We’ve occasionally been moved to comment about process.
This hobby/pastime/obsession we know as “blogging” is made possible through a host of technological artifacts: the Internet itself; the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) who, for better or worse, are the ‘Net’s gatekeepers; and, most of all, the indomitable urge for self-expression that has found such fertile ground to manifest itself in these times.
And then there are the tools that we bloggers use daily to self-express.
Shortly after we began for real this grand adventure called Left-Handed Complement, we were moved to comment about the fantastic, free of charge nature of this medium.
The platform, the means to access it richly (although said platform is highly capable in that area), and some on-line resources whose existence makes life easier — essentially, the only cost to self-expression is one’s time.
Thus, we established MUDGE’s Blogging Process Hall of Fame, which we have returned to several times, as faithful reader will rediscover when s/he browses through the link table at the top of this post.
Well, it’s high time to revisit M’sBPHoF.
If you blog, and don’t know any or all of the above tools, you owe yourself an exploration.
First, we catch up with the latest addition. FuelMyBlog is a traffic-building site that we have featured in our sidebar for some months, and wrote about here and here. Its contribution to this nanocorner of the ‘Sphere©‘s traffic has been modest, but high quality and most appreciated. I’ve encountered and interacted with a very select group of insightful and entertaining writers, and one hopes that they’ve similarly appreciated the efforts made here.
As I’ve written consistently through the months (some of the more recent: here, here, here and speaking especially about the social networking element here), WordPress.com has provided the means to effortlessly exercise insufficiently used writing muscles, with little technical muss or fuss.
And, as a professional IT person, I know full well that only ferociously creative effort behind the scenes keeps it so simple and reliable where our rubber meets the road.
Yesterday, WordPress.com rolled out some new behind-the-scenes features for we, their blogging customers. They’ve completely updated and overhauled the Dashboard, the man-behind-the-curtains functionality that let’s us command and control our site. Very thoughtfully, and technically adroitly done.
By the time I read their announcement of the changes, the morning after first encountering them and being impressed, there were several scores of comments, surprisingly many of them negative.
Guess people really don’t like change. Lighten up guys: after all, it’s free!
Well, I do love the new Dashboard!
Thus, I felt compelled to add my comment to the lengthy stream, announcing there that WordPress.com had achieved Platinum status on MUDGE’s Blogging Process Hall of Fame.
So, I had to make that happen! Permanently on the top spot of this listing of the free-of-charge tools that make this hobby/pastime/obsession the blast that it has been for most of the past year.
Oh, not quite free. Full disclosure: I pay $10.00 for the ability to access the blog on their wonderfully reliable site using the domain address I own: http://mudge.essoenn.com.
Again, that’s the beauty of this hobby, as manifested in the tools shown in M’sBPHoF. Let’s review, shall we?
WordPress.com: $10/annually, for a feature most people probably don’t need; for most people, it’s free.
WindowsLiveWriter: $0, and this from what guys in my business often refer to in the pejorative, Micro$oft. I use it every day to create the posts that it sends to WordPress.com, and while not perfect, for the price it’s beyond excellent.
Picnik: $0, for this web image-scraping tool, which comes complete with an add-on to Firefox making access seamlessly convenient. Although they have a $25/year upgrade, I haven’t had occasion in all these months to miss any feature the upgrade offers; the recent update has improved Picnik’s functionality and processing speed. What a great boon for we graphically challenged amateurs!
BlogExplosion: $0, for the biggest single contributor of traffic directed to this nanocorner of the ‘Sphere©. As does FuelMyBlog, BlogExplosion requires reciprocal surfing in order to generate that traffic, so one spends in time what would be otherwise unavailable without expensive and in this site’s case, inappropriate marketing.
FuelMyBlog: $0, as discussed above.
Total annual cost for, thus far, 364 posts (plus today’s, and please note that that total was made much easier to ascertain on WordPress’s delightful new Dashboard!): $10.
The excellent overall experience enabled by those tools, by the commenters and friends, the respected sources of so much of the content examined and admired here (as seen in our blogroll ), as the commercial puts it:
It’s it for now. Thanks,
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