Hello Again

I’ve been running this site, in one form or another, since 1998. At some point I bought this domain and since then it was known as Word Grrls. Ten or so years later that feels like an outdated name. But, I don’t want to keep blogging. I am looking at some new ideas. I spent most of this year trying new software, mostly other CMS’s. Eventually, I wound up loading up WordPress again (image files are all broken) just to give a home to what I have done in the past.

This is going to be here as an archive. I’m working on other sites, not blogs, so this one is going to be quiet while I discover where I go next.

My main site is laurabrown.ca

Blogging 101: Introduce Yourself

I’m writing introductions for my niche blogs. I was going to include this one too but… after writing a few I’m feeling tapped out and lacking new stuff to say about myself.

You can read them all :

Wrecky Rat Bird

Creative Blogging

Word Grrls

Green Living History

ASCII Artist

This all started for the WordPress Blogging 101. Not sure if it is a challenge or a workshop. I’m hoping to find some focus as I work through it all. Writing the introductions has set me a couple of days behind but I am all but caught up on them now.

Changing, Choosing and Deciding

I’ve been off kilter for a few months. I stopped writing here awhile but I know I don’t want to stop writing Word Grrls. Instead I need to change my focus, choose something that works better for me and decide what I can maintain as myself rather than trying to be what other people claim a blog or site should be. I’ve never liked following the pack. Likely trying to do just that has caused me to feel less creative, happy and fulfilled. Burnt out, in short. (I know that’s a sentence fragment, sometimes you just have to ignore a little rule to show the message. Communication isn’t an exact science.)

I don’t know quite where I am going. I will be working on finishing up a lot of post ideas which I have half started and floundering around in my draft posts. I like my current tagline. It says a lot about how I’m feeling about web publishing these days. But, it may change.

No promises – other than those I make to myself.

RIP 9Rules

I’m not unlinking from 9Rules. My feed still goes through on the Writing section of their network, so for that, I am keeping the link up. But, I have in every way that matters, given up on 9Rules. I feel really let down, disappointed and somewhat stupid for ever believing in it.

If I had my blog in 9Rules in the beginning, when the site still had passion behind it, I would have felt very much differently. Instead, I was accepted in the one and only batch of blogs after 9Rules was bought out. Since then we had a few empty promises and then… nothing much at all. Someone logged in for awhile to update the blog, token updates. My links appeared there until someone must have protested that my links were appearing too often. I update daily so there are a lot of posts to choose from when someone updated the 9Rules blog. But, someone must have been jealous and protested about the amount of times Word Grrls was linked to. I never bothered to ask about it, I understand pettiness and jealousy. It was just one little thing that began to bother me.

I’ve been a member of 9Rules since 2009. When the site went down recently, without explanation, I thought that would likely be the end of it. Like a sudden sinking of a ship. Just gone beneath the waves, leaving nothing but a kerplunk. But, they brought it up.  Of course, it’s been unchanged since then. It would have been a nice sign of life if there were a post about the down time, or an email sent out to the members. This unchanged, non-communication, took away the last trace of hope I had for the site. I’m just waiting for it’s final disappearance now.

But, as I wrote above, I’m keeping the link up as long as my feed still gets published on the network. It used to be important, part of the agreement to having membership. Now I can find many sites still part of the network, but no longer giving the link back to 9Rules. No one cares. I don’t mean the individual bloggers, I mean the people behind 9Rules. They just don’t care or have an interest in the network. It serves them by merely existing as  a domain to stick up Google Adsense. A shame, but it happens all too often when someone sells a site to someone else.

RIP 9Rules.

Today’s To-Do List

Today (this week)  I am working on:

  • Setting up a newsletter for the ASCII Art blog.
  • Deciding how to add ASCII art by others without merging with my own creations.
  • Thinking about a newsletter for Word Grrls. Looking at plugins and other practical stuff.
  • Exploring the options for selling art online.
  • Working through link rot on Word Grrls. Fixing and finding what I can.
  • Setting up One Word Blog Day with a page of it’s own.
  • Must find and mail a receipt for the Acer computer thing.
  • Need to pick up more coffee. I am drinking the last of it this morning.
  • Laundry, even though it is not the cheap time of day for it. Yes, I do feel a bit guilty and I will feel more guilty when I get the hydro bill.
  • A Valentine’s Day post for each blog. One with a paid link for lingerie. I’m not sure I will do paid posts again. But… someone has to pay the bills.
  • Two hours of writing as per the 90 Day Plan.
  • Should go to the coffee night group tonight, especially when it is Valentine’s Day.
  • Starting a St. Patrick’s Day ASCII Art post for Hubpages.
  • Check the usual places for any interesting freelance work that might pop up.
  • Look for post ideas to be rewritten for HubPages.


Not Quite Ready for Prime Time

This morning I thought I would get an early start on writing the post for Word Grrls. So, before I checked email, started breakfast or even tamed my hair mop I opened WordPress. But, I’m not quite ready for prime time.

