Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Platform Hopping

My college computer
I am the least technology savvy person I know.  This is despite the fact I essentially grew up around computers (mind you that early on they were very large), have spent most of my professional life sitting in front of a monitor, and I have not one but two personal blogs.  Yes, despite all of this I am hopeless around computers.  My lack of technological expertise has come to a peak over the past two weeks as I attempted to move my food blog from its old home here on and to its new one on  Oh the frustrations of it all!

I'm dating myself here but during my senior year in high school one of our graduation requirements included passing a "computer proficiency test."  This test consisted of turning the computer on, opening a word processing document, saving it, then properly shutting down the computer.  Yup, that was it.  Not everyone in my class passed on the first attempt but I did and soon moved onto college where the facilities included two large, centralized computer labs and small individual computer labs complete with dot matrix printers in each dorm.  This was high tech stuff for my liberal arts college.  By my sophomore year I had upgraded from my electric typewriter and bought my very own Apple computer.  This was long before ready Internet access, when Pine was the college email system (and even then only in my senior year), and having a fancy ink jet printer made me the envy of my entire dorm floor.

My entry into the professional world moved me away from user friendly Apple computers and into the world of PCs.  Always a creature of habit I struggled to adjust but eventually found my comfort zone on both my own personal computer and my work based one.  And of course, just as I was getting the hang of things Microsoft would come out with a new version of their operating system and I would have to start all over again.  Sure some of the changes were minor, but they were just enough to throw me for a loop.  And then we switched from a PC back to a Mac at home and it didn't even resemble my old college desk top computer.  It was back to the technology drawing board for me.  (Again).  Over time I've learned that while I am proficient in many things, computer technology is not and never will be one of them.  Instead, I just make sure I always befriend the IT people at work......

So here I am in 2013 and I have two active blogs.  The first one (this one) started on a whim as a way of keeping family and friends updated on our adventures as we packed up our family and moved overseas.  The second blog capitalized on my love of food and cooking and was a spin off of the original blog.  Neither is fancy but they serve their purpose and much to my surprise, have taken on lives of their own.  Three months into writing my food blog, however,  I began to regret my choice of blog name since it would die a natural death once we depart from Albania. I decided it needed a name change.  And along with the name change its own domain name.  So never to do anything half heartily, I decided that if I was going to make a change or two, I was going to change a few more things as well including its publishing platform.  Out with blogger and in with wordpress for the new and improved  But remember, I'm not technologically savvy and am at heart, a creature of habit.

I've spent the past two weeks struggling to learn the intricacies of my new blogging platform. I know it isn't difficult but it sure has been frustrating just the same.  With the click of a button old posts quickly transferred from one platform to the next but the resulting layout didn't even begin to resemble its original form.  No matter what I tried, margins wouldn't align, bullets were off, and page previews looked nothing like I had hoped they would.  I spent hours reading and listening to online tutorials to no avail.  At one point I even had two laptops operating at the same time; the first displayed what was to become my new blog while the second had a step-by-step, complete with pictures, tutorial on how to find the perfect layout for my blog.  But success (or even acceptable) still eluded me.  And then I submitted a request for assistance to the online support team at wordpress.  Within a day I received a response from Allen, a wordpress "happiness engineer".  For the past week he has been patiently engaging me in an email conversation that is finally helping my blog resemble something I am comfortable sharing in cyber space.   Once again IT support is helping this creature of habit adjust to my new surroundings.  I had heard (and seen) good things about wordpress and can now attest to it.  This is just one of the reasons I switched.  So as of today my new and improved blog has gone live.  It isn't perfect and will probably always be a work in progress.  Knowing myself, however, I will eventually get the knack of the program.  Let's just hope that wordpress doesn't go and change everything the minute I catch up.

No comments:

Post a Comment