Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

For reasons currently lost on me, I have put up a profile on the Quora site. Quora is a user-based site that where questions are asked and answered.

As is the case in human interactions online, some are sincere queries, while others, usually political in nature, and often about Obama and that guy after him. “If liberals hate Trump so much, why don’t they just leave?” Some kind souls answered that one, but not me.

For some reason, maybe because I’ve been doing it for 12.5 years, I’ve answered questions about blogging. But not all of them. One directed to me that I ignored: “Which blog content would make more money, diet and exercise or drawing and graphic design?”

Some months ago the New Yorker noted that the personal essay boom is over. A key sentence: “Personal essays cry out for identification and connection; what their authors often got was distancing and shame.”

In response, Salon posted The “personal essay boom” is dead. Long live the personal essay! “What we are instead experiencing is an evolution — of writers being encouraged to not simply mine personal feelings for a quick click, but to make connections between the personal and the political more explicit.”

Both of these pieces talk about blogs from women, and describe posts that are far more high profile than mine. Still, the discussion made me want to continue to do whatever the heck that I do each day. I didn’t get into this for money or fame. And a good thing too, because then I’d be REALLY disappointed!

I do it because makes me feel just a little less powerless. It grounds my thought process by having to write it down in sentences than to just say, “Daylight Saving Times SUCKS!” (It does, BTW.)

My Quora pieces generally have said, “Write because you have to.” Every once in a while, I check in with myself and realize, “Yup, still need to do this thing.”

There was this blogpost that community, unpaid blogger Heather Rusaw-Fazio wrote for the Times Union site in the spirit of #MeToo. It became not visible and the site inaccessible to the blogger because the post did not meet whatever community standards the Times Union thought were being violated.

Which standards, exactly?

Ultimately, Chuck Miller posted the piece on his blog, and I on mine. I referred to it as a “banned” post.

Rex wrote to a friend of mine:

We did not, in fact, silence a woman’s voice. A woman who is the senior editor in charge of engagement – and thus the supervisor of community blogs – took the step of protecting Heather and the Times Union from a potential libel claim. (As publisher of the blog, we are susceptible to libel claims.) We are quite eager to publish Heather’s post, but we have suggestions to make it less likely that we – and Heather – might be vulnerable legally. Since we have a lot of experience in legal matters, we could advise her on this, but at this point she has chosen to remain silent rather than accept any such suggestion. It is very regrettable, but there is certainly no intent on our part to shut down conversation.

What does Heather have to say about this to Rex? This is pretty much the opposite of what Heather was told by TU folks:

There has been very little to no consistency on blogger standards from blogger to blogger or post to post for some, and I hope you take the time to read all of this and truly understand.

Is it the use of f**k? Read the rest of this entry »

If blogging about blogging is a sin, then today I’m going to need a shot at redemption. (So does Arthur.)

The vast majority of the people who visit my blog are not from the Albany, NY area. As a result, when I’ve written something that was Capital District-specific, I tended to post that IN ADDITION to a post that might be of interest to a larger geographic swath.

After the deadline hit for turning in petitions to run for office locally, which was July 13, I contacted the Albany County Board of Elections to secure a list, from which two lists were generated, the Albany city Common Council folks (i.e., the city council) and everything else.

This took some time and the window of opportunity was fairly narrow. I also cross-posted this on my underutilized Times Union blog, which proved to be aggravating. In an answer to a question, not the article itself, I left off one word, which changed the meaning. This led someone to write, “Makes me wonder about the accuracy of the rest of the information you provide.”

Then when I demurred in doing the Common Council list, because it was laborious, I got, “Are you ‘late for lunch’?” I get the impression that, because I appeared on the Times Union site, I was getting paid or something. It reminds me that avoiding that venue is probably better for my mental health.

The real takeaway here, though, is that I need to stick to the one post per day, EVEN if it’s of interest only to folks around here, because time is not fungible.

Dustbury noted that he gets messages from folks who want to write for his blog. I get them too, a lot. But from one entity, who I’ve linked to in the past, I’m going to actually post a quiz on this blog, sometimes in August, in lieu of content from me. I’ll do that sort of thing very rarely, but it is in part because I like the organization, and partly because it will alleviate my time crunch.

