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Archive for the ‘blogging world challenges’ Category

As some of you may remember, I am currently house sitting for my son and daughter-in-law. I was determined to keep blogging and keep up with my social media stuff so I packed my laptop. Well, when I arrived and unpacked, I realized that in my haste to get on the road on time, I had forgotten the charger for my laptop. Sigh. My son got out my daughter-in-law’s laptop which she rarely uses and set it up to charge. Yay! Or so I thought. First, there was a password which we finally figured out over a number of text messages. Yay! I was able to use it on Wednesday night for checking email and Facebook. I put it away for the night and didn’t open it again until early evening on Thursday. I wrote my blog post on it and read a few emails and checked Facebook. About twenty minutes into using it, I got the Blue Screen Of Death, along with a message saying “Critical Process Died” and a reassurance that it would start up again as soon as they finished collecting info. It finally restarted but I had decided to watch a movie so I put it away, connecting it to the charger so I could take it into the bedroom at bedtime to watch a movie on it.  Well, when it was time to go to bed, I pushed the power button and nothing happened. I pushed it again. Nothing. No power to it at all. I kept trying. Nothing. Nada. Rien. Zilch. I’ve been trying off and on since 1 am. It’s now 10 am. No luck. So I guess I killed my daughter-in-law’s computer and I feel so bad about it.

Yup, sometimes life is like that. Now I’m trying to keep up with things on my tablen, with a bluetooth keyboard. Sigh. I don’t care so much about that. I just want that laptop to come back to life again so I don’t have to face Sarah with a dead laptop. 😦

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I think we are all winners. Winners of blog awards, that is. You know about those blog awards, I’m sure. They typically are given from one blogger to another, obligating the “winner” to answer some arbitrary set of questions and then the clincher is that the winner has to bestow the same award on a number (also arbitrary but usually upwards of 10) of other bloggers who also have to follow the same rules, etc. They are meant to drive traffic (readers) from one blog to another so that all the blogs get more viewers, more readers.

I’ve received a number of these awards in the past (I’ve been blogging since the late 1990’s) and I continue to receive them. In fact, since this past January, I have received no less than seven such awards. I haven’t passed them on to anyone and haven’t fulfilled the “rules” because I am not one to put others in a situation where they feel obligated to name their followers to fulfill the rules and then name their followers to repeat and send them on. To me, it’s like a chain letter. It just keeps going on and no one is a winner.

Then there is the fact that the “awards” are arbitrary. There are, usually, no criteria for nominating people to get these awards. Winners basically have to have a blog and followers and that’s it. It’s like playing “hot potato” where you are given something and then pass it on to someone else as quickly as you can, before the hot potato burns your hands! Remember that childhood game? One of my favorites but I don’t like it when it comes to blogging.

So instead of accepting awards and fulfilling the rules and passing the award on to my friends and bloggers who are usually too busy to fulfill the rules themselves, I will thank the people giving me the award and then I will let it sit. From time to time I will fulfill the part of the award where I have to answer questions or list blogs to visit but I WILL NOT pass the awards to anyone else and that’s because I value my readers and my friends and won’t put them in that position.

If you have awarded me some kind of blogging award, I thank you for thinking of me! However, the award will stop here, on my blog, as I won’t be passing them along. And you might have to wait awhile before I answer the questions or make the list or write the poem. But I will get to it eventually.

And if you have a different kind of blogging award that has real reasons behind it, you know like maybe I wrote the funniest post you have read, or the most inspiring one, or the most thought provoking post, and you can back it up with a specific post and reasons, well then by all means send it my way. I love hearing when I make a difference in someone’s life or when something I write brings a smile to someone’s heart or a (good) tear to their eye. Just don’t ask me to post the name of ten or fifteen or twenty, or even just one, of my Readers, Followers, or fellow bloggers because I won’t do that to them.

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I have been reading lots and lots of blogs over the past three months and I keep coming up with blogs that aren’t very Reader friendly or sometimes even inconsiderate…not that the blogger is doing these things intentionally. I think they just aren’t aware of it.

