My Blog is Missing Me


We get so wrapped up in making our blog, finding people to read it (to notice that we have a blog) and suddenly we realize we need to actually put something into the blog, content wise. When I was not involved with Entrecard I was writing in my blog more often. I want to get back to that. The real point of having the blog was the writing of it, the creating and publishing.

I miss myself in my blog. When I read the posts I’m not really there. Just lurking around and occasionally leaving a note. It’s not easy to find some balance. The funny thing is that people who do read your blog want to read the blog with you in it. If you write for your readers it becomes predictable and ordinary.

So lets all work on bringing ourselves back into our blogs. If you spend time card dropping for Entrecard or working on other promotion games, let them be on the sidelines. Keep yourself in the front lines.

Happy blogging.

Bloggers Without a Goodbye

Have you had a blogger you enjoyed reading, even got to know through email, who just disappeared one day? The blog taken down so there wasn’t a thing left but what you remember. Strange when they do that isn’t it? Makes me feel none of it ever really mattered.

It is different when someone has died. The blog just stays idle and eventually disappears if it’s not on Blogger or one of the other free sites which keep everything.

Monique is posting about this. Was nice to read about other bloggers who have experienced and thought about mysteriously missing friends.

If Skye reads this… I still think of you.

Blogs We Luv: 10 Questions

The Ten Questions from Blogs We Luv

1* Describe your blog in five sentences or less.
2* Link us to one post from your blog that best defines who you are.
3* What sets you apart from other bloggers?
4* When and how did you first discover blogging?
5* What is your biggest pet peeve related to blogging or the internet?
6* Name one plugin, blogging widget, or service that you can’t live without.
7* If you could choose anyone, living or dead, to write a guest post for your blog, who would it be and why?
8* How has blogging made you a better person?
9* What are your tips for becoming a better blogger?
10* Name one great blog that you read on a regular basis. What makes it unique?

1. A scrapbook/ junk drawer of things I create, write, think or just find interesting. Rural exploration photos when I have been out taking photos. Cartoon drawings to illustrate the blog mostly every day. Basically it is things I think of when I’m in the shower. Conversations I have with myself. Ideas I find somewhere else and want to keep track of to explore further. It’s made of stuff I love, stuff that bothers me and just stuff in general. Kind of like life.

2. Love the World – Doesn’t define who I am. There is no one post that does that. But it has some of the elements of who I am. I think there is too much in my head for any one post to contain it all.

3. I don’t especially want to be set apart from other bloggers. With all the other bloggers out there I’m sure there are several doing the same stuff I am. I post for myself. I still feel the passion for web publishing that I first did over ten years ago when I began my first weblog. I like the ideas of diy web publishing, free journalism, creative CSS and HTML and having the freedom to do it all my way.

4. Over ten years ago. I almost remember some of the first blogs I read. They were still new in 1996, most people had a webpage up if anything. Blogs were software which made keeping a site updated easier as your newest work would show up on top of the older work. They weren’t all journal-like then either. People who knew code were doing wonders. The rest were trying to learn from the best of them. I remember being awed and amazed by those who created blogs back then, they really were feats of artistic and geeky genius. I was working more on ASCII art, newsgroups and IRC than blogging. My first blog was on Blogger though, I liked it even way back then.

5. Biggest peeve are the ads (and splogs which followed the ads). If anything is killing blogs it is monetizing and seo obsessed people who don’t really create anything. All too often it is recycled, stolen or mass contributed content which lacks anything personal at that point. Splogs are like a huge clog in the drain of the kitchen sink and they spoil blogging by making it harder to find real blogs that would awe and amaze as they did once upon a time.

6. Nothing is coming to mind. But it’s always the widget that you don’t even think about which is most essential and taken for granted. I couldn’t live without Blogger itself. I love finding good avatar making sites, Blessthischick.com is my favourite at the moment. I like Firefox though lately it hasn’t been keeping me logged in anywhere as it used to do. I like StumbleUpon and Flickr too, both services.

