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Update

Hopefully, the blog will be revived soon. Meanwhile follow me on twitter @Rimidalv_Vonavi

 

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How to start a blog?

As mentioned, I went through a couple of weeks of erratic preparations before launching this website.  Below are a few helpful hints if you decide to go through similar experience.

1. Identify purpose

Sounds self-evident,  but this will drive the rest.  Take a moment to think why you want to do it.  There’s loads of options out there – each with its own benefits.

Personal experience: purposes stated here

2. Choose platform

You’ll need a guiding light in the ocean of opportunities.  A good start would be this Forbes article, which compares and rates eleven platforms.

Your main dilemma is to choose one of the three groups:

  • a social networking option (the likes Livejournal or MySpace)
  • a pre-arranged dedicated blogging platform (Blogger)
  • or to try it on your own through hosting your resource and using external software  (WordPress)

Think less community, more flexibility and higher cost as you go down the list.  A Livejournal will immediately hook you up with its mighty crowd of bloggers, BUT you will also be totally exposed to them.  Also, it doesn’t cost you a penny, but you can’t really change much on your page.  A WordPress, on the other hand, gives you full control and no imposed communities, unless you want them – but you need to purchase webhosting from a third party provider ($2-$10 / month) and get your head around software.  A Blogger is somewhere in the middle, although a tad closer to social networks (ease of use, no cost, little flexibility).

Personal experience: consistent with my objectives, I chose WordPress – and I have fully enjoyed it so far.  I was looking for something to give me non-standard looks, personal address, flexibility over web-components and potential to grow the blog into a full-fledged website.  I also enjoy no imposed crowds.  Costs have been negligible – Dreamhost offers promotion rate of $1.95/month if you come from WordPress.

3. Study platform and launch blog

Time and effort here depends entirely on the chosen route in step 2.  For comparison: you could probably launch a Livejournal in half an hour, a Blogger in a couple of hours (there will be a tiny bit more to learn) and a Word Press – in a couple of days or a couple of weeks – depending on how funky you want to be.

Personal experience: Hosting with Dreamhost and installation of WordPress was surprisingly quick.  Everything worked with no glitches.  Difficulties lies in choices: it took me a while to decide on the web address, as well as to choose a theme.  You could spend days and weeks on personalisation if you wanted to.  Software works flawlessly so far – nothing needs to be installed on your machine – WordPress inhabits the allocated Dreamhost space with one-click of a mouse, and takes over from then on.  You can fully control your blog through a browser and a login/password combination.  On the negative, I found WordPress manuals a little too details and structured – think they should have a shorter and punchier ’10 step guide’ to get a blog running.

4. Create

Well – that’s just what it is about.  Content!  After all, it is your posts: thoughts, ideas, opinions and discussions – that is the essence of blogging.  Everything else is – well, nuisance… So ask yourself again if you really want to get into it.

Personal experience: I don’t care about getting millions of hits and visitors (just yet!), but I’m committed to a clean and convenient interface.  I’m planning to use a simple structure with calm design, minimal graphics, clear categories and tags.  Hope to write at least three posts a week on a consistent basis.  Plan to introduce extra pages, RSS and hopefully friends’ postings in the future.  Let’s see where this goes.

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A new blog is born…

This is my first post. So – Hello World!

I’ve gone through a couple of weeks of erratic preparations.  Chose WordPress as engine and Dreamhost as host.   Most recently revived Rimidalv as nick and picked it as web address too.  Was lucky it turned out to be free.  Happy with the first step.

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