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Why “Top Left Hand Page”?

This topic suggestion, Explain the name of your blog and why you chose it., is from The Daily Post as part of the Post-a-day writing challenge.

The title of my blog comes from an expression I heard when I was studying music. When referring to playing from the very beginning of the piece, the conductor often referred to the “Top Left hand page” as that is where the beginning of the music is. As I was just starting out on my music career when I started my blog, it seemed like a nice title for my blog.

Now however, I am starting again, this time starting out as a minister (an officer in the Salvation Army), and I think that the title still fits, as it reminds me that every day is a new day, an opportunity we have to start anew with Christ, who wipes our slate clean and allows us to start new each day.

Have you got a blog? Why is it called what it is?

Postaday2011 links

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Dependant on technology? Perhaps

Mission: STS-41-B Film Type: 70mm Title: Views...
An Astronaut on a space walk is entirely dependent on technology to keep him alive. This kind of dependency is a good thing. (Image via Wikipedia)

This topic suggestion, People are too dependent on technology: agree or disagree?, is from The Daily Post as part of the Post-a-day writing challenge.

It may be a tough topic for someone who writes a blog to say that we are too dependent on technology. Bloggers are, by their nature, people who embrace technology of some kind. However, are we dependent on that technology?

I have my computer, and my laptop. I also have my smart phone (HTC Desire HD) which allows me to be constantly connected. However, does having all this mean that I’m dependent on it?

I don’t believe so. I love my technology, but I could survive without it. For example, as I posted yesterday, I’ve been in hospital over night following knee surgery. While I’m writing this the night before my surgery, I actually plan on not using my phone all that much (hence the writing of this post before time), and look forward to reading a lot of my books that I’ve had on my reading list but haven’t really had the time to read yet.

However there are people who are dependent on technology. Is that a bad thing? Not entirely, so long as they do make sure there is time for the other things that are important in their life. When something takes over your life to the detriment of the other important things in life, then what becomes ok – whether it’s technology, sport, alcohol, gambling, sewing, whatever – then it becomes a problem.

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The importance of formatting

(Image Flickr by Zeno_)

One of the problems that I see many church websites have is their lack of formatting – or when there is formatting, the lack of appropriate formatting. Writing for the web is very different to writing for print, so there’s a few formatting hints that you can use to make your posts (and pages) easier to read. Continue reading The importance of formatting

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My Favourite Blogging Tools

WordPress Logo
Image via Wikipedia

There are a plethora of blogging tools available. Some are good, some are bad. These are the tools that I used for my blog. Continue reading My Favourite Blogging Tools

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The Simple Push Up

Photographer: Frank C. Müller
This guy can do a lot of push ups... (Image via Wikipedia)

This topic suggestion, Stand up now, or die!? (get out of your chair), is from The Daily Post as part of the Post-a-day writing challenge.

A few weeks ago, I wasn’t able to do 10 push ups. I’d lost a lot of weight, but I had been focussing on weight loss so much that I’d become thin and weak. Deciding to change this, I got an app for my phone, Push Ups by Rittr Labs. It’s an app that asks how many you can currently do, then gets you to set a goal of 50, 75, 100 or 125 push ups in a row. I also got their sit ups app to work on my abs.

Now, I’m currently able to do 21 push ups in a row. I’m slowly working my way towards my goal of 75.

Part of why I like Push Ups and Sit Ups is that they are simple exercises that have worked for years. You see exercises such as the Ab King Pro, or the Door frame gym and other such things that you get sold on Morning TV shows, and I just feel that they won’t stick around, possibly because they don’t work. While Push Ups and Sit Ups have remained relatively unchanged for many years, they don’t cost any money, and give you a good all round work out.

So, get off that chair, crank out some push ups, and tell me how many you can do!

Postaday2011 links

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Keepin’ it fresh

I have had this website since 2006. I have posts on this website since 2007. That’s a fair time to be blogging. Now, admittedly, I haven’t been a regular poster. I have around 250 posts published (at the time this post was published), which is an average of under a post a week. So I’m not exactly a blogging professional, and I’m probably not the sort of guy you should be looking to advice. But you are, so I’ll tell you what I know. Continue reading Keepin’ it fresh

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How I use my website

I though that with the new layout, new posting regime and such, I would post a bit about how I plan to use my blog over the next six months – and possibly into the future.

