Thursday, 27 September 2012

You don't have to go it alone - join a blogging community like BritMums!

When you're new to blogging it can be a lonely thing - which is why blogging communities can be a life saver.

I recently met up with Jen Howze, one of the co-founders of BritMums, Britain's biggest parent blogging network, and was inspired by her energy and evangelism for online networking.

BritMums provides community, support, ideas and motivation - every day there's something new. Today there was a video of a Google Hangout chat in which a number of members shared their tips on using social media effectively. As well as special interest groups, profile pages and the chance to have your blog featured, there's also an annual conference, BritMums Live, which gives members an opportunity to meet up, learn, share and build their blogger network.

Ironically, both Jen and BritMums co-founder Susanna Scott are both American, but just as ironically (I guess) although they have invited me to speak at the 2013 BritMums Live, I'm not a mum. (You don't have to be a 'mommy blogger' to join, just an active - non-commercial - blogger.)

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Moving Poetgal from Posterous to

Earlier in the year, Twitter acquired Posterous, and although at first I noticed no difference, I'm now getting the distinct impression it's being wound down.

I have a Posterous blog (Poetgal) and when I posted to it today the new post did not update on the home page. When I googled the issue, I found I wasn't the only one complaining about Posterous - there are a lot of angry people posting to its Facebook page!

This is a great shame - Posterous used to be a lovely platform, but I decided now was the time to shift my blog elsewhere. A quick search brought up this useful post from Lifehacker: basically, Posterous does not provide an export function, so if you want to move your blog elsewhere you either have to do it the long way, or export to a blog, because WP is the only provider with a simple import-from-Posterous facility.

So, I did just that - moved all the posts, images, comments and tag - it was really quick and easy - chose a Theme and did a modicum of customisation.

Unfortunately the pages weren't imported, so I'm going to have to recreate my blogroll. Other housekeeping issues will be to change the Feedburner feed (or maybe it's time to migrate to Feedblitz),   set up categories and other stuff. I've changed the redirect of my URL so it now points to the Wordpress site.

The old Poetgal blog on Posterous

Nice new Wordpress site!

On the whole I'm pretty happy with the new look and home, it's got a nice magazine theme now and it's a hosted blog so no money to shell out.

Do you have a Posterous blog? Are you having problems, and are you going to move it?

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Featured blogger: Zoe Jessica

I came upon Zoe quite by chance on, a new Twitter-style microblogging community that’s only been around a month or so but quickly gathering speed. (Basically it’s a bit like Twitter was about 4 years ago, but that’s another post I think…)

Half an hour later I had enjoyed a good snoop around her blog, felt thoroughly envious of her glam lifestyle which basically involves the Bahamas, Berlin and an Italian husband…ah, it must be tough!)

But anyway –the point is that Zoe is both an excellent cook and an equally-excellent writer. I read her Sicilian Cannoli recipe from start to finish, it was such a fun read. The blog is full of great photos too – did I mention Zoe is also an accomplished photographer? 
I know there are tons of food blogs out there but I was struck with the nice clean design of Rum & Reason, the interesting-sounding categories (‘Cool food, hot summer’, ‘Chocolate’, ‘Miami’…) and the range of great baking recipes. Baking often seems to be under-represented on general food blogs, but not so here.

As well as writing about food, Zoe also blogs about her travels, reviews restaurants, hotels and exhibitions, all with a witty and not uncritical eye.
48 hours in Las Vegas on Rum & Reason

The blend of sophistication and down-to-earth fun is really stylish, and just shows how a distinctive tone of voice and great photos can really contribute to achieving ‘standout’ in the blogosphere.

PS do come and join me on, it's new and growing!

Monday, 3 September 2012

Your blog recommendations ... and our 2 winners!

Phew! I've been looking at all your blog recommendations in the big book giveaway and enjoying the variety of what's popped up ...

I liked Queenie and the Dew - as recommended by Anke, of Anchor and Sing which is equally quirky and fun. And yes, I like the letter-writing thing too!

Thank you Lisa for - I have to agree I found some of the stories there quite funny in a black humour sort of way…!

Although I'm following designer Graham Smith on Twitter I must admit I hadn't seen his blog I'm Just Creative until now -  - thank you Jinny for the tip-off, you're right, it's a really useful design resources with tons of examples of corporate logos etc. Nice one. And Jinny's own blog at looks very good for anyone looking for graphic design tips and inspiration.

Thank you to Laura Swaddle for sharing Attic24 - choc full of colourful craft projects and more, and Laura's own blog Scarlet Pyjamas is well worth a visit - I really like the look and layout, and the current series of posts about Laura's 'dream holiday destination' Japan is a visual treat.

Qwiksave - thank you for sharing the names of some of your favourite bloggers, and Rosie's Arty Stuff (great blog name!)

In fact thanks to everyone who took the time to post, it's amazing at what's out there and impossible to find all the gems, so recommendations are great.

Congratulations to Anke and Laura, you are the two winners - let me have your contact details and a copy of 'Blogging for Creatives' will be winging its way towards you both!