I’m crazy about the blogging program that WordPress offers for free. That’s right, you heard correctly: for free. As you can see from my first post, my brief association with TypePad was not a happy one.
What I love about the editing tools that WordPress provides is that I can save something and continue editing. That allows me to open up other Windows in Explorer and research a post while I’m writing it. WordPress tools also permit me to beef up a flimsy post, as I did this morning when I added more biographical detail to yesterday’s post about ballerina Maria Tallchief.
My philosophy about writing has always been to get the Christmas tree up first. Later on, you can add as many ornaments as you’d like. You can even put tinsel on the tree, something I usually regret doing because it looks gaudy. But with WordPress, I can take the tinsel off the tree if I don’t like it, not so easy to do on Christmas Eve when the guests are ringing the doorbell.
As a journalist, I’m used to cutting and pasting and weaving together material from other sources into my own piece. In the Internet Age, this has gotten some folks in trouble because it’s easy to become a plagiarist if you’re not paying attention. Are those my words or someone else’s in that Word document?
Well, my advice is to put quote marks around the stuff that you’ve imported from other sites, even when the information is just residing in your notes. Also, if you constantly credit your sources, they’ll be less likely to come after you. But sometimes great minds do think alike or “borrow” unconsciously. That’s evidently what George Harrison did when he wrote “My Sweet Lord” to the tune of “He’s So Fine,” the George Mack song recorded by the Chiffons in 1963.
What I also like about WordPress is that I can go back and clean up something I’ve already published. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve literally cried because I noticed a typo or a misspelled name (a crime that was punished by a verbal whipping from Peter Bart at Variety, where I used to work). With the Net, you see something wrong, you fix it. This is a godsend to me because I write so quickly that I’m always leaving out prepositions like “to” and “from.”
I’m a disaster at e-mail because I often push the button before I’ve proofread the note. Nothing like being in the journalism biz and sending the editor-in-chief an e-mail with a typo in it! And, yes, I’ve really done that.
So big kisses and hugs to the folks at WordPress for giving me the tools to save myself — from me. Also, kudos to Ben Gillbanks at Binary Moon, who designed the nifty template for my blog, which I was able to import from WordPress for free. The format is called “Regulus,” which astrologers know is the fixed star associated with royalty at 29 degrees of Leo. And, yes, I’ve admittted to not liking 29 degrees of anything, but I’ll take the star power of Regulus anytime.
I actually sent Ben an e-mail thanking him, but he probably gets so much fan mail that he’s not able to respond to everyone. Or else he thinks I’m a stalker. Anyway, as I told Ben in his e-mail I hope he gets “royalties” everytime someone chooses the template associated with the royal Regulus.