How on earth did I get into this? I have a bare minimum Facebook page that I only set up so that I could see what it was all about – and so far I’m still fairly unimpressed. For a long time I was greeted by the somewhat depressing “you have 1 friend” and visited so seldom that even the Facebook system had to say “welcome back”. I did at one stage have 4 friends and then made the radical decision to de-friend two of them because they kept sending me things I wasn’t in the slightest bit interested in. I have never tweeted. In fact I steadfastly avoid most instances where I am expected to set up an on-line profile and have no interest in “liking” anything. I do have a LinkedIn profile because I can see how that fits in a professional environment (sort of).
Carmella, a colleague at work kept telling me I should have a blog. What on earth for? What would I write about? And who would be interested in it anyway? But then she and other friends said that they loved hearing about all my gardening, cooking and crafting ventures and lots of people have asked for my recipes. Others have asked for advice about how to grow things or were inspired to give something a go after I had described my experiences. Someone else pointed out that I had already written a blog – what!?! Oh, you mean the online travel journal that I experimented with after my last trips as a way of showing my photos to friends here and overseas. I hadn’t really thought of that as a blog. But I did get a nice email from the MyTripJournal team to say that my journal “exhibits qualities that make it one of the BEST journals on our site. We have accordingly included your journal in the ‘Best of MyTripJournal’ system!” So perhaps I do things and can write about them in a way that people are interested in.
I work for a horticultural research organization and in the past I did write several series of articles for grower magazines about pest and disease control, new varieties of fruits and new technologies that were being used. But then I always had clear topics to write about and it was based on factual information, and I couldn’t think how I could just write if I didn’t have something real to write about. Structuring my blog and setting myself some topic areas really helped to get me started and then the ideas just kept flowing.
I was interested in learning about the practicalities of having a ‘website’ and decided that I’d give it a go. Of course, I didn’t just choose the simple route using Blogspot or Blogger but decided that if I was going to do it at all I wanted to set up something that would be transportable into the future and perhaps support my dream of a future business venture of some sort. I found a web host and chose a domain name, and setting things up seemed fairly easy to start with. But then no matter what I did I got an “Access Forbidden” notice every time I tried to access my site. Many emails to the Support Team later I was still no further ahead and getting somewhat frustrated. So I decided that I’d focus on writing and work out what I wanted things to look like and then get an expert to help me set things up. And the lovely Tarnya at www.buildyourwebsite.co.nz has helped me do just that.