Wednesday, January 18, 2012

8 Things I Learned From Blogging Daily

Mission Accomplished!  Well, when I wasn't looking, I surpassed by 30 day challenge.  A post a day for over 30 days.  I confess.  I am not timely, so I did not always get them up on each specific day, but I reflected and started the post at least.  The experience has taught me many things.  Here are some of those:

1.  It took a lot of time!  The more I did something, the more it became routine however.   Some of the mechanical tasks became faster (thank goodness).

2.  I learned it was better to be simple.  I stepped back to look at the design of my blog and made changes over the past month.  This came from looking at other blogs such as Art Mind and Modern Parents Messy Kids.  They typically use one large image in the center of the post.  I was trying way to hard to resize and place images side by side.  This finagling also ate up a lot of time.  The layout of some of my posts would have made my high school English teacher, Mr. Connor, cringe.  He was also the year book editor and I learned so much about white space and placing elements on the page.   I now try to place one large centered image for a cleaner look and to save time.  If I need to combine images, I'll try to make a single mosaic picture using Flickr tools.

3.  I learned frustration tolerance and how to stay calm.  Once I tried to change settings, eliminating  one of my authoring accounts (I had two under different emails).  It was the one that had administrative power.  For a moment I thought I deleted the whole blog!  With a little patience, I got it back up and running. 

4. I learned a little more about HTML...enough to realize I like WYSIWYG much better!

5. I learned about many of the apps on my iPad.  I often download one and then go off to work on other things.  If I was writing about them, I had to understand the ins and out.  The pleasant outcome of this work was that I applied what I learned to use at school with my students.

6.  I learned to be reflective and edit before posting...I am still learning this one. Yes, I know about the "preview feature," but sometimes I am too quick to hit "publish."  After, I would view the blog post and change it several times (my perfectionism coming out, I guess).  That was until I read Sean Sweeney's post apologizing for editing a post.  Apparently,  people who receive email updates don't necessarily see the corrected post.  Whoops. 

7.  I learned to connect and drive business to readers.  If I was spending this much time, I had to think of ways to share it.  I remembered to use Twitter to send it out to the masses.  I created a Thriving in School Facebook page to drive traffic.  I labeled each post so they are searchable (still trying to catch up with this one).

8.  I learned to present with humor.  Although I think the topics are important to the learning and lives of our students, I approach it with a spirit of fun.  It makes the "doing" more enjoyable.

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