This was tough. Really tough. I was wowed by the thoroughness of many of the comments — not to mention the graciousness of all of them. Not a single person said anything mean about me or Frankie that I had to remove. In fact, you were all wonderfully encouraging about my writing (Frankie’s adorableness was a given).
I knew the picture issue would come up. So this is an explanation, not an excuse. I’ve mentioned the camera curse before (see Our Doggies, Ourselves). Sure enough, in keeping with the curse tradition, my camera was stolen (along with my laptop and a bunch of other things. But still…). I did buy a new one, finally, and you all inspired me to take it out on the trail yesterday to practice. I didn’t get a good picture of Frankie, who rarely moves far enough away from me when we’re outside to get a full body view, but I was able to capture a handsome fox terrier who belongs to Jim, one of the trail regulars.
So I promise, more pictures.
I once had a Twitter button but it fell off and I don’t remember how to sew it back on.
Okay, I’m procrastinating. Like I said, it was really tough to choose a winner, and I thank you all for your contributions. It came down to three finalists, Rebecca, Pat Steer, and GoPetFriendly, listed here in the order in which they submitted their comments. They were all immensely useful in their specificity about technical issues. But I finally chose Pat — yes, you can call me Edie, and I’ll call you Pat — because:
- I liked her referral to another site that described the pain of the process of revamping a blog.
- She was the first one to help me make the connection that putting a Twitter feed on my blog functioned as a substitute for blogging every day. I’d always thought it was redundant, and a bit of overkill — do my blog readers really have to know what I thought about the ending of Dexter? — but suddenly that little “click” went off: Ah, more content on my blog without having to blog. That’s a good thing. It does mean I’ll have to be more conscious about my tweeting, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, either.
- She has just finished three — count ’em, three! — blog revamps and really needs a bit of humor in her life, which I hope Am I Boring My Dog will provide (Oh Favorite Niece — a.k.a. Only Niece Who Reads My Blog — is that still too much of a plug?)
Incidentally, I just checked out Pat’s revamped Dog Trainer’s Log site, which I linked to with her name, above. It looks amazing, so she is also an inspiration. Hmm… How about I let you use Pimp My Blog for a ProBlogger discussion, Pat, and I use the same WordPress theme as you used?
9 thoughts on “And the contest winner is…”
Kudos to WMDHM for giving up Freddy’s belly and asking for feedback on the blog. Pretty scary/smart thing to do … I imagine.
Thanks, Rod. But I’m confused by the Freddy’s belly reference. By Freddy, I’m thinking you mean Frankie, but his belly…?
Sorry! Yes … Frankie. Trying to make an analogy that, like a dog that gives up its belly, you exposed your blog to a public critique. Not a good analogy, unfortunately, but brave of you nonetheless.
Edie, thank you so much. Christmas reading, just for me and not something for/about work – I can’t wait!
By all means, take the Simple Round theme out for a spin (I need a better header picture – I’d like a shot of my favorite braided lead curled around a clicker and mug of coffee…) But it’ll do for a bit, until I get more settled into the site. I’m also very partial to a theme called ‘New Balance of Blue 1.5’ – another freebie WordPress theme that has a nice clean look. Something nobody mentions about WordPress is that once you’ve installed it on your site, you have access to preview, install and test-drive the full library of WordPress.org approved *free* themes directly from the WP control panel (without having to FTP theme files up to your host site.) Since WP.org vets those themes before including them in their library, most of them will work correctly first time – and the preview/install/apply process is point-and-shoot with only minimal technical skills required. I am all about minimal-tech-skills-required! I tech-skill all day long, so when it comes to my own sites, I just want to get it done and get posting!
I confess to being a bit of a theme harlot – I’ll be tweeking themes on Dog Trainer’s Log, a lot, this weekend after I’ve finished posting a series on Kitchen Jam called The 12 jams of Christmas (shameless plug!) But there are posts in the queue for DTL, so stay tuned.
In fact, I stuck my winter weaves into the ground this a.m. so that M. and I can continue her weave practice all winter long, come frozen ground or high snows. And I’ve got to get uploaded the picture of Casey groomed up for his 15th birthday (my hat-tip to the crazy old redhead who some days doesn’t remember quite where he is, but other days pushes M. away and insists on being first-to-cuddle.)
Keep hanging in with the tech stuff. We all learn as we go – and thanks again for the prize!
Edie, I’m so sorry I missed all the fun! (I’m seem to be locked in a game of whack a mole with life issues from parental health probs–not major– to tech snafus– and so on. So I’ve been out of the loop.) But, I thought I’d chime in anyway. Can’t resist an opportunity to tell you what I love about your blog and what could make it even better in my humble opinion. Most of all I love your stories about you and Frankie. The most memorable was your trip to LA, I think it was, and Frankie’s riding-in-the-car issues. I also love you shout outs to other terrific dog bloggers and websites. And, or course your writing is tops. Funny. Honest. Poignant. Generous. You and your blog site ooze integrity. I love that.
As for what could make a good site fabulous. I have to agree with some one who commented that the upgrading your theme would be a good idea. I use wordpress also and in fact almost selected the theme you are using way back when I got started in April of this year. There are so many themes for WordPress, some free, some you pay for. Many are very techie looking–not my style. But, I think there is a lot to choose from.
And the idea of adding twitter feed to your site. Love it. Might try that myself. Although as you note, gotta be careful what you say–what I say on twitter! Is there such a thing as too much exposure on the web. Probably not.
And, I totally feel your pain about joomla. That is a whole other beast.
Thanks, Deborah, for your nice words. The only thing you missed was the opportunity to win a book. Any and all comments are still welcome and appreciated. I’m so sorry to hear about your parental health problems, and can definitely feel your pain about tech issues. I am working my way towards small claims court to try to get a refund for the Joomla fiasco.
Wow! Good luck with small claims court! Wishing you all the best there. Take Frankie with you. Maybe he’ll his furry mug will soften the judge’s heart.
At the least, it would make for some great blog posts: Frankie Does Small Claims Court!
Congrats Pat!!! Very useful comments that I’ll be sure to look into for my own site! Keep up the great work Edie!