This Is What Happens When You Crowdsource A Blogroll

I had no clue about what I was in for with this idea.

I haven’t had a blogroll on The Spectacled Bean in years. Last month in honor of this weblog’s 11th birthday, I decided it’d be fun and unique to put together a crowdsourced blogroll.

So in this post I asked you, my fellow bloggers, to let me know if you’d like your weblog, one year or older, to be on the blogroll. I also asked you to tell me how old your weblog is.

This was a one-time offer, never to be repeated.

Well, much to my amazement many, many bloggers jumped in and left me information about their weblogs in the comments. This was wonderful, but also overwhelming.

Over the weekend I put together the blogroll. I did my best to make sure I got all 90+ weblogs on the blogroll, starting with the oldest, ending with the newest. I doublechecked that I spelled each weblog name properly and that each link works.

[To be clear, the blogroll isn’t on this blog post, it is on a tab. Keep reading & all will be revealed.]

Thus without further ado I shall direct you to the blogroll. I’ve closed the comments here hoping that instead of chatting on this blog post you will:

  1. Go review the DELIGHTFUL BLOGROLL by clicking on the capitalized purple words you just read.
  2. Pick one new-to-you weblog and go visit.
  3. Leave a comment there IF you feel so moved.
  4. Introduce yourself by saying: “Ally Bean sent me.”

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Because Maggie Asked The Questions About Blogging, I Will Answer Them

Good Morning! It snowed, and continues to snow, here. This is going to be a perfect day for answering questions.

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Earlier this week Maggie at From Cave Walls wrote a post offering advice intending to help new bloggers specifically, but useful to all bloggers in general.

She also asked her readers to answer 10 questions about blogging. After mulling over the questions for a few days, here are my answers.

 Do you respond to every comment, even if it is just an emoji?

I attempt to reply to all comments on a timely basis, although occasionally I miss one.  I’m not a fan of using just an emoji to begin a conversation but will reply with words to it.  I have no trouble with emojis used in conjunction with words or just an emoji to end an ongoing conversation.

Are there styles, colors, or fonts that make reading a blog more difficult?

Yes there are.  I find it almost impossible to read white/pastel letters on a dark background.  I know it looks dramatic or modern, but I find it difficult to see.

I also think that it looks messy when someone indiscriminately has words in too many different colors within the text of a post.  Same with words that are written using a mix of uPpER and LoWEr cAsE letters.  They slow down my ability to read the post and I don’t like to be slowed down.

Under what circumstances would you block a user?

I block spammers, haters, and people who are only here to try to get me promote their products or services.  This is my personal blog therefore: my blog, my rules.

Are there certain topics you refuse to engage with?

I’ll talk about many topics, but I refuse to talk about things like health issues or finances or the specifics about who we are/where we live.

How do you feel about blogging awards?

Early on they seemed important but now I’m indifferent to them.  If it makes you feel good about receiving one, then flaunt it.  However long ago I deleted the page on which I had mine, but that’s just me.

How old is your current blog?

The Spectacled Bean is 11 years old [as if my loyal gentle readers didn’t know that already 🙄].

Do you respond to prompts?

Generally speaking I freeze when I see a prompt.  Occasionally I’ll find something to say in regard to one, but overall they scare me and I immediately feel stressed.  It has to do with too many collegiate essay exams that were a large percentage of my final grade.

When it comes to playing follow-the-leader in the blogosphere, I like straightforward questions like these, or an ongoing weekly or monthly challenge, truth be told.

Do the number of your blog followers matter to you?

No, not at all

What motivates you to follow or unfollow a blog?

I FOLLOW blogs written by people who aren’t afraid to be unique, who know how to think clearly & write truthfully, who seem to be kindhearted, and who create blog posts that are visually pleasing.

I UNFOLLOW [or never follow to begin with] a blog whose tone is rude, crude, whiny, preachy, or there’s too much emphasis on selling something.  I’m not here for that crap.

What is your blogging pet peeve?

I want to see a well-written up-to-date ABOUT page on every personal blog.  I want to know who you think you are before I start reading your posts.  Have some gumption and define yourself, kids!

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TGIF, everyone.  Happy Weekend to you.

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I Am Colorful, I Am Manifesting Potatoes, I Am Positive

Hello again, my gentle readers and kind lurkers!

This image represents the predominant colors found in my IG account photos during 2021. I used YEAROFCOLOUR.COM, an app, to create it.

