Help me out all you internet wizards!

I used to be “clever” with the computer. That was about ten, fifteen years ago when it was new to me. I have not kept up. As matter of fact I do little else other than send e-mail, shop, and now blog. I don’t have an iPod or an MP3 player and I’ve never downloaded a single tune. I have “designed” two web sites, but while I was proud of them at the time, and they are pretty good for someone with no training in that area, they are . . . well, lame. I see all your spiffy blog templates and I wonder when exactly I fell of the tech train.

I think I’d like to go password protected. I think that if I continue to blog, then I need to feel safe saying anything I like on here. I would also like a face lift and a new name. (And a boob job, oh . . . wait a minute I was talking about my blog wasn’t I??) Afterall, I have not really kept up with my fortune cookie theme. And now the title is more of a sorry reminder that the cookie message I got so excited about way back when I started and named this blog has obviously NOT come true! (Yet.)

So all you clever gals, help me out if you would. I am spending way too much time at this blog thing already, so I am not about to learn HTML or graphic design or whatever! I don’t want to pay for a blog. I also want to make my e-mail address available but I am not sure where to sign up to get a private one. I am an AOL kind of girl. (For those of you who ARE Internet savvy, that pretty much sums up the fact that I am not.) Where should I go for a free blog that allows password protection and is not as annoying as blogger but still easy to use (feel free to tell me to dream on or to stay with blogger). And where do I go for an e-mail account that is not as traceable as simply using my AOL account?

TIA for any help you can throw my way. (See I am a tiny bit cool, I know a few of the acronyms!)

We went to see 007 last night. The new Bond is quite a hottie except for those funny ears. The movie was so fast paced, full of leaping from buildings and shooting and chasing that I felt a little dizzy, but I did enjoy it overall.

Maybe seeing a spy movie has re-ignited my paranoia and need for a double blind identity. But blogging has freaked me out right from the start. What if my parents or my neighbor or my dreaded SIL find this blog. It is after all basically an online diary and confessional! The chances of being found are so slim and all that but I’ve been watching my site meter a bit and some of the searches that lead to me are pretty odd. A lot of them have to do with fortune cookies or other things unrelated to infertility. I don’t think total strangers finding me will do much harm but on the other hand you never know. As I move forward, probably on to adoption, (with or without continued ART efforts), I think I will feel more paranoid having my life out here.

Would anyone follow me if I go password? That is a whole separate issue. But I hope that most of you who stop by regularly would. My readership is not exactly huge. I like to think that I do most of this writing for my own sanity but your feedback, via the comment feature, has become quite a support network for me as well. I’d hate to impede that aspect. Reading your blogs is also a great help but I can do that whether I password or not.

So . . . if any of you expert bloggers have any sage advice, I’m eager to hear it.

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24 Responses to “Help me out all you internet wizards!”

  1. Erin Says:

    I can recommend gmail for a private email address. I have a ton of invites if you would like one. Just send me a quick email to erin.mc2@gmail.com and I will gladly send you an invite. You can choose just about any type of anon name you wish for the account, so long as it isn’t taken.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    I was gonna say gmail. Or yahoo, or hotmail…there are lots of free email sites. Gmail is probably one of the best.

    There are lots of free templates available too. I just got my new one from: http://www.pannasmontata-templates.net/
    they have all sorts – for different blog sites. Easy cut and paste.

    I don’t know which site has password protected?

  3. Anonymous Says:

    WordPress allows you to go private on individual posts, and I believe that’s even on their free version (wordpress.com). I started a blog, but am still trying to get comfortable with it in order to determine if I will move there as well.

    TypePad as you know, does allow you to password protect the entire blog or not at all. Yes, you have to pay for it (< $50.00/year), but I have really enjoyed using it. You can definitely count me in as one of many who will go where ever you go if you so wish.

  4. Lut C. Says:

    Gmail is a great free e-mail provider.
    A Gmail account gives you access to other cool services (a blog feed reader, an annotation tool, …).

    I think you can go password protected with Blogger, but I think it’s all or nothing.
    I don’t have any experience with any other blog tools.

