Thursday, August 23, 2012

Is It Really All About Blogging?

Periodically, I like to go back and revisit my posts, and it came across this one today while trying to think of something interesting to post for tomorrow.  I figure if TV can do reruns...why not bloggers?  I'm going to read through it as I go an see if everything still pertains.  Can't believe this was November 2007.  I've been blogging quite a while.  Enjoy...



MySpace Comments - Friends<
I found a very interesting comment on my blog. Helen Ginger from Straight From Hel tagged me. As I understand it, this honor is described as a 'meme', but it really isn't about me, it's all about blogging. Since this is my first attempt, I simply followed the instructions, copied the five questions I found on Helen's blog and I shall answer them below. I believe my duty at the end is to tag another three people. Tomorrow, we're gonna play Red Rover, Red Rover. *lol*

1. How long have you been blogging?

Not long at all. Only since the very end of September. I began in 2004 with a monthly newsletter and my membership grew to over 550. Although I enjoyed producing a monthly rag, I hated the bounced emails, the constant changing of them, and just the general headaches. So, when blogging became all the rage, I decided to give it shot. The downside was losing all my subscribers, but I found a way to add a subscription link and I actually forced everyone to sign up. Not really, I thought I could import my addresses but found I couldn't, so I spent three nights typing in addys complete with those stupid spam guard letters and numbers. When I went to bed last night, I swore they were tattooed on the inside of my eyelids. I'm happy to say that most of the people I subscribed, confirmed and have signed on for another round of torture.

2012 Note: I'm happy to say that I still have a faithful band of followers and I'm so thankful for each and everyone of you.  With the interesting posts from Rita Karnopp, our membership should only continue to grow.  :)

2. What inspired you to start a blog and who are your mentors?

As an author, you have to establish a fan base and I like to know mine. I love interacting with people, and blogging makes that easier. The newsletter was fun while it lasted, but this allows people to comment back to me and let me know what they think. I can also invite other friends to come and share information on days when I'm just too lazy to blog myself. Mentors? I didn't know many people who blogged until I started myself, so I guess I'm my own mentor.

2012 Note - I can't believe how the number of bloggers have grown.  While I had more comments in 2007, I totally understand that people come, read, and don't have time to leave a comment.  That's okay, because as long as you continue to visit, we're happy.  I also think a big deterrent is the "capcha" codes which require visitors proof they aren't spam bots.  I'm removed the one for Dishin' It Out for that reason.  I tried to leave a comment on a friend's blog today and it took me five tries before I could prove myself.  It shouldn't be that hard.  :)

3. Are you trying to make money online, or just doing it for fun?

You can make money doing this? Since I had no idea, I suppose I should be truthful and say I do this for the fun of it. I also write because that's what I love to do. If I was in it for the money, I'd have hung up my keyboard a long time ago. Despite all the promotion I do, my last royalty check barely covered a Happy Meal.

2012 Note: - Happily, since the inception of the ereaders and the growing popularity of ebooks, I'm happy to say I can actually take the family out for a real meal occasionally.  I truly believed ebooks would become the trend, but I never expected to see it in my lifetime.  What a blessing.  As someone who claimed she would never surrender the feel of a real book in my hands, I now happily claim to be a Kindle owner and frequent user.  Print books?  Remind me again what they look like?  Besides, making ten cents on each print sale was more like a slap in the face.  :)

4. What 3 things do you struggle with online?

a) The biggest struggle for me the lack of tone in email. There is none and it's hard to keep from adding my own. You know we all have those days when we're pissy and it's very easy to beat myself up with my own attitude. I think I'm insecure and I need my Mommy!

b) The next hardest thing for me is saying no when people need help. I'm not a computer geek by any means, but I seem to have a tad more expertise than some, and I find myself fixing boo boos, moderating, doing videos, and tons of other things that take time away from my writing.

c) The final struggle for me is finding time to visit all the networking sites and being able to keep my own pages current. We have BEBO, BOOKFACE, BOOKPLACE, MYSPACE, SHELFARI...just to name a very few. It's almost impossible to be visible on all of them if I want to keep up with my blogging. I've yet to find a happy medium and I'm driving myself nuts. Good thing it's a short jaunt.

2012 Note:  Happily, I've surrendered my FB gaming addiction...well most of them, and I've also switched things around a up most yahoo groups in favor of promoting myself on the Kindle Threads.  As changes come with the industry, we have to continue to go with the flow to keep our names out there.  Hope stripping never catches on, because then I'd be forced into retirement by the followers.  :)

5. What 3 things do you love about being online?

a) It takes away my feelings of solitude. Since I retired from my academic counseling job, I'm a stay-at-home "Nee Nee" to a five-year-old grandson. I hunger for adult conversation, and email and my networking sites is how I get my fix these days.

b) I'm a closet comedienne and I love to make people laugh. I have a serious side to my blog, but I also like to blend in a lot of humor. Everyone needs a chuckle now and then, and if I can brighten someone's day, I do. Blogging gives me a chance to laugh at the world and myself.

c) One of greatest thing about being online is learning new things. Of course then this takes me back to one the struggles of being on line...saying no to people. I've learned to do video trailers, even started a little side business called, TrailMix, Videos. Setting up a Myspace page wasn't a daunting task, but you'd be surprised how many people can't figure it out. I've mastered moderating yahoo groups and setting up my own, and it seems that either people are playing dumb or they really find it a challenge. Nonetheless, I guess I'm destined to be a patsy for anyone in need. There's a lot of satisfaction in it. Makes an old gal feel smarter than she really is. :)

Note for 2012:  I still find great delight in my friendships established on the Internet.  All of my best friends are virtual.  Rather than viewing "no" as a word in my vocabulary, if what is asked is helpful to one of my peers, I'm happy to offer a helping hand.  I have learned that I do have limits, and exceeding them is not always a productive way to accomplishment.

I guess now, what I need to do is tag three more people for you to meet. Hmmm, let me see:

Yvonne Perry is is a wonder. She's one of the busiest people I know but manages to organize and involve people in great blog chains that connect one to another. I've met some great people and drifted to spaces I would never have found on my own.

Vicki Gaia is a good friend and fellow author I met on a critique group. I admire her positive attitude and spirit, and she's been a tremendous help in honing my work for submission to publishers.

Anne Whitfield is another good friend and fellow author who started a Historical Fiction critique group and invited me to participate. I've made great progress, good friends, and turned out some pretty decent books thanks to Anne and her group. I owe her a lot.

So there you go. This was fun. Thanks to Helen Ginger for recognizing my site and awarding me the 'meme'. I titled this "All About Blogging" but it really was all about ME! Hope you enjoy visiting the other sites and learning about how other people blog. Probably not as crazily as I do, but as entertaining I'll bet.

Note for 2012:  I left the three original names, although time and changes have caused me to drift away from them.  Anne and Yvonne are still around, but I haven't heard or seen from Vicki in a long time.  I hope she's still writing and doing well.  I could add a ton of others to this list because every day I find such an abundance of talent in the Amazon Kindle Direct Program.  I'm happy to have the opportunity to for the first time since I began to actually feel like a full-fledged author.  Course, now I have to deal with the IRS this year.  *lol*

Hope you enjoyed my trip down memory lane.  :)

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