Tag Archives: bloggers

Jane Wants To Know. How Do YOU Filter Your Comments?

Before I explain, if you’re going to give me a free speech lecture or simply say “everyone is entitled to their opinion” I’d like to politely ask you to leave. Just click that little mouse of yours and find some other blogger to badger. I’ve heard all those speeches before. In my own head.

Click. Click. Click.

Is that everyone?

Click. 

Okay. Good.

I shall begin.

I have a comment that has been sitting in my pending folder for over a month now. It’s been sitting there because I have no idea what to do with it.

It isn’t obscene.

It isn’t spam.

It isn’t self-promoting.

It is littered with grammatical and spelling errors.

It is mildly illiterate.

It is about an inflammatory subject that I wrote about a while ago.

And it is mildly controversial and something I might be tempted to waste my breath, I mean fingers, and type a response. To deaf ears (blind eyes?), presumably.

I haven’t “approved” it because I don’t want to invite ridicule. I then pat myself on the back for being so sensitive. But I know it’s really because I disagree with the comment and can’t believe there are such idiotic people out there. (How’s that for sensitivity?)

Which leads me to my question for all my favorite readers/bloggers out there.

How do YOU filter comments on your blog? Do you let any and everything sneak through? Do you only delete profanity/spam/self-promotion? Or do you kill anything that doesn’t agree with your point of view? Do you correct the misspellings and grammatical errors?

Really.

This inquiring mind wants to know.

13 Comments

Filed under Blogging

Jane Tells All. Or How Stealing Ideas From Other Blogs Makes For Excellent Material.

I’m totally stealing a blog post from a friend. It’s okay, since I’m being so upfront about it. Well, that and the fact that he encouraged people to steal it – but admitting this sort of takes all the danger out of it.

Yeah. I’m a bad-ass.

This is actually associated with an award. LLCoolJoe won the award first and passed it along to anyone who wanted it. Yep. He’s all generous like that. I’m sorry. I can’t even remember the name of the award. Mostly, because I’ve become ambivalent to awards that are handed out like gumdrops. I don’t even like gumdrops. And I hate to hurt anyone’s feelings that might not receive the award.

But, I enjoy learning about other bloggers.

So, I hope you enjoy learning a little bit about me.

1. Do you tend to hold grudges against people who have done you wrong? 
When you look up “doormat” in the dictionary you will find a picture of moi. Seriously. Go ahead. Look it up. We’ll wait. No? Well, okay. I exaggerate. But, I do have a condition called Argument Amnesia. My husband and I will argue about something and an hour later I’m all hugs and kisses and completely forgotten why he’s being so cool towards me. It drives him crazy. It’s my coping mechanism. It’s not always healthy but it keeps me in my glass-half-full state of mind and I like it that way.
 
2. If your blog had a theme song, what would it be? Why?
This question was so tough for me I actually answered it last after much contemplation. I can’t think of just one.  So, I’ll just share with you the top three played songs on my ipod.
1. Say Hey (I Love You) by Michael Franti & Spearhead
2. Be OK by Ingrid Michaelson
3. Psycho by Puddle of Mudd
Yep. That about sums it up.
 
3. What is the most daring thing you’ve done recently?
Eat a Dorito that fell on the floor after the 3 second rule. Don’t worry. I blew off all the germs.
 
4. Do you like your life right now?
Yes. I do. I’m finding the older I get the more content I become. I still have regret. I still want to accomplish more than is humanly possible. But I am very content with my life. Right. Now. Because now is all that matters.
 
5. What was the last lie you told?
I acted as if I was already in the parking lot of my destination even though I was still a few blocks away. Why I did this? I have no idea. I was speaking to my husband on the phone and I wasn’t even meeting him. I was meeting a friend. I just didn’t want him to know I was running late. (He has this hang-up about punctuality. Geez.) And, by the way. My friend was running a couple minutes late, too. God, I love her!
 
