I learned a whole lot of very important lessons last week. Since I'm the gal I am, I figured I'd pass a few along.
LESSON ONE: My experiment Wednesday was a huge failure. I had the first half of a really cool, atmospheric, immersive and moody post- but I ran out of gas about halfway through. Rather than recognizing it and scrapping the idea until it was fully formed, I pushed ahead and wound up with a bomb. Another experiment I tried on Wednesday leads to
LESSON TWO: Changing stuff without trying it is DUMB. I tried to install Intense Debate and turned off comments, instead. I honestly didn't figure it out until the next day. I hadn't tested this new thing and it bit me in the rear. But this failure also leads me to
LESSON THREE: My readers are NICE. You guys are so incredibly nice, not a single one of you could bear to tell me I'm an idiot and my comments don't work. I found that a little comforting.
I try to make interacting with me as easy as possible- I've got my email in my profile, and I'm open to criticism with the intent to improve the blog. So having made all those mistakes, I've resolved I won't be making any changes that affect how you interact with me here again without LOTS of warning and some feedback from you.
I have found a couple tools that are behind the scenes that I like a lot. There are a lot of very interesting and helpful options for bloggers out there- I can't say enough about StatCounter. I love that it doesn't do anything to my blog except tell me all the cool stuff I want to find out - who reads, how long, where they come from, etc. In combination with GoogleAnalytics, I can get way more bang for my blogging buck than even a month ago.
I found out you guys really like my Sunday stuff - so especially after Wednesday, I work hard to make sure I don't put up a half-assed post. I had an idea for a pretty serious topic I'd been working on all week but it wasn't "done" yet (even on Saturday) so I gave it up for something I knew was "finished". While I have a lot of subjects I want to cover, I'm open to suggestions so feel free to throw an idea or two out- you never know what I'll do.
I'd love to hear what tools you guys find useful, what widget works well for you, and what you're using to improve your blog. I'd also love to hear some of YOUR lessons- maybe I can learn from them, too.