Saturday, April 23, 2011

Techonology - A Tangled Love/Hate Relationship

Sometimes I feel like, if my genitals had a USB port, I would make love to my new computer all night.  (paraphrasing The Oatmeal.)

Other times...

man shoots computer with a shotgun

Cultivating an attitude of gratitude, I am, indeed, deeply grateful we can communicate through the wonderful world of the Web.  I am grateful for the magic of cut-and-paste.  And spell-check.  And push-button printing, even if all printers currently leave much  to be desired.

I think of Sofya Tolstoy (married to Leo,) who not only bore him 13 children but made six hand-written copies of War and Peace for him.  Six!  I still haven't gotten through reading the damn thing, but that's what life was like for writers in the good ol' days.  Writing every draft by hand, and then hand-copying each and every freakin' word for submission.  (Or, suckering a loved one into doing it for you.)

So in many ways modern life is better and easier for writers, and yet... in many ways it's harder too.

Leo Tolstoy did not have to continually Tweet while writing War & Peace, or Anna Karenina.
  • #happyfamilies are all alike, every #unhappyfamily is unhappy in its own way.  Tell me Im not f#@king brilliant!
  • RT@AChekhov yeah that babe at the party last nite was smokin hot - too bad Im married
  •  Wishing #happybirthday to the #bestpublisher in theworld
  • @FyodorD - Crime & Punishment was reading your lame book, ha-ha!

After many years of resistance, I've just started Tweeting, and I am painfully aware I don't know what the pluck I'm doing.  Hash browns, I understand, hashtags... not so much.  I'm sure I will get it, eventually, but right now I resent having yet one more technical thing I have to learn.  I learned computers, an uncountable number of various word processing programs, and the Internet, and MySpace, and FaceBook... where does it end?!?

humorous pictures

Do they (the great, mystical "they" out there) not understand that all I really want to do is write!

Reality, meet Writer.  I have to work with the system the way it is, not the way I fantasize it "should be."

So, per the wisdom of Will Work 4 Followers, aka Single Dad Laughing, who knows a little something about blogging and writing, I'm examining what are my Five Biggest Goals for this blog.  He suggests they should be: 
  2. Rewards. And I'm talking material rewards & perks, not intrinsic ones.
  3. Consistency.
  4. Hot Blog. The way your blog looks and feels when people visit is the most important part of making sure people stick around. Make it your goal to add something new to it every week (or to get rid of something useless). Learn how to tweak your template. Learn bits of HTML. Learn how to nudge your margins. Make it your goal to have a super sexy blog by x date.
  5. Honesty. I'll also be blogging more about this later. If you want a big blog, you're not going to attract followers by painting some perfect picture of some perfect life. There are two words for that. Boring, and boring. People are faulted, and they're surrounded by more than enough "Perfection" to make them sick. 
For myself, I can put #2 on the back burner, for now.  I don't think #5, Honesty has been an issue - I'm full of problems (see above.  And below), and I've admitted them all along  (or is that false modesty?  Yikes!)

Since my blog is still a baby, I'm trying to focus on #3 and 4 - working to offer good, consistent content, with an increasingly attractive look.  I figure, if I do that (and tweet my little brains out,) the followers (#1) will come.

So I came across a cool commenting system on other blogs, Intense Debate.  Installed it here, seeking to fulfill point #4.  Looks gorgeous.  Feeling very happy, excited, proud of my tech-savviness,  until...  I made another tweak to add the A-Z button links, and Intense Debate went away and ate all its comments.  <puzzled, but not disheartened.>  I moved the gadget around  - it came back.  ~Kisses~ for everyone.  Life is sunshine and rainbows again.
Mural Available by WallStory

I made another gadget and formatting tweak.  And Intense Debate is gone again - once again, spitefully taking all new comments!!!  I read the troubleshooting manual which suggests uninstalling it and reinstalling it.  Again?  Really?  As part of the template, only once you do, you can't make other changes to the template.

But I still need to make other changes to the template.  <whining>  I am still tweaking and fine-tuning and trying to create a cleaner, more wholesome-looking blog.

Only without the granola.

So, as Scarlett O says, "I'll think about it tomorrow.  Tomorrow is another day."

Have you, too, experienced Technical Difficulties?
Do you struggle with Twiiter-resistance?
Share in the comments, below, and I wlll try my best not to erase 'em.