Blogging 101


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Well, dear readers, this is blog post number 101 over here at nobaddays. Can you believe it?

Those who know and love me will tell you what a Luddite I am. I carry the cheapest pay-as-you-go brick of a phone, have a cassette player (you know, with the stretchy tapes that melt in the sun?) in my car, and still haven’t found a good enough reason to sign up for cable.

So, as with many things in my life, I came to blogging late. The first blogs I ever saw were those of my technologically astute friends Erika and Declan. And I remember thinking, “Why mess with all this complicated on-the-fly stuff when you can make a simple HTML page and update it by hand?” Embarrassing, I know.

But then we had Tau and I quickly realized that a blog would be the easiest way to keep up with family and give them one place to go for news, pictures and videos. Sort of a year-round Christmas letter on steroids.

I chose a simple Yahoo 360 blog because we already had Yahoo IDs and I didn’t know any better. It didn’t take long before I got annoyed with their clunky blogging-for-dummies approach and transferred those first few Yahoo posts over to WordPress. By the way, I have yet to go back and fix the fonts and graphics on those old posts but, hey, they are here for posterity.

In the transition to WordPress (and how did this happen?) Dave ended up authoring our first WP post but for those of you who are new to nobaddays, here is a link to our very first (Yahoo) blog post ever! And check out the very next one with a picture of three-week-old Tau. Was our 33-pound thug ever that tiny?

So, just over 18 months later, here are a few things I’ve discovered about blogging:

  • Blogging puts you in touch with a world far bigger than your own. In touch with people you would never have met. Like Greeblemonkey and Daisy Bones and Luckybeans and Oh! The Joys and Her Bad Mother and Superhero Journal and So Close and her sister Doula Mel and Amazing Trips and Doodaddy and My Little Mochi and the Nackens and all those nutty ladies over at Crazy Hip Blog Mamas.
  • WordPress stats tell me that, on average, about 40 people hit nobaddays every day. I understand that this is nothing compared to big-time personal blogs like Dooce or Mighty Girl but hey, it’s 40 more hits than I expected when we started posting pictures of our kid in this space. Before WordPress nuked their feed stats reporting tool recently, we were at about 100 people reading this little blog in an RSS feed each week. Divide that by, on average, two postings a week, and you have about 50 of you that have nobaddays in your feed reader, which astounds me.
  • Astounds me because only a handful of you comment with any regularity, which brings me to the participation part of this post and here it is:

I am going to leave this post up here for a week, untouched. Yes, I’m going to take a blogging vacation for the next seven days and get some stuff done around the house that I’ve been procrastinating over for months. And in the mean time, I’d like it very much if you would leave a comment here introducing yourself (called “delurking” in blog speak) and telling me how you found us. If you are too shy to come out in public, there is a form at the bottom of our About Us page that allows you to leave an anonymous note. So please do. And thank you.

  • Blog stats also tell me that this post had the most views (124) in the past 30 days, that lots of you click through to our Flickr stream and YouTube channel, and that people search for the craziest stuff. Here is a list of recent search queries with links to the nobaddays post that appeared in the search engine results: Gene Wilder’s hair , camels loving “video”, the air hostess brushed her breasts, hysterical parenting (ouch!), How to report an indoor banana tree?, and my personal favorite, SAVE THE muffin lady!
  • My biggest blogging frustration? I have learned that I never have enough time to post the way I’d like about all the topics I’d like. Such is the nature of life working full-time with a long commute and a husband and child that deserve all the attention I can give them. I wouldn’t want it any other way (apart from the commute thing) and I am grateful for the time I do get to fire off quick posts, even though the writing isn’t as razor sharp as I’d like and the odd typo and punctuation boo-boo creep in.
  • I’ve discovered that when you blog, you start to see your whole world through bloggy glasses. Current events, a snippet of conversation, news from an old school friend — your first thought is, “Definitely bloggable!”
  • Also, let me state the obvious, in case you are wondering. Dave isn’t big into blogging, so he doesn’t write here much even though it is our blog — unless I kick his butt and/or ask nicely, also known as nagging. But he does read blogs, even though he doesn’t like to admit it. Mostly travel, wine and sports blogs. And while we are on the subject of my dear husband, I swear, if he asks me one more time while reading your comments, “Is she the one in Utah?” or “Is that the family in Zambia?” then I’ll feel totally justified in posting that wedding picture I have in the closet … the one with the early-nineties near-mullet where he still has brown hair!
  • And finally, I’ve discovered that maintaining a blog that your family, friends and colleagues read means having to watch your mouth and not blog about the stuff that really gets you going. So that you don’t have to explain after the fact or tell your family not to worry. That said, I feel nothing but gratitude for the technology that allows us to keep in touch from so far away, and I am more than happy to remain true to our original intention — that this be a blog, in most part, for our families. Though we do love our other readers, so please don’t stop dropping by.

