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I can has blog?
August 11, 2012 12:56 PM   Subscribe

A few weeks ago, I asked for ideas for hobbies to keep me occupied while living on a small island in Alaska. A number of people suggested keeping a blog, and that appealed. So now I'm asking for help and resources to do it right!

My goal for the blog (aside from providing a really solid hobby that can be time consuming) is to document the adventure for friends, family, and posterity, and to engage in a community.

Thus far I have registered a blog on Blogger, bought a domain name through GoDaddy, but no hosting or anything yet, and set up Twitter and Pinterest accounts.

What should I be reading? What equipment and tools do I need e.g. MarsEdit? Keep in mind that I won't really be able to download anything once I get out there, which is soon. I have a relatively trusty MacBook Pro, and mostly use my phone as a camera. I am a complete blogging neophyte.
posted by charmcityblues to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
GIMP or GimpShop for photo editing.
posted by knile at 1:37 PM on August 11, 2012


This previous AskMe says pretty much everything I was going to suggest about getting set up. Hosting, wordpress.org, and off you go.

A simple image editor will be of use to properly format your photos for the web. iPhoto will take care of that for you.

Then it's just a matter of finding a sweet Wordpress theme (there are thousands of free ones out there), popping the theme into your Wordpress installation, and a blogging you will go!
posted by ronofthedead at 1:39 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


My advice (that I have thus far failed to take myself) is to just do it. Just start. You can worry about changing to a cool theme And other details later but for now, just start blogging and see how it goes.
posted by kat518 at 2:03 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you can get a plugin or something to be able to schedule posts, do that. Then you can space your posts out so there is always content appearing.
posted by cashman at 3:41 PM on August 11, 2012


Keep in mind that I won't really be able to download anything once I get out there, which is soon.

It'd be helpful to know in a little more detail what your internet/technology situation would be, as it will affect what you'll be able to do with the blog (for example, videoblogging is probably out if you're going to be on, say, dial-up). The blog-as-medium has gotten to be amorphous and broad enough that what you'll want to learn/get tools (software and hardware) for is going to be largely up to what kind of blog you want to run. If you want to do a podcast, for example, you'll want to invest in a decent microphone and learn some editing tools: mathowie actually put together a pretty decent guide (from this AskMe thread). Doing something like a photography blog would require a completely different skillset. There are good tutorials online for pretty much everything, and a good starting point is just to do an AskMe search for relevant keywords.

If you're looking for just general technical knowledge on how to maintain a blog/website, learning some CSS, HTML, and Javascript can be useful but isn't really necessary. It sounds like you intend to depend primarily on hosted services (rather than set up your own webserver) so you aren't going have to delve too deep into neckbeard territory. I'd stay away from trying to roll your own website design and use a premade one: there are oodles of themes available for Blogger at your disposal.

Also, you should post your blog to MeFi Projects when you've got a couple posts down: it's both a great way to get constructive feedback and it can net you that critical first few non-family/friend/otherwise readers.
posted by nerdinexile at 12:13 PM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also it's always a good idea to preview before you post. Here's the AskMe thread.

We'll just assume that I totally meant to link that entire sentence and I didn't forget to close the link tag. Kay? Kay.
posted by nerdinexile at 12:18 PM on August 12, 2012


Good questions, nerdinexile, and thanks for the links!

I'm not sure about the internet, other than that it's satellite, it's slow, and we absolutely can't stream (not sure about downloading). I have an iPhone with a decent microphone.

Getting the theme, etc. set up now and working on my first posts. This is exciting!
posted by charmcityblues at 10:27 AM on August 13, 2012


Thanks to all for your help. I mostly took Kat518's advice, and just started doing it! Although I'll eventually want to finetune, I'm happy with where I am for the moment.

Link's in the profile if you care to check it out!
posted by charmcityblues at 1:57 PM on August 30, 2012


Great! Following now on Google Reader.
posted by knile at 5:56 AM on August 31, 2012


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