When I get new software, (I'm talking about software purchased to accomplish a task, not gaming), my opinion about the software falls into 1 of 3 categories.
- oh crap. This is a total waste of my time and money, either because the learning curve is so steep I'd have to return to school to use it, or it's so simple that I can already do what it does.
- hohum. This program isn't going to help me express myself. I have a couple dozen templates to choose from and can't really personalize any of them. (My kindle reader is sort of in this category... though I admit I LOVE my kindle for reading, I cannot personalize it which is a real downer)
- YUM. I can start using this immediately, AND I can't foresee ever quite exhausting all of it's potential!
In my world, personalization is everything, so everything that falls in the 1st 2 categories will never feel my love, but rather my neglect. The YUM category, though, is full of my loves. I LOVE Photoshop Elements. I LOVE my Mac, and most of the software that comes with it.
This TypePad blog of mine falls into both categories 1 and 2. There are things I COULD do if I went to school and learned how, and I LOATH school, which brings up the topic of this blog. There is a new kind of school that's catching fire all across the net. Online workshops. No set time for attendance, no driving anywhere in all kinds of weather to spend a few hours at a shot learning what could be learned in 45 minutes. I get to wear my jammies, make hot tea, go potty, take a break and take a hike, etc.
The short version is that I stumbled across a TypePad blog that really struck me as personal, and I thought "I want to know how to do that!" I contacted the blog owner, and what do you know, she taught a TypePad web design online workshop in April, and was going to be teaching another soon! Do you want to know how fast I signed up? Most people would be speechless, though my friends who know me better wouldn't be so surprised. I mean, heh, if it's something that you'll be able to use and benefit from, and it'll cost no more than a big heavy book on the same subject, but a lot more fun and meaningful because of the person to person interaction, why sit and ponder?
The workshop is called Blog 2.0; Web Design for Bloggers, focusing only on the TypePad blog platform and starting in 3 DAYS! I can't remember EVER being excited about school, but the chance to make my blog uniquely me, while studying in my jammies, has me all breathless with anticipation. (ok, maybe I'm exaggerating a tiny bit) You should be seeing some real changes in my blog in the next few months, as I put into practice the things I'll be learning.