The Return Of The Delightful Blogroll: A Bit Of Snark, A Big Reveal

A Bit Of Snark

Not everyone you meet will be your friend, right?

Before I get to the real point of this post, here’s a memory from my early days of blogging. I occasionally think of this guy when the topic of blogrolls comes up and I’m still entertained.

From my point of view he was comic relief.

You see, there was this guy who considered himself to be an EXPERT on blogging. He wrote a weblog called something like Howard’s How-Tos. There was alliteration and that’s all I remember about the name of the weblog.

Howard [or maybe it was Horace?] was a mansplainer first class. In his bio he didn’t state any education or work experience to lend credence to his expert status, we were just supposed to accept that he was an AUTHORITY on blogging.

He knew things. 🙄

Welp, Howard [possibly Herbert?] loved lists– long rambling ones in which he’d repeat himself saying the same pieces of how-to advice, worded slightly differently, over and over. He was seemingly incapable of understanding that quantity is no replacement for quality.

So one day Howard [could be Homer?] announced that he’d put together a blogroll for us lesser bloggers. In his blogroll he listed the 300 weblogs he followed. Yes, according to this self-important knower of all things bloggy, these were the best weblogs out there in the blogosphere.

Being curious I went to look at his list of weblogs, presented alphabetically, and discovered that my sweet little bloggy wasn’t included. This made me laugh out loud. I mean, if I wasn’t on the list then obviously Howard [maybe Hiram?] wasn’t following all the best weblogs, now was he?

Hmmm…? 😁

A Big Reveal

And with that delightfully snide memory I present the updated crowdsourced DELIGHTFUL BLOGROLL, a list of weblogs organized BY THE YEAR in which the weblog began.

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

Please note, this blogroll features FRIENDLY bloggers who write PERSONAL blogs. When given the chance these bloggers told me they wanted to be included on this blogroll so I included them.

Also, if I made any mistakes regarding your weblog, please forgive me. I tried my best to be accurate, but SO MANY BLOGS.

Thus without further ado I shall direct you to the blogroll. I’ve closed the comments here hoping that instead of chatting with me you’ll:

  1. Go review the DELIGHTFUL BLOGROLL by clicking on the capitalized bright green 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.”

Enjoy!

About Blogging: 5 People Whose Unsolicited Advice Shaped Me + A Blogroll Opportunity

A RATTLING GREAT INTRODUCTION

Not long ago someone [a spammer but whatevs] told me that I write a “rattling great” weblog. No one has ever used the word *rattling* to describe what I do here.

I had to look up the word to make certain I knew what it meant in this context. It’s an adjective used for emphasis when denoting something very good of its kind. 

I’m flattered, regardless of the source, because I’ll take encouragement wherever I find it.

Which leads me to writing about the five people, none of whom blog anymore, who guided me to be the blogger I am today. Without their help, which was pretty much unsolicited advice, I never would have stuck around as long as I have.

Many, many thanks to each.

THE 5 PEOPLE & THEIR UNSOLICITED ADVICE

DAISY (2004) – was a graphic designer who sent me, out of the blue, an email in which she told me point blank that I needed to write a personal blog.

I’d commented on her personal blog and she wanted me to know that I should write my own blog because I had what it’d take. That is, I was articulate and informed with a snarky vibe. I was fascinated by this new thing called blogging so I did as she suggested.

COLLEEN (2005) – was a librarian who took it upon herself to help me. Via email she’d politely point out grammatical errors and spelling mistakes I’d made. She also introduced me to the idea of adding links + images to posts.

While today her determination to correct + teach me might be perceived as trollish, at the time I took it as a generous gesture on her part to help me write clearly, learn html, and make my blog pretty.

TARA (2007) – was a marketing professional who thought personal blogging was great, a wonderful creative adjunct to basic marketing channels.

She read something I wrote then encouraged me to approach each blog post as if I was writing a letter to a few close friends.  Pick your friends, she said. Then write only to them allowing your sincerity and joie de vivre to draw readers to your blog.

CHRIS (2011) – was a lawyer who briefly wrote a family blog that had some of the most succinct entertaining posts of any blog ever.

