Blogging101: Keep Personalizing

So this task, Day Seven (I am so far behind) was to keep personalizing the blog. I’ve done a bit of this and added a few tweaks here and there so interested in everyone’s feedback. I’ve started the design on my other website which will take some time to get up and running but there should be some new technical posts here in the next few days.

Split personality (or cleaning house!)

After some long and hard thinking I have decided to split my blog into two. Whilst I’m doing the Blogging101 course it’s become evident that I need to establish my target audience, and at the moment my blog is giving mixed signals, i.e. is it a personal blog or is this my techie blog. I originally started this blog as I’ve mentioned previously, as a way to keep track of technical articles that I find interesting without losing them in a sea of bookmarks. Over the last few days I think I’ve lost sight of that goal by interspersing it with personal writing.

With that in mind I am going to refocus my efforts for this course on developing the technical aspect of my blog whilst retaining my original aim to provide technical content. All the non-techie and more personal stuff I shall be moving to a new blog in a few days time. Hopefully this way I can remain true to my original aims and keep my viewers happy!

I shall make an announcement on here when my personal blog is launched.

Blogging101: Identify my audience

Here we are on Day four of the Blogging 101 course (actually its day 5 but I’m running behind 🙂 ) and today’s task was to write a post that would connect with my ideal reader. Hmm, that’s a tough one. I was never really sure if anyone would be interested in my ramblings, and my blog was originally created for me as an alternative to bookmarks as I’ve already described, however, having been pushed by the Blogging101 course into stretching my writing I thought I’d talk about a website I found by accident and have used extensively over the past 18 months. As I aimed my blog at helping others, they may also find this site useful.

I like to learn new stuff. That’s just the way I am. I absorb new technologies and skills not because I have to but because I like to. I’m a geek, I can’t help it, I guess that’s a by product of having grown up in a time when my first computer, a Sinclair ZX81, was cutting edge (to give some context, its probably less powerful than the calculator on your smartphone) and then being witness to an explosion of new home computers and video games consoles, growing up on a diet of Amiga and Atari computers before getting my first PC back in 1990 ish.

It was during one of my expeditions into the web to find some new learning material that I stumbled across an online learning website, and yes I know I’ve said before about paying for stuff when there is an abundance of free sites out there, but this site appealed to me for its ease of use and cost of the courses (TIP: never pay the full price for a course, create an account and get on the mailing list they are always offering courses for $10 during so called sales, just be patient!).

The site I’m talking about is Udemy. Who? Yes I’d never heard of them either, but then I started to look through the course catalog. There are hundreds of courses, some great, some not so great. Do your research and you will find some terrific courses on a plethora of subjects, not just technical subjects either, but life skills too. And if you are so inclined, you can create your own course content and become an instructor through the Udemy Teach website.

I’m not affiliated to this site in anyway, other than as a content consumer, and that’s the other thing to be careful of. You can become training obsessed on this site, and spend more time learning than actually doing 🙂 to me that’s a consequence of being able to get good training at such a great price. Don’t just take my word for it, go and read the case studies at About Udemy.

Nearly all of the courses offer free previews, oh I didn’t mention it earlier, these are online video training courses. Go check it out for yourself. Read the reviews, check out similar courses and pick one with an instructor you like. Trust me, picking a course with an instructor who has a boring, unintelligible voice will make the course tedious, a waste of money and you will never complete it!

 

 

I like to learn, I hope my readers like to learn, that’s why I created this blog in the first place, and now I can share this other great learning resource with you. I hope you get as much out of it as I do. Enjoy.

 

l1dge

 

Blogging101: Let’s learn something new

To know, is to know that you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge.

Socrates

Blogging101 Daily task 3 is to follow at least five new topics and five new blogs in the WordPress reader. What a great idea. I’ve found I’ve learned more from blogs in the last few years than any other resource on the web, and all of its free. There are a lot of people out there that know an lot of stuff. I mean a ton of stuff; And they are happy to share their knowledge for free.

That’s the great thing about the blogging community, people devoting their time and knowledge to share with others. So many times we Google / Bing or Yahoo for answers and get directed to sites that say “subscribe for $10 a month to get to the answer”, I wonder how many people actually sign up without realizing there is a gold mine of free information on the web if you just have a bit more search engine savvy. Admittedly not all of it may be accurate, that’s why it pays to do some research, but its there if you look.

For those of you that are still reading my blog here are some of the topics I followed as part of this assignment:

  • Python Programming
  • Perl Programming
  • Bootstrap
  • Writing
  • Oracle
  • Blogging101 (goes without saying 🙂 )

And if you are still reading, some of the blogs I followed since starting Blogging 101:

Blogs I've Followed
Blogs I’ve Followed

Blogging101: New title, new blog

Daily task 2 for the blogging101 course was to rethink my site name and tagline, this post is really just to explain why I originally set up up my blog and why I think my new tagline is so apt!

l1dge’s clipboard

Because sometimes bookmarks just won’t do….

