06 January 2009

Blog Improvement Project: #1

After reading about the Blog Improvement Project on Louise's blog (Lous_Pages), I headed over to Kim's blog at Sophisticated Dorkiness and signed up. Every other week Kim will post a mini project that is geared to help us improve our blogs and become better bloggers.

This week's project is to think about goals. Kim provided some great ideas and links to get us started. I've always been a bit of rebel, so I'm going to do this assignment my way!

I've tried not to read too many posts by other participants, because I want my goals to suit me, and I don't want to be too influenced by others. I suspect I'll be posting some amendments once I get around to reading other posts.

I set up my blog in September 2008 to be a place to talk about books, to increase my participation in reading challenges, and to post my thoughts about the books I read. Originally, I thought I'd also discuss cooking and maybe post some photos. As it happened, I am not at all interested in blogging about food and cooking, and I love to post my weekly photograph. So already my goals have changed.

Here are some things I'd like to do in 2009:

• Learn more html
• Improve my blog's template, making it more personal and cutting down on clutter
• Integrate my blog more fully with Google Alerts, Technorati, Stumble Upon, and Twitter
• Learn to use my stats and tags better so my blog shows up in searches

Be a better participant in the book blogging community by
• Posting more meaningful comments
• Remembering to check back to see if any comments have started a discussion
• Responding more meaningfully to the comments left on my blog
• Taking some time to scope out new-to-me blogs
• Participating in more book review carnivals

• Work on my profile so it more accurately describes me and my blog
• Improve my writing skills
• Take more local photos (instead of travel photos) to post on Wednesdays
• Become a better book reviewer
• Continue to build and strengthen my online friendships
• Think about the tone of my blog (too many memes? not enough personal posts?)


Anonymous,  1/6/09, 2:00 PM  

Your goals are fantastic and I love the way you have them organized. Good luck! I think this is going to be a fun project.

Eidin 1/6/09, 3:14 PM  

Good luck with achieving your goals! This is an interesting project.

Anonymous,  1/6/09, 4:45 PM  

I love that you did the post in your own way. I don't think there is a "right" way to do any of the ideas I have for the Blog Improvement Project. I've been reading all of the posts and they are inspiring, but you're right that it's important to keep your goals focused on you.

Thanks for participating!

Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness)

Anonymous,  1/6/09, 5:43 PM  

I, too, like the way you've organized the goals into categories.

I have to spend some time thinking about my goals, and will post my list by the weekend.

I'm really happy about being involved in this project!

Beth F 1/6/09, 5:50 PM  

My organized goals are a reflection of the way I think, I guess! I wish my house were as organized as my mind!

Thanks for the encouraging thoughts -- I think this will be a fun project.

Eva 1/6/09, 6:04 PM  

Those are great goals and so well organised. ;)

Louise 1/6/09, 6:24 PM  

I look so much forward to follow your progress and I may just have to steal ;o) some of your goals. One of my own goals is to write better comments as well, and I really look forward to that as well. I also think that doing this project your own way is the way to go, so to speak. I am immensely inspired by all other posts up already and want to do EVERYTHING right away ;o) We are starting a revolution :o)

Beth F 1/6/09, 6:32 PM  

Louise: I love your enthusiasm for this project. It's been an inspiration for me. I mean that! I think this is going to be an exciting blogging year.

Anonymous,  1/6/09, 6:52 PM  

WOW! I love your goal!! I can't add too much. I lack the ability to focus.

Julia Phillips Smith 1/7/09, 9:32 AM  

Too many memes? As long as you've done it, it's personal - at least that's how I feel. I do two memes a week, sometimes three. But they give me a foundation for the rhythmn of my blog.

Beth F 1/7/09, 9:55 AM  

Julia: I like what you said about the rhythm of the memes. And they keep me engaged with my blog and with the community. I just don't my blog to be all about the memes.

Wordless Wednesday helps break up the week and my own Weekly Discoveries is a wholly personal feature.

So much to think about!

Louise 1/7/09, 1:25 PM  

In addition to the "shortening" of the blogroll (isn't it an amazing thing how much space there suddenly is on the blog?) I would like to know if those dropdown menus you have for the labels etc comes with the template or if you have installed them yourself?

Beth F 1/7/09, 1:32 PM  

The Blog Archive comes with Blogger. There's a button called "drop down menu" that you can click. The labels list I found. I'll track down the source of my code and get back to you in a minute. I have to track the site down.

Beth F 1/7/09, 1:45 PM  

Ok. Found it (and will remember to add link in my "thank you" section). I used this post (click here. from Blogger Buster.

That was too wide for my sidebar, but somewhere in the comments to that post are instructions for changing the size and the colors of the drop-down list.

Dorte H 1/8/09, 11:09 AM  

What a nice colour scheme you have!
- and I also think your goals are great but I am not interested in cooking (prefer eating the products).

Florinda 1/8/09, 1:06 PM  

Excellent goals, and very well-organized too! Good luck with all of them.

Beth F 1/8/09, 4:26 PM  

Dorte: I like eating too! Thanks for comment about the colors. I'm pleased with that part of my blog.

Florinda: Thanks!

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) 1/10/09, 8:15 AM  

I love reading everyone's goals. I haven't posted mine yet. I need to get cracking, but you have a lot of good ones, though I think there are some that you have well under control. Good luck!

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