One thing that would help, and I realize it isn’t possible on all blogging platforms especialy if you have a free blog, is changing the font. I have to increase the view size in my No Squint plugin to about 150% in order to be able to view the font without serious eye strain. I know some blogs have a variable font size where the Reader can pick the font size. I love those blogs but I think it’s probably a feature available only on pay blogs. However, if there is anything you can do to improve the size or the crispness of the font, that would help your Readers.

Another thing that would help is to keep in mind that your Followers probably follow a lot of other blogs. When I follow a blog, I read every single post as soon as I am notified of the post. Each day I spend upwards of three hours reading and commenting on blogs. So, when a blog I follow post five, six, seven, or more times in one day, that’s a bit much, especially when a lot of them are just reports of what the Blogger is doing at the moment or is about to do. Some Bloggers seem to run to publish a post every hour to report on every detail of their lives. Too much. And often too much information, too! Be considerate of your Readers’ time or you may lose those Readers.

And that brings me to commenting. Why would you make your Readers jump through hoops to comment on your post? First I have to enter all of my identifying information, then I have to prove I’m not a robot, then I have to post my comment and then I have to preview it before it publishes and then it will finally publish. It often takes me longer to comment than it does to read the post and by then, I’ve lost interest in commenting. Then there are a couple of blogging platforms that make you join their platform before you can comment. Not going to happen with me.

I often tweet the urls of blogs I enjoy so that others can visit them, too. However, if there is no Share button available or if it is there but not configured, then I have to copy the url, open Twitter, paste the url, type in any hashtags I want to add, type in a comment, then post. Takes too long. I’m not doing it and you are missing out on shares and visits. So get that Share Button up on your blog and get it configured so that all Readers have to do is hit the button and share it!

These are the top things bugging me about reading blogs today. There are others but these made it to the top of the list today. It may not apply to all of you, in fact I know it doesn’t apply to most of my Followers. However, when you have just spent the last three hours reading, commenting, and sharing blogs, these things are really aggravating and they keep me from coming back to your blog!

To those of you who are nice to your Readers by not being guilty of any of these pet peeves, thank you, thank you, thank you!

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I really want to go back to bed. The pillow and blankets are calling me and it’s really tough not to listen to them today. I’ll put it off for a while though. I want to get a little caught up with blogging. I need to read a lot of blogs that I didn’t have time to visit during the latter part of the week. But I look forward to a nap in a couple of hours.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that today is my 120th day of a streak of writing at least one post for this blog! That’s the longest I’ve ever gone. I’ve done 60 days but this is twice that many! Yay me! It’s funny because I started out in October to try to revive the blog as I had not posted in over a year and a half. That month I managed to post 9 times. I had wanted to post at least 20 times. So then for November I signed up for NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) and blogged every day then did it again in December. January rolled around and I kept on blogging and before I knew it, it was February. At the beginning of the month I told myself it was okay to miss a day as the blogging habit had been established and it would be easy to miss a day and jump back in. However, on the two or three days that I almost didn’t post because of lack of energy, illness, or busy-ness, it drove me crazy and I ended up posting anyway. So I guess the blogging habit has really taken hold! Let’s see if I can make it through March!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my grandson turns 5 next Saturday so this week will be spent helping my daughter with all of the stuff that has to get done for the party…Lego party. Anderson is already asking if his birthday is “tomorrow”. So I think later today we will make him a countdown so he knows. He loved advent calendars this year so I may make him a mini one for his birthday. We’ll see what I can come up with.

I would also tell you that Monday is Read Across America Day and also Dr. Seuss’ birthday. When I was teaching, I planned an entire day of reading for my class. We did nothing but read. We covered all the academic subjects but through reading. I also invited adults to come read to the kids. We had a couple of parents join us and we had the Principal and two of the Teacher Specialists as well. The kids loved it. I miss those days and I’m thinking that next year, when Anderson is in Kindergarten, I will see if I can help the school plan some events and readings for the day.

