I think I’m getting there

The old posts are back and all on-site links work.

As I have time, I’ll restore comments on posts that won’t get updated later. Luckily, the ones that had lots of comments are the sort that will get updated.

Reconsidering Style

The better my browser resolutions get, the more I am reminded that I need to re-do my logo. I’ve been putting it off because of sentimental attachment – this one was my first. Looking at it now, there are a few things I’d do differently. I built it by combining two fonts I liked and slightly re-shaping them with a vector editing application – I don’t even remember which application, but I can tell you for sure that it was before Adobe gobbled up Macromedia, probably before Macromedia bought Allaire and maybe even before Homesite was sold to Allaire. I didn’t understand the benefits of working with vectors and changed the shapes a bit after converting to a jpeg, after which, somehow, I ended up with only gifs. I do not know where the original files are. This is how we learn. 🙂

I still like that sumi feel.

When I first made my logo, today’s CSS was a twinkle in the W3C’s collective eye.

Now that we have beautifully less buggy CSS and browsers that almost display identical content in identical ways, web design can be soooo much more fun. The first version of this layout was made with tables and little curved corner images, about which I felt soooo clever. It’s had more or less the same look for a very long time.

Change… hmm… I sort of have to grin and bear it, but once I get going I can play for hours and then some.

I’m not unhappy with what I have. However… today I own my very own legal copies of the CS2 versions of PhotoShop and Illustrator and inDesign… and I’m about to upgrade the whole kit and kaboodle and then some to CS5… and that’s a whole lot more to play with.

No content generation promises, this time around. I’m not going to put myself on a heavy blogging schedule. In the first place, I now have real clients who may wonder why I am messing around with my blog when I owe, ummm, work. LOL. Also, my days of having “a blog” are long over. Not sayin’ how many, will say I do keep busy.

My May 27th Coming Soon List

I have a busy week coming up here!

WordPress Wireframes

After taking a break from posting for Memorial Day yesterday, I’ll have the first-of-week WordPress post ready for you later on today. I’m writing about wireframes. There are two basic ways to remodel an existing WordPress theme. You can apply bandaids, one fix at a time, re-doing previous work to fit new changes, or you can make a wireframe and save likely reworkables for after a foundation structure is in place. Pardon me, but re-doing the same thing over and over again is boring as hell. I choose wisely: I choose wireframe.

Green Hosting

My quest for green web hosting continues! This week I’ll be sharing a Really Big List of about twenty “green” web hosts. At first, it seemed wrong to apply the same “green” label to two hosts if one plants a tree for every new server, and another uses solar energy to meet all of its own power needs. Eventually, hey, I relaxed a smidge. It’s all good, and change is a process. They get to define themselves, and I’m throwing them into one big list.

Also in the works is more on green hosting, and a list of special offers, though that may take me until next week. Gathering information from the hosts is turning into a drawn out process, both because of my schedule and my tendency for insane attention to detail. I’ve got a bee in my bonnet over this so I’ll try, try, try. I want to know how they feel about their level of green. And, after my recent experiences with my current host, I cherish the opportunity to do a little grilling about uptime guarantees, English-speaking tech support and other lovelies. Muahaha.


So, I have this post that I thought was funny, and then I got into this serious mood and decided not to post it. Now, hmmm… I’m giving its chances for showing up this week a 50/50 maybe probably.

To Escape or or Not to Escape?

My local Farmer’s Market opens on Wednesday, with a small and festive community parade. Librarians will dress up as fruits, and human-sized vegetables will do the samba. I promised myself that I’d get a lot more done before taking a day to play. Should I go play anyway, if I can’t get caught up today? Would it help if I promised y’all pictures?

More Balance

Each weekend a new “Brunch” post will feature thoughts about balancing family and self care with working in an always-on Internet environment. Sound familiar? You’ve seen it here three times.

