The Strange Tale of the Accidental SEO

Edit: Given the fact that I’ve switched to WordPress, this is all moot.

Lately — don’t know if anyone’s noticed — I’ve been looking for all kinds of ways to improve this site’s looks to better fit my tastes. What can I say, I’m an eclectic, and I’d like this site to reflect me in more ways than just my writing. (Though honestly, my writing has become a bit more comfortable.) I was hoping to find a good bBlog theme, something to give this site a little spark. Although my search yielded some results, I didn’t find anything particularly attractive. I found a bunch of stuff for WordPress, but not very many bBlog themes.

Frankly, I ought to sharpen my CSS skills, if for no other reason than to offer the bBlog community a few more themes. I guess I have a soft spot for underdog projects. Compared to WordPress, bBlog is definitely an underdog. But it’s sooooo SEO-friendly that it’s hard to give up! In fact, its search engine friendlyness is what promted this post, and a bit of a change of direction for me.

I was doing a search for the term “bBlog Themes” last night, when I noticed something odd: Gnorb.NET was on the front page of Google for the phrase “bBlog Themes”! I couldn’t believe it! I mean, sure, it’s obviously not a particularly popular search, but c’mon, that rocks!

I’ve been starting to optimize for the word “Stuff”, to see what I could do there. Yeah, I know — I have a snowball’s chance in hell. Still, the “stuff” challenge was one I couldn’t turn my back on. Not many sites are optimized for that word by itself, since it’s usually paired up in phrases like “free stuff” and “Stuff Magazine”. I never would have guessed that I could come up near the top in other phrases. Other than “Gnorb”, that is. I think I’ve optimized my site well enough for that.

(By the way, no, I didn’t remember that there was a magazine named Stuff when I decided to take on this challenge.)

At any rate, I’ve selfishly decided to capitalize on this opportunity and secure my spot at the top of the “bBlog Theme” rankings, all the while selflessly providing a service to the bBlog using community, by setting up a repository of bBlog related themes. (Besides, this means more content for this site. Always a good thing.) This repository will include screenshots, descriptions, and any development notes that I come accross. I will also include WordPress themes that work with the wpcompatible theme. (Not all of them do, daing it.) I don’t plan to house the themes here, but I’ll keep copies on this server, should those sites go down. All credit will be given to the right sources, including links, dwarven slaves, and a the fruitcake given to Christ when he was visited by the Three Kings and the Court Jester from the Orient. (You know who I’m talking about, the one who’s inexplicably missing from any of the Gospels. What, haven’t you read The DaVinci Code?)

Actually, my reasons for doing this aren’t so much selfish as they are born from frustration. bBlog doesn’t seem to have a lot of information out there, at least not as much as I’d like to see. With my background as a writer in the technology industry, I’m better placed than most to write up a whole load of documentation relating to the blogging software. The problem: I don’t understand the innards well enough to really be of any use to the bBlog development team. (Sorry about that, guys.) Sure, I go to the forums and help out whenever I can, but with my limited knowledge of PHP and Smarty — well, there’s only so much I can do. I’m learning, but if I can spur some aspect of development, be it technical or community-wise, I’d rather do what I can now.

For anyone who wishes to help out, you’re more welcome to drop me a line in these forums. I’m not looking for a loyal army of followers here, just a few people to dig through the various bBlog themes and document any changes you’ve might have made, or maybe make a few new CSS templates and share them with the rest of us. I have the feeling I’ll be doing most, if not all of this alone, but what the heck. If I don’t do it, will anyone?

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