17 October 2009

Weekly Geeks 2009-40: Tools of the Trade

This week's Weekly Geeks task from Bookish Ruth asks us to disclose the tools that we use to make blogging easier.

Ruth is right when she says that maintaining a blog can get pretty complicated, and she asks us to reveal what keep us organised and motivated.

My blog lives at Blogger and I make pretty extensive use of the widgets they provide.
I also do a lot of writing posts and storing them for future publication. Blogger has this beaut facility where you can give a post a publication date and time in the future, so I often have lots of posts lined up. I write them in advance when I have time.
I have a database where I have been storing mini-reviews of books since the end of 2004. I have only been writing my blog on the other hand for 22 months. I consult my database often for records of previous books to supplement what I am writing on my blog.

Software that I use often is a free image manipulation tool called XnView. It lets me take screen grabs of images I come across, and I can edit them then use them on my blog.
I also make quite a bit of use of a digital camera to provide images to give interest to my blog.

Although I go outside book reviews for my content, I'm never really stuck for ideas.
I have developed a number of regular features such as Forgotten Books, Weekly Geeks, Sunday Salon, and just recently the Crime Fiction Alphabet, and Don't Always Hit the Mark.

I'm kept pretty motivated too by taking an interest in lots of other blogs (see Crime Fiction Journeys), and through my contact with other crime fiction bloggers through a Friend Feed room called Crime and Mystery Fiction. I've made some good friends in that room and for me it works a lot better than Twitter, where quite a number of the tweets really consist of personal asides between individuals, and mean little to onlookers.

So yes, blogging is time consuming and demanding, and if it ever gets a burden, then that will be the time to stop. Until then I intend to enjoy the sense of satisfaction and the cathartic effect that blogging brings. I wonder what other Weekly Geekers will say?


Anonymous said...

Kerrie - Thanks for sharing what goes on "behind the scenes" with your blog. I like Blogger's widgets, too, especially the search widget. I really like the way your blog makes use of them, too, such as the Mr. Linky widget you use. Something else I hope to learn from you is adding different things to one's blog (the Don't Always Hit the Mark series, for instance).

I agree with you that blogging takes time and effort, but I've found it quite rewarding, the more so because of the great people like yourself on the Crime and Mystery Fiction feed : ).

Erotic Horizon said...

I too also use alot of bloggers widget - They are there and it's convenient...

Thats for the link to the Image tool...

I love stuff like that..


Wendy said...

Thanks for sharing what helps you make this blog so awesome! I agree that Twitter is more a distraction than a help with blogging...Like you, I like groups that are more geared to a specific topic or group of people for making connections.

pussreboots said...

I don't find twitter a distraction. It is a tool to connect with my readers and potential readers. My post is here.

taraSG said...

I agree with PussReboots, I don't find Twitter to be a distraction. However, I do have a separate Twitter account for my book blog (that follows other book blogger, authors, bibliophiles...) and a more personal Twitter that I converse with more local friends and follow news/concerts/deals...

Tara SG

Kerrie said...

I do find Twitter an occasional source of a new site and news. I learnt early on to separate my personal and book blogger personas and have 2 separate accounts for those. This morning I've added a new TweetFeed widget in my side bar to trial.
I guess one of the disadvantages of Twitter for me is a geographic one because I am awake when a number of my blogging friends are asleep and they are active when I am offline.
That's what makes the Friend Feed room so great.

Maree said...

Wow; lots of resources!
Happy Weekly Geeks :D

gautami tripathy said...

I too like blogger widgets which are user-friendly.

I like google reader the best for networking.

Weekly Geeks: What Tools? What Trades?


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