Victoria at Cosmic Observation nominated me for the Blogger Recognition Award. Thank you so much!
- Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
- Write a post to show your award.
- Give a brief story of how your blog started.
- Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
- Select 15 or more fellow bloggers for this award.
- Let each nominee know you’ve nominated them and leave a link to your post.
Looks like I’ve got the first two done already. Let’s proceed:
How the blog started:
I started blogging on LiveJournal many, many moons ago. Things went sideways on that site, so I switched to DreamWidth. That had no interaction, so I built a WP site. I was constantly defending against hackers because a friend of mine hosted the site on his server, and his defenses were pointless, and he was too busy to help. I shut down that site and joined the Booklikes community, wherein I made a lot of amazing bookish friends. That site had some serious issues that took hold in the background, and I got tired of fighting it, so I built this site, bailed from BL, and some of those friends followed me here because they already had blog sites of their own aside from BL. It’s worked out ever since. The lesson to the story: make sure your site is defended 24/7 by a dedicated team who specialize in that sort of thing. It’s worry free after that, and it drives hackers bonkers while they drive up your hit count. :)
Two pieces of advice to new bloggers:
1. Everyone thinks they have advice for how to build a blog. There are whole blogs dedicated to how to build and grow your blog. Unless you’re playing the social media cross platform game, the only rule is this: write. Write what you want, how you want, and however you want. The more frequently you post on WP, the more you’ll get noticed because it bumps your “credibility” in WP and major search engines. Aside from that, everyone has ideas about formatting, graphics… none of it matters. When you read a novel, it’s black text on a white page, and nobody complains. Don’t worry about what others think. Please yourself, and you will develop a readership that actually wants to read what you think. You’ll recognize them because they’ll keep coming back. If people are playing this game of “I’ll like their post if they like mine,” that’s BS. They don’t care, and they’re not worth knowing. If they follow you and don’t like anything you post, they’re following you only to play that tit-for-tat game. If that’s what you’re all about, so be it, but for me, I’ve found that a smaller, loyal readership creates friendships, and it’ll grow on its own. Getting 10,000 followers is easy if you want to play the game, but to what end? If your blog is monetized, fine. If you write for personal validation or simply just to write, those who read and enjoy are a far more validating audience.
2. Animated GIFs… just don’t. It’s not clever, it uses memory resources on battery devices as it runs in the background, it’s distracting as all hell, and for those of us with sensory processing disorder, it means we sit there and watch the loop until we get a migraine as the loop jerks back to the beginning in a crack of mental whiplash. That takes about 3 or 4 loop cycles, tops, by the way. At that point, I close out your post, and I’ve not even read what you had to say, which I’m sure is far more interesting, but I can’t focus on it because you insisted on putting a graphical strobe in front of my eyes so I couldn’t see anything else. As an art student who studied animation, a loop like that that simply jukes back and forth like a spazmonkey without a seamless transition makes you look like an amateur when you post one of those. A picture is worth a thousand words — if it’s static and can be looked at and appreciated. Photographs, artwork, you get the idea. If the text of what you’re conveying is beneath the picture, you don’t need a sloppy animation of a character presumably saying those words or doing an eye roll or whatever. It’s elementary school level stuff. If you’re trying to monetize your blog, that’s even worse. It’s a sure fire way to drive away a professional level audience and attract only teens who need the shiny. It shows a blatant disregard for your audience, and it shows that you don’t actually believe in the value of your own words to carry interest. How very sad. Or… you can pay attention to what I said in point one and please you. If this sort of thing is your jam, ignore me and continue on as if nothing ever happened. Different strokes for different folks.
Nominate 15 or more fellow bloggers:
Here’s the deal. I’ve noticed recently that many of the ones I follow, or who follow me, or both, seem to be dwindling. The numbers haven’t dropped, but blogging activity has. Conversely, I’ve got some new followers whose own follower count is in the single or low double digits now. So I’m going to play this a bit differently. If you’re reading this, consider yourself tagged.