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Sunday, lazy Sunday.

There are a few bloggers who post at least once a day – sometimes even twice – and on occasion I have done this, too. But of late I have had more stuff to do – all good – but lots of stuff nonetheless and I am sometimes take a day –  or two – off.  While I am writing every day, sometimes I have several drafts that I am working on and I bounce back and forth between them. ADD or more thoughtful writing? You will have to judge that when I finally post them.

green and blue fishWhen I started this blog I thought I would use it as a way to let other Moms know stuff that I already know. You know, stuff that I have done or been through. As it turns out, I am okay with sharing that stuff but I like writing about stuff that occurs to me now.  Maybe I should change Capability Mom to Capability’s Soap Box…no, I am not so much doing that as pulling ephemera out of the air, the web or my life and sharing it.  I am enjoying the entire process from writing and “finding my voice”  to learning about social media (Digg, del.icio.us, stumbleupon and about different hosting platforms – WordPress (.com versus .org), TypePad,  Blogger, how to buy an  URL (godaddy, bluehost) and how to manage Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.

With my (geographically close) friends – we don’t use Twitter to communicate, or Facebook. So I am learning social media when four months ago I didn’t even know to call it that – and am still not sure where this is taking me but I am enjoying the journey. I am also getting to know a great group of women over at CoffeeShopBloggers where we learn and share our experiences in setting up a blog and social media in general.

Hopefully it is enough that I share and if you care about what I write about you will read it. Happy Sunday.

A learning curve – blogging, social media, advertising

Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? I am old (enough) and just learning how to make my site look the way I want it to look. I had it down (kind of) when it was hosted by WordPress.com (great way to go – lots of options and support and it is free). Then I decided to monetize my blog (so far I can buy a cup of coffee – not a fancy one, just a regular) and I wanted a little more of a technical challenge (I did? Really?).  So I moved (though I procrastinated for months) to WordPress.org but then I needed a host (you have to pay for this – not very much but still).  Luckily, GoDaddy (yes, that is their ad in my sidebar – because of their wonderful customer service) was terrific – read why here. Another great customer service rep walked me through my most recent needy request – trying to get Google Affiliates connected – and did it kindly and professionally.

I am a not-so-secret geek – always a word geek now a social media savant (feel free to place “idiot” in front of savant). Examples? Here is one from when I first put up my blog…

Pragmatic Mom says, all excited, “Hey, how did you get Digg and Delicious on your RSS feed?”

Me: “You are supposing that I know what an RSS feed is…”

I’ll take a minute here so you geeks can snort laugh at me and the rest of you can eye-roll in disdain that I actually have these conversations. Let’s be clear, I also talk about shoes and other important things like what I am going to have for lunch or maybe dental issues.

So, just recently a friend asked me to help put a Facebook Networked Blogs badge on her site. I (as usual) did not remember how I did my own but it is an fairly easy cut and paste procedure. So I did it for her blog. It didn’t take very long and I am so much more comfortable with WordPress.com that it was easy. This is compared to adding a video feed from YouTube to a post on WordPress.org – I tried and tried and finally (see idiot above) realized (long learning curve) that it is not the same as WordPress.com and I needed a plug-in…please do not get me started on plug-ins.  They are great until they are not. Okay, some of them are always great. A plug-in is an application that some person developed for easy functionality on your site – like RSS Feed or Ad Square boxes. So far the YouTube one isn’t working for me I added a plug-in (or three) and it still doesn’t work so I quit trying for now. I will figure it out eventually but I am fried on it for now. Any write-in help is appreciated.

I moved this blog from WordPresss.com to WordPress.org and only cried once

Maybe sort of twice but quietly…so the customer service representative couldn’t hear me – but then I told him I was crying because it was gone – all of it – links, photos, everything was gone. I knew I had it backed up but when I couldn’t sign in and couldn’t access it …I kind of lost it – a little.  He was very nice, professional and understanding (my site is hosted by Go Daddy).

So if you don’t have a blog here are things you do not have to know so you probably don’t and if you have a blog you can skip ahead to the next paragraph…or if you are a Cook’s Illustrated last paragraph reader, you know who you are.

Blogs have different publishing platforms (sites that offer blogs like WordPress.com, Typepad and Blogger) some are free and all offer different templates and features (widgets or plug-ins or gadgets) that help you organize your blog and tweak how you want it to look. There are lots of articles and even more opinions about which is better –   Pragmatic Mom did a nice job on it back in March for Coffee Shop Bloggers  – here on wordpress.com vs. wordpress.org and wordpress vs. blogger. Go ahead – read them and come back, they are fast and informative. I will wait.

So about a thousand years ago (in internet time – ask me about how I measure time later) or in February of this year, I wrote my first post. I chose WordPress.com because Pragmatic Mom said it was better than Blogger and I believed her and she is right,  it is better (I know because I also write at Coffee Shop Bloggers and it is a Blogger site).

So I got my free and technically challenging blog (you can do more but you have to fuss with it more) and was on my way. I played with it, changed it, struggled with it, figured it out and decided that I wanted to put ads on my blog (which you can with Blogger but not WordPress.com, just WordPress.org – counterintuitive, I know) so I had to move it.  I have been terrified of moving it and even started to a few months ago but chickened out panicked and cancelled my order to host it thought better of it.

So I bought the hosting from Go Daddy (there is also Blue Host (also very good customer service – I bought initial hosting from them and cancelled it with no problem when I couldn’t do it), DreamHost, Media Temple and Laughing Squid – so many choices) and waited a week…because I am a little nervous like that. I knew I would need a few hours of uninterrupted time and decided to wait until the kids were in camp. Yesterday was rainy (great for some inside time) and I knew I had a few hours so I made the switch. At first a nice but slightly cool sounding CSR walked me through DNS and FTP changes (this is so super boring that I don’t even want to admit I know what they are but I do and if you really want to know, comment below and I will email you about it) then he blithely told me changes would take about 24 hours and signed off.

That’s when my blog went blank. Six months of almost daily posting – I am not saying it is all wonderful or even must have material but it was mine;  the good, the mediocre and the I-am-stuck (or pressed for time or think my numbers suck)-so-I-put-a-bunch-of-random-things-up posts. I knew it was backed up but really froze in that deer in the headlights way.

I called GoDaddy and waited through the voice mail prompts that I was getting too familiar with and was connected to John.  John was so kind, calm and professional. It did not hurt that he was understanding and not mocking of my Mommy Blog and acknowledged that I had a boat load of stuff and that he would be bummed, too, if it had happened to him, which it wouldn’t because he was so comfortable and knowledgeable and even showed me how to watch my site being rescued and sent me a link to an article (from GoDaddy) so I could read more about it.

The it was fine until it died again and I thought I did something to it but the host server was done for just 10 minutes and it is fine again. Phew.

Still Capability – just a different look.

notebook theme wordpress.comI decided I wanted to try a new theme for my blog and I really liked the notebook idea (as did my youngest).  I’m not exactly sure about the color but I tried it anyway.  I can always change it back to Simpla (the theme I had before). Sometimes you get involved in the mechanics of the blog and it can be a slippery slope. I spent the morning adding categories. I, the newbie that I am, didn’t really see the value of them or, frankly, even the need for them.  Once you have a significant number of posts it is easier for readers to search by category – so – about halfway there. That is when I trolled around wordpress.com and looked at new themes. You can preview your site in each theme and it does drastically affect how you approach the blog. So – vote and let me know what you think. Is it easier to navigate? Are you freaked by the change? Do you care?

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