Blogs

Why I hate Blogger

I really hate Blogger. I feel bad saying that seeing as they were the first mainstream blogging platform for writers out there and for the longest time I used them for my site. Hell, I even had a Blogger t-shirt and not only was it very comfortable, it made my boobs look nice.

But those days are long gone. Since being bought over by Google, which could be considered a good thing by some people, I find that things have been slowly going downhill. The straw that broke my back the other day was when I was trying to leave a comment on a blog and the word verification thing kept asking me to sign in, only to tell me that I didn’t get the letters right.  After seven tries, I knew it couldn’t be my fault.

In all fairness, like I said, I used to use Blogger and I know a lot of folks who still use it and have actually made their sites look great. But for me, I’m so over it I can’t even begin to tell you.

And on a side note, I apologize to those who have blogs with Blogger and for some reason I can’t leave comments.  Now you know why.

Hitting the Reset Button… yet again

Morning! Yes, after a restless night I have gone and done it again. I crawled out of bed and more or less ran my arm across the proverbial desk that is my web site, clearing all the clutter and noise and crap I was tired of looking at and redid everything.

Well, I might have oversold that one a tiny bit. Maybe not everything got redone. But I did change the color and a the banner and a few formatting changes.

And I dropped all the old posts.

Don’t worry (not that you were losing sleep over it… that’s my job, after all) The posts are still here. I firmly believe in keeping the past visible and owning up to it — even when it’s not that good. But once again I felt it was time for a change.  So in keeping with my need to reset things every few years, the older posts don’t come up right away. (They will return in time once the main page fills up with new posts.)

New posts, you say? Yes, new posts. There will be new posts.

I wanted (another) clean start for this year. A new look and a promise that I will actually write things on my site. Yes, I know I have said that before and much like when Paris Hilton tells you she’s not a slut, you have a hard time believing it when you hear it, but I can assure you that I will make a viable attempt this time around.

back and forth as always

The thing about me and blogging is that I enjoying doing it, but sometimes it’s tough. And it’s not because when I get home or get a free minute to myself I don’t feel like sitting down in front of a computer again. In fact, sitting in front of a computer is where I feel most comfortable.  Thing is, I worry that what I write isn’t interesting enough to share with people.

After all, it’s my life. I’ve become quite good at living it mainly because I’ve had 36 years to get used to it.  But for someone coming in on the ground floor of this little party, they might not feel the same way I do.  They might not think the same things I do.

And that’s OK. In fact, I like it like that. Being different is what it’s all about.  But I still like to keep it interesting. And not just for anyone who reads this, but for me as well. I would hate to look back and see that there were times when nothing noteworthy happened.

I’ve been rockin’ the blog-thingy for the better part of ten years now. I’ve been blogging since before blogging was a verb. I’ve saved most of the archives, but others (sadly) weren’t saved and were deleted when MSN Communities and GeoCities shut down.  One day I might get around to posting all the “greatest hits” or maybe I’ll just leave the memories alone.

Either way, I just wanted to point out that the large gaps that sometimes (more often than not these days) pop up on this site where time will pass without a single post, are not a result of me losing interesting in my life, this city or what I do.  It’s just that I’m always looking for the next great adventure that’s worth sharing.

And when I find it, I’ll be sure to let you know.

winding down?

The problem with being a writer and a blogger is that sometimes one suffers because of the other.  I never thought it would happen, but it has.  My blog updates have been few and far between.  I’m surprised that folks haven’t sent out search parties to see if I’m alive or left a trail of Starbucks lattes in hopes of luring me out of seclusion.

Truth is, I’ve been “blogging” before it had a name.  Running updates on my then MSN Communities hosted web site (which really sucked now that I think about it) and then finally turning the site itself into a proper blog as Blogger and WordPress came to the forefront.

I’m hardly the grandma of blogging, but I can honestly say I’ve been doing it long enough to call myself an expert in it.

I’ve talked about it to students, shown companies how to make use of a blog to help their needs and reach their clients and of course used it to work through my own thoughts, problems, feelings and concerns.

