Gee, it only took me 5 hours to get them going, but I now have my Google Reader Shared Items feed and my Twitter feed coming here (see "Reads" and "Status"), in a pretty way. Now I just hope they update like they're supposed to.
Part of the problem was that I didn't understand shortcodes. I saw the square brackets and [url] tags, and thought I recognized them. I didn't realize they have to be defined. So yeah, 5 hours later...
The Status page should be the first page you see when you come to ericachampion.com. It's a quick and simple update, showing the last thing I posted on Twitter. It also includes a graphical link to my twitter page, where you can follow me. This is my short content.
My long content, of course, is this, my blog. I've also made a links page. I'm not sure how useful that is. I may end up populating it more. But my real triumph here is the Reads page, which shows the last 3 articles I shared via Google Reader. (It will also show notes, but I don't plan on using it for that.) I actually had this working without shortnotes, but it was really ugly, with the content not showing for some posts, and the title and source running together. This, I think, is much better. And I can customize it through the settings interface, rather than code.
I have learned a lot about Wordpress code in the last couple of days. I'm exhausted. But I still need to create my design and compose my About page. I think I'll leave those for another time.