I came up with the idea of a brunch series about a month ago, and introduced it on Mother’s Day. My own family is spread out and living large though separate lives. We rarely see each other. The giving back that I envisioned for my “matronly” (ha!) years is not happening, and I’m still here with the same goals and V.A.S.T. ideals. My Internet community is always “on,” alpha geek neck pain and all, so I’m brunching y’all. Scones anyone?

So far I’ve had two guest brunchers, Donna D. Fontenot and Paul Steven. Yaay Donna and Paul! This Saturday’s brunch will be from Rachael Goldstein, a graphic design resource queen and hard-working mother of four who I met on StumbleUpon. Here’s Rachel’s SU profile.

And one more thing!

A certain Kim (usability turns her on) Krause Berg is celebrating a birthday today. Drop on by the Cre8asite Forums pub and wish a happy birthday to our founder. While you’re there, check out SEO Newslets and revisit cross browser compatibility.

Exploring Questions, or Changing the World?

Yesterday I started a thread at Cre8asite Forums – Invisible Words: When Buzzwords Don’t. It was easy, a lot easier than writing a blog post. A forum post is part of a conversation, living with the support of a thread’s contextual structure. The whole community is invited to the party, becoming part of that context. Though a handful of people may be the ones to carry the conversation, the possibility of being an equal part of that conversation belongs to us all. A forum post doesn’t have to stand on its own.

While a blog post can be a part of a conversation, it also needs to stand on its own, normally, anyway. Anything that can be conceived of becomes possible – some of Jeffrey Zeldman’s “posts” are two lines of “post” followed by pages of very readable mini-conversation comments.

I find the stand-alone aspect of blog posts to be a little intimidating. There is a built-in expectation hope that the post should will be both a mini-manifesto and a conversation starter. And, I’ve also got to admit that writing through that pregnant hesitation is a bit of a thrill.

I love starting conversations, which may be why I find marketing to be so interesting. I couldn’t give a rat’s hat for influencing people, but the psychology of what interests us fascinates me to no end. There’s a sensation that I get when something clicks, and it could happen with anything. I see no boundaries between the “wow” feeling I get from a beautiful swoosh of paint on canvas, and the “wow” I get from reading a neat article about Dove’s highly successful Campaign for Real Beauty.

The Conversation: Wonderings And Manifestos From Others

Here are a few posts that have a germ of how I feel about conversations.

…this disruption of media is eroding the traditional command and control branding that has become such common place for marketers.

Well, I say hallelujah and good riddance!

I believe that there is a very compelling argument that media doesn’t have to be fragmented while at the same time the message need not be command and control anymore. It is only a matter of knowing how to orchestrate it.

Paul Dunay – The End of Command & Control Branding

The tide has turned. Brands teams that have allowed their brands to be touched by consumers have won and have upped the marketing ante.

Joanna Peña-Bickley – ON: Our Business Has Changed – Have You?

…perhaps we were guilty of over estimating the impact of the internet before the arrival of ubiquitous social networking.

David Cushman – Social networks and the broadcast conversation starter

I love asking questions that get people talking. I love to throw a pebble in the pool, and watch.

Questions From Me

Here’s a quick set of questions that rolled around in my brain this morning.

  • When you write a blog post, are you envisioning a conversation, or do you construct a post to stand on its own?
  • How is the set-up for a conversation different than that for a stand-alone post?
  • Do you blog to get your own ideas out there, or are you more interested in the intersection between your ideas and the great long tail of how those ideas live in the world?
  • Which is easier: exploring a question, or stating a position?
  • Which is better: stating your case or inspiring others to state theirs?

Your Turn

If you are so moved, tell me what you think.

I Dofollow Comments

My nofollow comment status is coming down.

Dofollow Comments as a Linking Philosophy

A good conversation is worth fistfulls of gofollows or nofollows or any kind of follows. Why? Because people who have participated in or read a good conversation on a blog are likely to come back and do it again. Unlike Search Engine algorithms, people develop loyalties, and blogs live and die by loyalties. Develop the network and the links will come. Use keywords and the Search Engines will also use those keywords – to make sense of the links.

