Information Architecture and Content Management is my first ever blog. For this blog I have used WordPress, one of the most popular blogging tools. WordPress is also open source, which means that the user has access to the code that WordPress is built on and they can change it if they desire. It also means that it is free to use for the perspective blogger, all that is needed is a domain name and a web host. Or you can use the WordPress.com service that allows a blogger to set up a free blog as a sub domain of WordPress.
As my first attempt at writing a blog, I would rate this experience as successful. I have already put forward a few blog posts; I have focused on making the posts high quality and am confident that I have achieved that goal. In addition, in the process of producing these blog posts, I have learned more about search engines, search engine optimisation and the use of search analytics tools in web development.
I have attempted (to the best of my current ability) to use SEO techniques such as those that have been written about in my second post. Unfortunately as of 5th September 2011 my blog does not even appear in the top 10 pages when using a Google search for “search engine optimisation” but the Google search “tim ashton search engine optimisation” returns my blog in the number one position, also true for the search “tim ashton metasearch engines”. Of course, my blog is up against the experts in SEO as every organisation or individual that provides a SEO service has got an optimised blog or website.
Now that I have a sentiment of a success from my first attempt at blogging, I think that I will certainly participate in blogging in the future. As I gain more experience in the information technology industry, I will draw on an increasing pool of knowledge. An increase in my knowledge base will allow me to offer more in each of my future blogs and blog posts. In doing so I will not only share what I know with others, but I am inviting comments, and increasing my exposure to a community of blogging peers on the web. I will be using this blogging experience as my starting point in my information sharing activities on the web.
The most difficult technical issues of getting started as a blogger have been made relatively trivial through the use of WordPress. The WordPress content management system (CMS)has negated the technical difficulty of producing this blog. You do not need to know how to code in server side scripting languages such as PHP or write SQL (WordPress uses PHP and SQL) queries to interact with a database, you do not even need to know how to produce HTML code. That said, my knowledge of HTML has been very helpful, it has allowed me to modify the content in the way that I desired. Without this knowledge I think it would have been difficult to produce tables and position pictures effectively. I found using the standard WordPress content management view a bit tedious and that it was considerably easier to write HTML code to achieve my blogging goals.
Having the technical issues taken care of by the content management systems allowed me to focus on producing quality content for my blog and know that for the most part, it could be simply entered into the CM administration interface. Producing the content was, in fact quite challenging. Not only was there a considerable amount of research and reading required but I was attempting to write the content in a search engine friendly manner.
Coming up with new ideas for the content of a blog is not easy, but if a starting point with a sound foundation can be made, the blog can stem from there and begin to grow. I think that the continued production of a quality blog would assist in the generation of new ideas from comments and input from other bloggers. Furthermore, a continued participation in blogging circles of a particular topic will help to stimulate new blog posts.
This blogging experience has given me an insight as what it means to actually maintain and write in a blog. The experience showed me that actually setting up and using blog software was not complex. The difficulty exists more in the production of high quality content written in an appropriate manner for the web and gaining exposure on the web from your blog.
I learned more about the topics that I have posted about and I have become more aware of the blogosphere at large. I have learned that bloggers work hard to get their blog posts noticed and they interact with other bloggers to share their ideas and knowledge. Additionally the whole notion of blogging is knowledge sharing and communication between people with both similar and dissimilar views.
The topics written about in blog posts are numerous and varied, The State of the Blogosphere 2010 report by Technorati provides some interesting information about who is blogging, why, what are they blogging about, how often and where are they blogging from.
- WordPress – A beginners guide
- Step two designs – so what is a CMS
- Blogbasics.com – Welcome to the world of blogs
- The Open Source Industry Australia
- Copyblogger – 5 ways to write high-quality content