Warning: I’m not going to bother to edit this Introduce Myself post because it’s almost 4:30 in the morning, and I have a long day ahead of me. At this point, even if I go through and proof read for the most obvious errors, I’ll forget what I’m doing and just start adding more to the post without taking care of the problems. Yeah, I’m just made that way.
And now, the response to the first assignment. Hope I covered all the basics requested…
First Assignment: Introduce Myself
Hi, Everyone. I’m Ellie Miller or, if you prefer, Dr. E. Miller. I have a doctorate in educational psychology (thus the dr or Dr. as my account name, and I have been in the field of education most of my adult life in one form or another.
My site, Eleanore’s Ramblings (http://dremiller.com or dremiller.wordpress.com) has changed over the years from general ramblings about anything when I first started this site to an education site on practical classroom applications–especially with an eye toward special education behavioral information and good practices–to its current version about my experiences as I learn to write. In case you haven’t noticed, writing isn’t just about putting words to paper; it is also about grammar, spelling, and style. So my writing on this site is aimed at setting an example for novice bloggers as well as being a fairly regular journal of my writing activities, including errors I’ve made, things that worked as planned or didn’t work at all–not just the success, but the failures as well. For the next several weeks, it will be a journal of what I’m learning in Blogging 101, what I’m doing to improve my writing and my site as we go along, and a general record of how I am doing.
Although I’ve been blogging for years, I can’t say that I’ve been doing so with any consistency, and I can’t say that I’ve ever gone beyond “novice” level. I used to program mainframe computers, and have made an attempt to learn to program for PCs and other electronic devices, but the code has progressed far beyond my ability to keep up with it, and I’m finding I need to learn html and CSS if I want to make meaningful and unique changes to my sites.
This is also not my first trip through Blogging 101–I tried to take it last month but found myself pressed for time. A year ago, I started taking Blogging 201 (after all, I’ve been blogging for years, right?) and dropped out immediately when I realized it was way over my head at the time–not because of the writing, but because of all the information for upgrading your site that went far beyond what will be covered in this class, and I already know what I don’t know about the information covered in Blogging 101–I know nothing. Because Blogging 201 overlaps with 101 for a week, I decided to wait until later in the year for the 201 class rather than once again trying to do too much in the time I have to devote to online classes. I made the mistake of taking both Blogging 101 and Photo 101 last month, and feel that I failed myself and any readers or followers I may have picked up because life got in the way.
To me, blogging is not just a public journal (although my Li’l Ole Lady Press can get rather personal). Blogging should be informative or helpful in some way, and Eleanore’s Ramblings is basically educational in nature, even if it has morphed from its last incarnation as a help site for teachers. It’s still a help site, in a way. For the next three weeks, it’s a help site of my own progress (or lack thereof) through this class. Since blogging has become such an important part of writing–especially for new bloggers or people like me who can write pretty well if I’m writing non-fiction. But I already know that blogging needs to be entertaining as well as informative, or you’ll lose followers. In addition, the site needs to match its theme, and it needs to be simple enough for new visitors to handle, while being flexible enough to allow for experimental or permanent changes to format and theme selection.
So I’m going to learn how to make this site better while still staying within the parameters of its current function–sharing what I’m learning and how with others.
Why share the problems as well as the successes? Because I’m an educator who teaches by example, and I don’t like students to think everything a teacher does is supposed to be perfect the first time around–or even the second time around.
I am looking forward to learning from the assignments; but mostly I am looking forward to learning from the participants’ interpretations of the assignments. When possible, I’ll share what I consider to be the best examples of a lesson as done by other participants so that readers can see the variety of interpretations of new stuff to include on the blog page or just great examples of the expectations in the assignments.
The next three weeks are not intended to be a replacement for taking the class. Rather, it’s meant to “model” what I am going through to learn about WordPress and making my blog more appealing to readers. If the information is helpful, I would encourage readers to take the class for themselves.
Don’t have a blog site? No problem. You can start a free blog right here on WordPress when you start a course–or at any time, really. However, you don’t have to be a WordPress blogger to join the classes. They are open to anyone with a site anywhere else.
Lots of options; no excuses to put things off. WordPress makes it easy for you to become the best blogger you never thought you could be. Lots of classes, lots of daily and weekly ideas and challenges, which are especially helpful when you’re stuck for a topic after the class is over. And mainly, you can get lots of help, whether from the facilitators, other participants, or the WordPress Happiness Team (technical support on most sites).
I’m wild about WordPress, even though I’m an old lady with decaying brain cells. The classes and challenges keep me going when I’d prefer to just lie down for a very long nap. Give me a challenge and the neurons start firing away in creativity and production mode.
If you are a participant, I’m so happy to be here with everyone! If you are a reader/follower of my blog and are stuck for what to do to draw more attention, all you’ll get from me is a summary of what I’m learning and how I think I’m doing. You’ll have to take the class itself to get the most out of your learn-to-blog experience. If you’ve been reluctant to start a blog, or are reluctant to take a class, no one grades your work, and sharing what you’ve done or tried is optional.
So no more excuses. Start that blog!