I know that most people, when they blog, are perfectly happy to sign up to a cookie-cutter web site like Blogger.comor Wordpress.com.  I mean, it’s pretty damn easy.  Create an account, name your blog, start blogging.

I hate doing things cookie-cutter, and if I ever make use of something like that I tend to push it to the max.

In July I decided to try my hand at cookie-cutter blogging.  I created an account at Wordpress.com, but soon realized the limitations to my creativity.  Still, within 2 days I wrestled the beast into my submission, assigned a domain to it, and pushed what was available to the max.

Although I wasn’t fully satisfied with all the limits, I figured it would be a good test to get myself familiar with self-blogging and slapped together the content I’d planned to put on there (as typical of me - something controversial).  I updated it daily, added links to others when it made sense, automated some outside feeds, made the content entertaining, and shared the blog link in a few key places on the web of related relevance.

Within a matter of days the blog shot up to be in the top 100 “blogs of the day” at Wordpress.com and stayed there for 2 weeks, at one point making it to #31, out of the over 3 million cookie-cutter blogs hosted at Wordpress.com.

I’ve since abandoned updating that blog and it settled down (I think it gets only 100 people/day now), as I didn’t have time to play around like that constantly.  The process showed me what was possible to do even with huge limitations, and inspired me to envision how much more fun it would be if I had full control at my disposal.  I’ve set up stuff for other people, mostly as favors (I’ve long since only done web work for my own business and have little interest in working on other people’s projects), but never set up a blog just for myself.

Of course, I end up going a bit overboard.  I can’t just download an existing template and use it as-is, no matter how nice it is.  I can’t use only the components that come with it.  I can’t help to re-design and improve the look and features, not just to personalize, but to make it work better.  By my nature, I also can’t let quirks go un-fixed.  It also helps me to learn.  I just don’t know how much effort starts to cross the line into too much; I suppose if I obsess over things so small that only I will notice.

I don’t care as much how many people read THIS blog, but I really do want it to be one that people would WANT to read, and getting all the customizations done first gets everything out of the way so I can focus purely on writing & sharing.

In any case, I think I’ve done as much to customize this blog as I need, and should probably get back to my regular work, and then update this blog when I need without that constant nagging “but I want to fix that one little thing…”

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