A Question For Sadcox

sadcox
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I admit it.I’m not very confident when it comes to doing things online. It’s doesn’t always jive with my comfort zone.

I’ve killed a template more than once, I still can’t figure out how to put my flickr pictures on my personal blog in the sidebar (it worked before I started hosting my domain) and I’m literally terrified of upgrading.

I’m afraid I’ll break it. Other things I’m fine with such as writing and communicating. I’m the kind of person that is not afraid of speaking in public, I’ve trained at conferences all over the United States and I’m not afraid of a little controversy although I don’t necessarily seek it out.

The question for Sadcox today might be how does on get over the fear of “breaking” a blog or a website?

Confidence is different for different people. How do old school news hacks jump through the open window in learning new technology?

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3 Comments

  1. Mark Van Patten said December 31, 2008 | Permalink

    Here’s my experience.
    Break it. Set up a sandbox (a fake blog) if you must, but break a blog.
    Use WordPress as your platform.
    – WordPress 2.7 has auto upgrade! It works like a charm. One click and it upgrades. Foolproof. (so far)
    – They have great forums and chances are somebody else broke their blog the same way you did and there will be fixes.
    – There are kajillions of WordPress non-professionals who love to tinker in the back end of WordPress, get to know one of them really well. Then if you really get jammed up, summon them and give them a gift card after for their help.
    – Learn to “comment out” original code. Then make your change, if it blows up, you the code is right where you left it.

    Good luck!

  2. Matt said January 1, 2009 | Permalink

    Love the new site!

    Mark’s right. Make a weekly backup of your entries and store them somewhere safe (you hard drive is not necessarily the safest place, btw. I’d set up a separate Gmail account and mail the text files to it.

    Commenting out code is also a good practice, but can also be a little daunting if you’re not used to working with lines and lines of what may look like gibberish. Before you make any changes to a template, copy the code into a text file and save it where you can find it fast. If you break something, all you have to do is paste it back in and you’re good to go.

    My final suggestion is about entries. If you’re working on a longer, essay type post, don’t write it in the WP editor. You can write it in Word or Notepad, but if it’s going to be full of links or other markup, I’d suggest using something like ConTEXT (http://www.contexteditor.org/downloads.html). This can save you from losing your post if WP has a hiccup, or something else goes wrong.

  3. Dave Barnes said January 3, 2009 | Permalink

    “I’m afraid I’ll break it.”
    No wonder newspapers are cratering and journalists are being canned.

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