For Ask Roger Anything, Arthur the AmeriNZ asks a couple meta questions on blogging:

I sense that (like me) you also believe that writing has intrinsic value for the writer, even without any financial reward. What’s your take on those who dismiss blogging (for example) done without any pay? Similarly, why do some people also have to belittle bloggers who DO make money from their blogs? Is there any validity to those criticisms in your opinion?

Some people dismiss those who write without pay as fools. But there are very many well-known folk who blog either for nothing or for PayPal tips. Initially, I blogged to write about the Daughter and JEOPARDY! But it was also a sense of addressing my feeling of powerlessness in the midst of a Republican administration engaging in a war of choice that I thought was unjustifiable. I wasn’t sure I would actually write about it, but I COULD.

Now I blog because I pretty much have to. It’s therapy. All the crap going on and I can vent a little. At the same time, I have found it a useful reference tool for my own existence that I’M likely to forget. AND it is my vehicle to have dialogue, in a way Facebook simply cannot be for me. Something I wrote about my grandfather or Spaulding Krullers I can find again. Moreover, OTHER people find it and comment on them, occasionally years after I wrote the pieces. This gives the exercise a sense of being less ephemeral.

Bloggers who get money are considered as not “pure” by some, not of the “tortured artist”. But in that piece you linked to about New Zealand, it mentions a professional travel blogger with thousands of hits. Do I wish I had thousands of followers? Some days, yes.

But my reach blogging on the Times Union newspaper site was far greater than it is here; guess which one I all but gave up? It was too much grief, too many schmucks; it wasn’t worth it.

I’ve gotten offers to do advertisements, and I’ve resisted, so far. If something is really in my wheelhouse, I might change my mind, but I’m not cashing the check just yet.

Why do you provide links to YouTube videos, but not embed the videos themselves?

Initially, I was afraid that it might be taking up too much bandwidth and would load too slowly. But mostly, it’s pure aesthetics.

This is an odd phenomenon I’ve only seen on Blogspot/Blogger blogs (yours, Mark Evanier’s), sometimes, the videos appear to be under the wrong description. If I reload, it rectifies the situation, but it’s distracting.

Also, the videos make the posts appear too long for my taste. And when a video, almost inevitably, goes offline, it leaves that pale gray box that I always find looks slightly sad.

Incidentally, I was looking at a post on SamuraiFrog’s Blogspot website on my tablet, and a post for which he merely provided the link, rather than the embedded video, the video showed up anyway. Doesn’t always happen, but it interested me.

For me, this graphic is mostly fiction. I mean, it has happened to me with songs, book passages, interesting news stories that people did not appreciate what I liked, or embraced what I loathed. But I recall someone named Arthur having some sort of law – what did he call it? – that says:

“Everything you love, someone else hates; everything you hate, someone else loves. So, relax and like what you like and forget about everyone else.”

Since I started blogging, I’ve given up the notion of “guilty pleasures”. It may be pleasure, but I don’t have the need to feel guilty. I may have swiped that idea from SamuraiFrog.

In fact, I steal a lot of ideas in this blog from other places, some so long ago I don’t remember. I had been linking to articles that I didn’t have enough of an angle/time/interest to write about them. I had been doing that twice a month. But two people I know In Real Life suggested that the posts were too long, though they’re no lengthier than my usual posts. Still, as a result of being out of sync from changing servers, I did it three times in April. I may do so thrice in May. Or twice. Or four times, I dunno.

All of this technical drama on the blog was frustrating because it’s not what interests me about blogging. I’m like the guy who likes driving but he doesn’t care to look under the hood. I’m the guy who is looking around to find the latch that opens the hood – “it must be here SOMEwhere.”

I have been actively trying to write shorter pieces that are still worth your time AND my interest. I have this SEO thingy that tells me that if I don’t hit 300 words, it won’t be as popular, or something that. Guess what? I don’t care.

Enough navel-gazing for now.

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