6. Is there anything hanging from your rear view mirror?
Yes. My adorable daughter made me a necklace of a single crystal. I loved it and put it on the rear view  mirror with the intent of slipping it on the next day on our way to school. But it got twisted and stuck. And I didn’t want to cut the string so it is still there, to this day. Twelve years later. (Yes. I’m still driving my Volvo station wagon. Best. Car. Ever.) My mother-in-law asks me if it’s “Wiccan.” (She doesn’t approve of the fact that we’re not twice a week church goers.) And I tell her, no. But she’s asked so many times, I now say yes and offer to teach her a few spells when we get home. That usually shuts her up.
 
7. Do you consider yourself successful?

Yes. Very. But not in the things most people do. I gave up my singing and acting aspirations. I still haven’t written the great American novel. My high school class is chock full of over-achievers. 90% of us have graduated from college and over 50% have advanced degrees. I “only” have some post-graduate work. But that’s okay. Because I am an awesome mom. I made a conscious decision to be the best mom I could be, thus joining the ranks of the “Best Moms Ever.”And I am. Just ask my kids.

 
8. What was the first music album that you bought?
Deep Purple – Machine Head. Yep. I’m a head-banger.
 
9. Do you feel you express your “true self” on your blog?
I try. I try with every word. That is always my intent. It’s why I’ve gained a steady readership. It’s also why I’ve lost so many readers.
 
10. Would you ever give a hitch-hiker a ride somewhere? 
I want to. I do. But I watch way too much crime TV.
 
11. Have you ever acted like you understood something when you didn’t have a clue?
Every. Single. Day.
…………….

And now, it’s your turn. There are 11 questions posted below for you to answer on your blog. Trust me. If you’re experiencing writer’s block or you just you to keep the publish button warm this is an easy-peasy blog post.

Come on.

I know you want to.

  1. What do you do when you cannot fall asleep?
  2. Have you ever hidden a purchase for yourself from your partner? If so, what was it?
  3. What was the last thing you ate?
  4. Who has been the kindest to you in your life?
  5. If you didn’t need the money, what would you do for work?
  6. If your life had a motto, what would it be?
  7. Would you sulk or would you confront?
  8. If you could have any super power, what would it be?
  9. What movie or television show have you seen so many times you can quote scenes line by line?
  10. Who is someone from your past that you are sorry you lost track of?
  11. If you had a million dollars to give away, how would you do it?

If you choose to take on the 11 Question Challenge, please link up in the comment section so we can visit your blog and learn more about you!

6 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Completely Random

What Kind Of A Driver Is Your Average Blogger?

Are you curious?

 I know I am.

 

 

10 Comments

Filed under Because I'm Curious

We All Deserve A Round Of Applause

I’ve been a crappy blogger lately. Awww, who am I kidding? I’ve been a crappy blogger for months now. I can’t keep up with you all. I can’t keep up with my own writing.

But I’m hanging in there.

And even though I thought I had nothing to say this evening, I decided to peek in on you all. Well, maybe not all of you — I’m one of the lucky ones who has more followers than I deserve. Let’s just say, I began with the intention of peeking in on you all but then I got inspired and it turned into looking in on you some. (Does that even make sense? I didn’t think so.)

I started looking around and reading and musing and even made a few comments. And I discovered something really wonderful.

We’re all still here!

We made it!

We still have blogs and we’re still writing and we’re still reading and conversing.

We’re holding on.

Some by a thread. (Me.) Some with a sturdy grip. (The rest of you.)

But we’re still here.

I’m so impressed. And so happy to know all of you.

Some of you have given up on me. And that’s ok. I probably would have given up on me, too — except I have privy knowledge of the crazy goings-on in my head and if I were you, I wouldn’t want to miss out on the amazing blog posts soon to come. But it’s your choice to bail. That’s what makes this country great. Don’t worry. I don’t hold it against you.

