how to read.
I was in college when the internet really began to change the world and our methods of communicating & getting information. I remember that it all seemed a bit confusing. I saw my friend, Brian Gualtieri nabbing pictures off the internet, superimposing his own picture next to then-president Clinton, and turning the whole thing into an entertaining happy hour poster (usually in the space of ten minutes). To me, the world wide web was still a black hole– I had not idea how to navigate it. (I think we were still using “Pine”–or some such thing– for email.) Nobody ever sat me down & explained it to me, but eventually I figured out that it’s really not so complicated, and that once you get the hang of it, the learning curve flattens out quite quickly.
So when I told my Mom that I was working on a blog about our house-building project, she said that she found it confusing to navigate. She had never (knowingly) visited a blog before. For my generation, all this stuff is now pretty much second nature. But for earlier generations, I think it is still a bit more confusing. (When my Mom was in college, the typewriter was the technology of the day.) But I wanted her to read the blog, so that she could keep up with our progress– (and see what I’ve sacrificed a prosperous career in a firm for!) Consequently, I wrote the following explanation for her– hoping that it would help her overcome the navigation difficulties, and be able to absorb the content (frightening as it is.) If you’re from a different generation than I, but want to follow along, here’s the explanation:
The word “blog” is shortened from “weblog” which refers to an online journal. There are now billions of these things online, and their content runs the gamut from tales about the someone’s dog, to international politics, to scientific research. The quality ranges from abysmal to world-class.
This blog is just like any other journal, where I’m adding entries (called “posts”) over time. Each post contains pictures and text. The software puts the latest entry at the top of the web page, so that whenever you go to read the journal, the latest entry will be the most visible, at the top. So if you want to read it from the beginning, you should scroll down to the bottom, and start there. In other words, scroll down, and read the entry titled “Intro.” When you’ve read that, go up to the entry titled “Justification of a Name.” (this title refers to the name of the blog, “Home is a Process,” and tries to explain why we decided to name the blog that.) This entry is truncated— the whole entry isn’t shown because it is a bit longer. So you’ll want to click on the tiny red “more” button, which will bring up the entire entry on one page. (you can also get each entry on its own page by clicking on the “title” at the top of each post.)
After you’ve read the entry, you can click the “back” button/ arrow on your browser to return to the main page. Then you’ll go up to the next highest entry and do the same thing, until you’ve read the whole thing. Once you’ve read the older entries, you can just go the website occasionally, and check to see if there are new entries. To do this, you just go to homeisaprocess.wordpress.com and you look at the top of the page. The newest entry (s) will be posted there.
Also, at the bottom of each entry, in red, it says “0 comments” or “4 comments” or whatever. These are comments that other people have left about each entry. This is because these blogs are supposed to be “interactive”, and readers are supposed to have the opportunity to ask questions, start a discussion, or just comment on individual entries. You can get to these by clicking on the red text that says ” # comments”, or by scrolling down the bottom of an entry that you’ve opened on its own page. (hope that makes sense.) You might also notice that there’s a box where you can leave your own comments.
Don’t worry too much about the junk over on the left-hand column of the blog. Those are other links & stuff, which you might want to explore after you’ve read the actual content of the blog. The one you might want to click on is the one called “useless info about us” , which has a little blurb about Luke & I. There is also a photo there with the words “more photos”…. if you click on that, you will get to another website (called “Flickr” where I’ve posted more photos of the house renovation.) The other stuff below that is a list of links to other blogs that I’ve read, (and have been fascinated by)– all those blogs are about other people’s “journeys” to renovate/ build their houses. At some point, when you’re more comfortable with the way that these blogs work, you might want to go to some of those websites, and read about those other projects… Partly because they’re interesting, and partly because they’ll make you feel better about the mess we’ve gotten ourselves into— (it could be worse!)
I will probably add more stuff over there on the left-hand side at some point, but don’t worry too much about it. You’ll get the hang of it. Let me know if there’s anything that is confusing to you and I’ll try to explain how to make sense of it. Once you get the hang of it, it will seem easy, and it would be great if you guys could get the hang of it, because I’m writing the blog for friends & family to be able to keep track of the progress on the house, and see all the “progress” we’re making (or not making, as the case may be.
Hope you enjoy it, regardless of what generation you belong to.