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August 1, 2011 // hellomelissa.net, thinking, writing

This site got some care and feeding this week beyond the usual plugin, theme and WordPress updates that seem to happen every time I log in. I’ve added a sitemap and a blogroll. Both feel like delightfully retro additions to the site, but I’ve never bothered with them before.

This tutorial will help you create a blogroll using Google Reader. I ended up creating multiple blogrolls for the different types of sites I subscribe to in Google Reader. I did this mostly so I could break up the links into smaller lists. This feature has been available in Google Reader since 2007 so I’m definitely late on the adoption curve. However, I now have an accurate list that is easy to update and maintain. And since it syncs with Google Reader, it will always reflect who I am actually subscribed to and reading.

The sitemap was done for more pragmatic reasons. I’ve heard that having a sitemap increases the chances of having Google crawl your site, so I’ve done that.

Saying that makes me feel a little dirty. I’ve been blogging long before traffic and SEO were issues. Since this is a personal site, it feels weird to do things that increase my odds of getting web traffic.

The counter-argument is “well, you’re posting stuff online, so obviously you want people to read it.” And yes, I do want people to read what I write. It’s not the main reason I write online, but it’s certainly a valid reason.

So I’m trying to tweak some stuff to increase my chances. Feels dirty, but if it works, it works. In the meantime, I’ll try to write thoughtful posts that don’t just exploit SEO tactics and all the internet marketing machines that feel dirty and strange to me.

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About the author

I’ve maintained a personal website since 1999. I’ve been writing online about my life and issues that are important to me since 2000. I live in the suburbs with my husband, daughter and kitten. I am a lot of things to a lot of people: wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, employee and that woman you saw walking down the street somewhere. Tell me about you.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada
This work by melissa price-mitchell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada.