May You Be Happy: 8 Interesting Links To Share On A Tuesday

ADVICE, IT’S EVERYWHERE

I’ve been asked to explain why I sometimes write posts that are filled with links. You see…

A long time ago I read an article, written by a marketing professional, about personal blogging. This article had advice about how to ensure that your personal blog had a balanced mix of content that’d appeal to a variety of readers.

Quite simply, the article said that to be perceived as interesting you need to write: 1/3rd of your posts about research, ideas, or professional topics; 1/3rd of your posts about updates in your personal life and how you feel about what is going on; and 1/3rd of your posts about hobbies or adventures.

While I don’t adhere strictly to this advice, I keep it in mind. It has influenced me over the years.

Thus as an example of the first of the three categories mentioned above, I give you, my gentle readers, the following list of 8 random links that I’ve stumbled over whilst flitting about online.

Enjoy!

EIGHT INTERESTING LINKS TO SHARE

• Apparently in France it’s called piscine. I’ve no problem with it, but some people are peeved.

Mine is green. Take a quiz to discover your aura’s color.  UPDATED: Mine is now blue. Take a different quiz to discover your aura’s color.

• I’m not sure I *try* to be nice, but I take this point…

• We don’t have a dog, but the mid-century aesthetic of this kibble dispenser caught my eye.

• Your doctor is talking about you. And it might not be in a flattering way.

• Watch and be entertained. Earworm to follow….

• I want to know the answer to this, too. Why is it so difficult to find normal sleeves?

• You can guess why Karen and Brandon are no longer popular baby names, but do you know which names are popular now? Meet Olivia and Liam— and all their little friends.

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

Do you think the personal blogging advice shared in the first part of this post is wise or wacky? That is, would you say it’s AMAZEBALLS or WEAKSAUCE?

Any comments, insightful or otherwise, about any of the links above? That is, would you say any one link in particular is AMAZEBALLS or WEAKSAUCE?

Do you like using slang when you write your blog posts? How about in real life when you talk with people, do you use slang then?

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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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Gadzooks! The Spectacled Bean Is 11 Years Old Today

[Image source found here]

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THE SPECTACLED BEAN, this weblog you’re reading right now, is a Capricorn born on this day in 2011.  The inaugural post is here.

While this isn’t my first weblog, this one has been the most fun and emotionally rewarding.  Below are 11 points explaining why this is so.

My purpose has been to inform or entertain, rather than to persuade.  Free spirit I am, Influencer I am not.

I follow a simple process for deciding what to write about.  The simple process, which is far from profound and academic, is to answer three questions.

The three questions are: 1) Does this matter? 2) Where is the story? 3) Why didn’t I know this?

It took me longer to write the previous point than it takes to answer the questions.

I also attribute my blogging longevity to the myriad of fabulous bloggers I’ve met along the way.

I am grateful.

You, my bloggy friends, keep me thinking new thoughts and questioning my assumptions and laughing at the absurdity of life.

This is good.

You also encourage me to write more openly + creatively and to comment more freely, which for an introvert is saying something.

Thus I try to spread the comment love whenever I have the time because leaving a comment on a blog post is a random act of kindness in a mean world.

And I am kind, dagnabbit.  Read my about page here.

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IF YOU LET ME KNOW HOW OLD YOUR BLOG IS, IN A COUPLE OF WEEKS I’LL PUT TOGETHER A BLOGROLL. I’LL START WITH THE OLDEST AND END WITH THE YOUNGEST. COULD BE FUN, YES?

[Blog must be one year old or older to qualify. Personal blogs only. Limited time offer. Offer has no cash value. Cannot be used with any other offers, promotions, or discounts. Some restrictions may apply.]   

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 🙄