Friday, September 17, 2010

Click, click, click

I tiptoe out of my son’s room, shut the door, listen.

Silence. I have 90 minutes – maybe two hours.

I load the dishwasher and race to the basement to change the laundry. Dancing around the Matchbox cars littering the kitchen floor to get to the counter, I pour myself a cup of luke-warm coffee.

Then, I squish my bottom into the tiny beads of my red beanbag chair with a laptop, open Safari and manually type in the urls to my favorite blogs. My mind wonders quickly these days when I’m on the Internet, flitting like my toddler from one new discovery to the next.

I have never put much thought into the letters, numbers and symbols that drive what’s on my Internet screen, Everything seems so effortless. With quick clicks across my computer screen, even I easily created a this free blog on the Blogger platform, complete with an innocuous background and drag-and-drop plugins to add some spice to my page.

I’m not afraid to admit it: I’m in awe of bloggers who can bang away on their keyboard’s to alter a basic template, making it an artistic extension of their writing. I envy clean-looking blogs with photos that pop with vibrant color off a simple white background. I can’t resist the headers that suck me in with whimsical swirls of design. I especially love the blogs that inspire creativity.

But I have ninety minutes (sixty if I decide to pick up all those cars and switch the laundry). On a toddler’s schedule, I’m starting to think like a toddler, too. If a website doesn’t grab me right away, I’m on to the next.

For me, it’s all about what’s above the fold.

A photo or an interesting entry title right up front draws me in. And if I have to look too hard to find a writer’s “About Me” tab, I’m likely to drift away.

My newest discovery is the RSS feed. I had seen it on several blogs, but was afraid to click it. Did I really need to subscribe to anything else? -- My email inbox is cluttered with health tips, coupons and sale notifications. I HAVE 90 MINUTES – this is not a time to add more stuff to sort.

But RSS seemed more efficient than remembering all my favorite bloggers and taking the time to type in their web addresses, only to be occasionally disappointed when there isn’t an updated post.

So I clicked through my favorite bloggers to see if I could add an RSS feed to my Google Reader.

More clicks and a password, I logged onto my Google Reader and immediately saw any updates from my favorite bloggers. I shouldn’t be so giddy about this, but it’s better than k-cup instant coffee. Really, it is!

But here’s an RSS “fail”: sometimes I want more that just the newest post. I can’t see the photos of my favorite blogger’s kids, pets and, in the case of Dooce, a recent office renovation through RSS.

As the clock ticks down and Harrison begins to stir, I click on a few more links. This is how I socialize these days, in 90 minutes, with the tips of my fingers clicking my keyboard seeking out tid-bits of life on the outside of mine.

When the baby wakes up, we’ll be off to the park. I’ll be chasing him up a ladder, no time to make friends with the moms watching over their children playing quietly in the sand.

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