February 1, 2012

Once a Year Blog Maintenace–Are You Up to Date?

For most writers I know, life zooms by with few breaks to pause, glance around at the surroundings and clean up the clutter and confusion that grows like mold from our everyday authorial life. The end of the calendar year was a good time to do

that, when many of us were blogging less, posting almost nothing, and had less commitments and obligations than would fill our usual week.

Have you seen those weeks? When push came to shove, they got pushed into my six (as my soldier friends say) and now I’m neck deep in New Year’s resolutions, new projects and honey-do’s. No matter. With my agent planning to send my thriller out to publishers in 3-6 months (assuming I complete the edits, sigh), I want everything with my name attached to it as extravagant and full of promise as a sunrise. Here’s my list:

  • Checked old posts for grammar and spelling. I start with the most-visited articles (under Site Stats) and work my way down (in case I run out of time). I’ve been surprised what I can catch with a fresh eye
  • Checked my blog’s sidebar for out-of-date and no-longer-relevant widgets and links, and new pieces (like awards I’ve received and links to share with readers) that add to the utility of my blog. I even moved the pieces around to give a fresh look to my seven blogs.
  • Checked my list of ‘pages’. Sure, I’m on top of the Home page, but are the others still relevant? Is their information up to date? Umm, no, especially my profile. I’ve grown since I last updated it. I also cleaned up a few pages that I’d thrown up planning to clean up when I had a few extra minutes. And, I got ideas from e-colleagues and added a WIP and a Published page as well as Contact forms so readers could notify me if there was a WIP they’d like to know about upon publication.
  • Checked the appearance of my blog on a smart phone and an iPad to see if they required adjustments to display better. Truth, I’m not techie-smart enough to do anything about issues. Luckily, nothing struck me as impossible to deal with.
  • Checked my blog in different browsers to see if I should recommend one over the other for best-viewing. I checked Firefox, IE and Chrome–all looked fine.

That’s it from my end. Do you have any maintenance issues you’d suggest for the new year? I’d love to hear them.

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Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-fifth grade and author of two technology training books for middle school. She wrote Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a tech columnist for Examiner.com, Editorial Review Board member for ISTE’s Journal for Computing Teachers, IMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything. Currently, she’s editing a thriller for her agent that should be be out to publishers this summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.