    I read blogs through a feed reader, which tells me who has updated. This saves me a lot of time. If I could still use the feed reader, I would follow you. I’ve done this before with another blog, so I assume it’s possible.
    If not, I’d suggest you make a mailing list and send out update notices. You can make a list of regular readers in Gmail.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    I would totally keep reading your blog if you went password protected. Like someone else mentioned I think you can go password with blogger but it’s an all or nothing proposition.

    I just recently moved to gmail and I like it a lot.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    I agree with the others. Gmail is great.

    I will definitely follow you to your new blog.

  7. Thalia Says:

    Gmail is good, yahoo is easy – just go to http://www.yahoo.com and follow the links, you’ll have an account in 5 minutes.

    WordPress is free and can be password protected, but the free version gives you little ability to tailor your template – you just have to use one of the ones they provide, and you can’t have nifty thingummies in your sidbar if they use java (like sitecounter). But it fulfills your criteria!

    I will follow you wherever.

  8. Stacey Says:

    Yahoo is a good site as well as gmail. Either one would be a good choice for a private email address.

    While I don’t have a blog (I need to start one, but am a little too scared), I read several daily and I would love to continue following your journey.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    I would follow you wherever you decided to blog.

  10. Leggy Says:

    Password protection has been great- its good to do after you’ve built an audience (like you) because they have incentive to follow. I will of course follow, but like Lut C. says, please make sure you publish an RSS feed- otherwise bloglines can’t keep track of you. Its really hard for me to keep up with blogs that don’t publish RSS.

  11. Starfish Says:

    I too use gmail. And I’ve only ever used blogger. And I’ll certainly follow you if you go pw protected!

  12. Anonymous Says:

    I fell off the train also.

    I know little in the techie arena – I am hoping to learn from all of you. He, He.

    You lead and I will follow – just tell me where you are moving to.

  13. My Reality Says:

    I am not so techie either. I will let you figure out where you are going, then you can tell me how to do it!

    Hotmail or Gmail for a anonomous email address is probably the way to go.

    If you do password protect, I would like to come along for the ride.

  14. Anonymous Says:

    Just wanted to let you know that I would definitely follow up if you decide to password protect. 🙂

  15. Sami Says:

    Not sure – and yes I would follow you if you went password protected.

  16. Ellen K. Says:

    I read several password-protected sites. I think it’s a smart idea. I’ll follow you to your new blog!

  17. Anonymous Says:

    I’m using hotmail for free email. I also have a gmail account but I think gmail sucks and is not easy to use. I use the beta blogger for the blog, and I love it.

  18. Sarah Says:

    Gmail rocks. I have no idea about the other stuff. Currently, I pay for the Typepad acct. which I like, but to be honest, I’d prefer it to be free because I am not blogging as much as I was before. I’ll definately follow where ever you end up!

  19. Anonymous Says:

    I used to use yahoo, now I use gmail. Because it keeps all your threads in tidy little conversations.

    About the other stuff – if you want to stay with two columns it’s easy, because you can just pick a new template. Blogger beta makes it easier to muck around with your template as well.

    If you want to get tricky and start adding unique things to your template, it’s mostly a matter of replacing their image with yours (and maybe adjusting dimensions). I’ve found success mostly by fiddling, saving a copy first (and I’ve used that saved copy, like, a LOT…) The hardest part is traipsing through the code and finding which image it is you’re hoping to replace.

    Let me know if you go password protected – I’d like to be there.

    If you stick with beta blogger (I believe they now call it “the new blogger”) I can be more specific with advice.

    Bea

  20. Anonymous Says:

    I hope to join you if you go pw protected as well. Good luck with all your ‘tech’ stuff!

  21. Beagle Says:

    OK, thanks to erin I have a gmail account. I think I will switch to new blogger and see how that goes. In January I will update my blog and add a password.

    Stay tuned!

  22. Hopeful Mother Says:

    I’ll follow you too, Beagle.

    I use Gmail and Blogger. And I read blogs with RSS feeds to Google Reader, which is very convenient.

  23. Kim Says:

    I would definately follow you if you password protect if you don’t mind sharing the password!

  24. Erin Says:

    I don’t comment very often, but I do read a lot. I’d keep reading if you go password protected.

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