Saturday, January 28, 2006

It's Like CPR... for a Blog

By: Michael Akerman

It's a shame how long it's been since I posted, I know. I'm sorry for that. But I have thought about why (if you haven't gathered already, I tend to think about everything at some point).

I've decided that I don't have time for the multi-part, ten-page-long posts Michael Smith and I have normally posted. I also don't think most people want to read something so long. So, I'm changing styles. I won't hold my co-bloggers to this, but I'll be posting significantly shorter posts, on one subject each. I'll try to avoid big "summary of everything" posts where I cover all the topics weighing on my mind.

I also intend to post at least once a week. Over two years after starting this blog, the traffic is still low, but there is an odd phenomenon. Every time a post crops up, traffic jumps, then slides off over a number of days. I think Google puts more weight on recently-updated blogs.

I do need to point out some blog design elements, before I post today's topic post (actually, I think I'll try splitting them into two posts. That might make them more reader-palatable). I recently added referrals from AdSense: one for Firefox, which everyone should download and use as their primary browser (preferably from my referral link, but it's a good enough browser that I don't really care if you give me some money while getting it). The other is for AdSense itself, which, if you run a website, you could benefit from.

The other, and perhaps more important addition, is a subscription box, above, for an automatic email newsletter. It's powered by and this blog's Atom feed.

I think it'll be a useful addition for the average reader. I love RSS feeds (of which Atom is of a kind), but they're inaccessible. For the uninitiated, RSS is a method of syndication. You can pull updates to websites automatically into a feed reader. If you've heard of podcasts, you've heard of one of the cooler uses of RSS.

The problem is, RSS has a terrible name, from a marketing perspective, and you have to download specific tools or visit specific websites (like Bloglines or Google Reader. This email service should solve that. Simply enter your email address above, and you get updates automatically in your inbox!

I do intend to redesign the blog eventually. First, I need to learn how to use CSS (according to various online scans, this blog's code is awful because I don't use CSS, and it screws up search engines), and make the logo. The design is set in my mind, though. Maybe the redesign will be put off until summer break.

I also plan on getting a domain name eventually. They're not very expensive through, but I need to look into hosting options.

~By my hand,
~Michael Akerman