When I originally came to WordPress, it was because I migrated my blog from blogger for more functionality and control. I had originally setup my blog after getting so tired of out of date bookmarks, duplicate bookmarks and just clunky browser bookmarks in general. I tried many bookmark synchronization tools, xmarks / foxmarks / google sync etc and no matter how often I tidied them up and organised them, within a week I had hundreds of duplicated, empty folders which really started to “irritate” me no end, especially when that same list gets replicated across all my browsers.

I thought to myself, what’s an easy way to get the concise information I need, that I may use repeatedly without running the risk of the website disappearing or bombarding me with spam I don’t need.  What I decided to do was when I find a useful article, that has helped me achieve a particular task, e.g. fix a hard drive, graphics tearing in linux etc. I’d copy the article to my blog, with a reference to the original owner and a link back to their site, so that i had the content I needed when I wanted it.

Some would say “why not use evernote / onenote / other tools to do this” and my answer is, if this piece of information helped me, it may help others, and I’d like to think that my blog was a way to do that without running the risk of the original site disappearing. If I can’t remember the original article or find the bookmark I can just refer to my blog.

Hopefully you guys will understand the method in my madness, some of you may even say “well why didn’t you just do x,y,z” and my answer to that one is ” The beauty of the internet is that it allows me to do things that work for me, without being forced to use some outdated clunky tool imposed on me by ‘someone that knows better’; I’m in control of my blog and what gets posted, I only have myself to blame if something goes belly up!! “

So there you go, my reason for existing at this site, and why I changed the tagline, hope you find it useful 🙂

Blogging101

Blogging101

So, I’ve joined another online course, this time specifically for improving my blogging, yeah right! “I’ve heard it all before” you say….. “join this course an in thirty days you’ll be a better person than you are now”

But I’m told this course is different, using a community of like minder bloggers to comment and encourage on each others blogs I hope to get some good tips and tricks, and a kick up the backside to blog more frequently.

Its not that I don’t want to write, it’s the time factor (excuses, excuses I hear you cry!!!), but only time will tell.

My first task / assignment for this course is to re-introduce myself and my blog, so without further delay, here we go!!!

Who am I and why am I here

My nickname is l1dge (pronounced li-dge ), I am and have been an Oracle dba for the past twenty something years, with a few deviations to dabble in other areas. I’ve been using SQL Server for the last 8 years alongside Oracle. I’m certified (or is that certifiable) in both disciplines, Oracle 10 and 11G OCP, MS SQL Server MCITP DBA 2005. I’m an “old skool” hacker at heart in the traditional sense, pulling apart bits of kit to see how they work, mainly with the intention of fixing it, mostly with the outcome of breaking it! I like toying with hardware, software and new technologies and love Linux, although Windows 10 is looking pretty slick too. I have a keen interest in reading / writing and electronics. And if I can help you I will.

And now for the disclaimer:

Anything I write here is my own opinion and does not represent the view of any company I work for now or have worked for in the past.

First Post from within emacs using org2blog/wp

So its been a long while since my last post, but I’ve decided to start posting more regularly to my blog (hopefully!)

I’ve been playing around with various editors recently to try and streamline my workflow, improve my productivity. To that end I think I’ve finally settled on emacs, and although its a steep learning curve I’ve finally started to make headway thanks to various web sources and a lot of help from my great friend Mickey over at masteringemacs.org (who incidentally is about to publish a great book on emacs!!).

One of the great plugins I’ve found is org2blog/wp and a great blog post that help me set it up at Gabriel Saldaña’s blog.

I also found some useful information that helped to create this post at Pablumfication which I’ve taken the liberty of copying below:

Creating Your First Post

Creating your post really could not be simpler

  • M-x org2blog/wp-login – To Login to your blog.
  • M-x org2blog/wp-new-post – To create a new post.
  • Make your changes in the file.
  • C-x C-s – To save the changes
  • C-c d – To run the command org2blog/wp-post-buffer which if everything has worked successfully will post your post to your blog as a draft. You’ll notice that POSTID (‘#+POSTID: 00000′) will have been prepended to the file.
  • You’ll also be prompted asking if you want to open you’ll new post in the browser. Pressing ‘y’ will do this and if everything has gone well you should see your post.
  • Make changes till your happy with your post.
  • C-c p – To publish your post to be visible to all.

Thats it your done.

Conclusion

So it seems very simple to me once the initial setup is done, that regular blog posting can now occur from directly within emacs, but only time will tell!!