Still, I wrote up the post and actually had it done, set to print, then my computer decided it was a good time to run an OS update. So it took every last resource on this computer and sucked it dry until it was done. Even after it was done it froze up until I rebooted. When I loaded up again nothing was left of my post but the title. I couldn’t get it saved before I rebooted. Maybe if I had waited an hour… but the plan was to get an early start and now I’m hungry for breakfast and my hair is a mop stuck out of the way with a big hair clip. The day is progressing along but I still don’t have a post, posted. So that’s my early morning story for the day.

What can you come up with for ‘not quite’? Something kind of ironic. I remember there was a place called Not Quite the Rosdale Library in Toronto. I was never there but the name stuck in my mind.

Not quite a snow day.

Not quite grammatically correct.

Not quite the end of the road.

Not quite ready to be funny yet.

Feeling like a Dinosaur

I’ve been feeling tired and sort of drained and lacking in spirit. So, I am going to be posting from my draft files – things I started and just needed some extra research or something to finish up for posting here. These are ideas I had but didn’t have time to finish. Good to have this sort of stuff for the days you have time but not the energy to dream up a new idea to begin.

Meanwhile, I’m deciding what to do with Word Grrls, the content I’ve got here and where I want to go. I need a new direction. Nothing too drastic but something that gives me room to grow, learn and make a different set of mistakes.

I’m tired of trying to do what we “should” do for tags, SEO, ads and all the rest. I never did like trying to fit in and do things the way other people think I should. Maybe that’s why I’m just not finding anything I really love about keeping a blog right now. It’s been awhile since I really broke someone’s rules for better blogging/ better living/ etc.

I had a really nice idea this afternoon but I’m going to let it grow on me before I make impulsive changes. It’s not extreme but would pull some fresh elements together.

For tonight… I might get to bed before midnight… well, before 3:00AM at least.

Blog Ethics: Writing a Disclosure

Do you need to write a disclosure for your blog?

I’m not running a disclosure on my blog. I decided not to but changed my mind.

I am only running one paid ad in my sidebar. I don’t have a personal connection to the company the ad is from or the agency who pays me to run the ad. (Thank you to them however).

I do have three ad spots with ad exchange networks. I don’t count those as ads in the usual way. Any payment is very mimimal, not enough to buy a latte once a month. They are based on an exchange, not monetary compensation.

Also, I am not in the US so the FTC isn’t very relevant to me.

However, a disclosure is not all overkill, even for a blog like mine.

If you run posts which you were paid to write to endorse a product or service, you should write a disclosure. I don’t write these types of posts and could add that to a disclosure if I wanted to make it clear.

If you write book reviews, even if you are not paid in money, you should write a disclosure policy for your blog. Having free books from the publisher is payment of a sort. A disclosure would help your credibility as an unbiased reviewer.

You might write a disclosure note about linking to other sites and blogs. In a disclosure you can make it clear they are not paid links but freely linked of your own choice.

If you write a disclosure post it as a subpage in your blog. Or, run it with the post itself if you want to make it really clear with a paid post. You don’t have to leave a trail of neon breadcrumbs leading readers to your disclosure. It just has to be findable, which is a lot of leeway.

What should it say?

More Information:

Here is the Disclosure I ended up writing:

In the Interest of Writing a Disclosure for Word Grrls.

First of all, I write my own posts. They are not promoting any business, product or service for payment. In the past I have considered offers but it never fails that the offer comes with far too many strings attached to be worthwhile.

If I write a review (of a book or anything else) it is my own opinion and will be as unbiased as I can manage to be. I’m not perfect. Don’t even have the desire to live up to all that being perfect would entail.

Sites and blogs I link to are by my own choice. They are not paid links. I don’t do link exchanges for pay.

In my sidebar I run one paid text ad and a few blog network ad exchanges such as CMF Ads. These are the only paid content in this blog. I do not have any personal connection to these, other than being a member and posting in the forums of CMF Ads.

End of Official Word Grrls Disclosure.

Moving Along…

I’m going to change templates again. Not huge news as I seem to change often enough. I’ve been looking at so many templates while trying to come up with just what I need for Word Grrls. There is almost nothing out there for blogs using b2evolution. But there are tons for Blogger, I just find more and more all the time. So of course I began to see others I’d like. More things and ideas to grab up greedily.

Still not getting far with WordGrrls but it will take actually cracking open my CSS code book and I’m still not feeling bright enough to do that. Glad to be not as sick and if I can get a day out when I’m not babysitting I would like to do something, fun for me. Fun for me cause what I think is fun others would say is boring. Silly them, what do they know.

I’d like to find a web programming book to sit on my shelf and admire. I’m looking at taking a web admin type of course though so I may be dusting off all those books soon. That would be a good thing. 🙂 Georgian College has the courses I’d like but I don’t want to take a whole two year program during the days of winter. It is available in night courses, just each course by itself. That would take a lot longer but would let me take just the courses that would actually be useful.

Update: It’s coming along. I’ve got the widgets back on and have drawn and uploaded a new header. I’m thinking to keep that cold looking colour cause it’s very wintery looking, for the season. A new background is in the works. I have not decided if it will be a photo of something (now that I’m over the plague I can get out for snow photos!) or if I will draw snowflakes. Likely I will do both and see which I like better.