His advice, that I took to heart, was to make the best use of a few words, often obscure words even. He never dummied down down his posts, nor did he meander aimlessly. He had a point and he got to it with panache.

KAREN (2013) – was a teacher who one day just up and told me that my best blog posts were the ones with the wackiest titles.

I’d never considered my titles, but she was prescient about this, realizing that by letting my freak flag fly in the titles I’d draw in curious readers who’d stick around to see what nonsense I was on about that day. And many days thereafter.

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

Do you know the meaning of *rattling* without looking it up? Is that word part of your daily lexicon?!!  

If you write a personal blog what’s the best blogging advice you’ve received? Was it solicited OR unsolicited?

In general what’s your opinion of unsolicited advice? Are you open to it OR snarly about it?

A BLOGROLL OPPORTUNITY

Last year in January I crowdsourced my Delightful Blogroll. It’s unique in that it’s a compilation of blogs based on the age of the weblog. I’m going to revise the blogroll this next month.

If you’re not currently on it and would like to be included let me know in the comments below by January 31st.  No act of kindness goes unpunished. Case in point, offer closed early due to excessive spam. Thanks for nothing, dipshits. Terms & conditions are were as follows:

  1. your blog must be at least one year old so tell me the year you started it & its complete name;
  2. your blog must be primarily a personal one;
  3. your blog cannot be rude, vulgar, vindictive, or hateful as determined by me; and
  4. you must demonstrate to my satisfaction that you engage with other bloggers via comment sections. 
~ ~ ~ ~

Know What I Mean, Ally Bean? 4 Things I Say Because I Am Me

This is funny, I say wisely

Let the flapdoodle & twaddle begin…

I don’t know if other people do what I’m going to tell you I do, but what I do is so ingrained in me that I don’t think about it unless I intentionally decide to write a blog post about it.

[Nice sentence, huh?]

I compiled the following of that which is ingrained in me by paying more attention to myself than I normally do, which is to say tuning in to who I am when I’m on auto-pilot.

So here’s what I’m getting at: I have specific things I say to myself when prompted by certain situations.  These things are not profound, but they are an indication of who I am when left to my own devices.

Allow me to explain below.

1

I am a magnet for good.

Years ago I read an article about how you should have a mantra you say whenever you go out into the world.  This mantra should empower you AND tell the Universe how to treat you.

There was a list of mantras and I picked this one, primarily because I like literal images I can envision in my pragmatic brain that also have a figurative component that makes my English Lit major heart happy.

2

Learn something!

I say this out loud whenever I see a school bus filled with kids drive by the house.  Those little trapped faces stare out at me and I feel for them, thus I bless them with what I believe is a good idea.

3

I park in “H” for hell.

There’s a story behind this one.  You see, whenever I go to any big box retail store that has a huge parking lot wherein rows are designated with letters of the alphabet I do one particular thing.

I cannot take credit for dreaming up this idea.  My mother and her friends did this.  Naturally she encouraged me to do the same thing.

Thus being a dutiful daughter I picked a letter, “H” for hell, and always park as close to it as I can.  Mom approved, although she rolled her school teacher-y eyes at me concerning the why of the letter I picked.

4

Tres bien

I say this in the morning as I pour my first cup of coffee into a mug.  It’s a blessing and a goal and a hope all in one phrase.  I will admit, however, that sometimes I say “muy bueno” or “very good” which impart the same meaning, just in different languages because variety is important.

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

Do you, like me, consistently say things to yourself in certain situations that if overheard might make someone wonder about you?

If so, care to share what you say?

If you were forced to decide, do you think this post is more flapdoodle-y OR twaddle-ish? 

Hocus Pocus Tuesday Focus: Five Useful Questions + Five Autumn Photos

And now for something different…

From what I can tell Seth Godin [marketing guru, author, lecturer] is a master at getting people to think about their projects, or their lives, in a new light.

He does this by asking generic questions that nudge you, the self-aware reader of said questions, to answer them in such a way as to frame your project/life differently and go forth with a renewed sense of purpose.

And isn’t that magical, by cracky!

Which brings me to today, a Tuesday, the day on which I plan on publishing a personal blog post, one that answers the most basic of basic question: What up, Buttercup?  