Putting links before people is backwards, especially for blogs.

Risks of Removing Nofollow from Blog Comments

I’ve been thinking of removing nofollow for a while, and I’ve had reservations. I don’t like the idea of being sought out by quasi-commenters who search specifically for dofollow blogs. I imagine them using the search status plugin for Firefox to see just how “dofollow” a blog’s comments are, and deciding to make some lame link drop comment based on that.

I’d really rather never deal with link drops. Ever. Anywhere.

The fact remains that though a blanket nofollow on comments may make sense where comments aren’t carefully moderated and the blog’s owner isn’t around much, that’s not the situation here. I’m in here every day, and I’m a compulsive spam zapper. As as a forum moderator I have some serious practice at being consistently and conscientiously compulsive about such things.

And, the forum thing also has me predisposed to going the extra mile for a readership.

Once in a while someone will leave a comment that has a bit of their heart in it. For that, I’d like to hand out party favors or pour ’em a second cup of coffee, but being as this is a blog and I already serve up full feeds, the tender I’m intending to add to the pot is a little thing known as dofollow.

I’m removing nofollow from the comments on this blog, with some caveats.

Dofollow Comment Spammers Beware

  • I’m not allowing signature links to bad neighborhoods, no matter how wonderful the comment.
  • I don’ wan’ no stinkin crazy quasi SEO signature link text
  • Dofollow only kicks in for those who have been commenting here for a while
  • Last but not least, no “junk” comments. Some kinds of one liners with sig links are not comments.

“Thanks for sharing. Great blog.” Is not enough of a comment to disarm my anti spam radar. Likewise to a “Look here for your answers” that stops short of adding to the conversation here, and links to your own services. If you’re out searching for dofollow blogs that also have green fairy dust page rank, tread gently when commenting. I am a generous linker when someone has established themselves as a generous contributor. Otherwise, don’t poke the bear.

In short, I’m putting Lucia in charge.

Lucia’s Linky Love

Lucia’s Linky Love was is a beautiful dofollow plugin. Check out some of the configuration options:

  • Dofollows are added to the author “name” and links in comment text after a commenter leaves some minimum number of comments. The blogger can set this minimum number to anything between 3 and 10. This encourages regular visitors to comment, but discourages spammers by forcing them to visit your blog many times before they get “dofollows”.

  • Gives peace of mind. Dofollows will not be added to comments left more than 14 days after you published your most recent post. This is a safety feature that prevents your blog from becoming a link farm should you ever be unexpectedly absent from your blog due to illness or any other major life event.

  • The blogger may refuse “dofollows” to “names” that contain too many characters. This can be used to avoid giving “dofollows” to commenters who claim their name is “cashmere dog sweater”.

More About Nofollow and Dofollow

Ultimate List of Nofollow & Dofollow Plugins – Andy Beard’s February 2007 post is still a good resource, over a year later. He has this to say about Lucia’s Linky Love: I was going to liken this plugin to a Ferrari, because it is built to be fast, but it is probably more like a Subaru, not just fast but designed for rugged terrain and can handle the twists and turns of comment spammers without slowing down.

What I’m Doing Instead of Attending SES-NY

Dazzlin Donna has inspired me. :)

…let’s pull this baby back to what I was originally talking about. Content. Giving users what they crave. Right…now we’re back. I’m going to spend a fair amount of time on just this one topic, and I’m going to give my visitors lots of content to quench their thirst for information as well as great graphics to please their visual souls. Once I’ve satisfied this craving, I’ll go back to the analytics reports to see if they are craving something else that I could provide more of. And that, my friends, is what I’m doing instead of going to the never-ending carousel of search conferences. What are you doing?

