My brain is swimming with information this weekend. I should be outside in the beautiful fresh air, playing in the dirt or just enjoying the sunshine, but instead, I’m sitting in front of my computer. Why, you ask . . . because I’m having too much fun playing with, and learning about, all kinds of cool technology and computer “stuff.”
Thursday marked the beginning of another one of those great IVWCC Meet & Greets that usually continue on into the weekend until the last person fades away, or (like me) finally becomes so bleary-eyed that they have to take a break from their computers and go do normal things like spend time with their families, clean house, etc. What makes it difficult for me to pull myself away from these M&G’s, (other than the fact that the caliber of the IVWCC women who participate in these events is top-notch and the networking is incredible) is that I always learn about so many new things that I just have to download or have to tryout or have figure out how to use, that it’s hard for me to shut down the computer and walk away. This M&G was no exception.
It was at one of these M&Gs that I first learned about blogging. Everyone was talking about this RSS stuff and blogging stuff, so I thought I’d give it a whirl – at least the blogging part. As those of you who read my very first post know, I took Blogging 101, a teleclass offered by Coaches Deborah Cole Micek & John-Paul Micek of Business Owners Coaching Club. What fun!!! Now I’m blogging and loving it. This time, through some discussions started by others as well as questions I specifically asked others, I’ve gotten even more “techy” and learned how to use RSS feeds so that the blogs can be delivered to my desktop and updated whenever a new post is added to whatever blogs I’ve subscribed to. For those of you who have no idea what RSS is, I’m certainly not the one to explain it (I’m just now figuring it out myself), so I’m including a few links to the blogs or sites of those who can actually tell you what it is and how and why you would even want to use it.
So, after about 300 emails and a couple of days of sitting in front of my computer (I really have taken time to eat, sleep, take the necessary potty breaks, spend time with my husband, etc.), I’m feeling pretty darn techy. Some of the things I’ve learned and/or decided to learn more about are listed below:
I learned that in the eyes of many, IE is not the best browser to use for Internet exploration, so I downloaded and switched to Mozilla’s Firefox. Firefox is supposed to be safer from a security standpoint, and better at blocking popups and spyware than IE. Now this may not be new to some of you, but it certainly was to me. I didn’t blow my computer up, and it was really quite painless – and is so much faster!! What’s cool, is that I can still use IE if I need to. I’ve even downloaded Thunderbird, Mozilla’s email program, but haven’t had the courage to actually load it and switch from Outlook Express – at least not just yet.
I downloaded an RSS feeder (also known as an aggregator – you real techys please correct me if I’m wrong) so that I could subscribe to other people’s blogs and ezines without having to go to each one whenever I wanted to see what’s new. Now, whenever someone posts something to a blog on my list, it is conveniently sent to my desktop via RSS technology and voila, I’m up-to-date without any effort at all. I chose RSSFeeder because it was recommended by someone as simple to use (and free). There are several more, and they’re mentioned in at least two of the above links I gave you for info on RSS.
I decided that I was going to learn how to “publish” through Quickonnex, so I am reading How to Start Publishing in One Day or less!, a free e-book by Cathy Carlton. With so many ezine publishers switching over to RSS technology, I don’t want to be left behind.
I know how to set up third-party blogs like Blogger and TypePad, but I want to learn how to set up blogs on existing websites and on separate domains using WordPress. So, I’ve downloaded WordPress and will attempt to get that knowledge under my belt as well.
I also learned a little bit about the use of autoresponders (the correct and incorrect usage), but I’m not quite ready to go there yet.
Last of all, I’m almost (mind you I say almost) convinced to take the plunge and learn how to use Dreamweaver. I don’t know if I’m willing to switch my site from FrontPage (yes I know it’s evil, thank you very much!) yet, but I might be willing to give Dreamweaver a try and expand my horizons (which will evidently help stave off Alzheimer’s and other forms of senility – and was brought to my attention by a very wise business coach) into the 21st Century.
So now that my head is filled with RSS this, blog that, and all kinds of other stuff that makes it feel as if it could explode at any minute, I’m going to go grab a bite to eat and go outside and play in the dirt.