Tag: blog

I Have to Ask…

I Have to Ask…

Does anyone….sorry that’s kinda negative… how many people really follow a blog for any length of time? I ask because I am quite curious. The question could really be put to any type of social media.

I’ve been blogging for a relatively short period of time in the big picture, lets call it 2 years for arguments sake. Certainly many bloggers/writers have hung in longer, many almost as long as the medium has been available, and my question would also be put to them. Do you know many followers have hung in there for the duration, ie how many of the xxxx number of followers one might have are :

  1. current, still reading/following your blog
  2. real, living, followers, ie not dead links or bogus accounts that somehow slipped through the cracks,
  3. still a follower/subscriber, but never (or seldom) read the posts

When I look it up on my ‘Site Stats’ I have a little under 80 followers listed and yet when I review the list on an a person by person basis a number of them are either invalid sites or no longer show as a current WordPress account. Now I’m not really that hung up on readership numbers, it’s just nice (great) to have people interested in what you say. The only real way I can measure what I’m doing is by the followers or subscribers, or any ‘likes’ or comments. I do essentially write for my own needs but let’s face it peer acknowledgement is better, heck it’s awesome. We all like to have our ego’s stroked.

mappa_blog
mappa_blog (Photo credit: francescopozzi)

While on this topic of readership, the idea of which was sparked by my most recent interest in SEO, I came to think if we can’t trust the number of ‘followers’ how do we really know how well we are doing? Of course if I ask questions in the body of my posts and those are answered by some number of readers I will know immediately if I’m reaching anyone. That’s good blogging (according to most ‘good blogging’ practices), and I know I don’t do that well. Partially that’s due to the type of posts I usually generate (journal entries) and partially because when I do create questions they come off as forced, at least to me. I don’t want my stuff to be forced. So I guess I’m stuck, either ask questions, intelligent questions hopefully, take the number of followers at face value, or just not worry about it.

Hmmm, don’t think ‘not worry about it’ is an option. May be a good idea but it’s not my nature, I’m more the type that’ll perseverate over the smallest thing. Just who I am.

So I’ll dig into it a bit further, try to improve the site(s) to generate more notice, and then ponder the results. I might even throw in a few questions, just to mix it up.

If you do have the answer, or would be kind enough to comment anyway, I’d love to hear what you say. I just have to ask…..

Mediocrity Breeds Contempt

Mediocrity Breeds Contempt

I thought of this comment, and that it would make a good title, after I wrote my last post. It seemed appropriate somehow, I wasn’t pleased with my last effort, that’s the mediocre part, and I had some contempt for myself. I had such high hopes, I anticipated feeling more fulfilled once I was done writing it but it was not to be. I felt empty.

My reason, my excuse for the mediocrity, was haste. I was in a hurry to complete the post and move on.

I had written the bulk of the post while sitting in Barnes & Noble and unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) my wife finished shopping earlier than expected and I had to catch up with her. I left the post virtually in mid-thought, closed up my notebook and went to meet her.

From there the evening was pretty much a blur. There was a little more shopping, checking into the hotel, dinner, and then back to the hotel to power down.  It was then I made the fatal mistake, I tried to finish the post while being tired. Really tired. Not a good combo.

So apologies are in order by friends, I hope I can learn from this and ensure there is ‘no next time’. This is all in the light of knowing that all good blogs, those that attract readers and followers, have as a basic element “good content”. That’s something I’ve always tried to deliver, I’ve let you down.

Time to say good-night, it’s late again and I’m tired, still.

Cheers

I Came Here to Write

I Came Here to Write

I have some time, I’m making time, I am waiting for my wife.

We escaped our small town today and ran away to the big city to shop, relax, eat, try and relax, eat, shop.  Something tells me the relaxing part may not come to fruition but likely the others will.

Once we arrived in Spokane our first stop was one of the largest malls in town, good planning or what. I knew it would be a good place to begin, the wife can limp around (another story) perusing all the sales etc. and I can scoot over to Barnes & Noble to look at books, and perhaps do some research.  My current ‘interest’ you see is SEO, otherwise known as Search Engine Optimization.

This interest in SEO maybe a fixation, will likely fade over time.  Heck, it may be gone by the time I leave the store, but it is with me now and with me strong. Seemed the least I could do was write about it.

