Build-A-Blog (For Absolute Beginners)

Image result for vintage photos builders
Build a blog at any age.
(Image curtesy of Wikipedia)

The blogosphere is an exciting space online for people to build communities and express yourself. You might be a manager of a corporation, a student with a passion for communication, or a hobbyist. Building a blog is relatively easy.

The first thing to know is – what kind of blogger are you?

You may not have the technical skills necessary to start a blog, or you may think you do not have the skills to start a blog – there are plenty of free, open-source systems that guide you through the process, allowing you to design your site how you wish, including WordPress, Wix and Blogger.

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It can be a community. (Image curtesy of art.co.uk)

If you can use e-mail, you can blog!

Each system has it’s strengths and weaknesses, reading other people’s blogs and playing around with one or two will quickly show which you feel most comfortable with – by the way – don’t be put off when you see some ‘amazing’ layouts and designs that others have produced, you do not have to have all ‘bells and whistles’ for your site – it’s the content that will keep you and potential readers interested.

I assume that you are reading this on some sort of computer, which means you already have some of the skills necessary.

Don’t assume that because a person’s blog has amazing graphic content, it will be an amazing read, similarly, do not assume that the more simple layouts are dull – remember, it is content that matters most.

Who is your blog for?

In the media industry, they call this your ‘Target Audience‘. It maybe that you are writing a blog as an alternative to keeping a diary, in which case, what you write and how you write and display it only matters to you.

You also do not need to base your blog on the job/career you have. If you are a chef, you may want to post recipes or amusing anecdotes about your experiences in the industry. However, you may not want to write about the industry you work in, but release a hidden passion onto the blogosphere – you may whittle small celebrity figures from pine wood, you might be a huge sports fan and provide commentaries on the latest games with an alternative angle to broadcasters, you might have a penchant for designing wacky alternatives to the morning alarm clock – whatever your thang, make it interesting and fun for you, first and foremost – otherwise, what’s the point?!

Image result for vintage photos builders
And you don’t need huge machinery to do it.

Take your time.

You don’t have to go charging ahead with layout design, business links, marketing, social media link-ups, images, audio, video – heck, you might never want to do some of those things. If you are after a reader following, this will take time too – be patient.

If you get yourself into a pickle, press the back-button, delete, undo – it’s not the end of the world. The thing that got me when I first started blogging, was when I changed the style (WordPress calls it Theme), of my page. Suddenly everything was in a different place, some stuff wasn’t there anymore; as far as I could tell (it was, just under different headings!).

You might yell “Aw shiiiit!” if things don’t go as you expected – but you can’t break anything – unless you throw your laptop out the window – remember to use your Delete button, or just go back using the tab arrows on your internet page.

Set up your blog. Write your first post. Log out. View it as a reader. What does it look like? I know, mine did too!!!!

It may have been noticed by one or two of you, that I myself only have a very loose theme to my posts – hence the blog name – Flailing Through Life – this is how my brain works. I am interested in too many things for me to whittle it down, plus, I enjoy having a broad brush to paint with – and that’s the first and last reason to blog –

– enjoy it.

And here’s a little bit of Bowie to set you on your path….

Writing Out Of Comfort Zone

So today I am at my local library having to write this blog – and work on my current story. So when I say ‘Comfort Zone’, I literally mean geographic location rather than mental state (well that too; but that was always in doubt!)

I have been without my own laptop for nigh on 3 weeks; many issues with not loading, running slowly, closing down of it’s own volition, not being able to install updates – I think I may have had a previous rant about my technology – especially on Twitter. (Have been using hubby’s little mini-laptop, but he needs it today).

Well I have just managed to check my e-mail and I apparently only have 15 minutes left!! What is this?

I have only been here 15 minutes and there have been three mobile phones ringing and four phone conversations and a whinging toddler – at what point do I say something before I explode and cause immense offense?!

I hate being out of my own environment to work. I have had to pack a bag with my notebooks, pens, hi-lighters and so forth. A new environment seriously alters the way we feel as we write, sure, I have my earbuds in and I am listening to my Novel Soundtrack on YouTube, but the chair is weird, the screen not at the right height; THERE ARE OTHER PEOPLE AROUND ME!

I hate it.

Forgive me if I don’t sound like I am having a good time – I’m not.

OMG! There is a woman diagonally opposite me chatting on her mobile – I thought libraries were meant to be places of quiet! Aaarrggh!

I will bid you adieu for today, have some ranting to do….

What’s the Word?

Hello again my fair followers, my cute consumers of creative calligraphy; you gluttons for punishment! Nah, not that last one, well maybe, just a little. *gives devilish grin.

So you’ve been coming here for a while now and know that I write; books as well as this blog (some poetry too, but the less said about that the better), and I have covered word origins on a couple of occasions, but then I thought – what about the word ‘word’? I know! You did too didn’t you?! How bizarre that we write and speak these words, but have ever wondered, ‘where did the word ‘word’ come from Alex?’

