From Group Therapy...
1. When and why did you first start your weblog?
Recently, very recently. I first heard of blogging when reading the introduction to Neil Gaiman's Boskone book. Then again in March when I traveled to ACUS with DJ, and he and Fiona were talking about LiveJournal over dinner. Then I think Julia mentioned hers during a WEF session. And then again at TBR I kept hearing about blogs and blogging.
Me, being a writer, thought hey, this could be cool. Although my first thought *wasn't* setting up a blog for me. It was to use the tool as a device for publishing my online serial, A Twisted Weave. I'd started the serial back in 2000, and failed miserably at keeping it up because it was just too much effort to do the site day after day, because it was all manually updated. I'd looked for a tool to use, similar to what people used to do online comics, and couldn't find anything for text. I was confused. I couldn't believe that no one had thought of doing fiction this way. But I found nothing, so the project got dropped.
So that was the first thing I thought of, and the first blog I started. Then I started a personal blog. Then Jvstin read my blog and I discovered I was part of this whole huge community that was even bigger than I thought. I started reading more and more blogs, and discovering more toys to play with through conversation and reading. And whee! Its a huge addiction now. I've got five blogs now, between this one, ATW, Gestalt, the Voices, and the Diet. And that doesn't count the administrative blog for ATW which I use to do administrative stuff for the site, but isn't really much on its own. Yikes! Not bad considering this all started right after TBR, the last week in May!
2. What hosting service do you use? What criteria did you use to choose that host?
Um, given that the next question is actually about blog publishing software, I'll assume you mean my domain hosting.
I purchased my own domain a couple of years ago, back when I knew I was first getting cable modem access. I was determined to never have to change my email address again. At the time, a friend recommended Hostway and since I trust his opinions, I went with them to host the Hall of Mirrors domain.
3. What weblog software/service do you use and why? (Blogger, Movable Type, Greymatter, etc?)
I started out with Blogger. I'd heard of LiveJournal, but they required a recommendation to get on, so I skipped that. I then found Blogger and started there. But I had a lot of problems with them. I lost posts because they timed me out. I couldn't post because of template issues. All sorts of annoying little things. Julia read some of my complaints and suggested Moveable Type. I resisted at first, because I didn't want to have to redesign my templates *again*. But then Blogger ticked me off again and so I downloaded it, installed it, and tried it out.
And I LOVE it. I've moved everything but my shared blog to the new platform (that'll be moved when I get to it). I love the categories. I love the fact that I can do just about anything with it. I most ESPECIALLY love Draft/Publish and changing authored dates. All I need is the ability to automate moving something from Draft to Published for ATW and life will be perfect. And yes, I could probably write it in Perl but I don't have that kind of time. *smiles*
4. How did you learn your web authoring skills? Did you learn before or during your weblogging days?
I was introduced to the web while running my White Wolf game (Where Chaos Reigns). A character was using the web, and while I was certainly internet-friendly (okay, I was a mailing list addict), I wasn't familiar with the web as it was back then. We're talking a good 10-12 years ago, after all! So that meant since it was a neat new internet technology, and a useful one for a GM to communicate with players, I had to learn how to do it.
Not long after that I needed to learn it for work, and well, since I already knew it, that was certainly a help. *laughs* Now I do it for work, and for fun, and I use my own website and now my blogging to help keep me current or at least somewhere closeby. I don't have the time I'd like to have to play around with my website, so I'm always a bit behind, technology-wise.
5. What is your favorite weblog and what makes it so wifty?
Ooh, this is a toughy. And after some thought, I'm not going to try to narrow it down. I am SO new to reading and enjoying blogs that I really haven't made up my mind yet. There are so many yet to explore. A sampling of what I try to read daily, or every other day, is on my sidebar, and that list will grow and change as I continue to do that exploring. So that's really the best place to go for what I like to read.
As for why... I look for different things in blogs, but mostly, I look to be interested. I want to have a reason to come back and keep reading, whether its for useful information, interesting reading, or a peek inside a friend's (or stranger's) head. I guess I just need to be entertained.Posted by Deb Atwood at July 08, 2002 11:12 AM | TrackBack