All done! How did I do with the Bloggiesta this year?
Voila! The "definite TO-DO list":
WRITE. REVIEWS. Lots of them. I have a huge backlog thanks to writing and sick mom (Mom is doing much better - the parents called me from Savannah, GEORGIA, the other week because they took a surprise trip to celebrate the end of radiation treatments - a little warning, parental units, please otherwise I worry unnecessarily).I wrote four (not as many as I meant to write but I got SO MUCH ELSE DONE). Back-up the blog (haven't done this in donkey's years).Done and done. Write post for April Literature by Women book (the moderator skillz are in the toilet, too).Done and done, too. Suey has a nice Goodreads widget that counts up her reading challenge there. I like it - must investigate Goodreads site to find the code.Easy as pie - go to "edit profile" --> "widgets" --> scroll down to the one with the picture of the challenge. Installed. Find widget/linkage for my Posterous account so I don't have to cross-post all my pictures, only the ones I really, really want to.Not only did I create linkage for my Posterous page but MADE AN ENTIRE FOLLOW ME GADGET!!!! Look left! Some buttons were a snap (Pinterest and Ravelry have goodies pages to make life easy) but the rest was scavenged by looking up source codes in Google Chrome for widgets I admired and studying how those widgets were put together. I am QUEEN of coding!! (lol, not) Also, I followed Blogger Sentrals tutorial on how to add a Pinterest "Pin It" button to the bottom of every post (look down - you have to be in the post so the pins have the correct source code). Made. Of. Win. Redesign header picture. I like it but the books seem a bit too one-note (no offense, Prydain and Lloyd Alexander). I have the fancy D-SLR now and a Photoshop Express account so I ought to use it.Mostly done. I now must learn to use all the benefits of owning Photoshop CS5.1. Buy a mouse for my laptop. The touchpad is fine for basic navigation but sometimes my tap-taps just aren't fast enough or the drop and drag gets a bit wacky (PS Express editing is crazy-awful with the touchpad). Mouse will help with that.There were only about, oh, thirty mice to choose from at Best Buy. I wound up going with a Logitech that uses darkfield laser tracking (and is wireless). Investigate new Blogger theme. I've had my current template layout since the beginning of The Blog and it is non-customizable. Interpretation: both columns are too narrow and can't accomodate even the Blogger-designed widgets in places. Drawback: I can use basic HTML but I don't know doodle-squat about CSS, etc. I am willing to learn - is there a good book anyone recommends?Not only did I find a really great, thorough, well-designed, easy-to-use book of HTML and CSS...I started dinking around with the Blogger Design Template and re-arranged my blog template to make it more user friendly. And then I started updating the widgets (had two dead widgets, how does that happen?). Not done yet. Haha. This post on Mashable discusses how to use Pinterest to promote your blog and track your content. I lurve Pinterest. Must investigate.A little more advanced as far as tracking your pin feed. I went with the "Pin It" code instead. Go through the Google Reader and remove the blogs with dead URLs/updated URLs.I winnowed the blog list while watching Great Expectations. Side note: Gillian Anderson is fantastic as Miss Havisham. Check prices on Photoshop (I queried the Oracle of Twitter about Photoshop vs. Elements - only Hannah answered; she was in the affirmative on PS so I will check it out). One of us (me) remembered that I am a staff member at a University and can, therefore, get the academic pricing from the campus bookstore. Considering that I could use any skillz honed in private in photo editing at work (possibly, you never know when designing gown/glove studies) I could definitely use the price break.Purchased. There are beneifts to remaining employed with an academic institution. Definitely a learning curve when using it, though.
- Sidebar widget clean-up/consdensation. I moved some old badges and widgets to their own page, cleaned up my Goodreads widgets, removed a search box no one used, fixed my Netflix feeds, migrated some widgets to the bottom of the page, etc. This allowed me to reduce the number of old posts listed on the page just to fill the space next to my very long sidebar.
- I moved the "About Me" section (controlled by Google+) to the bottom of the blog and wrote a new "Welcome" post to introduce myself.
- Lisa of Adventures of 2.0 hosted a mini-challenge about social media icons and sidebars (which resulted in my boss widget construction)
- Joy hosted a mini-challenge about Pinterest (where I found the idea of the "Pin It" button)
- I tried out Liza's mini-challenge about using Facebook to promote one's blog where I made a Facebook page and figured out how to get Networked Blogs to import the feed (not intuitive)
- My sidebar re-arrangement fit in with Penelope's sidebar clean-up mini-challenge
- April's mini-challenge on SEO optimization has so much information I feel like my head is bursting with things to remember! But it's all stuff bloggers need to know (even if I have to look up what a tag is, lol) so I followed her "best-practices" to SEO my post on The Weird Sisters (since that's my current "push" for the book club).
Whew! Have I been productive on the blog this weekend! If only I could muster this much energy to clean the house or mow the lawn...hahaha.