But most of you? You’ve stuck around! To my amazement. You still peek in here from time to time to see how I’m doing. And I’m touched. In awe. And so appreciative.

For that, I applaud you, dear readers. For your perseverance when even I didn’t seem to have any.

Most of all, I applaud YOUR longevity. In a world where blogs last a mere 18 months or less, you and I can proudly say, We Made It!

Stand up.

And let’s give ourselves a round of applause!

 

16 Comments

Filed under Blogging

Celebrate Blog Love!*

Valentine’s Day!

It’s not just for husbands, wives, boyfriends and girlfriends.

It’s for bloggers, too!

I wish you roses….

 

I wish you chocolates…

But most of all….

I wish you comments. Lots and lots and lots of comments!

Happy Valentine’s Day to my favorite bloggers out there!

*(Ahh, yes. My tongue-in-cheek approach – that is, if you read Friday’s post – to wishing you all a very happy Valentine’s Day! Much love to you all!)

11 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Holiday

Jane (With The Help of Fran Lebowitz) Comments On Bloggers. And It Isn’t Always Pretty.

“Having been unpopular in high school is not just cause for book publications.” ~Fran Lebowitz
 
HBO is featuring a delightful and entertaining documentary on Fran Lebowitz entitled “Public Speaking,” directed by Martin Scorsese. She has much to say on many things. But the comment that I have been pondering for days is her view that writers need narcissism in order to write.
Some writers, of course, are more narcissistic than others. As are some bloggers, I’ve found.
 

“When Toni Morrison said ‘write the book you want to read,’ she didn’t mean everybody.” ~Fran Lebowitz

The problem with the Blog World is that anyone with a computer and an internet connection can blog. The wonder of Blog World is that anyone with a computer and an internet connection can blog.

 

I’m conflicted, as you can plainly see.

Just as there are better novelists out there, there are better bloggers. Better. Different. Some interesting. Some less so. There is a delightful array of blogs from which to choose. Different strokes for different folks.

But each and every blog contains a little of the same thing. Self-absorption.

“Too many people are writing books.” Why is this?  “Because you have been taught to have self-esteem.” ~Fran Lebowitz

We all have something to say. We all say it, here on our blogs. Is it worth saying? That lies, my friend, is in the eye of the beholder.

Frankly, it amazes me sometimes, at the perceived (my perception) popularity of some bloggers. I measure popularity based on the number of comments, or advertised hits on a blog. I’m sure you’ve noticed but some mediocre writing is getting lots of attention.

And then there are the blogs I follow that inspire me. Where the writing is fresh and interesting. If you measured some of their popularity by the same parameters? They land in the uncool category, for sure.

We all possess, at least an inkling, a notion that someone out there, anyone out there, wants to read what we’ve written. Some of us find more readers than others. Some of us need more readers than others (as evidenced by the many contests decorating so many blogs). The trick is finding the balance. We need to find what a healthy, rational psyche can thrive on – a blogging balance that feeds our need to put our thoughts out there and validate our thoughts at the same time.  We must avoid the trap that false validation can bring and ground ourselves. Know that you aren’t going to please or entertain or inspire all of the people all of the time. And that’s OK.

The number of followers you have does not assure you a higher seat in Bloggers Heaven.

“Very few people possess true artistic ability. It is therefore both unseemly and unproductive to irritate the situation by making an effort. If you have a burning, restless urge to write or paint, simply eat something sweet and the feeling will pass.”~Fran Lebowitz

As much as her comment gives me a chuckle, deep down, I disagree. I’m glad the internet is limitless. I’m happy to have found Blog World. I’m glad I’ve found a place of my own. I enjoy the variety of bloggers out there. The amazing writers that I admire, encourage me and inspire me to be better. A better person. A better writer. A better mother and wife. A better friend.

Call me narcissistic, but I write, hoping to inspire others in the same way.

26 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Observations

Calling All Bloggers! Who Is Your Favorite Read?