What I’m Doing Instead of Attending SES-NY

Here goes…

Getting Used to Writing More Small Posts

~ or ~

Perfectionism Gets a Day Off

If you’ve been reading me for a while, you know that I decided to start this blog in backwards mode. I am blogging about finding my brand before I consciously choose one. I am creating content before considering what I want that content to do, before considering my audience or who may be my intended audience. I am starting with “me.”

It’s hard! A to-do list based on actionable goals may look longer and heavier, (and use more big words – dontcha just love “actionable”??) but in reality, there is no substitute for a map.

Now, you’d think that the informality of how I decided to start this would mean that I’m already comfortable writing short, informal posts that help us keep in touch. Not so. I am a perfectionist. I am the worst kind of perfectionist: I procrastinate. Perfectionism plus procrastination equals paralysis, and don’t you forget it.

When I saw Donna’s post of today I knew what I had to do. Perfectionism gets a day off, and we’ll just see what happens next.

I Like Networking

Later today I’m meeting three different people from three different places in this great wild world of ours, online, in chat sessions, mainly to discuss projects. This happened because I like to brainstorm, we’re all on StumbleUpon, and seeds of ideas like the light of other ideas. One person talks to another, and another, and sometimes something very nice starts happening. It has nothing to do with trying to get the other guy to click on your widget. Repeat after me: there are enough clicks to go around.

If SU ever becomes a bot-infested quasi directory link farm I’ll be in that part of the trenches marked “community first,” wearing my brand evangelist hat and swinging the biggest stick I can get my hands on.

Writing About Print Style Sheets

This evening I’ll be putting the finishing touches on a tutorial about print style sheets. I’ll also install one here – LOL. If you don’t have a print style sheet yet you’re in good company. There are some pretty impressive blogs out there that either don’t have print style sheets or have really bad ones.

If you’re one of the Famous Few or just some lost blogging wannababe who’d like a clue or two, tune in here in a few hours, because this is EASY, folks. Quick and easy. I’ll have tips, 1-2-3 how-to’s, and cautions.

Making your own print style sheet should take under half an hour, unless you are both a raging perfectionist and have a lot of inline styling to futz with. If you’re totally unfamiliar with code, you may need more time. If you need help with that, leave comments here or head over to Cre8asite and send up a white flag. The theory is that my tutorials will help people who want to learn, and may need to figure out where the how-to books meet the blog template that’s in their hot little hands, right now, as is.

Caution: given that my “evening” can last until I go to bed at 2am the next morning, depending on your time zone you may not see my post about style sheets until tomorrow.

Road Testing Action Plans, as a community-building activity

This is new. On Monday Jennifer Osborne of Search Engine People started a five part series on blog strategy. Her first post was How to Sell your Client on a Blog Strategy. I’m going to take her plan and apply it to my blog. She’ll be posting weekly for another four weeks. At some point after her posts come out each Monday, I’ll blog about how I am applying her strategies.

The topics:

  1. How to Sell your Client on a Blog Strategy
  2. How to develop a Blog Strategy? What makes it a ‘Strategy’ versus just implementing a Blog?
  3. How to Come up with Blog Post Ideas for Challenging Industries
  4. What are realistic measures of success for your Client’s Blog?
  5. How to get your Blog Traffic to Convert

My reasons for doing this are many.

  • First and foremost, I encourage others to blog. They’ve got their own resistance that has nothing to do with mine. If I am putting my energy where my mouth is, I think it will help me help them.
  • Secondly, I like how Jennifer thinks and I think I can use the way she combines her ideas with pragmatic, “actionable” planning.
  • Third in line and probably the most meaty in the long run, I like how the web connects us, and this is a way to take that in and grow with it. I want to test and demonstrate my belief that the Internet has changed the way we can be community with each other. Creating a popular list of resources is “only” creating content. What happens next?

    IMHO, blogging is part of a communication revolution, in the sense of “The” revolution, the revolution to change the world that many were so hungry for in the 60’s.

