A Blogger's Learning Curve

Nature Transforms & Technology Conforms

My out-of-the-blue excursion to Central Oregon had a profound affect on me at this stage of my life.  I immediately began documenting my experience with words and images in a newsletter diary that I finally figured out how to share with you in my post, I Won a Trip & Launched a Blog.  What I noticed was how wonderful I felt doing the work!  That exhilarating effort led to the idea of starting a blog.  Albeit a little late to the party, I jumped into it via Wordpress.  I knew there'd be a learning curve, but seriously people?  How do these stay-at-home-moms do it?  I'd burned weeks of late night after-work hours of effort into reading, experimenting, and crafting the thing.  Then, Wordpress launched an operating system upgrade.  Yeah, maybe that's not the right term, but it was a new version of its guts kind of thing.  

My reading warned about broken plug-ins and links and all kinds of detailed mayhem.  Uh, did I mention that my work right now in TV production is all about detailed mayhem?  Hello.  I want to escape from that stress.  You know, give that over-exercised way of being a rest and get back to me.  It's Me Heather Lea.  So I when created the newsletter diary it just dialed up more creativity.  That's when I defined the vehicle that could lead to more of that energy: Bloggers Travel ... Travel.  Experience.  Write.  Share.  Sums it up, doesn't it?  A collective effort with singular results for all who share.

More research into options other than Wordpress confirmed Squarespace as the solution for my launch.  In good conscience, I must reveal that I am founding member #28486 of The Grid.  The progress toward our ai-driven websites there is steady, but Tin-Man slow.  We'll get to the Emerald City, but my ruby slippers are burning a hole in my feet now and Squarespace is the least slippery dance floor so far.  Thankfully, that detailed mayhem TV job of mine has given me a good sense of tackling the SS program, but I'm not there yet.  I'm still learning!

Lay Claim to What's Yours

Along with anything creative, there's a gnawing ratty fear about protecting images and content.  I know this all too well with my Country Cardio® and how I use Flex Ropes in my formats - if you create something different and use a tool or product in a way no one else does, why is that some people (and industries) think it's acceptable to take your work, rebrand it as theirs, use it for profit, and never look back?  With respect to due diligence, I've secured a trademark on Country Cardio® in the USA and UK, but what about material on websites?  Rather than go into the pros and cons about watermarking images and videos, let's just say that I don't have a problem with it on some of my shots.  Again, it's about respecting due diligence.  I've watermarked in the subtlest way, hoping the effort doesn't detract from your experience.

Due Diligence: the care that a reasonable person exercises to avoid harm to other persons or their property.

And now, let's take a moment to discuss the subtle frustrations of creating a cool newsletter full of handy links using a Word Template with ...

A Little Tip

First of all, the size of my exuberant effort proved to be too large even with compression to email to people.  Even saving as a pdf was too large to email and too large to upload in its entirety here.  So my path was to save the Word document, open in Preview (thank the Apple for that little workaround tool), select print, enter a page range, in this case single pages were the best option for my site, from the print portal save as PDF, then open the PDF, Export to Jpeg, upload as a Gallery of images.  After all that, have a cocktail or a nap.  Dream about the links that cannot be active or recovered by any reasonable method on your document.  This is why I suggested the cocktail.  And what about phones and tablets?

When I checked the pdf gallery on my iphone 5, I found that advancing controls for carousel and slideshow views were unresponsive.  The grid gallery looked good, but I was not able to resize the image to read it.  The only gallery version that worked was stacked.  It takes a bit more effort to work through it, but at least I'm able to share the special newsletter diary that launched everything with you!  

So now, before the known bug in Safari crashes my post for at least the 10th time in the last hour ... let's switch to Chrome!  Thank goodness, it seems to be working!  

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