Essentially, there will be three types of posts: daily posts, feature posts, and other.

Daily Posts

The post a day 2011 challenge promotes writing on your blog every day. As help, they provide daily prompts. Often, they are very simple questions, and wide-ranging so unlikely to fit to any blogs particular niche. But they often make you think about questions you may not have thought about before, and can sometimes provoke debate on some issues, so I shall endeavour to post one of these daily.

Feature posts

As this theme has the capability for feature posts, I plan to utilise these to their fullest. I don’t want a blog that is only posts about me, so these feature posts will be a bit longer, and look at particular issues in more depth. I might look at things to do with social networking, websites, or post some religious thoughts. Either way, I look forward to shaping.g these posts out over the course of a week, as opposed to the churn them out daily posts.

Other posts

This theme also makes use of other post types – aside, links, quotes, photos – so I’m going to try post some of these as well – bible passages I like, quotes from books or blogs, photos that I might take, and more.

So I hope I don’t annoy you with extra content, but I hope that it will provide a few gems for you.

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Lessons learnt so far

Inspired by Jeff Hester’s blog, I thought I’d write about the lessons that I’ve learned during my blogging every day so far this year.

People judge a post by its title

It’s surprising how important a title is to hook people in. From the last couple of weeks, here’s the dates that have spikes. January 21 – Who I miss and who I’ll miss; January 30 – Looking ahead in Web Design; February 3 – How I lost 6kgs in a month (without paying a cent); February 6 – The show that makes me cry. These are titles that make people think that it’s going to be interesting. I think one of the best post/title combinations I’ve had was one that was titled “Secret Confession” and I wrote the first paragraph as if it was going to be some great big, shameful secret confession. I probably tricked a few people, but I think it was a good hook.

Post regularly, post often

I think even if I wasn’t participating in the Postaday aspect, Posting regularly and often helps in so many ways. You get more visitors to the site (simply through having more posts for people to read), and you also get more experience in writing. While some of my posts haven’t been great reading, the more I write, the better I get at writing and formulating posts that do make good reading.

Link to get links

Since starting this, I have always tried to link to 4 posts participating in Postaday2011 on every post (except for the ones that I’ve had to schedule due to being away). I did this for two reasons: firstly, linking to someone’s post sends them a pingback and they then will come and view my post, generating traffic on my site. Secondly, people who read my post and see the links may click on them to see why I linked to them, giving them some traffic as well. While I haven’t received many links back, there have been a number of people who I have linked to, who have then come to my site and commented on my posts. It’s a great way of generating some community through this venture.

Moving Forward

Having posted 46 (47 posts with this one), I’ve also learnt some things that I’m going to attempt to do in the future. I want to try to get a couple of posts completed as drafts so that I’ve got some there in case I run out of time one day, or have no inspiration. I also want to start writing a couple of longer posts, ones that I can work on over a week or so, to really get some good content on here. I want to get more involved in linking – so that I not only link, but I comment on the people who I link to. Finally, I want to try to end more posts with a question to encourage comments. Seeing stats that people are reading my website are great, but I want to get to know them, and that can happen through comments.

And I’ll start with that now: are you participating in Postaday2011? What have you got out of it so far? What are you going to try to do into the future to make sure you get through the year?

Postaday2011 links

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Social Networking to further Ministry

Running late with today’s post, as I was seriously busy today. Slept in after watching the announcement of Linda Bond as the Salvation Army’s next General, and then busy busy busy at work. Spent the morning preparing a social networking forum that was presented at work at lunch time, and then the afternoon was spent catching up with work. I’ve still got a bit more to catch up with, but we’ll see how we go. But for now, here are the notes that I started with when I got to work. I added in a bit – and I’ll add them in tomorrow, but for today, here’s what I was talking on. But for now, here’s my notes from the forum that I presented at work. Continue reading Social Networking to further Ministry