I am old enough to remember watching black-and-white television and playing music on a phonograph, when a map was something you unfolded from a glove compartment and searching was something you did with a flashlight, looking for socks under the bed. I feel like I stand over a gap, one foot planted on each side, and I’m always looking for ways to narrow that gap, to bring the two sides together. Consider:
We perceive something to be technology only when it is still new and, like most new things, not quite working the way it’s supposed to. Nobody thinks that the wheel is technology, though it’s as important a piece of technology as humanity has ever invented. . . .
It is when people stop thinking of something as a piece of technology that the thing starts to have its biggest impact. Wheels, wells, books, spectacles were all once wonders of the world; now they are everywhere, and we can’t live without them. The internet hasn’t quite got to that point, but it is getting there.
from A bigger bang | Weekend | Guardian Unlimited
I want to bring you to the place where blogging is no longer technology, but just a fact of life. I excel at helping non-technical people get up to speed with blogging, especially using WordPress. I have been blogging since 2001, first with Blogger, then with Movable Type. In 2005 I switched to WordPress and have been publishing Cold Climate Gardening, my gardening website, and this website, Blogging Art & Practice, with WordPress ever since.
I enjoy assisting people who want to do it themselves as much as possible and just need initial or occasional help. My goal is to help you to learn enough so that you can maintain your website on your own.
What I can help you with:
- I will help you understand the language in any help page associated with your software
- I will help you troubleshoot when things don’t work as expected
- I will help you communicate with technical support if there is a problem
- If I lack the skills or knowledge to help you with a particular problem, I will clearly say so and help you find someone who can help you.
- I will help you research hosting options and choose blogging software.
- I will teach you how to upload files and use your web hosting admin panel.
- I will help you choose a design or theme and make minor modifications to it.
- I will teach you how to use your photo imaging software to make a new header image.
- I will help you review your blogging software’s settings and change them to reflect your preferences.
- I will teach you how to write a post
- I will explain the differences between categories and tags
- I will show you how to use your photo imaging software to modify photos
- I will show you how to insert photos into posts
- I will teach you how to add content to your sidebar
- I will help you understand WordPress settings and choose the options best suited to your goals
- I will help you evaluate themes you are considering for functionality and ease of use
- I will help you with minor customizations to your theme, such as changing background color or font size
- I will recommend essential plugins and help you install them
- I will help you take full advantage of the photo uploading and gallery features
- I will help you take advantage of WordPress’s comment management features
- I will help you purchase and set up Thesis, a premium WordPress theme
- I will help you install and understand a visitor statistics package
- I will help you insert the code for various ad and affiliate programs
- I will help you learn more about CSS
- I will help you get started in Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn
How I will provide assistance:
- When possible, I will help you via email.
- When needed, I will provide assistance by telephone at a mutually agreed upon time. You will pay for the telephone call.
- If I think it will help, I will use a remote access program called CrossLoop (www.crossloop.com) to access your computer screen and show you how to do certain things. If we agree that this would be helpful, you will need to download and install this program on your computer, and give me permission to remotely access your computer (allow me to control your computer from my computer).
- In many instances I will need to be made an administrator on your blogging software. You will give me my own user account, so that I will not be using your i.d. or password and you will be able to delete my account when you no longer need my help.
What I do not do:
- I do not design websites or blogs “from scratch.”
- I do not design plugins or addons to any software
- I do not write computer programs
- I do not write blog posts for you, or supply you with ideas or images
- I do not develop logos or marketing campaigns or strategies
- I do not set up eCommerce functions or any program requiring secure server transactions
- I do not assist in any illegal activity or any activity that violates my personal ethical standards, or the terms of service of your webhosting agreement.
- I charge $50.00 per hour, billable by the quarter hour. Minimum charge is $12.50. Payment will be via PayPal unless other arrangements are made in advance.