaning of .css style sheets or header-footer dpi upload specifications. You don’t need to know ANY of that stuff -unless you want to have a blog site, that is. Then, yeah, it’s a pretty good idea to know what some of this stuff actually means.
And boy was it simple, too. Just for a chuckle, how quickly can you spot the obvious error in this html code sequence below?
<a href=”<?php echo get_option(‘home’); ?>”>
<?php bloginfo(‘name’); ?></a>
<?php bloginfo(‘description’); #>
Well if you guessed that the # symbol in the sequence <?php bloginfo(‘description’); #> should have been a “?” instead, you would have been absolutely right. It’s just that simple. Why was I so afraid? Beats me. It only took me 78 futile attempts on my own along with 15 phone calls to the web hosting support help desk (they were starting to know me by first name) to figure out how to upload my new home page header image in place of the lovely “Suzy Sunshine” sunflowers clip art that came with the page template. And here is the secret: beg, whine and plead to have the tech support person do it for you.
Well, before my baptism by html experience creating a blog site, I could not tell you the difference between a PHP code tag and an html tag, or the difference between a pingback and a trackback. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I still can’t tell the difference, but at least I now know how to spell them.
So, after just 17 hours of trying in vain to figure out what I was doing, I think I have a vague clue of how to set up a blog site and add new posts. And I did this all without bringing down a single computer network to its knees nor throwing any of our cats out the window in utter frustration.
I guess what I am saying is this: If you don’t have enough pound-your-fist-through-the-wall frustration in your life, and if your self-confidence about your computer literacy is higher than you feel it truly should be, I encourage you to create a blog site. Creating a blog site is as easy as counting to ten…. if you were a Labrador Retriever, that is.
That’s the view from the bleachers. But perhaps I’m off base.
© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2010 – 2011