After the strangest warmest Christmas Day on record [69ºF] and the oddest gloomiest New Year’s Day I can remember [rained all day], we here in Chez Bean are ready to get back to doing normal things this week.

Well, normal as it is now defined. That is, we are fully vaccinated, wearing masks when out & about in public, keeping away from people in general– and doing our best to not spread a deadly virus.

You know which one it is.

This is what @MAGICKMOODS, found on IG, says I am currently doing. Who knows, maybe blog posts are really just potatoes… and I’m making a hash of it here? 

To wit, Z-D is back to work on a hybrid schedule of 2 days downtown in his office/3 days at home in his upstairs bedroom office.  He likes the idea so it’s all good*.

This will be happening while I’m back to writing my usual flapdoodle & twaddle.  I never know how much longer I’m going to be writing this blog, but muse is with me and I’m feeling groovy so I shall keep going.

Plus I took a fast online test, a task as they call it, that measures verbal creativity.  The average score was 78 but mine was 93.  Not to brag but as the consummate B+ college student who was never quite smart enough to earn an A, I’m chuffed by this number.  Ha!

While I’m not known for being a relentlessly upbeat Pollyanna, these particular words from WORDSTACKS, a game on my phone, resonated with me. So I share them here.

And with that I’ll end this post by asking: what are you manifesting today?

* Zen-Den can be a bit of an absent-minded professor. He went into work yesterday, on 1 of his 2 days in the office, but came home early. Few people were around, he said, but he got a lot done. On further reflection, and a quick check of the company’s 2022 scheduled holidays, he realized he had the day off.  Uh huh 🙄

Jottings About The Opposite Of Purple Prose + A Question About Endings

THE JOTTINGS PART

Purple prose is writing that is too elaborate or ornate. It detracts from the narrative instead of moving the story forward. [More here]

My way of describing purple prose is that it is fussy, unfocused, and old-fashioned. I don’t write like that.

I’m a straightforward writer. I tend to have a point, get to it, and make it snappy in the process. Photos and images help me make my point. I like pretty.

I edit mercilessly because while I can be chatty I shall not dither, possibly wasting someone’s time. That’d never do.

And when possible, depending on the topic I’m discussing, I prefer to come to a conclusion, whether it be my reasoned opinion and/or a specific question.

Thus I give you, my gentle readers, the following. It’s something I’ve been thinking about of late, for a reason you’ll understand.

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THE QUESTION PART

The longer I write this blog the more I wonder how much longer I’ll be writing this blog.

As many of you know I had blogs before this one, starter blogs as I think of them, but when I created this blog in 2011 I told myself that if I hit 1,000 posts I’d call it quits.

Welp, after hitting publish on this post I’m 15 posts away from 1,000. Meaning that if I’m true to my original plan, I’ll soon be faced with a decision about what to do with this blog.

Which brings me to my question to you:

HOW WILL YOU KNOW WHEN IT’S TIME TO END YOUR BLOG?

A Dilemma: To Cliché Or Not To Cliché, That Is The Question

I think that this resource, Cliché Finder, could be useful for writers. 

A cliché, as defined by the New Oxford American Dictionary, is: “a phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought.” More information about clichés here: 50+ Examples of Cliches: Meaning and Origin & Definition and Examples of Cliches.

I’ve nothing against most clichés I suppose. I’m too easygoing to run around snarking about the use of them, BUT when writing something it’s good to learn/confirm that you’re using a cliché. And that is precisely what the free online Cliché Finder does for you.

For instance, even though I’m mellow yellow about most trite overused phrases I vehemently dislike one particular cliché: “thinking outside the box.” It’s so old I’m sure Moses used it. Adam probably used it before him just to annoy Eve. 

That’s how old it is. Quite rightly.

But thanks to Cliché Finder, I know for sure not to use my disliked cliché so that my writing is fresh and original, not stale and antiquated– because that would not do.

Anyhow, as a way of showing you how the Cliché Finder works, I wrote the following scintillating little flash fiction story, popped it into the Cliché Finder that told me I’d used SIX* overworked phrases.

Bad me. 😁

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QUESTION OF THE DAY

What’s your least favorite cliché? You know, the one that makes you stop listening to what someone is saying or to stop reading what is in front of you. We all have one, don’t we?

[Extra credit to anyone who gets the Donovan reference.]

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* The six clichés are: old as the hills, think outside the box, read between the lines, matter of time, busy as a bee, writing on the wall.