I'm still pretty new to this whole blogging thing, but I've been learning a lot, and I'm smart enough to know that what I've learned is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the technical workings of this ol' blog here. Anyway, I've been reading books and other blogs about blogging so I can figure out ways to improve my blog. (And now I'm blogging about blogs about blogging, just to improve my blog. Yeah, welcome to my brain.)
One piece of advice that I keep seeing over and over is to include a post, like this one, explaining the gadgets on the blog and asking for readers' opinions about the blog. So, even though I've only got a handful of readers (which is totally cool by the way because I'm honestly surprised that I have any, well, other than my mom, my sister, and Tod, all of whom I pretty much force to read by calling them out on the blog), here goes.
First, on the righthand side of the blog, you'll see a picture and a few random words about the blog. Then you'll see a "followers" or "members" gadget. If you enjoy reading my blog, and you're the joining type, then just click on the "join" button to become a member of the blog. You can either join publicly or privately, and what this does is it: (1) lets me know that you are a fan of the blog; (2) allows you to see other fans of the blog (and if you click on their pictures you can see the other blogs they follow); and (3) allows you to keep up with the blogs you follow via your reading list on the blogger dashboard. Anyway, this explanation is by no means meant to pressure anyone into joining, although I am gunning to get my member list up to 10 by the new year. I'm pretty sure that's an attainable goal.
Next after the members gadget, you'll see the blog archive, which is a running list of all of the blog posts organized by month. Do you want to go back and read my first ever blog post? Well then click on "March" and go down to the first post and open it.
The next gadget on my blog is a popular posts gadget. It keeps track of the seven most popular posts based on the number of pageviews, and honestly, it's a little self-fulfilling since the posts on that list are most likely to be clicked on again, but whatever.
Following the popular posts gadget, you will see my Amazon widget. (Yeah, google calls things gadgets while Amazon calls them widgets.) This widget just contains things I'm digging right now from Amazon (although I need to update it). If you click on any of the items, it will take you to the item on Amazon, where you can then complete your Christmas shopping for me. Only kidding.
Finally, you'll see a picture and then the labels gadget. When I draft a post, I try to add labels to it based on the post's content. Thus, if you want to see all the posts about biking, click on "biking." Or if you want to see all the posts about Zelda, then click on "Zelda." You can also see the labels at the end of each post in the tagline. (The tagline includes the comments link, too.) You get the idea, I'm sure.
Let's see, what else? Well, at the bottom of the page you'll see another Amazon widget, and this one contains all of the books that my book club has read in its three years of existence. Again, you can click on any of the books, and it will take you to the Amazon page for that book, where you can read reviews of the book, find similar books, or order the book.
Okay, now how about some feedback? Do you all have any suggestions for me? Do you know a better way for me to organize things? Or is there something you particularly like or dislike about the blog or its layout? Leave me a comment. Oh, on that note, this blog allows anonymous comments, so feel free to hit me with your best shot.
And for those of you who do view the images and read the words that I'm having a ball spilling all over the web, thank you. Having you makes this all the more fun for me. And now I will leave you with a few images from an amazing harbor cruise that I had the good fortune of taking the other night in honor of my boss's 40th anniversary on the job. (I even got to drive the 62-foot Viking for about half an hour. Yeah, no pressure there.)
I'm going to have to start keeping track of the cheeseball photos of me on this blog. I think it might be getting out of hand.