First Things First

First I’m going for a walk. Though weather reports promised us two weeks of rain and cold, for some strange reason the sun is shining. I’m treating it like a reverse of that cartoon of the guy who always has a rain cloud over his head. This is my sunshine, baby, and I’m not going to stay inside and miss it.


A p.s. for the two curious souls who wondered if my peas are sprouting: the answer is yes. Each of my six pots of possibilities is showing the heads and shoulders of several vigorous sugar snap pea sprouts. I can hardly wait until the leaves start to unfurl.

I Dream of Way Cool Blog Posts, but it’s not what you think

Soooo, at about 9:00 Friday evening I was working on a blog post, not this blog post, aaaand thought I’d take a little Stumble break before polishing it off. The next thing I knew it was after 1:00 am Saturday and I was in that twilight zone where a person wonders if they are awake or asleep. This poor pumpkin doesn’t do time change very well.

When I nodded off I had several open browser tabs. I’d fallen asleep in mid “oh what a cool post.” The Very Cool Stuff I’d been happily reading was just as cool when I woke up three hours later.

At this hour I’m not going to coffee up and finish the post. I won’t even tell you what it is going to be about. You’ll have to come back later and find out.

I will, however, share these tasty bits.

  • I fell asleep with my mouse highlighting the following lines from 41 Blog Success Tips from 10 Years of Blogging You Can Learn Today. Read it. Print it. Draw a sunny smiley face on it, and post it by your computer.

    Yummy, sensible and inspiring. From the page:

    • 6. Communicate fascination – If you love your subject then let your readers know, share your enthusiasm, make it contagious
    • 7. Write better – All of us can improve our writing but it takes effort and motivation
    • 8. Grow your experience – Do new things, broaden your horizons, stretch yourself
  • As I snoozed away, the post Are You a Maki or a Yaro? was open in another tab. It’s a good read about identity.
  • Want Credibility? Send a Signal is the last blog post I was reading in my sleep. My favorite lines are near the end, where he suggests that to get a buyer’s trust, a seller first has to give something. He relays a list of good “gives” that are more material than I what would have come up with. I’m more of a give-of-my-self person: I wouldn’t trust someone who wants to give me “material wealth” without also letting me get to know if I like them. Maybe my give-of-myself thang could be handled by number six below.
    • 1. Material Wealth
    • 2. Time & Energy
    • 3. Opportunity
    • 4. Power & Control
    • 5. Reputation & Prestige
    • 6. Safety & Well-Being
  • You might also enjoy my pre snooze Stumble, an Interview With Zenhabits Writer Leo Babauta in which Mr. Zen himself talks about his development as a blogger. Also a good read.
  • Stumble is fun. Sure, there are days when I don’t want to play, but there are also many times when my attitude about Stumble is pure “Beast needs brain food. Feed me.”

    I’ll babble on about Stumble later. Right now I’m going to sleep without setting the alarm: I’m sleeping in. :-)

Hey – I feel like a valiant blog-mom, because I provided good snacks to hungry blog-guests. LOL.

Next stop Zville.

More later, y’all. Read happy.

No Rest For The Dyslexic

Yesterday, or earlier today, or at some point before I got going this yesterday morning… scratch that. Starting over: I re-set my clock for daylight savings time. Or I thought I did. In reality, I set it an hour behind when I was supposed to set it an hour ahead – looked about the same to me.

I’m used to going to sleep at about 1-2:00 am, which at this moment also happens to be the “real” and correctly adjusted time. Until I discovered my error a few minutes ago, clock time at my house was set for two hours earlier. My brain knows I’m not here now. My body disagrees. My body wins. I’m going to write for some amount of time equal to less than two hours, and then head to sleep.

I’m inviting whoever reads these things to come along for a little trip inside my thought process.

