Regrets, I've had a few...
Darren Rowse over at ProBlogger has been asking people what they would do differently were they to start their blogs over. I've got more than three years of blogging under my belt, and I've certainly made a lot of false starts in the process, but I'm finding this a difficult one to answer.
Blog platform: Readers know that until recently all my blogs were on Blogger, some hosted at blogspot and some not. Recently I moved my two major sites to TypePad, and I am oh-so-happy here. But would I have done this differently? I'm not sure, for one thing, that I could have. Did TypePad exist in 2003? I don't remember, and a few Google searches haven't turned up the answer. All I remember about what went into my choice of platform at the time was that I wanted a platform that was popular enough that it wouldn't close down on me. Blogger was already pretty popular and seemed likely to stay in business, so I went with it. Plus, of course, there was the free hosting. I also can't really regret that Blogger forced me to learn scads of HTML and CSS. I was already familiar with HTML: I started my Rawhide site in 1996. But the CSS I owe entirely to blogging.
Templates: I have spent more time than I care to admit to over the years tweaking my templates. Both the book-blog (my first blog) and the deblog have seen a lot of different looks. I feel that I'm approaching the Perfect Blog asymptotically. Would I do this differently? Again, it was this constant tweaking that taught me what I know of coding, not much but enough, and without which I would probably never have had the fortitude to dip into TypePad's advanced templates.
Names: I like the "deblog" well enough--though it came very close to being called the "hamblog," and would have been if I had come up with some decent logo for it--but I probably would have come up with a better name for the book-blog if I'd realized I was going to stick with blogging for so long. But now that the site is associated with it's own domain and can be called book-blog.com I'm reasonably happy with it.
Content: Actually, I wouldn't change anything. I've always been very much aware, as some people with personal blogs apparently are not, that one's blog is a public forum and should be treated as such. I've never written anything I've been embarrassed by subsequently.
What this is coming down to, it looks like, is that while my path to the blogging present was pocked with wrong turns, I don't regret them, and I'm reasonably happy with where I am. Which isn't a bad situation to be in.