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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Why aren't I blogging?

I've always wanted to be a regular technology blogger but it just has not happened. Of late I've been pondering what exactly is holding me back. Am I too busy? Do I have nothing to blog about? Those are both possibilities, but I think my biggest barrier is that I don't have a decent blog set up. Sounds silly, but from my angle, going from no blog to blog is no simple task. So many questions that need answering:
  • Where should I blog?
  • What is the name of my blog?
  • How do I make it look pretty?
  • How do I handle code syntax highlighting?
I have a hunch that other technologists out there may be in the same boat... so I have decided to blog about my journey from no blog to blog. After all, wouldn't the technology field be a better place if we all had blogs?

Where to blog?

I chose blogger.com and I am not exactly sure why other than that it seems like it's a pretty popular choice that's free and customizable. I'll let you know how it works out...

The Name

I'd be lying if i said that coming up with a name was easy. I googled around a bit for some advice:

http://www.chrisg.com/catchy-blog-names/

Even found some generators out there which helped spur my creativity by generating random words:

http://vicmadz.com/create-blog-names/


In the end I wanted something unique, catchy, that had at least something to do with me and technology. So, I thought, what is unique about me as a software developer? Best I could come up with is that i grew up on a dairy farm. Don't think there are many farmers out there that become software developers.

Ok... something that brings together farmers and technology. Started brainstorming some ideas on a scratch pad with my wife during a long car ride.



Good start, but nothing jumped out at me so I slept on it. Next morning during a jog, it came to me:

Cow Jumped over the Commodore64

Obviously the cow represented the farmer in me and the commodore64 was our first family computer. Seemed to meet some basic requirements.
  • Readable
  • Pronounceable
  • Spellable
  • Memorable
  • Concise
  • Unique
Ok.. maybe it's not concise.

How do I make it look pretty?

Ok, this is an important one, but as you can see, I'm probably not the best person to be giving advice out on this topic. I actually wanted to use my blog as an opportunity to learn a basic level of design and CSS as this has never been my strong point as a developer. Not something that's going to happen over night but I have started with these two books:

Non Designers Design Book
CSS: The Missing Manual

As for the logo, I asked a designer buddy for that one.

Bottom line is, if you are like me, you are probably not going to have a beautiful blog on day 1. It will always be a work in progress, but don't let it keep your from blogging.

Code Syntax Highlighting

What kind of technology blog would it be without code examples?! There are a ton of options out there, but in the end I decided to just embed github gists as it was the simplest solution and it comes with all of the gist versioning niceness.

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