Because I Please, I’m Answering Maggie’s Blogging Survey Questions

Yesterday Maggie asked the following 11 questions on her blog, FROM CAVE WALLS. With her permission I’m answering them below. You may go HERE to read her post in which she explains her reason for asking these simple questions. If you so choose, you may answer them there or on your own blog. 

Image added because this makes my weird little heart happy. See my answer to Question #10 below.

1. How many times per week do you post? Do you post multiple times a day? If so, how many?

I post about once a week, occasionally twice a week, sometimes not at all.

2. How many blogs do you follow? 

I actively follow about 80 blogs but I’m aware of maybe 40 more.

3. Do you read all the blogs you follow every day? If not, how often do you read other blogs?

I don’t read blogs every day. I don’t read everything that everyone writes on their blogs. I try to read at least one post per week by any one blogger who I actively follow, sometimes two posts per week if I have the time.

4. Do you seek out new blogs to follow?  If so, how do you find them?

I seek out new blogs to follow. I do this by reading the comment sections on other people’s blogs, often finding new-to-me bloggers that way. I also check out most new-to-me commenters on who leave comments on my blog posts.

5. Do you comment on the blogs you read? If not, why? Do you respond to all the comments left on your blog?

I comment on the blogs I read because that’s what personal blogging is about, a chance to connect with people. I respond to all comments left on my blog, never cherry-picking a few comments, ignoring the rest.

6. Do you ever close comments on a blog you post? If so, why?

I always close the comment section on each blog post after 21 days, sometimes before. I do this because spammers swoop in if I keep things open any longer.

7. Do you ever unfollow someone? If so, why?

I unfollow people who start out friendly + interesting but over time become pedantic, or whiny, or snobby. People change, not always in ways that I find appealing.

8. What content inspires you to follow a blogger?

I don’t focus on any specific content per se, I follow a blogger because they’re articulate, sincere, and clever. It’s all about their vibe. What they write about is of less interest to me than how they write about it.

9. What content turns you off from following someone?

I won’t follow someone who has a sloppy writing style regardless of my interest in their content or someone who comes off as condescending or someone who has a snarly point of view about everything. Or as I think of it: no slobs, no snobs, no blobs.

10. How important is it to you that you add a photo to every post?

It is important to me that I add a photo or image to each post BUT if I don’t have one that works with my topic that doesn’t stop me from posting.

11. Leave me a link for one blogger (other than yourself) that you think I should check out.

A group of bloggers, many of whom regularly comment here, have just this month started a new blog called The Heart of the Matter. Check it out!

THINKING ABOUT YOUR ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS WOULD YOU, MY LITTLE BLOGGING SCRIBES, ANSWER THEM THE SAME, IN A SIMILAR WAY, OR DIFFERENTLY THAN HOW I DID?

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. 
~ ~ ~ ~

Throw Us A Bone, We’re Trying To Name Our New Friend

PLEASE HELP US

As you will notice as you read along, scattered throughout this post are photos of our new friend, a life-size posable plastic skeleton.

I cannot lie about why I spent the money to buy him.  IT’S ALL KARI’S FAULT.  She showed us her skeleton friend, Roger, and I needed to have one of my very own to keep me company.

In other words I loved her idea, so I copied it.

However this fellow desperately needs a name and so far we’ve come to a dead end. [pun intended]

You see, and I’m sure you’ll understand that, when an English Lit major & a history buff attempt to name inanimate objects, things go sideways.

Oh sure, THERE ARE MEANINGFUL IDEAS APLENTY with sound theoretical underpinnings, but to actually pull the trigger on the naming, well– that has yet to happen.  [again pun intended]

Below I’ve listed the possibilities we’re pondering.  Do you, my gentle readers and Halloween aficionados, like any of these names?  OR do you have a better one to suggest?

Just like the air moving through the bones of this skeleton, we are open to ideas.

10 POSSIBLE NAMES FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION

WILD BILL [Hickok], as a tribute to he who was shot holding black aces and eights, aka the Dead Man’s Hand, which leads to the next name on the list…

CHARLIE, as in the man who dealt the Dead Man’s Hand, a fellow named Charlie Henry Rich whose grave I featured in a post years ago

McCOY, as in the character from StarTrek whose nickname was “Bones” but you probably know that

CAPTAIN JACK, either [Sparrow], Johnny Depp of movie fame, or [Harkness], Jon Barrrowman of Dr. Who fame, choose your franchise 

SHELLEY, because on Murdoch Mysteries Dr. Emily Grace named the morgue skeleton this name for reasons that I conjecture might be related to the next name on the list…

PERCY, as in Percy Bysshe Shelley who wrote the poem “Ozymandias” giving us the timeless message: And on the pedestal these words appear: ‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’ Nothing beside remains.”  

YORICK, because when Willy Shakes writes a play like Hamlet, there has to be an applicable quote: “Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy…”

EARL OF GRANTHAM, because this skeleton does have an aristocratic bearing like Robert Crawley and is without funds 

THE PREACHER, as in Ecclesiastes, a chapter in the Bible, & the famous spooky picture by Charles Allen Gilbert titled “All is Vanity” that is a reference to this Biblical quote: Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity. 

AND FINALLY THREE READER COMMENTS…

About sharing photos of the mundane:

“Yep. I agree — reality is infinitely more interesting than the scrubbed and filtered, highly tweaked social media images…. Fantasy – just fantasy.”

~ Victoria

“… I’m totally obsessed with the idea of the Muse of The Mundane…. And suddenly I saw her – she’s actually two-sided like a coin. Her other side is the Muse of The Magical. Makes sense doesn’t it? Magic is always hidden in the mundane, we just don’t often use our eyes to see it.”

~ Deborah Weber

“My daughter and I had this discussion recently about photos…. The photos that get the most, often unexpected positive responses are the ones that have an ‘it’ quality. Goosebumps…a new perspective… and not perfection.”

~ Erica/Erika

In A Dither: Busy Week For Me, Assorted Random Links For You

I’ve a busy week going on here.

As some of you know, Zen-Den is planning to retire at the end of September.  From now until then he’s kind of working, kind of on vacation– or as he calls it Retirement Bootcamp.

In other words, he’s underfoot.

Plus, landscapers are still trying to finish the area around the new sidewalk and build a stone patio, but it keeps raining, like hell and high water raining.

This project never ends.

And the appliance repair guy is back today, doing his best to fix our dishwasher [the electric one, not me], taking it apart in the kitchen, rebuilding it with new parts.

Fingers crossed this works.

My mind is in a bit of a dither, so instead of writing a tale or sharing a tribulation, I’ll leave with you, my little eggheaded chickadees, the following links.

Enjoy!

~ ~ ~ ~

Feel like saying something positive? Use a krul, explained by Wikipedia here and shown above, to express yourself.

Want to figure out which productivity method is for you? Take this todoist quiz. [I need to focus on time blocking.]

Curious about the mythology of dragons? Read this article in The Conversation and be informed.

Looking for a way to declutter your living space? Join Apartment Therapy’s 14 Day Declutter Cure. The action starts Sept. 19 & my hopes are high.

Hoping to refresh your memory of the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States? Re-learn it here with Barney Fife— and Andy, of course.

Trying to figure out the plural of a word, e.g. spritz? Your answer is here at wordhippo.

Feel like being a little snarky? Use the Viral Post Generator and allow AI to write your own pretend Linkedin post. See image below.

AND FINALLY THREE READER COMMENTS…

About how you discovered this blog:

“When I was moonlighting as a private investigator, an anonymous person hired me to tail you. I followed you around for weeks, getting to know everything about you: the house where you reside, the car you drive, the grocery store you frequent. One evening, while peering in through the blinds, I saw you hunched over a laptop, typing away. Curious, I whipped out my binoculars for a closer look. Lo and behold, I discovered you were a blogger! Those high-powered lenses made it easy to see your URL, so I subscribed the next day.”

~ Mark Petruska

“Blog readers are a bit like those at a the mall: there are the boomers busily rushing by on a mission, the window shoppers who momentarily are attracted to something and pause before moving on, and those who actually go in (and those can be subdivided into the browsers and those who walk in, look around and decide to buy – becoming a repeat customer).”

~ philosophermouseofthehedge

“The Universe sets us up, leading us to start a blog (why?why?why? no answer – the Universe just pushed us to a place we didn’t know we’d LOVE); to light a match on WordPress and see the writing flames erupt as we began to visit each other; to learn SO MUCH about different subjects, yes, but mostly about the amazing wonderful like-minded (even if totally different from us) souls out here in the …. UNIVERSE.”

~ Pamela S. Wight

Taking A Break From Blogging + A Tally Of YOUR Favorite Ice Cream Flavors

QOTD: how many words did I use in this post? Hmmm…? Care to guess?

~ ~

I’m tired.

My home is in chaos with no end in sight for these remodeling projects. The country is going to hell in a handbasket courtesy, most recently, of the Supreme Snort Court. And the world is a dumpster fire thanks to Mr. Putin.

I am almost without words.

Thus I’m going to step away from blogging for the month of July, maybe longer, so that I might REGROUP. Perhaps RECONSIDER what I want to do here. RELAX, even.

But before I go, let me share the following with you. 😋

~ • ~

AND FINALLY READER COMMENTS IN THE FORM OF A TALLY…

About ice cream flavors. You told me your favorites. Listed below in descending order of preference are the flavors with two or more votes:

  1. VANILLA
  2. CHOCOLATE
  3. STRAWBERRY
  4. MINT CHOCOLATE CHIP
  5. MOOSE TRACKS
  6. COOKIE DOUGH
  7. ROCKY ROAD
  8. PRALINES AND CREAM
  9. COFFEE
  10. DARK CHOCOLATE SORBET

~ ~ • ~ ~