I’ve Become Super Noob

I started writing as Super Noob on Lindsay’s blog, Web Design for Idiots. Tonight I wrote the following as an introduction to who I am and why I’m someone who might have a reason to be writing there.

I’m posting this from my very messy desk with the TV on to my left and my nearly cold coffee at my right hand, in danger of wrecking my faithful little scanner. I’m a real woman. I’m a real, live, 40+, divorced Canadian woman, a writing legend in my own mind.

In June of 1996 I began on the Internet. I was an IRC diva for quite a long time. It was a lot of fun and most of it I really should not write about here. That’s what personal blogs are all about. I wrote for a zine first, a small print publication called The Crying Clown. From there it was all online. At one point I was producing my own newsletter for writers, InkSplatters, sent out through what is now Yahoo Groups. I was a web writer for HerPlanet, BackWash, BellaOnline, Suite 101, WZ-ard.com and other sites, forums and newsletters some still living and some not. I still write for Creative Fat Grrl on LockerGnome, a babbly blog more than anything seriously functional. Writing for a network is a different educational experience than writing for yourself. Which is one reason I keep doing it.

I’ve had sites and then blogs of my own. I didn’t begin online in the great time of blogging, I was here before that. So my first sites were put together with just HTML code as I learned and goofed it up. I’ve used software and I’ve cut and pasted code and I’ve hand coded my own pages. I’m not an expert, time alone isn’t enough to make you an expert at web design or development. I have learned however and as I learn I see how much more there is to be explored and discovered. But, don’t look to me expecting I’m a know-it-all. If I ever say that you can be sure I’m just laughing at myself.

I love creative things. I’ve done so many interesting forms of art, just to try them out. I made ASCII art for a few years. I continue to take digital photos of abandoned places here in Ontario, starting in 2006 when I bought my first digi camera. I’m also teaching myself to draw cartoons, some people even like them! This week I re-learned the art of cutting out paper doll chains so I could make them into a graphic for a blog. I really think it’s important to keep the creativity and free writing in blogging. It would be a real shame if the personal journal and creative element of blogging were lost in the rush for SEO and money making.

Anyway, I’m here to help the less experienced blogger with my experiences. I’ve got a stack of great books about web design on my bookshelf and I will be using them (finally) for more than a place to hide my dust bunnies. I seem to collect books with great good intentions and then not get very far. You can also find me writing about web writing and posting writing ideas and prompts on my blog, Word Grrls.

ThatGrrl.ca

Completely off topic… did you know that a nail file works really well if you have an itchy spot on your back that you just can’t reach? I’ve been rubbing my back on my chair tonight wishing for something to work. Then I had the great idea for the nail file (not one of those treacherous metal ones, just some cardboard type) and that worked great!

Vector Drawing Tips Link

Vector Drawing Tips – I need to start figuring out how to use the graphic software I have had for years. Kind of typical of me that I am looking at the latest version of Paint Shop Pro, now part of Corel instead of Jasc, yet I have not done more than use it for a screen capture a couple of times. I really need to get to work on it rather than just upgrade the software. Why do I so often do this sort of thing? I have a stack of books about CSS and HTML and web design in general yet I have only read one of them and not even totally finished that one.

Plain Text Posts Becoming Dinosaurs?

We put so much time into getting fancy with our blogs. Then, more time into promoting them and getting them somewhat noticed in general. But the easiest post to make is just plain old text. No fussing with graphics or HTML code. Spellcheck will catch most of your spelling or typing mistakes. When a text post is so simple why are they becoming fewer and shorter?

In my own case I used to write a lot more. Babbling away about nothing much or some actual topic when one occurred to me. I’m not sure what happened. It’s something I want to work on. When I get some extra time from everything else, all that fancy stuff.

Professional Newbies

I’m getting a little irked with “professional” bloggers who don’t know a damn thing about writing, maintaining or creating a blog. Try using a dictionary if you want anyone to take you seriously. Don’t know how to fix an error on your template? Then do not call yourself a professional blogger until you can load a new template and make it work.

Learn some CSS and HTML code, call it XHTML if you like. Learn how to spell basic words like “a lot”( it is not one word). Learn how to use the [shift] key so you can capitalize proper names for things and people.

Far too many money-making, SEO and topical bloggers label themselves professional without knowing anything more than how to type. Being able to type does not make you a competent blogger. Some of them would not even rate amateur.

I think there should be an official Dust Bunny Award for Professional Boggers. People who type a blog proclaiming themselves professional, experts.

Maybe I’m being a little hard on them. But, they make it beyond silly to proclaim themselves professionals while I can find 3 spelling mistakes (or typos) in their most recent post. Can’t we get a browser feature that closes these kind of blogs just as it does the pop up windows? Can’t we be spared from the Professional Boggers?

LockerGnome: Blogging Should Be Sexy

I revamped and changed the focus of the blog I was writing for LockerGnome. Now it’s called Blogging Should Be Sexy. Is the neon pink too much? Just cause I like it doesn’t mean anyone else will. 🙂

I wrote an About page for it:

Blogging should be personal, artistic and sexy. Innovative, original and imperfect web publishing for free spirits.

My first blog was on Geocities. Not an official CMS, just something I typed into a text file, added HTML to it and saved to my freebie Geocities pages. I wish I had saved those but I was also writing in my handwritten journal offline so it’s not all gone. Since then I’ve tried several versions and styles of blogs. I’ve stuck with Blogger longest cause it’s fairly simple and lets you focus on the writing and creating instead of figuring out coding and bugs. My current blog was begun June 2004. My first blog was started in 1998.

My blog style is imperfect, experimental and requires creative ingenuity. It’s also a lot of fun! That’s what makes it sexy. I make mistakes, I patch things up and find work arounds. I discover great new ideas and use them. I take risks with my blog cause at the end of the day I’m really doing it to hear myself type. I am pleased to have readers and comments but, I’ll let you know ahead that it’s only me you’ll find behind that curtain. Whatever I am; I am myself first.

There are a lot of sites to find out about SEO, monetization and professional blogging. This isn’t one of them.

For Latte Girl and Others

This is the code I used for the scroll up frame for the Canadian Blogroll. The top half is just the graphic so you can skip that if you don’t want to type it out. Click on the above graphic to see it bigger sized.

Added: To add the code to a Blogger blog you go to ‘Customize’ then ‘Add Page Element’ then choose ‘HTML/JavaScript’ and click “Add to Blog”. Move the cell where you want it and save your changes.

I have to get to work now. Leave me a note if you get it in there.

Thursday Thirteen #19: EntreCard Blog Ideas

For Thursday Thirteen – Thirteen things I could write about personal blogging and blogs for the EntreCard blog. Kind of nice to make a list even if I never remember to check it.

1. Clutter and decluttering a blog. Three columns blog or 3 column footer.

2. Keeping true to your own voice. Writing for yourself instead of putting on a show.

3. Online journaling. Release your passions, upsets and strange ideas.

4. Making a site on MySpace, Vox and other offbeat or lesser known blog-type places.

5. Simple HTML and CSS tricks.

6. Personal blog security, passwords, backing up your blog and so on.

7. Writing when no one is listening. How to keep writing when you feel like you’re just talking to yourself.

8. How to add illustrations to your blog even if you can’t draw. Photo hosting services links included.

9. Should you use word verification or just comment moderation.

10. Elements of a good layout and design.

11. Joining groups to match your interests.

12. Using the background file to change the look of your whole blog, easily.

13. Spelling counts. Spellcheck, free and easy to use online.