There are two kinds of people in the world: those who blog and those who don't.
It's been about a year since my inaugural post here on Two Kinds of People. I claimed then that my primary reason for starting a blog was to get help naming our new puppy, Hazel. Truth be told, I started blogging to learn, well, how to blog.
I've been a writer my entire adult life, and while I firmly believe that good writing will always be good writing, how and where we read and write is changing by the minute, shifting ever more quickly from the page to the screen. A recent study of online behavior found that consumers now spend more than twice as much time online as they do watching television, and eight times as much as they spend reading newspapers and magazines.
The way we communicate and our definition of community is transforming daily. We Twitter and Tweet and meet and greet in ways that weren't even dreamt of ten years ago. I haven't bought into it all (yet), but I love the instant gratification of blogging. There's no waiting for acceptance or rejection. It happens now. And if I were a control freak (which of course I'm not) I might be all aquiver over so much power — my words, my graphics, my layout, mine, mine, mine. (I am not a control freak. Stop saying that.)
The feedback is the best part. In case you didn't know, bloggers live for comments. (Leave a comment, dammit!) It's a conversation with friends and strangers from around the world. That little widget on my sidebar called Feedjit let's me see how and when readers arrive at my site. Someone recently visited from Cairo (Egypt, not Illinois). How cool is that? Another reader landed on my poetry post by doing a google search for the Coleridge quote I used.
I've met really interesting people — other bloggers, of course, but published writers, other moms, entrepreneurs and techies, as well. The women writing with me on the Chicago Moms Blog and the rest of The Silicon Valley Moms Group, have become a family of sisters, mentors and friends. The connections I've made have been fascinating, even though I've only met one person from the blogging world face-to-face. And I've even won some cool free stuff along the way.
It turns out the internet works like my brain (a scary concept, I know). It can take you in a straight line if you're in a hurry, or you can meander along interesting paths if you are
easily distracted a creative thinker.
My goal when I started was to learn, and I've learned a lot, including:
- a little html
- how to transform a PowerPoint into a video
- how to embed video and add third party code
- a bunch of tricks for uploading and exporting and importing and digitizing
- how to let go of a piece writing and not edit it to death
It seems like I learn something new every day, and that's exciting. With all this emphasis on the new, I thought after a year it was time to shake things, so I dropped the old standard blogger template and learned how to do a little online design. What do you think? I even learned how to create and embed a poll to see how you really feel about this new look.