All These Things That I've Done

I am not BusyDad, in case you were wondering. Oh, no, he's sunbathing on the topless beaches of the blogosphere right now, basking in the light of everyone else's posts, kissing the shadow of Ariel font as is falls upon his keyboard.

Bastard.

There are easy ways to tell BusyDad and me apart. He's Asian; I'm so white, I'm transparent. He went to Harvard for four years; I went to three high schools. He majored in psych; I am a lifetime member of the International Thespian Society. He drinks Jack; I drink Jameson. He doesn't have any back hair; I can french braid mine.

There are easy ways to get confused between BusyDad and me, too. He's BusyDad, I'm Mister Lady. I could be a dude; you don't know. I could BE BusyDad for all you know. He writes about cooking; so do I. We both believe that goggles are a necessary kitchen tool. He's married with a kid and two dogs; I'm married with a girl and two boys. Smells about the same at our houses. We read more or less the same blogs, have more or less the same truly tasteless sense of humour, and neither of us ever, ever blog about blogging.

Until today.

That son of a nutcracker said to me the other day, "Hey, you really want to guest post on my site? Sweet! Blog about blogging; I double dog dare you." Because he hates me and wants me to be miserable.

The thing is, neither of us ever do that. We are both of the opinion that there is a very good reason God invented ProBlogger, and that we should stick to our own personal brands of insanity. However, I am not one to look a double dog dare in the face and walk away*. What would they say about me on the playground if I did? I've been blogging for what will be four years in about 6 weeks now, and if I can't find some nugget of information to share after all that time, well, maybe it's time to take up learning Klingon.

So, yeah, here we go. Don't say I didn't warn you. Here's the bullet-point cop-out guest post about blogging. Ugh.

  • Do not name your blog, and your internet identity, until you've done your research. Someday, you may want to trademark or copyright your "brand" and it's good advice to plan ahead. Like, even if your pseudonym came from your best friend's kid forgetting your name in a moment of urgency when he really had to get your attention or he would DIE, that doesn't mean that someone else didn't first use it to start a record label, and that even though that record label is gone, the name will never be yours in the biblical OR legally binding way. Or, if you choose to be called, in Sioux of course, "Father who has many things on his plate", you will forever be thought of as the husband of "Mother who has many things on her plate." Which is okay I guess, except maybe for their actual spouses.
  • Do not move your blog over and over and over again. Pick a spot, stick to it. If you, say, start your blog at twentysomethingmom.blogspot 3 months before you actually turn 30, then take it underground, then bring it back as mrladysblog.blogspot, then tire of blogger and move it to mrladysblog.wordpress, hate that title and change it to jblts.wordpress, then realize free wordpress doesn't host ads, so try to move the whole shebang to squarespace AND wordpress.org at the same time, you're going to have more logins to remember than your average elephant could keep up with, and you're going to lose a LOT of posts in the process. Not that I know anything about that.
  • Do not design your own template. Unless, of course, you have a FIRM grasp of php, html, the length of freaking margins, and the differences between how things look in IE and Firefox. Do not design your own template and then, after you've moved your 2 1/2 year old blog to a new site, then go look at your old page in IE and realize that your right hand sidebar, where all your ads were, has been chilling out in CHINA for 2 1/2 years. Not that I would know anything about that.
  • Do not pay someone to design your template. Especially not someone who's designs you really love because at some point you're going to start your period, find one little thing that irks you slightly about your template, try to change it, massacre your beautiful template that your designer spent MONTHS on, and by the time you've messed with it so much it resembles a jigsaw puzzle of scrambled eggs, your designer will have cast several spells and hexes of different denominational origins against you and you'll be screwed cutting and pasting old images in Windows Paint because you're too cheap to get Photoshop and too scared to ask for help.
  • Do not mix a Reader and a Blogroll. You know what happens if you put vinegar in your washing machine to rinse the load of laundry you forgot about for three days while you were trying to fix your blog template, and then think, "Hey, baking soda might brighten up those moldy clothes!" You blow up your basement, that's what. If you use a blogroll, stick to a blogroll. If you decide to emerge from the 18th century and start using a Reader, for the love of god and all that's holy transfer your WHOLE blogroll to your reader, not just 3 blogs because you'll get around to the rest tomorrow. Or your friend is going to email you one lovely Monday morning six months later and say, "I never see you here anymore. You never call, you never write, you never read.." and you are going to feel like a brown hole on the lower end of your torso, because you were too busy trying to remember all your stupid logins to actually remember to look at your damn blogroll already. Not that I would know anything about that.
  • Do not multitask. Do not sign up for NaBloPoMo, NaNoWriMo, Cre8Buzz, The Great Interview Experiment, Blog 365, X 365, Plurk, Twitter and Facebook and guest posting here and there, and then start an entirely new blog with some dad you found on the internet. Because one of those balls is not going to stay juggled, and it's probably the one you're paying to throw around. Not that anyone with the keys to this blog would know anything about that.
  • Do not sign up for Twitter. <yul brynner> Just don't do eeet. </yul brynner> Twitter is the crack of the blogosphere. You cannot take just one bite, and before you know it you're uploading pictures to twitpic, plastering tinyurl.com's page in your bookmarks, and telling all of your really good stories in 140 characters or less. And then you have nothing left to blog about, so you have to ask some mediocre mom blogger to fill in the blanks for you because your entire blog got bumped to your sidebar. Not that our esteemed Editor in Chief would know anything about that. (PS: Same thing goes for Facebook, Andy.)
  • Do not get crazy with the Cheese Whiz.  How many things in your life do you cover on your blog?  Count them; I'll wait.  THAT is how many categories you need.  If you, say, write about your children (3), your spouse (1, so far), your family history (1), recipes (1) and politics (1), then you need 7 categories.  NOT 91.  91 should be the number of cigarettes you're capable of smoking in one sitting if you're extraordinarily drunk, the number of love letters you've written, or the number of fabulous movies you've seen.  91 is not the number of categories you should have in your personal blog.  Not that I know one single thing about that.
  • Do not develop too close a mixed-gender relationship online. Because one post too many, one tweet too many, and half the damn internet will have created for you a sordid tale of steamy emails, late night chat sessions and secret meetups in dingy bars, when in truth the hottest thing the internet has provided you is the recipe for a really good chili con carne. And you'll only find out about this when your Google Alerts start streaming Harlequin-caliber links into your inbox from comments sections of other people's sites.  Again, totally hypothetical, of course.
  • Do not write a good post. More specifically, do not write one and only one good post out of 1200, submit it to BlogHer, get asked to read it in front of 1,000 people, and then agree to that. Because you may find yourself afterwards with a whole bunch of people thinking that you can replicate that one good post, and people will start reading your blog and thinking you know something about anything and asking you to guest post on their sites, and the entire internetowebosphere will suddenly be filled with this crap, and the collective sigh of disappointment will be heard all the way in the northern corners of British Columbia.  That one, I know tons about.

*This knowledge will come in handy if you ever find yourself in a bar me with, and I'm quite drunk, and you have a camera of any sort. Just throwing that out there.