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Saturday, March 12, 2005

The Benefits of Insomnia

Insomnia continues to be my constant companion. It's nearly 2am and I'm still awake and this is after a night where I maybe had 4 hours of sleep. Sigh. This is so old, but I'm resigned to this state until I mail TACV off to NYC.

If you've visited my blog before, you may have noticed a few changes. The time to do them comes benefit of the insomnia. I'm in no shape to write, but I can't sleep either, so I have to do something, right? What I've done is fiddle with the blog template and I'm very happy to be able to pull my header from my website over here. Pretty darn cool!

I figured out how to load this by checking out someone else's blog and looking at their code. They coded nice and cleanly in HTML and that enabled me to finally see how it was done. I have to tell you, my trip around the blogosphere was interesting. A couple of things completely amazed me.
  1. Very few bloggers know how to work on their templates.
  2. There are a lot of new bloggers out there.
  3. I no longer feel inadequate as a blogger.
First, it was completely amazing how many times I stumbled across a template where it said "Edit Link" and they didn't. It still had the three mock links that the template designer put in there. I bet I saw this at least on 20% of the blogs I looked at and a lot of blogger templates don't offer links. Not all of these people were beginners either. Some had pretty lengthy archive lists.

Second, there were lots and lots of blogs that had just started within the last month or two. Startling, really, how many there were. Although I did read an article today that talked about the huge increase in blogs. It was like 300% in 6 months or something like that--just incredible numbers.

Third, While I've read a few really good blogs lately that made me feel inadequate, today I found a million that really made me feel good about mine. So many were spam! That stunned me. They were just sitting there, luring in unspecting "next blog" clickers like me. Blech! And I found a lot of blog entries that made no sense to me (they were written in English). I'd read it and it was like a string of words that added up to little more than gibberish. I can't figure that one out.

While I was reading that article about the growth of blogs, it talked about MSN and how they were competing with Blogger, so I toodled over there to check it out. They have some cool templates at MSN Spaces, much cooler than what Blogger offers. MSN also offers some really fab options, but it didn't take me long before I decided I didn't like the setup. The chief reason was that the templates can't be edited like the blogger templates can be. The person doing the blog can choose the number of columns they want, what kind of info to include, and where they want that info positioned, but they can't go in and do what I did tonight--add a personal banner, change the link colors, etc.

I'm not a Microsoft hater like some people are, but the level of control they keep over their blogs was not something I was happy with. Of course, from what I saw today as I surfed Blogger, most of the users aren't going to care. They have no clue how to tweak the template anyway. I'm hoping that Blogger continues to allow the freedom we currently enjoy and doesn't go with untouchable templates.

On the writing front, I'm nearly done now. The changes I have left are minor, but maybe time consuming.

Then there's the prologue. I did decide to rewrite that. My friend made a suggestion that sparked a few ideas and I'm going to see how that goes. What I have now gives too much away. If I could only sleep...

MN Weather Report: 11 degrees. Wind Chill: 0.