Questions for Readers, and a 101 Day Round-Up

I’m here with you and the spirit of WordPress, writing away on a gorgeous Spring weekend, to sum up a little of what’s gone on here over the last 101 days, and get reader feedback for some plans I’m cooking up for this site’s theme.

My hope is to arrive at how the thing called Internet bisects my values and things I enjoy that I’d like to do more of in everyday life. If I don’t find a destination, per se, that’s OK. The goal is to explore, joyfully and with dedication.

Ritual, Manners, Branding, Identity

100 days ago I committed to making 100 meaning-of life posts, and 101 days later I’ve added 60 posts to my tally. That comes out to anywhere from 1 to 7 posts a week, an average of about 4 a week. There were times when once a week was hard, moreso a few weeks ago than now. Four posts a week is a respectable clip for a one-person blog. Two or three is more reachable in the long run; at the same time, a little pressure is good for creativity.

I have projects coming up that may require me to cut back somewhat, but because my original commitment was to give it my all for 101 days of posts, I’ll do whatever I can to make the next 40 posts at the 4 post a week rate. One of my missions for the next 40 posts is to widen and deepen the blogging topic list I started the end of March.

This coming week I’m going to write about web strategy and content development for small brick and mortar businesses – it’s been an interest of mine just about forever. If I’ve worked on a site for you and in the next few articles you think I’m talking about you, it ain’t necessarily so. You are not the only one. Consider yourself to be an archetype, a sign of the times.

Another topic I’ve enjoyed a lot of late is social media, though I’m a little less settled about how I feel about the web’s current state of social media development. Community is good. Marketing is… sometimes tricky. Respect is almost everything.

This brings my joy of the Elizabeth-brand list of topics up to five. Pardon me while I give myself a big w00t and vava voom for adding to my me-brand.

  1. Identity – Branding beyond logo and colors
  2. Community – What sparks it and keeps it energized, online and locally, through social media and other kinds of venues, and any supportive roles that marketing can play
  3. Culture – Specifically how the Internet can be a positive force of understanding and respect in this era of terrorism and military activism
  4. Web content – strategies for small businesses, especially those that are new to the web or dissatisfied with their current site

But wait! There’s more! Read on, and please tell me what you think!

AbleReach will get a custom WordPress theme

If there is interest, I’m up for starting with the WP default and documenting what I change, tutorial-style, one step at a time. This is not something I’d normally advise for a blog with a large following, because ongoing change can confuse readers, and doing it this way will take longer, prolonging the metamorphosis. It might not be too terrible – after coming to my site, the most common next clicks are from Recent Posts or Top Ten Posts. If those two are both in an anticipated place we may not be too lost. Are you game?

Sometime soon I’ll decide if I’m going to make a new logo, maybe without the “Arts & Web Development” or “AbleReach helps you get online” lines. I have held onto this logo graphic for sentimental reasons, and I could easily keep holding on and layering on bylines. I like the bold, fat, scripty typeface, and all three taglines are a part of me, but so much has changed in a few short years! It may be time for a logo change, too.

Some day I’ll have to share the story of how that logo and my domain name came to be. :-)

I Want More Feed Functionality

Is it my imagination, or are feeds getting cooler?

I like Ruud Hein’s use of shared items in his sidebar. Very sweet, and interesting brain food, too. I am feeling all hero-worshipy and am seriously considering following his lead by replacing part of my blogroll area with a feed of recent post titles from some of my favorite places.

I spend a LOT of time on StumbleUpon. I like the idea of shared favorite things, and somewhere in my travels I’m sure I’ve seen a feed of recent SU reviews in a blog sidebar. Would adding that be interesting, or overkill? And, is there a way to pull in only reviews from relevant tags?

And, I haven’t added a FeedBurner link for blog comments. If I added one, would you use it?

Blog Comments Will Soon Be Dofollow

I’ll be installing Lucia’s Linky Love, a nice little configurable dofollow plugin that I learned about from Donne Fontenot. Thanks, Donna!

No way am I going dofollow without a comments policy, but what do I want to say? I’m a hard case about some kinds of sites that are in reality perfectly legit. In all semi-snobby honesty, if a link leads to a blog where posts start off with several inches of ads, I’m likely to edit out the link entirely. Is that being a hard case? Would it get me hate mail? Hmmm…

Heidi-ho, SEO-ing Neighbors

Until now I haven’t made a strong effort towards optimized Hx, or added any keyword or description metas, or even customized any titles. True, metas don’t push up serps, but the description meta at least can help serps show a nicer snippet.

As for the titles, mia culpa, my mind was elsewhere. I was operating on the theory that nothing with power happens without a personal center. The moment I start adding SEO-ified bits I’ll start spending more time watching my stats and less with that groovy got-to-be-me centering thang. LOL. I’m feeling… erm… riper now, in a good way, and may start to add a few SEO-ish bits here and there.

General Pandering

Do you want to see my Amazon wish list? I promise to choose only cool stuff, like solar powered jet cars, bunny slippers, nerd books, etc. Did I mention solar powered cars?

I also need to promote and custom-design the My Top Spots widget, and add an advertising policy. Pandering is nicer with ethics and personalization, eh?

Got opinions? Please comment and share.