On Monday I shared with you my top ten ways (OK – maybe not the top ten of all time but certainly the top ten of that particular day) to avoid writing a blog post. And Aging Mommy, of the blog of the same name, had a wonderful idea.

She asked for “a post where you ask everyone to name their favorite non-celebrity blogs (the ones who will never come and say hello to us lowly beings) is in order, I would love to find some new great reads without the hard work.”

How about it? Are you in? Please say yes!

In the comment section below please add the link of one of your favorite daily/regular reads. If you’re a regular, you pretty much know who hangs out here. Try to name someone who is not a Theycallmejane regular. And sorry folks, but everyone on my blogroll is off-limits, too.

We’re trying to stir the bloggy pot. Breathe new life into our blogging existence. Give a shout out to someone who is staying under the radar.

And already I’m breaking my rule #1. I only hang out with you people, here. Honest. I don’t visit many blogs that don’t already comment at my place. So forgive me when I give Gale at Ten Dollar Thoughts a shout out. If you haven’t visited her yet – you should. She’s thoughtful and insightful. She inspires me to be a better writer.

Thanks for playing! And I’m going to take the liberty of saying that anyone you list below thanks you, too! I know I would!

28 Comments

Filed under Blogging

OK. My Post May Suck. But You Suck More.

At the bottom of the posts in WordPress there is a handy-dandy little feature where you can rate the post. One to five stars, rating the post as: very poor, poor, average, good and excellent. It’s not a very scientific rating system but it might give you some insight into what your readers enjoy.

Or not enjoy.

Or when they’re feeling just plain mean.

And they take it out on you. (With no reflection on your writing abilities, of course.)

This happened to me fairly recently. And I was stymied.

A click that my post was poor. Two stars.

Who does that?

And why?

When I see that handy little feature at the bottom of your posts, and I’m particularly pleased with what I’ve just read, I click good, or more typically, excellent. Five stars. If I think what you’ve written is dull, I completely skip the rating feature. I mean, who am I to deem your writing “poor?” I’m assuming most of you just skip this step if you’re bored with what I write.

Hence, the unscientific comment about the rating system.

Now, if there are lots and lots of votes on a particular post I might, I might click a less than favorable star to show my true feelings, just to make the rating system a little more legit.

But if no one has voted yet?

If not a single soul has taken the time to vote and my vote would be the very first one I would never, ever do this…

As in, two stars equals a poorly written post.

That’s just mean.

OK. Fine. My post sucks.

But do you know what?

You suck more for being just-plain-mean.

(A extra-special, heartfelt thank you to BigLittleWolf at Daily Plate of Crazy for her tireless help with the meager graphics for this particular post. Techno-dolt (that’s me) took a full 2 hours to try to do what she did in about – oh, say 2 minutes. I bow down to her greatness! You should, too!)

33 Comments

Filed under Blogging

The Life Expectancy of a Blog Or The Phases of Jane’s Blog And Are You Rid Of Her Yet?

I tried and tried to find some good, hard data out there about the average life expectancy of a blog. I found guesses. I found loosely based fact. I found a lot of dead blogs.  But nothing definitive.

My very un-scientific conclusion is that many more blogs than you can imagine are dead within the first few months. The others kick the bucket at about 2 years.

The rest of us?

We’re hanging by a thread, baby!

I began this blog as an experiment. I had an idea for another blog (which I’m still toying with) but I wanted to see how this all worked. I wanted to get my feet wet, test the waters and then dive in.

I’ve been fully submerged for about a year now and the water is great! I don’t want to get out. The water is just fine.

But many don’t see it that way. 

In my year as a blogger I have deleted about a dozen favorites from my list because they no longer post. Lately, I have been surprised at how many of my favorite stops are: taking a break, re-thinking their blog, posting about their blog dissatisfaction, or taking an unexplained hiatus.

The ebb and flow of a blog. It would make an interesting study. And it got me thinking. How have I been riding this wave?