7. No one. What would be the point of having someone else write a post? It’s a personal blog, a way for me to hear myself think as much as a way to create something for others to view. To have someone else post would turn it into something else and then it wouldn’t be me writing for me any more. I’d have to start another new one. πŸ™‚

8. That’s easy. Blogging kept me from going insane when I was alone in a foreign country and getting divorced. Not sure if it really made me a better person but it really did keep me from feeling completely alone and isolated with just all kinds of thoughts and feelings spinning in my head. It gave me focus and a place to put my feelings out there and get feedback from a few blog friends so that I felt someone was listening to me even if I was still in a room all by myself.

9. That depends if you really are a blogger or someone using blog software. If you really have the genuine interest in creating something go for it. Try new things and don’t worry about the opinions of others. You should be doing this for yourself. Making your own footsteps into the virtual world. Don’t go too far into the idea of writing for an audience, write for yourself or it soon becomes meaningless. You get burnt out when you really don’t have anything of yourself there any more. If you focus on traffic and link backs to your blog instead of adding colour, ideas and thoughts you won’t have anything of your real self invested in it any more. Readers won’t find that interesting either.

Work on keeping your blog easy to navigate, organized, not too cluttered and keep it to a simple, clean layout. Also, make sure your colours and the font size don’t strain your reader’s eyeballs right out of their sockets. If you want to post every day but feel stuck a few days try a new way of expressing yourself: draw something, post a photo, a poem, write about a new hobby you are interested in, take a day off and do something new to write about, anything else you can think of that will fit into a blog post. Just like the old days when I wrote penpal letters and would think of new things you could fit into an envelope and mail acros the oceans, a blog is a format you can fit a lot of things into if you put your mind to it.

10. Had to think about it for a bit. It’s a tie between The Useless Men and Blog U now. The Useless Men are fun to read but Blog U has been a great source for blog innovations especially when there was something specific I wanted to change or fix.

Outside the Envelope Bloggers

Gave it a space of its own on Outside the Envelope. Will see how it goes.

I thought about doing this as an award but… that makes it seem everyone who gets it should actually be professional, polished and really good at it. I don’t want to exclude people like myself who don’t have any real skill just blundering along and having fun trying. So anyone who tries is welcome as well as those who really are good at creating, coding, drawing and illustrating and make people like me jealous or at least very wishful.

So, this is here for anyone who wants to join up a group of creative bloggers. Every Monday (not for any good reason) create a blog entry which uses some other art form, not the standard typed post. Think along the lines of mail art, anything you can stuff into or onto an envelope. But, in this case it has to fit into a blog post.

I think it’s a step in the direction of re-making blogs as they once were. Long ago in the dinosaur age when blogs were about fun, creativity and trying it out in order to learn HTML and testing your own power as someone who can bring their own ideas and adventures to the Internet through web publishing.

Just let me know so we can build a list, visit back and forth and roll it up into a blogroll when it’s more than just me talking to myself.

Do You Call Yourself a Blogger?

This is what I wrote as a comment in the Problogger post and comments about what a blogger is and why it is not beneficial to call yourself a blogger if you are running it as a business.

There are very few people I would call bloggers. Most of those who say they are bloggers are a hybrid of blog and splog. A blogger, to me, is still someone using weblog software to create art, write a journal or some combination of those on a personal level.

The traffic and readers are a fun side effect, not the point of the whole thing. I have seen many so called bloggers who are obsessed with seo and monetizing to the point where the blog content has been left to rot or is stolen from others. I’d be glad to see blogging be left to fall back to what it began as, something fun and creative.

Do You Even Know What You’re Still Blogging For?

It seems the more you put into getting your blog read, the less you put into creating something to be read. Then the more you try to create stuff the be read the thinner you spread yourself trying to be everything to everyone. Then you realize no one cares so you go back to trying to get noticed. It’s a circle, never ending. But, do you even remember why you wanted to start a blog?