In closing, a few notes on the future of nobaddays. While this free WordPress blog gives me 90 percent of what I need technically speaking, I know that at some point we’ll probably get our own domain and install full-blown WordPress. With templates that I can customize properly and the benefit of a bit more extensibility. Those of you who have had experience doing this, I’d appreciate your advice.

And also, just so you know, I do ponder the name of our blog from time to time. I know that you know that I’m not so Pollyanna as to think there are really no bad days. It’s more about our approach to life. A glass-half-full thing. That said, No Bad Days is a trademarked term and I feel a bit uncomfortable about that — again, I never expected anyone to visit us here apart from family but it is yet another reason to think about getting our own domain and a new name.

Here’s to the next 100 posts and thanks for reading!

– Sue, Dave and Tau


11 responses to “Blogging 101

  1. You know, I don’t blog about the stuff that really gets me going for similar reasons. After doing it for awhile though, I’m glad. I think when I look back over what I have written – like in the future – I’ll want to remember the good things and I would probably roll my eyes at my own rants.

  2. Well, I blog MOSTLY about things that get me going. Good and bad. Whatever inspires – which means that I might have all sorts of post ideas (because I, like you, see the world through bloggy glasses) but all those ideas get shunted aside for whatever happens to be getting me going the moment that I sit down to write.

    Blog vacations – VERY healthy! ;)

  3. Congrats on the blog milestone! And as for no bad days, well — it is a reminder to us all. Collectively we could all use to be a bit more glass half full.

  4. Okay, this is going to sound funny, but I don’t remember how I found your blog or even if I’ve ever left a comment before. I bet it was through CHBM. Anyway, my name is Crystal and my son Jack is only about 6 months younger than Tau. :)

  5. I don’t remember how I ended up here, but I do enjoy stopping by. I love the glass half full perspective.
    I know what you mean about finding the time to blog, and half the time I have to really think about what to blog because I don’t really have the time to get in to what I really want.
    Anyway, congratulations to 101. Keep it up.

  6. I used to work with Sue, back in the day. I always thought she was spectacularly skilled, and this blog proves all that and more. I don’t see Sue very much anymore. While I love living in LA, my home of 5+ years now (can it be that long ago that I moved here?), I do miss my SD friends, including Sue and Dave, and am sad that I have never met little Tau. My blog is pretty much no-holds-barred, but I could maybe tone it down a little. :-)

  7. David had hair?

  8. Last time I checked, he could still whip your butt on a bike. Evidently those flowing locks of yours cause wind resistance ;-)

  9. Sue — This is lovely. I hope you don’t change the name. I thought it fit you to a tee as soon as I read it.

    As for hosting your own Word Press site of course Tad can help you but I will warn you that the features you’ve been able to take advantage of by having someone else host for you may be more difficult if you host it yourself. Half the stuff you do on your blog (e.g., tags, the links column on the right, getting stats, managing comments, etc.) I have trouble with, because the conversation goes like this:

    Erika: Hey, so-&-so has this cool on their blog. Can we do that?

    Tad: Huh?

    Erika: You know, blah blah that does yadda yadda and isn’t that cool.

    Tad: Oh. (silence.)

    Erika: So, can we do that?

    Tad: Yeah but I have a script that does that.

    Erika: Oh. Can you teach me how to use it?

    Tad: Well, it needs work. [or] Maybe. [or] You need to know PHP to use it. [or] …

    You get the idea. You’ll notice, for example, that you can no longer comment on our blog because they were mostly spam. Don’t get me wrong, I shouldn’t complain, I love having my very own network engineer, but there are pros & cons. :)

  10. Ha! I am allowed to just leave a quick hi because I am one of your regular comenters. ;) great post.

  11. I have been blogging for just under 4 months and even though I am abig technophobe, it is hugely addictive!
    I know what you mean about blogging glasses. I do the same and even in the middle of the night, will think up posts to do.
    Keeping oneself in check is also difficult as you want to be real without offending anyone. Your readers will now be 41 a day.
    Your new BF, Mel (Tertia’s sis)

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