It began when I read a post written by Lesley Carter at Bucket List Publications called “7 Great Ways to Improve Your Alexa Ratings”. I guess it really didn’t start there, but it was re-inspired when I read her numerous posts on ways to improve hits on your site and increasing your readers and followers. I don’t personally subscribe to that particular SEO service but I have taken part in Google’s Analytics and another service called HubSpot, a web marketing service.

I don’t proclaim to know if one site is better than the next, you’ll have to do the research and find that out for yourself, but the concept is sound I think. If you can improve your site by making small changes, by increasing links or putting the name of your site out there on other sites it can only help. I am just touching on the very basics here and there is certainly much more to it than that.

seo, books, bookstore, learning
All you wanted to know about SEO

So this bring me full circle. Here I am in Barnes & Noble, waiting for my wife and spending time searching the shelves for an appropriate book(s) on SEO.

Unfortunately I quickly become overwhelmed. The sheer number of books (and the cost) takes the wind out of my sails and I rapidly decide I will endeavour to learn most of what I need to know by getting library books and reading free articles on-line. That’s not to say the books aren’t beneficial, only that for me, right now, they are too much and too soon.

So, as the saying goes, if you can’t do something, you can write about it. Here I am, I came to write.

Here I Sit, There I Sat

Here I Sit, There I Sat

The mall is not really where I want to be. We left the kidlets, our daughter and family, and began the drive home when my wife determined she needed something she could only get at the mall. My future flashed before me, I knew where my day was headed, certainly my morning.

I shouldn’t begrudge her the mall visit I guess. We didn’t really have an opportunity to do any shopping as this was a short visit to essentially get some ‘Madden time’ and do a little babysitting so our daughter Ayron, and son-in-law Stefan, could get out and have a quiet day sans Madden. I guess what annoyed me was I purposely tried to get us on the road early so we do all of our 3 1/2 hour drive in the daylight.  Leaving Kelowna around noon or later could seriously impact that desire.

All that said I spent some time in Chapters while I waited for her, browsing the shelves and perusing books I liked, heck even wanted to buy.  I considered hitting Starbucks, and getting a coffee or Americano, but since I already had a couple cups of  joe at Ayron’s I chose to forgo the treat.

I primarily scanned books on WordPress, and in those I specifically peaked at sections on child themes and self hosted blogs.  If I understand it correctly a “child theme” is like a sub-theme of your blogs primary theme. More research needed obviously. I have this real yearning to get more involved in web development and that kind of thing lately.

I came away from the book store empty handed though. I couldn’t, I can’t, justify spending the $25 or $30 on a book I’m really only interested in 2 or 3 chapters of. Especially if the book is already 2 or 3 years old.  That 2 or 3 years is a lifetime in computer related stuff. So empty handed I left, to sit on a mall bench awaiting my queen. If nothing else I could start this post, while I sat.

I’m Struggling, Grasping for a String

I’m Struggling, Grasping for a String

Today is another challenge, I want to write, to post something meaningful.  My mind is blank, the ideas aren’t coming, I’m struggling.  I’m looking for a string, a concept to grasp and write about.

I just finished reading a post by another blogger, a specialist in blogging and creating blog and web traffic.  His name is Daniel Scocco and his topic was “A Quick Strategy to Increase Your Traffic.  You can read the post here.  It was very informative and suggested a number of ways we could increase the number of page views, the traffic, on our blogs.  Good ideas all.

It’s an interesting post, one which would undoubtedly help any of us, certainly me.  The caveat in my case seems to be finding the time.  I realize if the task is important enough you WILL find the time, you’ll MAKE the time.  I suspect at this time in my life it just isn’t that important.  I also believe there will be a time when it will.  There are certainly aspects of his suggestions I WILL employ, good ideas.

I started to write this blog to supplement my paper journal, to create a diary if you will of my ’emotional state’, a record of my mood and journey (to use an over-used word in my mind) out of depression.  If for no one but myself it has been a beneficial exercise.  Along the way I have attracted a few followers and created some interest, and that has been …… mentally supportive.  I search for the right word but it doesn’t come, needless to say it feels good.  I don’t feel as burdened by the yoke of depression as I once did.

