Technology is a wonderful thing as long as it is working properly. When it is not it becomes a monster sucking your time, energy and very life blood from your body.
This was forcibly brought home to me this week when I decided to be smarter about how I share my articles with my readers. I have another identity as “the Grade Coach” that I use to share time management tips with High School and college students. I generally have up to 3 articles a week published to my blog www.thegradecoach.com and a separate one for my newsletter (Make Time For Fun) which only goes to subscribers. I found out that my newsletter readers were missing out on the tips in my blog so I decided to set up a blog broadcast to automatically capture all my words of wisdom into one email per week. Great I thought, this should make my life easier and get these tips into the hands of those who need them.
If only life were so simple!
It seemed simple (well relatively, given that it involved understanding someone else’s process on how do work it through). I chose a template from my newsletter people and adapted it a bit (well, I am not a baker shop or a yoga class so I had to change a couple of things). I entered all the right info and pressed go. I was a bit unsure whether the first email would have every blog ever written on it or just the last one, so I made sure to warn my unsuspecting public that it might happen just this once.
It all seemed to go swimmingly until the email came out. The text only version was fine – it did give a bunch of articles but I was prepared for that. But the pretty HTML version that I had labored over, with all the pretty pictures and links back to the blog was a bust. It looked good but had no content!
Hours later, having self taught myself HTML code to try and figure it out I was sending myself test e mail number 23 and cringing in anticipation of another failure. Life shouldn’t be this hard!
I had contacted the helpline via email and as usual with these things we talked at cross purposes for a while before we got it sorted out.
Now I have my fingers crossed as I write every bog article, hoping that it gets downloaded and sent along the way it s supposed to.
So, what is the moral of this story? There are four.
- It is worth putting in a bit of time up front to automate something to save time in the future
- Recognize where your strengths lie and get help in other areas
- It is character building to try and sort something yourself but it is more efficient to ask for help early when it is outside your area of expertise
- You need to get people to sign up for my newsletter so this has al been worth my while