Why Blog about it?
When I re-started my interest in photography I had on my list of to-dos to blog the experience. However it took me nearly two years before I decided to write my first blog item. Why did it take me so long . . the answer was in the "Why would I want to blog".
My daughter had also developed an interest in photography, we used our common interest to have much valued mother / daughter time. My learning was slightly ahead of hers, so I decided to capture what I had learned, from which, she could learn at her own pace.
As soon as I found my Why, I found what it was I needed to get me started. Understanding why I was blogging and who I was blogging for made the words start flowing.
Therefore, before you start blogging, it would be good to understand your why first.
How to create a blog with SmugMug
Rather than me repeating what is already written, the following link was the only source I needed to get started.
As I started to build my blog I made some key design decisions, documented below, that you may find useful.
My Design Decisions
1.Use the top level "Blog" page as an index page to the actual blogs.
2. To link to the pages I've learned from. to build a blog full of useful resources others can use.
3. Make use of the carousel feature to keep the blog page relevant. Aligning the carousel with a live smugmug gallery, the images in the carousel will update as the images in the gallery are updated. However you need to remember to keep the gallery relevant to its subject eg NightShots should only contain pictures of the moon.
4. For static pictures (images that you wouldn't want to change), upload the image
into a gallery only for these static images.
5. For work in progress, keep the page private until you are ready to publish.
6. When adding links to the page, always opt to have the link open in a new tab/window. This means your audience will always maintain visibility of the blog.
7. To use the lightroom plugin and lightroom to maintain my folder and gallery structure. Lightrooom will always hold my master folder structure.
8. Only transfer images to smugmug from lightroom, thus ensuring all my important images are in my lightroom catalog.
9. To hold as much information on the image as possible in lightroom. Some of this information transfers over to smugmug to be used by smugmug features. For instance, the photos which have been geotagged and with the map feature enabled in smugmug, the info button shows exactly where the photo was taken.
When using SmugMug for blogging I've discovered some things you need to keep a look out for.
1. When editing a page, ensure you are only modifying for the current page and not site wide.
2. There appears to be some security issues with referring to images in "private" galleries and trying to display on a folder's front page. Keep the images in a public folder but don't make it visible.
3. There are differences in editing a text box on a page compared to a folder.
4. When changing the site design to a new template, you may loose blocks of text on custom designed pages. I lost the text from my custom blog first page, but the blog follow on pages stayed in tact.
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