Archive for the Category »Blogging Lessons «

Blogging can drive us crazy if we let it.

We get one visitor, then we want two.

One comment, sale or ad click leads to wanting more.

Soon, more is never enough.

Today’s Lesson

There’s a lot of talk in the blogosphere about visitor counts, page rank, subscriber counts, followers, blog revenues, SERPS (search engine result pages) and much more.

For some bloggers, these numbers matter.

However, if we get caught up in the numbers, blogging can begin to feel like a race; a competition.

Sometimes we’re competing with other bloggers, but oftentimes it’s an imaginary competition where we think if we don’t have big numbers, we’ve failed.

But what about the blogger who doesn’t want to be a star in the blogging world? Who doesn’t care about “the numbers” or making a name for themselves?

What about the blogger who just likes to write? To share? To publish their work online?

In some circles they might be labeled as a failure.

But, who cares?

If a blogger enjoys the process of blogging and isn’t interested in making money or gaining notoriety, that’s okay, too.

In the blogosphere, there’s room for everyone.

Today’s Assignment

Are you concerned with getting more traffic? More subscribers? Making money?

Or, are you blogging for the pleasure of it?

Care to share?

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Growing up, our parents taught my siblings and I the value of money.

If we wanted candy or toys, we were taught we had to work for them, so we babysat, helped friends and relatives in their hay fields or gardens and little by little saved up for what we wanted. With coins burning a hole in our pocket, we patiently waited for the next trip to town so we could carefully chose how we’d spend our hard earned money.

Upon returning home we’d empty our paper sacks, touch and admire each thing we bought and if it was candy, slowly savor the taste.

Knowing we had worked for it, that sugar-laden candy tasted scrumptious and the toys became something we treasured.

Today’s Lesson

Nowadays, most of what we find online is free.

We find free ideas, jokes, pictures, recipes, instructions and in some cases, the entire content of books.

Like everyone else, I enjoy the freebies, but in most cases that which is online for free holds very little measurable value.

If I lose the link to something, I just do search and find it again.

If I find a good idea, I might leave a thank you comment, but after thinking about or using what I learned, the information is tossed, so to speak.

Nowadays, with the exception of the time we spend searching, we don’t have to “work” for what we get online nor do we have to save money for it.

Since it’s not something we can physically touch, what we find online becomes “throw away” information.

Because it’s free, short of disagreeing with what the blog author stated, we can’t complain about what we receive, nor can we return it.

On the flip side, if we purchase a book, we don’t throw it away when we’re done with it. Instead, we keep it on our book shelf, reread it, pass it on to someone else, or sell it.

Bloggers are taught “content is king” and we learn how our blog posts should have value.

But is the value we provide thrown away and forgotten about after it’s read?

Except for that which increases our knowledge base, in most cases, the answer is “probably so”.

So, what’s a blogger to do?

Today’s Assignment

If a blogger has valuable information to share, do you think it would be better for them to sell it, rather than offering it for free?

Would you pay for information knowing you could probably find it somewhere else online?

Care to share?

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Bloggers' Rights at EFFSensationalism sells.

Outrageous headlines. Unbelievable claims. Photoshopped pictures. All published in hopes of gaining attention, making money and/or other.

And it works.

Today’s Lesson

Sensationalism can silence people, too.

Look at these headlines:

  1. Student Photojournalists Arrested; What Are Their Rights?
  2. Governments Increasingly Targeting Twitter Users for Expressing Their Opinion
  3. Marine Facing Discharge for Criticizing Obama on Facebook Says He’s Only Guilty of ‘Being an American’
  4. Oregon Church Sues Ex-Members Over Online Criticism
    Julie continues to blog about her experience.
  5. Andrew Breitbart Dead: Conservative Blogger Dies Suddenly At 43
    He is quoted as saying, “I do what I do because the mainstream media chooses not to do it.” (His blog/website lives on.)

Some might see these titles, read the articles and say to themselves, “They have more guts than I do.”

But, is it lack of guts?

Or is it fear that stops us?

Even though we know we can exercise freedom of speech: our first amendment right, if we hear of or experience an injustice, many don’t.

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Instead of practicing freedom of speech, some wait for others speak up. Carry the torch, so to speak.

After all, WE certainly don’t want to be labeled as a radical thinker, an activist, whistle blower or end up with OUR name on some list.

Instead, we just shut up and silently complain how “that’s just not right”, or believe one lone voice cannot make a difference.

When that happens, the bad guys win.

Just as they had planned.

All because they knew they could instill fear in (most of) us.

Today’s Assignment

Do you fear posting your viewpoints online, especially if they could be viewed as controversial?

Or do you speak freely, not worrying about what others think? Not concerned about the consequences or the backlash?

Care to share?

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