Pea Planting Time

Ed Hume, regional gardening great, was on the TV exactly a month ago saying that early February is the perfect time to make a first planting of snap peas and garden peas in my area. The weather was uninspiring, to say the least. Sleet, wind, rain, more sleet and frozen sheets of goosh on the streets, and Ed said it’s time to plant the gems of my early Summer.

Sugar Snap Peas

These are last Summer’s sugar snap peas. Yummy!

I always want more peas, as early as possible, so I took Mr. Hume’s advice on trust. That day I bought seed and checked out the pots that had been stacked and waiting since last Fall. The very next day I planted the first peas. Six pots of possibilities now hang from my eaves; I see them every day and am encouraged.

Blogging is like that for me: I started on faith in uncertain weather. Before I started blogging here someone suggested I get going before I know where I want to end up, and use my explorations to build a readership that can support where I go with this in the future. Making content without a purpose or a target audience was counter intuitive, but “readership” sounded like “community,” and a few posts later the writing bug bit.

Blogging tonight is like that, too: the opportunity was different than the plan. I wanted to go to bed early(ish,) but life handed me a couple hours and I’m here getting this done instead, and I’m not obsessing about how to get creativity out of my tired turnip head and onto the page: I’m getting it done.

Have I turned a corner? Tomorrow I’ll dig up a couple peas and find out: if they’ve sprouted I’m on the right track. If not, I’ll need to look at if I’m just unlucky, or if I’m swimming against the current. As for the writing and identity-building I wanted, I feel like I’m making progress: I’ll know better after sorting through some seeds of ideas and ideals.

Solutions And Their Counterparts Are Everywhere

I like to grow my snap peas in hanging pots up and away from hungry slugs. Living in the Pacific Northwest means I get endangered native slugs, ravenous European interloper slugs, and small gray mountain climber slugs that I’ve regularly seen as much as four feet up off the ground.

Hanging my pots of peas doesn’t eliminate slugs; it does limit slug slime to whatever critters are already living in the dirt. Also, I know from previous experience with hanging pots that slugs tend to hide out in the damp dirt at the bottom, just inside the drainage holes. They commute from those holes, usually emerging at dusk, traveling up the outside of the pot to the foliage above. They’re not as good at climbing up and down a hanging vine, and slugs at eye level are easier to pick off and toss. Regular slug picking comes close to completely cutting out slug slime, which brings a nice, pesticide-free peace of mind to my treasured Summer morning snap pea munch.

Addressing any barrier to productivity is a little like moving slug picking up to eye level.

When natural conditions and goals don’t match up, barriers to achievement are like the sea over a sandcastle: something has to give. If natural conditions for growth are also natural conditions for undesirables, no amount of dedication and hard work will make the undesirable parts go away.

Find And Use The Flow

I can’t undo my error of setting the clock behind instead of ahead. I accept that I do that sort of thing sometimes. I chose to treat the outcome like a two hour bonus instead of a two hour setback, and I can sleep in tomorrow, whatever “tomorrow” is at this hour. This isn’t as much about having a positive attitude as it is about being an opportunist: I have been staking a claim.

I feel better now.

Good night, world. :-)

An unWhiz Bang List

Boredom hit when I was working on a post that took the form of a list of ways to do something. There are so many of those posts out there right now! I may go back and do the post later, but for today here are a few thoughts from listmind.

Here is a list of Internet marketing related list topics that we have all seen, and seen, and seen. Some have been done very well, or at least that is always my impression if I take the time to read and bookmark them. Preface each with “10 ways to,” or the grammatically correct like, if that rings your bell.

  1. Increase Traffic
  2. Get Links
  3. More Subscribers
  4. More Blog Comments
  5. Social Media – Digg Slapping, Traffic Baiting, Strategy & Begging…
  6. Somebody Done Somebody Wrong
  7. Make Money Blogging
  8. SEO Sucks & or SEO Tweaks and Tips
  9. “Boost” Anything – Clickthroughs, for the sake of pinning this down
  10. Lists of Other Lists

Are there a few list-style blog posts in this list of list themes that stick out in your mind as something to write home about, weeks or months after reading? Are the hours of skimming, bookmarking and exchanging comments worthwhile if the information was not either absorbed or remembered? No judgment call here. I’m just wondering.

