When I saw the blog carnival title, “Carnival of Struggling Bumbling Newbies” I knew I had found my natural home. I have gone through great upheaval launching my embryonic blog due to a serious lack of knowledge of PHP and MySql, among a long list of other things.
Have any of you read the recent research indicating that ongoing learning invigorates the brain and is a factor in longevity? By those standards I estimate I added 30 years to my probable life expectancy in the first few days of trying to get my blog working.
The first issue was selecting a blogging platform. WordPress intimidated me because of the necessity of tinkering under the hood, yet it also has a large body of people who do know how to work with it. It looked best suited for my purposes if I could survive launching it.
Reading through the 5 minute install instructions convinced me I had 2 years of learning ahead before I could understand the instructions. Luckily for me, a nice young man in Australia installed it for me on a domain I had ready on my web host.
I had discovered the necessity of “pretty permalinks” so I attempted to activate them. It is quite alarming to vaporize your blog in a cloud of Page Not Found errors. No matter how I tried, that was the result every time.
This led to the discovery my web host had Windows servers and WordPress is written for Apache servers. I explored various workarounds, but they were so far over my head I abandoned the effort. I still have no idea what IIS is, but I do know it is allergic to permalinks in WordPress.
The next step was to move my blog to another host who uses Apache servers. This was a massively trying ordeal, but I got it done. With great trepidation I then attempted to set up my permalinks, and to my astonishment, they worked perfectly!
I then plunged into the arcane world of themes and installing them. Worse yet, I also needed to learn to modify them to use my nice header I had designed for my blog. There are a lot of ways to modify a theme that do extremely strange things. I found many of them.
During the course of all this, I told my husband I was excited to write a blog about my assorted explorations of art, gardening, and energy work. These are deeply interwoven facets of my creative life.
He promptly announced I should do a blog about fly fishing instead. (Does this give you a clue about his passion in life?) I told him I did not have time to do everything but blogging about fly fishing and his fly fishing paintings was a good idea. If he wrote it I would put it on the internet for him.
I made that offer because my husband dislikes almost everything electronic. He was setting a digital watch once and it wandered off into the twilight zone. Everything he did made it worse. He eventually solved the problem by throwing it in the wood stove.
So I tried out the Fantastico one button install to create his new blog, Brown Trout Delight. To my relief, it worked easily. I began to think doing two blogs when I really did not know how to do one effectively would not get a lot worse than what I was already doing.
It actually isn’t, as long as I quickly go do something on the second blog when I figure out how to do it on the first blog. Otherwise I am in danger of forgetting how I did it and have to reinvent that particular wheel.
To date I have managed to get themes installed, set up permalinks, installed the Sidebar Widgets plugin, set up Feedburner, and learned how to put a little banner on a sidebar. I also customized my theme. Now I think it is time to just get busy and write, which, as I recall, was the whole idea in the first place.