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Tag Archives: blogging

Why and how to blog

I constantly see blogs talking about how many viewers they have or how many clicks they got on a certain post or day. I also see the number of likes and comments they get and sometimes it amazes me. Then I come to my humble blog and see my single-digit comments and likes and my double-digit views and you know what? I love it!

Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to interact with more people through my blog, of course. But it’s so much fun when I see that someone liked or commented on what I wrote/posted that I don’t really care how many people did it. Most people will read a blog post and move on, not even leaving their mark in here. And it’s okay. Maybe they didn’t like what I said, maybe it didn’t matter to them as much, or maybe it did.

Maybe, just maybe, what they saw here, be it a post, a video, a review, did make an impression, did make them think. And that, to me, is more important than whether or not they say something to me. I guess that’s the reason why I have this blog, as a way to communicate with people I don’t yet know, and I like it. No, scratch that, I love it!

I’m now thinking of a poem I love by Emily Dickinson that I already talked about way back when I first started this blog. I guess, to me, if I can reach one person, only one, it won’t be in vain. We can’t change the whole world, but we can (and should) try. And the way to do that is by reaching one person and doing one small thing.

Here’s a video by Vi Hart that talks about reaching people and how to do it. I think it has the message I’m trying to convey. Don’t stress over the numbers of views/comments/likes. Do what you want to do because that is the message you want to send. And if you reach one person, great! That means you’re doing it right.

 

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Dealing with negative comments

This is a video created by Vi Hart, and I know that I’ve been posting a lot of videos lately, but I’ve been struggling with writing and trying to make my stories the way I want them to be and the videos help me.

Anyway, this one is about negative comments, and although she’s talking about comments on YouTube, this can be applied to comments on blogs and even on our own work.

So always remember: you have no power over them that they don’t give you, and most importantly, they have no power over you that you don’t give them. You don’t make things for their approval. You make them because it’s in you to create. So create something. And then share it. Because you are capable of more than you realize.

 

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Why do we write a blog?

Why are blogs so appealing? Why is it so great to write about personal things when we know strangers will read? Why is it so important for us to share private, sometimes even embarrassing thoughts with people we’ve never met before? Do we do it so we won’t feel so alone in the world? Do we do it for the satisfaction of knowing someone else out there can relate to it and that can make us feel less abnormal?

A year ago I started writing in this blog and I honestly hoped I wouldn’t quit. It wasn’t my first blog and I was afraid it would end up forgotten just as the other ones did. So far so good, but it isn’t over yet. It never will be, right? To avoid wanting to quit I did take some precautions. I decided it wouldn’t be too personal, that I wouldn’t reveal too much, and that I would keep it separate from my real life. But what does that all mean? To be honest, that’s up for interpretation.

If you pay attention to what a person writes (or rather to what that person decides to write or not to write) you end up knowing more about that person than you can even imagine. You, all of you, have access to more about my life than people who’ve known me in person for years! You may not realize that but you do. You can imagine how I’d react in a situation or try to imagine what I would or would not say about a certain subject. The fact that you may not know my age or my last name or what I look like does not mean a thing. Or perhaps you’re one of the few ones who do know me in person, in which case, hi! It’s great to see you here!

But I think that more than anything I wanted this space to be a place where I could say (or write) what I wanted without having to worry about who is reading it or whether or not they’d judge me for what I’m writing here. We end up meeting a lot of people we have to deal with in real life and sometimes we don’t have a choice whether or not to let them be a part of it. But in here, online, we have the privilege of not having to do that. If you come here and read my blog is because you want to, not because you have to do it. I probably won’t even know you were here anyway. Well, unless you like a post or leave a comment, of course. And by the way, comments and likes are always welcomed. 😉

Anyway, I just wanted to say it’s been a great journey and I appreciate every single one of your likes and comments. You all make me feel like I belong, like I’m not the only one, and like I’m actually part of a group I truly enjoy being part of. Thank you.

Thank You

 

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Have you heard of Sartalics?

Not too long ago I was complaining about the difficulties of conveying sarcasm in writing. Now I find out three interns are attempting to solve this problem with Sartalics! Sartalics is a reverse italics font, which is just like italics but leaning left instead of right.

To make their campaign known, the interns are gathering a Twitter mob of 10,000 people to simultaneously tweet at tech giants Yahoo, Google, Twitter, Facebook, Microsoft, Tumblr, YouTube and Apple. The tweet “@(company name and person in charge of decisions at said company) needs a sarcasm font style option way more than another layout update! #nosarcasm.” will be sent automatically when the campaign hits 10,000 participants. Last I saw, the Sartalics twitter account had 2,304 followers already.

Let’s all join the twitterblitz for Sartalics!

 

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2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 5,400 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 9 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

 

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Inspired by the Movie ‘Chronicle’

 

 

Just last week, I found myself huddled in the dark and watching the sci-fi movie Chronicle, which came out this May. The movie itself had an awesome concept – three teenagers stumble into a hole and make a discovery that gives them telekinetic abilities and changes their lives forever. It’s a great idea, but the execution wasn’t the best (I hear the film ‘In Time’ with Justin Timberlake suffered the same fate). Still, if you like everyday people becoming ‘super people,’ it’s definitely worth renting for a few bucks. I will warn you, though, it is shot from the first person camera angle (like Cloverfield). If you can get around both those things, I think it’s a decent hour and a half movie.

Anyways…

One of the conversations the characters had has been bouncing around in my brain for days now. While developing their powers, one of them mentions their abilities are like a muscle; they have to work it out gradually to make it grow stronger, but not to overwork it or they risk only hurting themselves.

As I sat on my couch and plugged numbers into Web Sudoku, I realized the idea can be applied to writing as well. While some people say it’s good to write every day, one must take writing advice as they would a dieting regime: you have to find something that works for you. Writing five hundred words every day religiously may work for you. It may also drain you and make writing a chore if you’re forcing yourself.

My suggestion? Start out small. A word, a list, or a sentence is just as acceptable as a paragraph or a page or two if that’s all your muses are throwing at you (or if they aren’t throwing at all). Don’t beat yourself up too badly if you have a few days where nothing comes to you; taking a break every once in a while to let your brain and creativity rest can do just as much good.

[Image Credit: Wikipedia.com]
 

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Finding licensed images

I guess we could say it’s common knowledge that we should not use someone’s work without their consent. However, what are the rules for using images found on the internet? If someone puts an image on the internet and I find it through a search engine, doesn’t it mean it’s okay to use it? Doesn’t it mean the author is already allowing you to use the image if it’s online for all to see?

No. It’s not okay to share or alter any images on the internet unless you have permission for it. You have to either use images that were approved by their creators for sharing (or altering, if that’s what you’re looking for) or pay to use the image. Nice, huh?

Anyway, I’ve been reading about it since yesterday and I’ve collected a bunch of info. Basically if you use the Creative Commons Search you’re safe. You type what you’re looking for in the search box, check the boxes for commercial purposes and/or modify them (if necessary) and choose which library or search engine you’d like to get your image from. I’ve been using Flickr and Google Images to find options for my past posts (yep, I’ve been updating them since yesterday, trying to change them all to licensed images).

If you want to understand a little more about how this all works, you should read Meghan Ward’s Where to Get Photos For Your Blog. Ward teaches blogging and social media classes at the San Francisco Writer’s Grotto, so she knows what she’s talking about.

Another good post on the subject is Susan Gunelius’s How to Find and Source Images for Your Blog. Gunelius also gives you a list of other places where you can get your images.

And remember: you should always give credit to the creator of the image. Always.

[Image credit: Marta St▲rbucks]

 

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