Once you read them, where do they go?

One big change over the last few years has been that more bookmarks get tucked into some category or other of social media systems. There they are labeled with short comments, and there is often some sort of tally of how many have done the same. Without the in-depth threaded conversations of forums, cross fertilization of ideas suffers… but that’s another topic. What I meant to be getting around to saying is that social media systems are in themselves lists of lists, or lists of lists of lists, if you get my drift.

Personal Lists

After I made my list of search marketing type lists, I made a few personal lists. Here are the first ten things that bubbled to the surface the first time:

  1. Lose weight
  2. Get bifocals (Moan!)
  3. Get a new dentist
  4. De-clutter my home
  5. Make garden goodness
  6. Write
  7. Make Art
  8. Play with WordPress tweaks
  9. Connect with the local Quaker community
  10. Make money from sites about a few of my favorite things

My critical reaction:

  1. Non-specific items are not actionable
  2. Why haven’t I already done this?
  3. Some of these could or should go on the rest of my life
  4. Crum. How many lists can a list-maker hold in her head at once?
  5. There is no recreation on that list that has to do with other people.
  6. I thought I was writing about the Internet. Why didn’t web stuff come up until #8?
  7. #10 could make me very happy or eat me alive. LOL.
  8. How many of these can I use for web projects?
  9. I hate going to the dentist.
  10. I am satisfied with my progress on the weight loss thing.

Next, I made some lists that were meant to be an answer to each critical reaction. After about five I thought, “hot damn, there’s a lot of potential list-style blog posts in there.”


Oh, the humanity.

One More List

I’m closing with a list of ten things I am looking forward to, in no particular order other than this is how they hit the page. This is not meant to be actionable or impressive. It’s just me, fulfilling today’s worth of a New Year’s Resolution to do something purposefully good for myself every day. I don’t even need to remember what’s here – “looking forward to” is a state of mind, not a to-do list. This is a set it and forget it smile.

  1. The writing class at Search Engine College
  2. Seeing my tulips bloom – they’re almost there
  3. Playing ever so industriously on Stumble
  4. Oranges. Mmmmm. Just bought a big bag of really good ones
  5. Moving forward on some of the interviews I have lined up
  6. WordPress tweaks
  7. Re-theming this site
  8. Weighing myself tomorrow morning – got a good feeling.
  9. Taking a walk tomorrow morning
  10. Making a nice, reachable to-do list for the next few days’ goals.


Do you have favorite ways to make lists? Favorite posts from that first list of list topics? I’d love to hear about it.

I Can Haz Onion?

Peel an onion and what do you get? More onion.

Peel me and what do you get? More than one kind of layer, that’s for sure, except…

…I hear it’s good for a site to have “focus.” (wink)

I’m the boss, this is my mother ship, and for here and now, what you’re going to get is onion a la Elizabeth. The “kids” are going to have to share elbow room.

funny pictures
moar funny pictures from icanhasacheezburger

My interests are pretty web-centric, or maybe it’s that I’m interested in how the web can overlap almost everything. Also, though too much diversity can kill in a not-good way from a marketing perspective, I like the idea of having a one-home-fits-all place for the art me, the nerd me, the me who is still having cravings for a certain fat fighter’s fried shrimp sandwich and the me who could live on organic oranges and spinach forever and ever.

Once in a while I see comments from people who wonder why there aren’t more artists who are also into geekery, or women who do tech as well as girlyness, or girly girls who can also use a saw, and I wonder if so many of us humans could possibly be so one-dimensional. Maybe we’re being market-smart and keeping our incongruous parts in separate public entities.

I think I’ll pass.

