This site is not dead but… I do need to find it again. Keeping focus and staying true to your own voice are not easy when you look around at other sites and start comparing yourself. If you can manage to do it constructively, that’s great. I’ve gotten sucked into my own wormhole of blog envy. Not envy, but self unsatisfaction. So, I need to pull myself out of it and get back to the basics, again. The key to sustainable blogging is showing up and showing up the next day too when you’re run out of stuff to say and feel like everyone is doing it better than you are. This list comes from Katy Rose, the Modly Chic blog. I found it in submissions for fashion blogs at dmoz. I usually take a look around at sites I’m listing. Some just get a skim for the basics, to make sure they are original and focused on topic. Ironic, eh? So often we know the answers but we haven’t been paying attention or didn’t want to remember.
I think its time to stop posting images with every post for the sake of having an image with every post. Unless your site is showcasing your art, illustrations and photography, most of the images posted are just decoration. How many stock images do you really need to see in a day? We are adults, we read books without pictures on every page. Usually the only pictures are on the book cover. Magazines and newspapers run images with articles but not random, meaningless images. Isn't it time to put away the pretty pictures in our sites too? Unless an image is required to illustrate a point or give directions, why are they needed? I know people think the images help with SEO, but do they really? Want your site to load faster, dump the picture book images. Often the image is something barely relevant to the topic. It does nothing but add colour. We are not children. We don't need colourful picture books.
Treat your readers like the adults they are and put away your picture book blogs.
Can we have a feature to mass update JetPack's modules for all our WP sites? I have had to reinstall JetPack due to update problems and each time my modules need to be re-set. This is time consuming and a little aggravating to do for several sites. Today 6 of them need to be reset and I can't find any enthusiasm at all for the job. Could JetPack set this up as WP.com has made it work for updating plugins for all my blogs now? PS- JetPack should not be on the WP.com updates. It does not work well with others there. The time before I forgot not to update it and this last time I was optimistic and thought it would work this time... But, no. JetPack has some kind of conniption each time I update it on WP.com, especially if I have other plugins to update. Why not just have JetPack update from JetPack and keep module settings there too? Please. The multi-bloggers will love you. For a few minutes at least. I sent this request to JetPack tonight. I'm sure someone will read it but, tonight, I am still fixing/ adjusting modules cross checking between sites and wishing there was an easier way to do this.
Modern bloggers are limited by caring too much about other stuff - Google, SEO, readers who might or might not come back, advertising, and so many other business and marketing related things. Since blogging became a business and a marketing scheme, it has limited itself. Blogging stopped being really creative, innovative and inventive. It lost that loving feeling. When did you last feel excited about your site? The day you started it? Over the holidays when you added some Christmas images? When you took that week off and came back to it? We should be feeling excited, happy or at least interested in our sites all the time. Modern blogging has taken that away. If you blog to make Google happy, to make your readers happy, or to perform marketing tricks, when do you blog to make yourself happy? Don't start telling me you blog to make money - it's your business. If you really believe that why are you here? Go away. Yes, go, leave... now. Creative blogging is about doing something you can love, enjoy, value beyond dollars and cents. What do you really want from a blog? When you got the idea did you visualize something fabulous, in full colour, a showcase for yourself, your ideas and your path to fame and popularity as a celebrity of your own making! Sure you did. I don't know anyone who didn't start a blog with the idea of becoming a web celebrity, even if they didn't (and would never) tell anyone else or admit it to even their best friend and most trusted brother or sister. At one time people were calling themselves a web or Internet personality. It was a way of saying they were someone other people knew online. Setting yourself up as a celebrity tempts people to pop your bubble. So, the best way to be a web personality is to just do it and not talk about how famous, well connected and popular you are. Just be and let the chips fall where they will. These days the blogging celebrities seem to be people who tell us they are celebrities - they tell us how to make money and market our blogs/ sites. Most of them, if you do the fact checking, have not had a site for a full year. Maybe they have an attitude, a way of writing, which people listen to. That does not mean they know what they are talking about. It does not mean you should listen to them and believe all they say or do anything they tell you to do. Blog your own way. Be creative. Be inventive. Discover your own way to blog and be happy with it. Have fun. Creative something you really like rather than something you feel obligated to work towards. You can be a happy blogger. Just stop caring about what what everyone else is doing.
I still like blogging, publishing and writing on the web. But, I have seen it change so much from the early days when I began online in 1996. A lot of it is disappointing. Once we had free creative energy and the only rules were those we gave ourselves. There was no marketing, or SEO or keywords. I was an editall (meaning I could edit the entire directory) for the Open Directory Project. I stayed with it for just over ten years. We were the first to fight spam - before anyone started calling it SEO and giving it credit for being "marketing". It still seems a lot of spam to me, but I am seeing it can be used and necessary too. I'm trying to change after all these years of spam fighting. That is pretty much why I bought this web domain (years ago, far longer than some people have been online). I wanted to create an oasis where creative blogging still flourished and was celebrated. Something where marketing was a discouraging word and SEO could be booed and hissed at. I may never have my oasis but I can write about blogging from the other side. Try to show people there is more to blogging than money making schemes and SEO. Remember and create great blogs with clever writing, gorgeous images and creative arts of any kind you can fit into the virtual/ digital world of the blog. So that's my purpose here. I'm a bit off track at the moment and things have been slow to start. Not that I lack passion, just the focus has gone a bit wonky and I'm working on fixing it. I've spread myself a bit thin and now I'm simplifying things and getting my focus back into perspective. Any site you start you need to sustain. I'm finding my feet with this one so I can have the drive and passion to sustain it (and my other sites too). Read more about me and my other sites.