I’ve been a bit remiss in the past week in terms of posting to this blog, but I haven’t been idle on the blogging front. In fact, as well as spending some time on my real-soon-now e-book, an introduction to business blogging, I’ve been getting a couple more blogs going.

One is a re-working, as a blog, of my deswalsh.com website, which had gone from being a jumpsite for other business sites of mine to being basically a placeholder, while I figured out what to do with it.  The other is a new blog for a sideline business interest, an online English language learning service.

My aim with deswalsh.com is to develop the blog as a blog+website, the ‘official site’ for my main business activity, as a business coach and blogging evangelist. I’m using WordPress from www.wordpress.org for this, hosted on my server: it’s an interesting learning experience. I will keep this Thinking Home Business site going and will work on focusing it more on issues relating to what I think of as the professionalising of home based and other solo business.

Visitors to the deswalsh.com blog will notice that my friend Dean Hua has commented with some amusement about my using WordPress, when he and others know what a fan I am of BlogHarbor and how unenthusiastic I’ve been in the past about WordPress. Rest assured, I still am a BlogHarbor fan, but I do want to see what I can make of the alternative platform.

To the second of the blogs I’ve been working on: having scored a new blog from WordPress.com I decided to set up a site to support my EN101 business, which helps people learn English (or Spanish and later other languages) online. EN101 is an online service, designed to be accessed by people from many different first languages. And there’s a business opportunity which seems to be attracting some interest around the world.

But I haven’t been giving the E101 business a lot of attention: the fact is, I’m not really interested in spending a lot of time introducing the service to others. I have other priorities and time is not unlimited. So I thought it would be a good idea to get some leverage by applying what I tell others to do, namely use blogging to differentiate themselves in the market. My aim then is to use the blog, My English Lab, to provide some useful information in the field of English language learning and in the process seek to build interest in the service offered through EN101. Indirect promotion, if you will.

And guess what? As a former high school English teacher with an ongoing fascination with language, I’ve found I’m really enjoying thinking about some practical challenges people might have with learning English and then blogging about them.

As an example, I wrote today in the new blog My English Lab about something which, to be honest, I take pretty much for granted but which is obviously either a mystery or a blind spot for many, including a lot of people whose first language is English. I refer of course to The Apostrophe!

Years ago, the Yatala Pie Shoppe was a landmark for Australians and visitors travelling by road between Brisbane and the Gold Coast. The coming of the 2×4 lane motorway saw the end of the old establishment, although the business was bought and re-established at a new site down the road from the old one.

Although I never visited the original pie ’shoppe’, I was always amused, driving back and forth from Brisbane over the couple of years I lived there, to read the sign

‘Yatala, famous for it’s pies’.

Of course, it is (or it’s) not uncommon for signs in public places to have apostrophes where they should not be, but if we think about what the apostrophe signifies, some of the results can be quite amusing. My Yatala example has always amused me because it means, literally, that the town of Yatala is (made of) pies! More…

I’m looking forward also to posting some podcasts on the MEL site. I’ve already realised it’s going to be easier to explain some things about English by saying them than by writing about them. It’s too many years since I learned the phonetic alphabet for me to be confident about re-producing the the correct symbols and who would find them useful, except phoneticians, anyway?

Finally, I have to say that, having spent a couple of days fiddling with WordPress, it’s a pleasure to come back to BlogHarbor, where I feel I can concentrate more on content, knowing that the machinery is being looked after by others.

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