I’m glad you asked, I did the work for you…

 

Word    

Is a unit of speech and writing, a single distinct meaningful element of speech or writing, used with others (or sometimes alone) to form a sentence and typically shown with a space on either side when written or printed; as in “I don’t like the word ‘anti-climax’ .”

It can also be a command, password, or signal, for example, “Smithers gave me the word to start shooting.”

As a verb it expresses something in particular words. “She words her request in a particularly ironic manner.”

And then there is the fairly current usage that expresses agreement or affirmation. “Word, that’s a good record, man.”

Howlin Wolf I want to have a word with you
Howlin’ Wolf could never have sung                           “I want a word with you.”

Etymology of the word ‘word’

It is Old English; c. 1200, meaning “to utter” of Germanic origin; related to Dutch Woord and German Wort. Originally from the proto-indo-european root Were, which means to speak or say. Makes me wonder what people said before word was part of the language when they needed to have it out with someone – “Oi! I want to speak to you!” doesn’t feel as hard-hitting as “Oi! A word!”

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Then it snuck into our language and we thought no more about it, it became a thing in and of itself without us paying much attention, it appended itself to other words to create new words.

 

‘Word’ and ‘Word Up’

Now I thought this had fallen out of use, what a fool. Certain groups of young people and even older generations who may have spun around too much on their heads as teens, or really cool black dudes still use this.  For those not in the know, it means – “I comprehend what you are saying and verify that your statement is true, my good brother.” Both are generally used to mean “I agree.” The terms are from late 1980’s hip-hop slang. Some say popular usage probably originated with the single Word Up! by Cameo. It is definitely of African American tradition; particularly it’s oral tradition and may be rooted in a belief in the power of the Word. The African concept of Nommo, the Word, is believed to be the force of life itself. To speak is to make something come into being.

Ali G Word

 

The Word 

Was a 1990’s Channel 4 television programme in the United Kingdom. Its presenters included Mancunian radio presenter Terry Christian, comedian Mark LamarrDani Behr, and Katie Puckrik. Originally it was broadcast at 6pm Friday evenings; The Word’s main live show was shifted to a late-night time-slot from 9 November 1990. The magazine format allowed for interviews, live music, features and even game shows. The flexible late-night format meant that guests could do just about anything to be controversial. ‘Language’ was never bleeped out, as far as I can remember, and there was some choice language at times. There was also an ‘I’ll do anything to be on television’ section called “The Hopefuls” in which people ate worms, bathed in maggots, licked sweat off fat people, intimately kissed old people, and did generally repulsive things in order to get featured on the programme. It was repulsive and horribly fascinating at the same time.

The Word

 

 

The Word (2)

Britain’s first democratic socialist tabloid newspaper. Begun online in 2015, it is a socialist hub with the involvement of as many people as possible from the socialist movement in Britain. The politics, they say, are broadly in line with those of Jeremy Corbyn and believe in justice, equality, truth, courage and that only by sharing as fairly as possible the resources of this planet will we be able to live in harmony with each other.

the-word-new-design-best-s

 

WordPress

A free software that can be used to create a website or blog. It originated in 2003 simply as code that enhanced typography and has evolved into the largest self-hosted blogging platform in the world.

wordpress

Microsoft Word 

Is a graphical word processing program that users can type with. It is made by the computer company Microsoft. Its purpose is to allow users to type and save documents. Similar to other word processors, it has helpful tools to make documents. The first version of Microsoft Word was developed by Charles Simonyi and Richard Brodie, former Xerox programmers hired by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in 1981. Both programmers worked on Xerox Bravo, the first WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) word processor.

Word 2.0
Word 2.0

 

‘What’s The Word?’

This is another phrase with its roots in black culture. Depending on your situation, it could mean a number of things. It can mean – “How are you?” or “What are we doing tonight my good chap?” or “What’s the news?” (about specific or non-specific topic) .

Singer/song-writer, Gil Scott-Heron used the phrase in his 1976 song ‘Johannesburg’; a protest song about South Africa’s apartheid system, and when Scott-Heron asked, “What’s the word? / Tell me brother, have you heard from Johannesburg?” he was begging for an update on what was going on.  Remember young ‘uns, this was before the internet! Yes, there was life before Twitter and Facebook. “We don’t know for sure, because the news we get is unreliable, man,” Scott-Heron continues in the song. ‘The Word’ in this instance is of vital importance.

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And finally, with no need for explanation is…drum roll…..

 

The Word of God

Word-of-God

 

Word –  

pretty powerful for text with only 4 letters!!

Thanks for visiting folks, I hope this post was interesting, or at least informative – remember – spread the word!!

 

 

Bibliography

Roc the Mic Right: The Language of Hip Hop Culture’, by H. Samy Alim, 2006

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=word

https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/the-many-uses-of-the-word-word

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=word%20up

http://thewordmedia.org.uk/

https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Word

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8z4a86aggU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZjAantupsA&list=RDMZjAantupsA#t=0