The ABCs of Using Blogs

 

I assume that most young people know how blogs work. Older boomers and late pre-boomers may be new to blogs, like me. To improve the quality of your experience with The Effervescent Bubble, I would like to share a little of what I have learned in the last two weeks.

First, don’t assume that what you see first is all there is. Blogs have more or less complex character, depending on the template used. On this blog, the buttons at the top are the Menu. When you click on them, they open “pages” or “posts.” My “pages” are the “Welcome” “Bio” “Links” and “Contact.” These will likely remain static but not necessarily so. The “Links” section in particular will change as I add hyperlinks to webpages which I think may be of interest. When you press these hyperlinks, you should go directly to the relevant webpage. This is the “rabbit hole” my cousin talks about. You can follow the linked webpages immediately should you be so inclined. Or you can “bookmark” them in your own computer to read later. By closing the linked page, you should automatically return to this blog.

The “posts” menu button is different. “Posts” are the pieces of writing I put up on the blog periodically. When you click on that button, it opens all the posts in chronological order, beginning with the most recent. You can read that one and then scroll down to read others. As my posts at the moment are largely texts, their appearance on the page may seem quite intimidating. Don’t worry. Each post is self-contained and you can read one without the others. This part of the blog is essentially a full library of all my postings.

On computers with a normal size screen, the right hand margin of my blog page will show “Categories,” “Recent Posts” and “Archives”. On tablets with small screens, these rubrics may be at the bottom. These are short cuts to give you immediate access to parts of the library. Every post will have been labelled with a general category. If you press “Current Affairs” under “Categories” you will able to access directly all the posts in that category. Ditto for “Modern Tech,” “The Arts,” etc.

The “Recent Posts” does what it says, lists posts put up recently. I don’t yet know how many will be visible on this particular template. I guess we will find out together. Reading new posts for the first time may be easiest in this window. This section is designed to encourage feedback and discussion. There is a large “Leave a Reply” box at the bottom of these posts where readers can enter their comments. If you want to do that, what you type will be sent to my email and I will vet (and perhaps edit it) before it is posted. My policy applied to editing is found on my “Contact” page. Vetted “Comments” are published and thereafter appear with the posts. To protect your own privacy, readers may want to comment using only a first name or pseudonym.

The “Archives” section stores the posts by the date they were put up. When you click on the month, all the posts for that month will appear and you can click on the one you are looking for. This will open the post, including comments to date and the “Leave a Reply” box.

The “Share” buttons allow you to forward the link for my blog to your friends by using your own Twitter, Facebook or Google accounts. For many late pre-boomers, this is probably not relevant. The younger crowd are adept at social networking and need no instructions. Because they can share at the click of a button, they have communication powers that the rest of us lack. Isn’t that how Barack Obama won his first presidential election? I’m not sure about the significance of the “Like” button, but if you do like a particular post and click on this button, I get an email telling me that you did. It’s nice feedback for me, and it helps networking I guess.

At the very bottom, you will see a “Follow Via Email” area. If you want to know by email of new blogs as they are posted, you can “subscribe” to my blog. The process is quite simple. You decide if you want to receive notice immediately (the default), or less frequently. To activate the subscription, press the “confirm” button on the first email that will be sent to you. You can unsubscribe at any time. Persons sophisticated in the use of computers know how to simulate this practice by using reading lists on their own computers. I don’t know much about that. Maybe one of the readers could advise us how that works.

So that’s it. More or less applicable to all blogs (on WordPress, at least). Really quite amazing. 

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