The Anatomy of a Blog Post

Here are the steps that I often go through before I actually hit the “publish” button to post a blog entry.

  1. Find something interesting to write about! This can be harder than you think (or maybe not, you say!), but for this example I’ll be using our mini road trip to explore the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument.
  2. Actually DO the ‘interesting thing to write about”.  And while you’re doing it take lots of pictures, and give a little bit of thought about how you want to “frame” the story. (Even though the day started out a bit cloudy and drizzly,Mt.St.Helens-1 we were hopeful that the weather would break in our favor.)
  3. Return home, take a quick nap and then begin sorting through the photos of the day.
    1. Original Count (both camera and phone)-203
    2. Mark your favorites – got it down to 93
    3. Look at that first sifting, and continue to fine tune your choices. (Decide you need to take a photography class to better utilize/understand your SLR camera since you often like the iPhone pix better than the camera pix.) Get it down to 60. Still too many, but I just gave up!
  4. Begin to upload the pictures to Flickr. Be realistic about your slow internet (here under the towering pines) and when after 3 days of having had only 15 successfully upload, take the computer to the dining hall and use the camp wifi.  In the time it took to eat dinner, all the pictures were uploaded and just needed a bit of organizing. Phew.
  5. Start the post and then decide which few photos to actually highlight and how that will work in with the storyline. Assuming I remember the story line. Where were we again? Oh right – Mount. St. Helens.
    We’ve visited a lot of mountains in our travels (most recently the majestic Mt. Rainier), but we’ve never visited an active volcano that erupted during our lifetime – 1980. And I mean, ERUPTED!  From Wikipedia –

    Mount St. Helens is most notorious for its paroxysmic eruption on May 18, 1980, at 8:32 a.m. PDT,[2] the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in the history of the United States. Fifty-seven people were killed; 250 homes, 47 bridges, 15 miles (24 km) of railways, and 185 miles (298 km) of highway were destroyed. A massive debris avalanche triggered by an earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale caused an eruption[3] that reduced the elevation of the mountain’s summit from 9,677 ft (2,950 m) to 8,363 ft (2,549 m), replacing it with a 1 mile (1.6 km) wide horseshoe-shaped crater.[4] The debris avalanche was up to 0.7 cubic miles (2.9 km3) in volume. The Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument was created to preserve the volcano and allow for its aftermath to be scientifically studied.

    It was a very interesting day – from the lower slopes that have been purposefully re-forested by Weyerhauser
    to the area managed by the Forestry Service which has been left to regrow without man’s help.
    One of the highlights of the day (other than the very informative visitor centers and videos) was a short hike I took along the ridge to the Johnson Ridge Observatory.
    Another was the beautiful walk along Coldstone Lake (formed when a landslide from the eruption formed a natural dam).
    What an excellent day! Such powerful examples of “beauty from ashes” and the wonderful regenerative resources that our great God has enabled in His creation.

  6. Read it over about a dozen times – checking grammar, always being thankful for that squiggly red line for spelling, and insert any links that might be helpful. Do a preview post to check for formatting and if you just can’t figure out how to make it line up the way you want to (just enough html knowledge over here to be dangerous) get over it and move on. Save your draft and then make sure you put it in a category and apply pertinent “tags” to it.
  7. Decide if you want to do a “featured image” which will be the header when this specific post is brought up. Find and upload the picture. Uploading, uploading, uploading…….(Tidy up a bit while you’re waiting for the upload. After all, we are moving down the road and there is packing that needs to be done!)
  8. Decide if you want to do a “Check out this LINK if you’d like to see the whole set of photos” or actually do a fancy slide show. What the heck – do ’em both- it’s good practice!
  9. Preview one final time – and then, (four full days after the event!), hit the Publish button.
  10. Take another nap.


Back to packing! Hope you enjoyed this little ‘inside edition’ of the journey!



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