Last year a friend of mine I have known for 15 years moved away and suddenly a piece of my life was gone.  He’s doing well and is happy, but that chunk of my life is missing.  It was around then that I turned away from the blog world and kept myself busy with everything else. Before I knew it, so much time had passed that my updates were falling behind.

So what does all of that have to do with my blogging?  For one thing, I have been busy.  Not too busy to write, but when I come up, rather than be left alone with my thoughts, I tend to find other things to do.

I also started to think: “Have I said everything that needs to be said?”  So many people out there have personal blogs, for whatever reason, and they are good at it.  Does anyone really care any more what I have to say?

I’m not looking for sympathy of any kind.  I’m just being honest.

Maybe that’s why blog posts haven’t been a regular thing any more for me.  Maybe it’s time I start winding it down.  2001 will be ten years since I started “blogging”. I can’t help but wonder if 2011 will be the year I decide to push back from the table.

and when i’m not here…

…you can follow me on Twitter.  But you already knew that, didn’t you?

Sometimes I just find it’s easier to make a quick Tweet rather than log in and go through the whole blog process.  Think of it as a mini-blog.  All that great Zoey-ness, with only half the calories.  Or whatever cute little way you want to look at it.

And now thanks to the folks down at Bell, Twitter SMS updates are once again possible for Canadians using the Bell Mobility wireless network. (This makes me very happy seeing as I am in fact a Bell customer and I’m dead-set against the Rogers network and the iPhone.  I look at it as a victory for Bell Twitter users.)

Anyway, all that is to say, don’t forget to look for me in other places if the blog updates start becoming few and far between – although I have made a promise to myself to make sure that doesn’t happen.

As always, thanks for reading!

a new hope

Something looks different, doesn’t it?

Yes, gone are the familiar pink bricks and the kitschy layout.  Nothing more than a memory now. (Although I did keep my leather pants in the banner.)  I felt it was time for a change and a change happened.

I had been toying with the idea of a fresh start for a while now, so I finally acted on it.  I was hesitate at first, but in the end, I think this change is for the better.

Don’t get me wrong; I loved the old look and the site. But I felt I need to shake things up a bit and go a little bit more professional.   And sure, the new look blends in with 99% of other blogs out there, but that’s my point and the look I was going for.

You see, there are really only two types of blogs in the world. 

Professional Blogs that serve a purpose as to teach, inform and report. Usually written by people who work in a certain type of profession and would be considered an expert on a particular subject.

And Personal Blogs that tell daily stories in the lives of the authors. These can be written by famous people or just ordinary people who live interesting lives

Some well known Personal Blogs that I happen to like include:

On the other side of the coin, some Professional Blogs are as follows:

  • Shark Guys: Comedy entries done in the style of Cracked Magazine
  • ProPR: Joseph Thornley teaches the wonders of social media in Public Relations
  • Down the Shore: Author Jen Miller reports on things related to New Jersey
  • Fagstein: Popular Montreal blog about Montreal related things
  • Bargainista: The art of shopping, great deals and more

A blog has to have a purpose (be it Personal or Professional) and I felt that in the old format, writing the way that I did, I didn’t have one.

I could write from a personal level: single journalist and blogger living in Toronto.  Or from a personal level: news an interesting thoughts from around the media.  But for some reason I wasn’t able to to both, even though I tried.

So I decided to cash it all in and start fresh.

The new Zoey’s World will be personal.  It will be my life in this city and what I do.  I’ll leave the tech stories and social media thoughts to those who know what they’re doing.  I’ll leave the gossip and news to those who mastered it.  And I’ll just write about what I do, which after 34 years I’ve gotten a pretty good handle on.

Thank you to everyone who has followed me so far and welcome to anyone new who decides to come along for the ride.

For those of you kind enough (or foolish enough, depending on how you look at it) to link to my site, you’ll need to update your urls.  http://www.zoeysworld.com still works fine, but the backdoor link is now zoeycastelino.wordpress.com.  (But feel free to use the zoeysworld.com addy.  It works better)