Phase I

In my first few months I gave myself a goal of posting six posts a week, Monday through Saturday. Some long. Some short. But new material was posted every day but Sunday.

At first this was very do-able. Hardly anyone was reading me. I was having a blast reading all of you. But then, I started to gain a true readership. Reading all of your posts and commenting in turn became difficult. I was able to keep up this pace for about 6 months. Then, something had to give.

Enter Phase II

So I wheedled it down to 5 posts a week. Monday through Friday. That left me the weekends to play catch-up and craft other posts. Phase II was short-lived, lasting about 2 months. I still couldn’t keep up. And I was realizing, the more readers I gained – the more reading I did. The more reading and commenting I did – the less living I was doing.

Blogging was becoming all important. When does the blogging stop and the living begin?

That’s a great question…When would I live, so that I could gather the material necessary to write? What about taking the kids to the pool or baking with my little Chopped Champions? Or my yoga? Or shopping trips with my daughter? Would my kids ever eat a home-cooked meal again? When would I make beds and scrub toilets?  And what about the dog puke, runny noses and sticky kitchen floor? (Wait a second. That’s my life? I might need to re-think this.)

Phase III

I am now in Phase III. I post Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. (I kind of like how that looks on my calendar, too, with a little line down the middle of un-highlighted Wednesdays. But, I’m weird that way.) On Wednesday and the weekends, I play catch up. Or not. I try to read all of you, but that’s impossible, too. I comment when I have something to contribute. I don’t pressure myself to fill up space on your blogs anymore. I’m finding a balance. My balance. And it feels so much better.

Phase IV and Beyond!

I have no plans of stopping. I enjoy this medium much too much. (Just ask my husband!) I love writing. I love crafting posts. I love reading. I love conversation and new ideas.

But most of all, I love all of you! My world is so much brighter, bigger and brilliant because I have met all of you. And for that, I am so very, very thankful!

Thank you, dear readers, for embracing me and enjoying what I write. Thank you for peeking in to see what I have to say. Thank you for your comments here and posts there, showing me new and different ways to see things.

Happy Anniversary to me! And to you, too! May we celebrate many more together!!!

 

Did you bring me a gift? Oh! You did! A blog post to share? Wow! That’s that perfect gift! Thank you so much! Just click below to link up! And thanks, again! You are just too kind!

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46 Comments

Filed under Blogging

What I Want To Know Is….?

My first year Blogaversary is coming up. And I’m very excited.

I’ve been blogging for a full year now and I’ve learned so much: how to post a pic, how to post a video, how to comment with tact (most of the time), that I really have it in me to produce 3-6 blog posts a week.

Yet I still have so many questions: Where do I want to see my blog in 5 years? What did I expect to achieve in a year? How do I handle all the comments, criticism, etc.? What’s an RSS feed? Who has time for all the wonderful blogs out there?

And then I had a brilliant idea!

Help me celebrate this wonderful blogging community we’ve created together. Let’s share the wealth. Share the knowledge. Or just share a few laughs.

On Friday, August 13th, yours truly will have been blogging for exactly one year. On that day I challenge you to post on one of the following topics: greatest gift from blogging, greatest surprise from blogging, best blog tip you ever learned, your evolution as a blogger, how do you handle all the comments on your blog?, what is your version of successful blogging?, what blog posts to you hate to see?, your favorite post topics to read, any other topic that pertains to blogging that you can think of. (Hey, I’m that easy!)

We’ll all meet back here on Friday, August 13th and link and share tips, tricks or just titters. Your choice.

Help me celebrate my year of meeting all of you! Start crafting those fabulous posts you are all so capable of writing and let’s share! The more the merrier! (Yes, this means you, little Miss Lurker. C’mon. It’ll be fun!)

(And maybe by then I’ll learn how to link more efficiently. Ck? Sarah?)

29 Comments

Filed under Blogging, How We Roll