But alas & alack on this Tuesday I’ve nothing in particular to talk about, nor has anything interesting happened that is worthy of a blog post.

However, be that as it may, today instead of my usual flapdoodle and twaddle I shall charm you, my little hobgoblins, by answering the following questions that are perhaps meant for business projects, but equally useful when conjuring a personal blog post.

Seth’s Five Useful Questions 

🔶 What’s the hard part? 

I find that keeping the leaves out of your wine glass is the hardest part. You’d be amazed how many leaves try to jump into the glass.

🔶 How are you spending your time?

Autumn is my favorite season so I’m doing everything I can to enjoy it by going outside to walk, to rake, to sit, to muse upon the meaning of life.

🔶 What do you need to know?

I need to know where the rake is. And a broom, too. Maybe even the electric leaf blower if I can find the cord for it. There be leaves everywhere.

🔶 What is the scary part?

The scary part is climbing on a ladder to get the leaves out of gutters. We only clear the gutter you see in this photo, then in November the window washer guy will remove the rest of the leaves from all the gutters.

🔶 Is it worth it?

I believe it is. I like living among deciduous trees for many reasons, but mostly because I enjoy seeing the leaves change colors in the fall. Besides what’s a few hours of working in the yard, raking leaves, when there’s beauty all around?

~ 🔶 ~

WHAT’S NEW WITH YOU? WHAT’S MAGICAL IN YOUR LIFE TODAY? BEWITCH US IN THE COMMENTS BELOW

~ 🔶 ~

The One About Remembering A Muse, Sharing Some Mundane Moments

INTRODUCTION TO THE MUSE PART

Today I’m going to share photos, but first I’m going to tell you why I’m sharing these particular photos. I have a reason.

A muse, if you will.

People influence you in life. It’s all about where you place your power, but you know that [or at least you should].

Getting to my point…

Many, many years ago when I was newbie blogger [mid-2000s] there was a blogger, Rayleen*, who was a professional portrait photographer. She was into poetry and musings and, of course, photos. The ones on her blog were informal & not necessarily of people.

Her vibe was mellow, her thoughts were straightforward, and her use of light when snapping pics was awe-inspiringShe had a positive influence on me and how I went about learning to blog.

On your journey to be a better blogger ultimately it’s NOT the people who tell you how to blog with their well-intentioned lists and rules, it’s the people who show you how to blog with their own style, allowing you to learn and grow from their examples.

THE MUSE PART CONTINUED

One autumn day Rayleen mentioned that she had begun to notice, and thought it was a shame, that people on social media were only sharing photos of perfection. Nothing messy was going on because it was all staged.

She was prescient on this point.

Have you seen Instagram lately? 

On that day she encouraged personal bloggers to occasionally share photos without deeper meaning or treasured memories. Instead, take photos showing imperfection, mundane moments in time that record the normal messiness of ordinary life.

Focus at least briefly on things around you that you tend to push aside, or ignore, when snapping photos for social media.

In other words, allow yourself to be vulnerable, to be real, by showing the world your own special messiness for no reason other than you can.

So today as a tribute to Rayleen and as a way of saying thanks for her guidance, I’m sharing photos of nothing much in particular. We were ships that passed in the night and because we did I’m a more authentic and open-minded blogger.

THE PHOTOS OF MUNDANE MOMENTS PART

Dirty dishes in the sink & on the kitchen counter

~ • ~

Assorted stuff heaped on the hutch

~ • ~

Piles of pillows on the screened-in porch

~ • ~

Old-fashioned time-wasters on the end table

~ • ~

Boxes of stuff destined for Goodwill in the garage

THE QUESTIONS OF THE DAY PART

Can you think of someone who came into any aspect of your life who influenced you then disappeared leaving you better off for knowing this person? 

Have you posted photos on social media that show the daily, often overlooked, messiness of your life?

Which of the above photos is your favorite? And why? 

~ ~ • ~ ~

* I think this is the proper spelling of her name, at least that’s how I remember it. Could have been Reyleen or Raylene– or Reylene, I guess. It’s been a loooong time. I shall not fret if I got her name wrong.