Picture Courtesy of HerbstFeuer on Flikr (cropped)
Hey, everyone! Welcome to my beginners guide to beginning blogging! If any of you are familiar with “trendy” online colloquialisms, you’ve probably already realized that lrn2 indicates a certain level of ignorance towards a particular topic. A noobishness (not a word? Neither is noob…lets move on), if you will. Don’t believe me? Well, maybe you will trust the always reliable, and utterly hilarious “Urban Dictionary” as it defines lrn2 as “used indicate a n00b’s fail, idiocy, or ignorance”. Though I believe the author of that particular post intended an extra preposition between used and indicate, the meaning remains clear! The irony, however, is that one might expect that I’m an expert blogger that decided to make a blog to teach all you noobs out there the ropes. Follow me kids and you can’t go wrong? NOPE, not even close! I myself am a beginner blogger. The title of my blog actually indicates my own level of ignorance on the topic of blogging, and in my catchy little catch phrase (a beginners blog for beginning blogging) “a beginner” is me, not you! SURPRISE!!!
Until last week, I was fairly certain that a “web log” was something a hacker cut from a virtual forest (exaggeration perhaps…but that explains the picture above…sorta). Seriously though, until very recently, I had no idea what a blog really was, let alone how to start one! I was ready to buy my domain on GoDaddy.com (thank you Super-Bowl commercials!), head over to my new website and start typing. I mean, how complicated could be be right? It’s the internet….I’ve been here once or twice before. Well, I quickly realized that it is a LOT more complicated than I ever anticipated, or at least it SEEMS a lot more difficult to someone that knows nothing. Now, that shouldn’t really be a surprise, right? That’s a simple fact of life. If you don’t know how to do something, it’s impossible….basic logic right there. However, as I indicated before, it’s the internet! So, if you’re like me, you assume you understand the internet because you use it every day! Wrong! Unless you’re an advanced blogger, a computer programmer or one of those freaky kid geniuses that somehow pulled computer skills out of the cosmos, you most likely don’t know what you’re doing.
The biggest lesson I have taken away from my recent jump into the blogging world, is that the internet is reallllllly complicated. You’ve heard the old adage, “can’t see the forest for the trees”? Well, that’s exactly what blogging is to a novice! (yup, sticking to the forest theme!) The internet is definitely a forest of cluttered information, but the details really get in the way once you start digging a little deeper! Sure, it’s easy to do a Google search, click on a website, navigate, search, post, comment, etc. However, it’s really easy because of an incredibly complex network of applications working in the background, designed by people that know what they are doing, with the intention of making your little visitation to the online world enjoyable! The details that you never had to worry about before, suddenly start to cloud your vision! I’ve got good news, and bad news for you. The bad news: if you’re looking for discussion about the details behind these complex programs, well, you’re barking up the wrong tree (see, back to the forest themed picture!). If I was capable of teaching computer programming or website design, well I’d be teaching computer programming or website design. The good news is that you don’t HAVE to worry about the deep inner workings of the internet. You just have to dig a little deeper than you did before. There are a lot of pre-made complex programs out there, designed to ensure that your computer illiteracy doesn’t get in the way of your creativity. So, what this blog does offer is exactly what I indicate above “a beginner’s guide to beginning blogging”. I can impart upon you (very mentory sounding right!) my limited knowledge as I learn it. And who knows, my novice nature may actually offer a unique advantage over the advanced blogging community, in that I’m learning too!
Don’t get me wrong, knowledge is a powerful thing, however, sometimes its difficult for the “experts” to remember what it was like to not understand the basics. They accidentally skip over little bits and pieces that are so “obvious” that they really aren’t worth mentioning. Except for that they are! At least when you don’t know anything! How many times have you followed a tutorial and thought “wait, my pop up doesn’t look like that!” or “..from my account menu…but how do I log in?”. If I’m being honest, this blog is as much, if not more, for me than you. The internet is huge! So when you’re learning the ropes, its really easy to get lost in the woods (I’m gonna make this damn picture work cause I really like it!) I want ONE location that answers all of my previously answered questions again should I forget (and I will). A place to sprinkle my bread crumbs so I can find my way back (another pseudo woods related reference!) So, if I can help someone else out, well fantastic. If not, at least I have a personal field guide of my own research to fall back on in the future!