I’ve seen this site morph into a venue where I frequently bitched, still do on occasion, to one where I’ve developed additional interests.  Maybe re-developed is a better term.  I’m thinking specifically of photography, the art of taking pictures and seeing beauty in the people and things around us..  Blogging is not only a means to not only talk about myself but to strut my stuff (light-hearted humor attempted!)

rail, tracks, railway, perspective
Tracks to the future

Whatever the reason the outcome is the same as it is for so many of use.  Blogging gives an opportunity to speak and be heard.  A means to dialogue with those of similar interests.  Somewhere we can feel connected.  A path or road on our journey through life.

Mine sometimes feels like this photo, I’m taking a path but I can’t see my destination, I can’t see much beyond the next 1/4 mile what life holds.  It’s an interesting trip though.  I’m glad to be on it.

Re-Inventing “About Me” – Rev. 1.1

Re-Inventing “About Me” – Rev. 1.1

Don’t reinvent the wheel, just realign it.
– Anthony J. D’Angelo

People who cannot invent and reinvent themselves must be content with borrowed postures, secondhand ideas, fitting in instead of standing out.
– Warren G. Bennis

The only thing new is you finding out about something. Like nothing’s really new, but you reinvent it for yourself and find your inner voice.
– Mike Watt

We must reinvent a future free of blinders so that we can choose from real options.
– David Suzuki

I feel upside down sometimes, need change

For awhile now I’ve been unhappy with my “About Me” page.  It’s not that it said anything inaccurate, it just didn’t say what I wanted it to say, or how I wished to say it.  I created it when I was at a different place in my life.  I wanted to re-invent it I guess.

Does that make any sense?

I also updated the title, I left the “SkiDaddy” (for now) but removed the “Examining Myself – Through Depression”.  I may play with different tag-lines, and perhaps a new theme.

Partly these changes are due to the old “first impression” concept, when people come to your post/blog they will get a first impression from whatever they see or read first.  If they like it they may come back, if not …… then likely they won’t.  I’m hoping for the first choice.

I could say it doesn’t really matter because I only write this for myself, and that would be largely true, however I wouldn’t be really honest if I said that was all.  I believe on some level many of us also write for others.

So ‘nuf said, if interested you can save a step by going here.

Out of Touch

Out of Touch

I’ve been bad lately, not posting, certainly not posting as regularly as I should. Not a good blogger at all. At any rate I’ve been traveling a bit and am currently on Vancouver Island, in Victoria.

20120921-180802.jpgToday we visited Ogden point and breakwater. I love getting out, fresh sea air and autumn sun. A dream.

Lost in Time – July 16 Camping

Lost in Time – July 16 Camping

I will have to ramble again. My time is likely short and I feel lost, lost in time.

20120716-205316.jpgI’m alone for the present, I chose to stay back while others went to the beach. My options are: puttering about the site, reading, or posting. At this point in my free time I’ve chosen to blog, although because I’m ADHD I’ve tried to do all 3 and just just finished up with blogging.

My daughter and her family left yesterday morning but my sister-in-law, her husband, their daughter (my Neice) and her husband and 3 kids are still camping next to us. In addition my wife’s cousin and her 3 kids have also been camping in Herald and have just relocated their tent to the site next to the family.

I don’t want to sound like a stuck record but the activity is, at times, overwhelming. I’ve noticed that even my wife, who espouses the “gotta spend time with the family” philosophy has even retreated on a few occasions to her “castle”, which at present is the trailer. It seems even she is not immune to the vagaries of this camping life.

“Teach me to behave sincerely and reasonable toward every member of my family and all other human beings, that I may not cause confusion and sorrow to anyone.” -Unknown

I feel for my nephew who at times strikes me as being a bit submerged in the activities on any particular day. We have similar needs I suspect and where I have the ability (read luxury) to temporarily depart the hubbub I don’t know that he does. Or he may have the ability but like me on so many occasions cannot muster up the “stones” to do so.

I’ve lost my “alone time” and will have to wrap it up. The time is lost again, perhaps I’ll find it tomorrow.

Lights out, cya

Depression. Mine is……well, Depressed – pt.2

Depression. Mine is……well, Depressed – pt.2

In my previous post I was giving a bit of an update on how I see things have gone for me lately, how I’m feeling better and generally less angry and frustrated.  I think I’m coming out of this tunnel called Depression. I believe I can see a light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s not an oncoming train (I hope).

I discussed some of my symptoms, the treatments and path I took to deal with it, the meds and my visits with a counselor.  I left off with the discussion about if the death of my sons had any role in my depression.

More to the saga – read here