This is uncharted water: I’m a blogger! The transition from a newspaper column to a blog would be a simple homework assignment for the average third-grader. For an old man, it’s like rubik’s cube. But here I am, blogging away with no idea of how I got here.
It took a village. Friends, relatives, friends of friends, friends of relatives, strangers, friends of strangers. Anyone who would listen to me to answer the most elusive of all existential queries: What’s a blog?
My daughter was the first to help. She signed me up; logged me on; bought me a book, “Blogging for Dummies”. It’s 716 pages long. Page one instructed me to select a blogging application – Word Press, Blogger, Type Pad, or Tumbir. I’ll let you know what’s on page two when I get to it. Needless to say, I’m no Dummy. Like a stalker, I barraged her with questions every day. Finally she had me blocked. Then I think she moved; with no forwarding address.
I didn’t care. I have more kids. I started pestering them. Rumor has it that they’re all now in the witness protection program. But I was making progress. In teeny, tiny, itsy-bitsy baby steps; but progress none-the-less. While I used to just write, now I have to post, add a commentary feature and links and archives. I have to find a niche and build a community. All this without a zoning variance.
People suggested I research other blogs to find out what’s going on around me. This is called “swimming in the blogosphere”. My gut feeling was, that to accomplish this, I’d need a time machine. The only person on e-Bay that had one lived under a bridge in Camden. No way I’m going to Camden.
Fortunately there are blog search sites like “Technorati”. I was directed to log on and enter my search term in the “Refine Search” text box. Once in the text box, simply select either the Sites or Posts radio button. At this point, choose a category and authority level from the Filter By drop-box menu.
Clearly I needed professional help. So my family of people that keep me functioning is growing: I have my doctor, my dentist, my mechanic, my lady that cuts my hair, and now my social media consultant. Can you say that? Her name is Esta. She’s pretty, focused, and patient. I immediately put her to the test. She wanted to upload a template and then download the content. “So I have to upload to download?” I comically inquired. “That’s like going up the down escalator just to come back down again. It makes no sense.” She didn’t think that was funny.
She informed me that in the Word Press blogging application, we could use widgets to add additional functuality in the blog’s sidebar. Now I was starting to get it. Except for Word Press, widgets, functuality, and sidebar, I understood everything she said. My comment that a widget is actually just a drunk little person fell on deaf ears. I was auditioning for class clown and she was having none of it. She offered to give me my money back. Then to pay me to go away. She had lost her focus and her patience. But she was still pretty. And, let’s face it; isn’t that what’s really important?
Esta did eventually get me set up and so I’ll be posting new blogs every week. They can be accessed on the website “Frankly Chatting.com” or the Steve Frank Facebook page. The archives link contains my past columns for the Asbury Park Press. So there you have it. I’m here. Just don’t ask me where here is.
Steve can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org