And speaking of kindergarten, we just found out that this school district is changing to a six hour kindergarten in September! So instead of being in school for just a half day, Anderson will be gone for the whole day and the bus will pick him up and drop him off…no having to drive him over and back. Times they are a changin’.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am participating in the A to Z Blog Challenge this year for the first time. I have a theme and have managed to list each post. However, I still need a post for the letters U and X. I’ll think of something. I’ll let you know the theme in a couple of weeks. I think it will be a fun one. There’s another blog event I want to participate in but I’m afraid it might be biting off more than I can chew so I’m not sure yet. It’s the Great Villain Blogathon. I have my villain picked out but I haven’t committed to it yet. We’ll see how I feel about it in a day or two. This Monday I will also be posting my second monthly “Introducing” post in which I introduce my readers to an indie writer. So I hope you stop by and take a look at that post.

So how has your week gone? What is on the schedule for you in the coming week? In March? Are you a planner that has it all scheduled out way in advance or a “pantser” that flies by the seat of their pants, often typing the last word two seconds before the last minute? I’m kind of like the second one but I’m finding that I am changing a bit and planning things out more. Old age does strange things to us! 🙂

Thank you for stopping by. I’ll come around to visit all the blogs on the linky over the weekend. And I’m not sure if coffee will be Saturday or Sunday next week because of the big birthday party but it will happen, one day or the other. See you then!

If We Were Having Coffee is a weekly blog share and link up hosted by Part-Time Monster. You can join in the fun too! Just write your post and link it up at part time monster.

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Over the past three months, I’ve made a conscious effort to renew old connections and make new ones.  I started blogging again and committed to writing a post for this blog every day in November and again in December.  Part of blogging is reading other blogs.  Over the past couple of months I have read countless blogs and found many of them are just not my cup of tea.  Some are a collection very poorly written posts but at least the person is trying so you have to give them credit for that, and I do!  Others, while very well written, are just not of any interest to me as they have a very narrow focus that doesn’t cross with any of my interests.  I have found others, who I have absolutely loved and began following them right away.  Others I commented on but didn’t follow, not because I was not  interested in them but because I did not want to bog myself down with too many blogs to follow because when I follow a blog, I read all their posts and comment or at least “like” their posts whenever possible.  It takes a long time to read through all the blogs and I usaually do so in the morning and again later in the day when more people have updated their blogs.  It’s time consuming, especially when some of the bloggers sign up for challenges where they post every day, like I did!

I’ve found that over the last two months, I have put myself in the role of “mom” more than once.  I’ve come across blogs written by young women who are going through difficult times with family, work, relationships, etc., and I’ve found that I can relate to their posts because I have been through similar situations and I have tried to post what I feel are encouraging and understanding comments when I’ve come across such blog posts.  I sometimes will leave one of these comments then wonder if the writer will think I am being a nosey busybody but I hope that they take the comments in the spirit in which they were offered.

There are four women whose blogs I have begun following since November or December.  I’ve gotten to the point where if they do not post on any particular day I worry about them because I know that they were intent on posting every day.  I don’t know these women or anything about them other than what they have posted about themselves.  I’m particularly worried these days about two of these women who I know I are going through some very difficult times.  One of them has not posted anything at all since December 19 and it really worries me.  I don’t have a way of getting in touch with her to check on her.  That’s one of the frustrating things about blogging.  Although there are connections made and there are definitely “friend feelings” we don’t know each other and don’t know how to reach one another except to post on one another’s blogs.  So what do I do?  I guess I sit and wait and hope that they will begin posting once again, but I really do worry about them, and one in particular.

So as you can see, when we blog we share a part of ourselves and when we comment on other blogs, we do the same.  We are inviting others into our lives, however minimally.  Connections are made.  Some are long time connections while others fade away, but those connections are made.  Some become friendships, others just acquaintances.

At least that’s how it is for me.

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