I never really did have a real plan in mind. I thought blogs were ultra cool, the community was a lot smaller and fun, the whole web publishing thing still holds a ton of appeal to me too. But, I think I lost myself somewhere along the way. I’ve stretched myself backwards and inside out trying to get attention, make the numbers on my counter go up. All the while telling myself I didn’t really care if the counter moved at all. That wasn’t the point. Yet, I joined webrings, blogrolls and did other stuff to help increase traffic here. For what?

I don’t reliably stay on any one topic. I don’t even journal regularly any more. Sometimes I just don’t want to say anything yet I feel I have to come up with something to post to mark the day.

It’s silly. What does one blog matter? Why do I care if I have traffic? I think I want to be heard and yet at the moment I don’t have a whole lot I want to talk about. I wish I was still doing my site for writers. I liked that, it had a purpose for one thing.

I’m not going to quit blogging, I’ve been doing it too long to quit. This isn’t my first blog or the only blog ware I’ve used. I wish I still had my old blogs, I did try to keep some of the old stuff but it seems to have gotten lost during this move or that move. Likely it’s never to be seen again.

Not like me. I will be seen again, just not today I think. I’m off to see the Wizard.

Weblog Guide is Open!

About.com Guide Operations
to me

Hello,

Thanks for applying. We have received your application to be an About.com Guide for Web Logs. We receive hundreds of Guide applications each week so, while we strive to review all applications as quickly as possible, it may take up to 8 weeks before you receive a response.

Please do not resubmit your application until you receive a response from us, because that will only delay us further.

We look forward to reading your application soon.

Thank you,
About.com Editorial Team

I hope they don’t literally get hundreds of applications a week. Eeek! I would really love to do this topic there. Not only is it a paying thing but I really would enjoy sharing the things I know and find with other bloggers. It would be pretty ideal. Maybe I will get it. I just think they will end up picking someone who wrote a better application, more polished and professional and skip my silly thing.

This is what I sent (pretty light on the polished and professional side):

Pick me! Pick me! Pick me! I know that sounds silly but as soon as I noticed the Weblog topic available at About I was excited and charged with energy. I would really love to become the guide for this topic. I am even experienced!

My current blog is on Blogger (beta) and has been around since June 2004. I began blogging years before, in 2000. I have used: Movable Type, Word Press, Blogger, Vox (fairly new site but exceptional!), Thingamablog (software you host yourself and update via FTP so MySQL is not required). I’ve run blog software from my own domain but have ended up using Blogger on Blogspot in part because I enjoy the community I’ve become part of there.

I am a published writer. My online content is far more relevant to blogging than offline. Currently, I am writing a blog for LockerGnome, Creative Fat Grrl. Other writing I’ve done: LockerGnome (newsletters for Windows and WebDev), HerPlanet (site for writers), Suite101 (topics for Internet newbies, writers and I managed the writing/ publishing section), BackWash (newsletters including one about the Internet, geared to web publishing) and run my own domain at thatgrrl.ca

I have been online over ten years. I’m a long time volunteer editor with the Open Directory Project, eight years there. I love web design though I’m an amateur. I have planned to take a course this year so I can have something on paper saying I know what I’m doing. I have enough working knowledge of HTML and CSS to customize my own blog templates and create and maintain my own site, thatgrrl.ca. I’m not an expert with MySQL but I have worked with it and I continue to learn and make mistakes so I can learn more.

I review and list sites in the weblog category at the Open Directory. I often find great new blogging gadgets, hosts, communities, networks, schemes, grand ideas and unique resources through working there.

Although it’s not especially relevant now I am an ASCII artist, creating art from keyboard characters. I use my digital camera and scanner (frequently) to bring new and unique content to my blog and my readers. I’ve begun teaching myself to use software so I can create my own graphics for my blog, beyond the simple banner type things I’ve done in the past.

I’m still pretty pumped up hoping to get accepted for this topic so I can’t think of other good qualifications to add right now. I’d delay sending it but would be really disappointed if I miss a deadline to submit it. Maybe this section was supposed to be formatted as a resume but I’m not a resume setter upper, I’m a writer so this is how I’ve done it. πŸ™‚ Really looking forward to hearing from you, I will be checking my email hourly. Just kidding, I’m not quite that nutty.