Elsewhere I can make targeted content for a specific audience. Here I want to push myself to turn over the compost and see what grows. The longer I stew on it, the more sure I am: I don’t want to make ablereach.com be that thing that looks like a web site and has the requisite web site parts. I want to keep digging into how my personality and priorities marinate with the flavors of the Internet.

And W00t. You know what this means, don’t you?

funny pictures
moar funny pictures from icanhasacheezburger

Yepperz. Blogtreetz.

  1. Interviews. I love, love, love talking to people about what makes something jive. The topic could be almost anything. For this blog I’m starting an ongoing series based around using the Internet to build community. Dazzlin D’s interview about community was a delight for both of us. The next two are in the works, and I am a very happy camper.
  2. Online Education. Have plans, will spill. Soon.
  3. WordPress. Have plans, will spill. Wednesday.
  4. Stories. Just because. You liked this and this. Me, too.
  5. Play. I posted about going pink. I owe you one about going green – my hair, that is.
  6. Introspection. I like introspection that feels like a workout, and leaves me wanting to go exploring.
  7. An open door for more.

Creative Blogging: Plans Versus Experience

In my past life there was a time when I drew every day. I had dedicated studio space where anywhere from ten to thirty drawings would be tacked to the “good light” part of the wall that was reserved for work in progress. A series of drawings or paintings would start off unified by a general concept – artifacts, Vivaldi, morning light, seashells as instinctual organic architecture – and as I worked on them they’d progress together or diverge to different parts of the wall.

After a few days or weeks on the wall some would feel finished, and some would get recycled as collage parts for other work. A few would hit ye olde circular file – not many, because I like layers and there is a lot that can be done with recycling.

Sometimes, even before drawings were more than a curve in my imagination, notes, bits of poetry, color swatches, pages from magazines and whatever else felt like relevant fertility-builders would get pinned to the wall in groups, like bookmarks or folders in a RSS feed reader. The effect, for me, was a primordial soup of possibilities and landmarks, like a translation of what my mind feels like when approaching an idea. I’d face the wall, breathe, pick up the tools, and GO.

Somewhat unexpectedly, visitors were fascinated by the work wall. At times, having it exposed was too much “naked,” and I’d cover it with big sheets of paper, like a burqa between private and public dreams. I found that the need to focus creativity into a discrete and finished piece would lose its concentration if unfinished treasures were too public, too discussed. Too much “burqa” would make going public difficult, and cut out possibilities for the joys of dialog and reaction experienced with friends and detractors. I balanced where I wanted to stand, between vacuum-private and the tsunami feeling of being uncovered.

Art was dance, balance, and experience translated on a daily basis.

I’d like to blog that way.

When I started this frequent posting thing I wondered if blogging might have some overlaps with the old art-me. This is where I am with that hope today:


  • WordPress’s drafts folder is always in “burqa.”
  • 30 drafts feel more like 30 to-do lists than 30 possibilities. Not good.
  • Computers are too self-contained for the kind of art wall I’ve been missing.
  • Writing needs more structure than art.


  • Do more display of my own personal bonzo. So far, people seem to relate to my think-different self. Life is short. Dancing out on a few limbs could be invigorating, but will it ever pay the bills?
  • Post less. Would giving myself more time help a group of my 30 drafts become real posts with beginning, middle, and end?
  • Burn some trees. Print out the drafts and pin them to a wall at home where I can see them and doodle. My bookcases can live elsewhere – like computers, they store and enclose.
  • More structure. Could backfire, depending on what I “goal” for. A low-variable goal of baking x dozen cookies for a potluck generally results in x dozen cookies. A goal of coming up with x dozen new cookie recipes in a year could take off in almost x dozen different ways. Goodness knows what a goal of learning about food chemistry through cookie baking would produce, but it could be infinitely more interesting than simply baking x dozen cookies.

Does this tale of WordPress ring a bell with any of you? Please comment.