The Evolution of My Blogging

One of the questions posed during Bloggiesta was, “What are your goals for blogging?” Well, I never really thought about it. So I spent a lot of time over the weekend reflecting on my blog and how it’s evolved over the past 3-½ years. The Blogger Years Back in August 2007 I was getting ready to leave on a rip to Europe and decided to set up a Blogger account to keep my family updated on my travels. You can read about the trip here and here.

After the trip I continued to post random things, nothing of any particular interest. I had no idea about blogging communities, and even had comments disabled. Why would anyone who didn’t know me want to read, let alone comment, on my random thoughts? Discovering WordPress Two years later I decided I wanted to learn how to set-up a Web site from start to end - buying my own domain name, hosting sites, web design, and everything else that came with it. So I did my research and decided to use WordPress as the platform to do this.

First I had to think of a domain name. I wanted something that was easy to remember, didn’t have words that could easily be misspelled, and was a reflection of me. The first thing I did was to look up my name, but of course, it was already taken. I went through much iteration and couldn’t come up with anything I liked. They say that imitation is the best form of flattery, so I copied a friend. Her email is “iKady” (which I always remember), so I settled on Simple and easy.

I followed Gideon and Yaro’s Become a Blogger tutorials. Though slightly outdated, their step-by-step instructions on how to set up your web hosting, an FTP site, etc were easy to follow and very resourceful.

Once it was live, I had to work on the design. I poured through tons of WordPress template sites, experimented with several different templates and eventually settled on a Woo Theme. I have found Woo themes to be versatile, feature-rich and have easy-to-follow, detailed documentation.

Being Creative (I’m Not) Next came the creative part - what to name my blog. While I mostly blog about healthy living, fitness, running, etc, I knew they wouldn’t be the only topics I’d write about, so I wanted a name that just said, “this is what I think.” Again, since I’m not creative, I used the of a blog post my friend De-Ann wrote, called “The Tao of De.” With her permission, I named my blog, “The Tao of Me.”

While I tried really hard to learn html and all the other coding and languages Web designers use, I neither had the time or energy to really get into it. So I enlisted the help of The Blog Fairy and she designed the aesthetics of this site. I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback on it and I’m really pleased with how it looks.

Building Content After a few months of writing new posts, I decided to migrate my Blogger content to WordPress. I followed the instructions provided by Blogger and it successfully imported the data without any incident.

Blogging Community Since then I’ve become more active in the blogging world by reading other people’s blogs. I find them from many different sources like Google Reader Suggestions, other people’s blogs, people from Twitter and Daily Mile, magazines, etc.

While I do tend to lurk, I’ve tried to become more of an active participant by being more interactive with other bloggers. The result has been meeting more like-minded people who have become good friends!

I learn so much from other bloggers and admittedly, sometimes prefer them to real-life friends.

Bloggiesta So now that you’ve read through my tangent…what exactly did I do as a result of Bloggiesta?

• Redid the layout of my Races page • Experimented with different plug-ins that for the most part, didn’t work. One even took down my site all together. Thanks to Runner Sami, who notified me that it was down, and to the Host Gator Technical Support team who had it back up in seconds. • Added the WordPress Mobile Packet which makes it easier to view on mobile devices • Thought about what my blogging goals are

Blogging Goals So what are my goals?

• To keep the blog design simple and clean • To still learn design elements (even HTML if I have to) • To write posts with more personal insight. While I do love to journal “what happened today”, it’s very cathartic to write about the thoughts floating around in my head (Thanks for the encouragement Jess!). • To be a more diligent, active member of the blogging community. I follow so many blogs that its sometimes tough to keep up, but the breadth of knowledge that is shared by some of the most amazing people that I know makes it a worthwhile practice.

I heart blogging!