Blogging 101 Day Five: Love Your Theme

So I’m not doing the Blogging 101 Lessons in order (I was like this in school, if Hamlet was assigned I read King Lear. Not particularly admirable, but at least I did read Lear).

This assignment is “love your theme” with the advice to try at least three different themes. “Even if you’re happy with the one you first chose. Try one you’re drawn to, and one you would never use.”

As I have blogged before, trying out themes is something that I do a lot–in fact it’s a problem.  (See https://afewreasonablewords.com/2015/06/14/words-of-advice-the-tragedy-of-theme-addiction/)

2015

My current theme, 2015, from WordPress.

What’s more I’m very happy with 2015 (one of the standard WordPress themes) when it comes to my personal blog. I don’t do anything particularly tricked out in terms of features, widgets, doodads, and the like, so haven’t encountered anything it can’t cope with  and it’s responsive and works well with my signature image (a blue sky over Monhegan, ME).

But in the spirit of trying of doing the homework as assigned for once, I checked out two different ones; here they are and what I learned:

cyanotype

Cyanotype theme

Here’s Cyanotype, love the color and type, and how the photos pop. Not sure if the antique photography inspiration works visually or editorially with my content. Seems a little too spare. (This is the one I chose because it appealed to me).

 

And then there’s Patch, which I chose because it was one I would never use. It’s all “cards” (how is that still an Internet design thing, aren’t we on to the next idea?)  But I will grant that 1) this kind of approach dissolves the distinction between content for mobile and content for desktop sizes (by making it mobile first, not a bad idea). 2) It pointed out to me that featured images and tagging are  as important as what you post.

patch

Patch WordPress theme. You can smell the hipster mustache wax. Can see it being great for a news-oriented blog.

 

A useful exercise, but I’ll stick with my current rig.

 

 

Blogging 101, Day 3: Reading Other Blogs

Assignment #3 was learning your way around the WordPress Reader, and also thinking about your blogging in the context of others you read. The other bit was following five new blogs and five new tags. Useful prompt–I haven’t used the Reader that much (I just follow stuff on FB), and I didn’t know that you can just use it for RSS feeds, so have hooked in my favorites. Interesting to think about how varied the content of the blogs I follow is, and how catching a particular voice is what grabs me.

Also a reminder that tying into the (vast) community of WordPress is partially dependent on tagging and categorizing.  My self, my meta data.

 

The vast expanse of WordPress.com blogs. (Well, actually it's Big Meadows at Shenandoah National Park, but they're both big!).

The vast expanse of WordPress.com blogs. (Well, actually it’s Big Meadows at Shenandoah National Park, but they’re both big!).

Blogging 101, Day 2: Wrangling Titles & Taglines

Today’s assignment is “take control of your title and tagline.” Mine perhaps needs some help.

My title is:
A Few Reasonable Words
And the tagline is: “One should, each day, try to hear a little song, read a poem, see a fine picture, and, if possible, speak a few reasonable words.” — Goethe

With my usual tendency to over explain things, I see that I have used up the tagline space to gloss the quotation. Time to dump that (or do the explaining elsewhere). (Oops, already do.)

But, what to use as a tag instead? My blog is probably more often a Commonplace Book than anything else, also sort of a library reference desk display rack–things of (possibly infinitesimal) interest.  “More information than you require” would work, but that has been taken by the droll John Hodgman.

Some bloggy riff on “Books you Don’t Need in Place You Can’t Find” might fit the bill (that’s the motto of the Montague (MA) Bookmill). “Bits and bites you don’t need on a blog you can’t find…”

I think I will go with that for now. The beauty of the interwebs means I can change it tomorrow, of course.

And for good measure, a few famous taglines from a previous content delivery medium, newspapers:

"All the news that's fit to print," "the seven most famous words in American journalism" according to the the BBC. And inspiration for a perhaps legendary sign in the Times compositing room, "All the news that fits, we print."

“All the news that’s fit to print,” “the seven most famous words in American journalism” according to the the BBC. And inspiration for a perhaps legendary sign in the Times compositing room, “All the news that fits, we print.”

baltimore_sun

“Light for all,” a nice tagline, and the changes in the Sun’s vignette  are a mini-history lesson.

wgn

In an era in which newspaper barons were equivalent to the tech giants of today, Robert “Colonel” McCormick loomed large. I’m not sure if he named the Trib “world greatest newspaper,” but that was the motto for many years. It also gave his flagship radio and TV stations, “WGN,” their call letters.

There’s another one I couldn’t find an image for, but I love: the San Francisco Examiner’s motto,  “The Monarch of the Dailies” –the flagship paper of the monarch of the press lords, William Randolph Hearst.

Blogging 101, Day 1

Although I’ve been blogging for three years, I finally have gotten around to taking WordPress.com’s Blogging 101, a kick start for a new blog, or a way to rev up an existing one (something I’m ready for).

Today’s assignment (which I wrote while riding back from Maryland’s Eastern Shore (Chesapeake Bay shot below), write a post introducing yourself, “Who I Am, and Why I’m Here…”

Easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy: I’m a writer, media producer and sort of WordPress developer/would-be techie. I’ve been involved in editorial this and that for 30+ years, hanging around libraries, museums, performing arts organizations, and public media. Did my first website in 1995, most recent one last week. A couple that a lot of people visit, this one…not so much!

Why I’m here: have always interested in the intersection between content and technology (what happens when they duke it out?).  I also like open software, design, and fiddling with things, and god is WordPress fiddly. It also seemed to be a nice way to train up in a platform that over 20% of the web is using. So mostly I’m here to learn WordPress, and share a bit content that caught my eye.

So that’s me in a nutshell. More soon.

 

Chesapeake_Bay

View from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, Labor Day 2015