Entries tagged with “Blogging”.


OK, so you want to join the blogosphere and you need to decide whether to use WordPress or Blogger.  Which of the two most popular web-log platforms should you choose? I’ll give you the short answer and the long answer.

The short answer is…  WordPress.

Now the long answer:

Over the years I’ve managed a number of blogs for various purposes, and have mostly used Google’s free service, Blogger.  I’ve long been a big fan and proponent of all things Google.  Truth be known, I’m impartial towards Google.  I love Gmail, Blogger (Blogspot), Google Talk, Google Finance, Google Books, Google News, Google Maps, etc… Several months ago I decided to investigate WordPress.  Honestly, at first, I didn’t like it much at all.  But, like many worthwhile things, there was a bit of a learning curve and once that was overcome, I fell in love with WordPress.

Like Blogger, WordPress has a convenient theme/templating system which makes it easy to change the look and feel of your site without editing code.  More advanced users can create or edit templates using HTML or PHP.  WordPress is opensource and as such has a seemingly unlimited variety of themes, templates, plugins and widgets available from the WordPress community.  WordPress also sports integrated link management; a search engine-friendly, clean permalink structure; the ability to assign nested, multiple categories to articles; multiple author capability; and support for tagging of posts and articles.  WordPress also supports the Trackback and Pingback standards for displaying links to other sites that have themselves linked to a post or article.

Like Blogger, WordPress is free and though most people will choose to run it from thier host’s server, it doesn’t require you to have a hosting service or domain name.   If you take your blogging seriously and have even a modicum of dedication to learning new things, you will benefit most from WordPress.  On the other hand, if all you want is a quick and easy blog, and you don’t have the time or energy to bother with a learning curve, are not placing your professional reputation at stake  and just want an insta-blog that is as easy to use as your email account, then Blogger may be your better choice.

WordPress is uniquely flexible and responsive to new trends.  In fact, WordPress can even have you Twitter lovers microblogging from your iPod in no time with their new P2 theme.

In the interest of fairness, I should note that there are other blogging platforms, such as Movable Type, and TypePad.  I am not familiar with these and so chose to focus only on the 2 most popular blogging platforms. If you would like a more complete list of all that is available, click here.


shakespeare-twitter“Brevity is the soul of wit” according to the great bard, William Shakespeare.  The same applies to the social networking fad, Twitter.

What is Twitter? It is a website that allows users to post very short messages, called “tweets”, which will be seen by their “followers”.  Honestly, that is about it.

So why are people  excited about it?  With a little wit, effort and dedication, one can build a large following.  So large in fact, that a simple tweet can drive a lot of traffic to a blog or sales site, thus influencing ideas and purchases.  In fact, I recently conducted a Twitter experiment to help promote this blog.  I plan to post about that soon.

The defining feature of Twitter is the 140 character limit per tweet.  At first, this limitation seems extraordinarily annoying.  But there is wisdom in this design, and this feature is at the heart of Twitter’s success.

It truly is an art to learn how to say something effective with as few words as possible.  Is it possible to move the world of public opinion in 140 characters or less?  Consider the following example from history.

Perhaps the worlds greatest example (in my humble opinion) of saying the most with the fewest  words would be the preamble to the American Constitution which is as follows:

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” (BTW, This preamble, with some abbreviation, would fit comfortably into two Tweets.)

No words have had a greater impact on the history of political thought than these.  They accomplish a number of things we should not take for granted.  They establish “the people” as the seat of sovereignty, vs an abstract entity like “the state”.  Next are the enumerated roles of legitimate governments.  And lastly, they move to introduce the Constitution itself, the foundational document of what would become the most powerful nation in the world.

My point is this… Creative Brevity changes the world.

Ah, Brevity really is the soul of Twit(ter).

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I was the only swimmer from my team who was either dedicated enough, or stupid enough to attend morning practice at 5AM.

5AM at the YMCA is a feeling difficult to describe to another.  To be alone, silent and still in a usually bustling, busy, smelly, loud place can be like taking time away from time.  I’d turn on the pool lights.  When you flip the switch, you hear a hum, but the orange halogen of the ceiling lamps would remain dark at first and their light would rise slowly.  But the pool lights would come on instantly.  The water glowed and its surface was absolutely still, like glass.  To dive in seemed violative.  I would always hesitate for a moment to listen and watch.  I didn’t even want to start the ripples with my toe.  But I had to dive in .

"Swimmer in Quarters" terra cotta with silk screened images by Michael Pfleghaar

"Swimmer in Quarters" terra cotta with silk screened images by Michael Pfleghaar

The crash of breaking that stillness seemed louder to me than at any other time of day.  Fingers first, I’d rip that quiet plane, pulling down with me, the hovering air.  I would watch silvery streams of bubbles from my fingernails under the water, so mundane, yet appearing mysterious, like mercury.  The stillness was broken for the day, never to rest until the next night.

Invariably, as I ascended to the surface to begin my first stroke of that cold water, my imagination would reflect on an imaginary singular moment just prior to entry in which my then athletic form was still hovering above the glass like a muscular arrow.

In some ways, beginning this blog is reminiscent of diving nearly naked into the cold YMCA pool.  A week ago I completed my WordPress registration and since then I have been suspended in the air without posting.  So here I come, and here comes the noise, the cold rush, the…


Artwork by Michael Pfleghaar, used with permission.