31 Dec, 2010
Further to yesterday’s post
YAHOO. This is going to be ALL OVER THE PLACE.
First, here’s my eyeball!
I took this photo of a photo at the Toronto Science Centre over the summer.
My eyes are actually blue, but that little ring of amber make them appear green sometimes. Or gray.
All this to say, despite the fact the colour seems muddy and unclear at times, I know who I am and I want to be doing.
I received another pitch about granola bars yesterday and it made me want to bury my head in my blankets AND NEVER COME OUT AGAIN. This blogger does not pour herself into this space in order to receive free granola bars. No disrespect to those who are in it for the swag, but free granola bars don’t make me happy.
Have you heard about the Canadian Weblog Awards? It’s a new blog award. And it’s juried. I want to stress the juried part, because this gives it some serious street cred, more so than all those other so-called blog awards. What a concept. A blog award with a judging panel that follows a “specific set of criteria” to “evaluate the nominees” to “ensure that the winning weblogs are chosen more for their quality rather than by how many people they can mobilize to vote.”
I seriously question the meaningfulness of other blog award sites/ceremonies because they don’t actually reflect great blogging, and the next time a nomination comes along I’m going to politely turn it down. They’re supposed to be about recognising the best of the best but it doesn’t actually happen. Nominees campaign to get readers, friends and family to vote for them so they can win. And let’s be blunt: the ones who (a) nag their readers the most and/or (b) use all of the computers in the office to vote as many times as they possibly can, win.
I’m up for a CWA Lifetime Achievement Award, which makes me feel a little like I’m about to shuffle off this mortal coil any day now, but it is a nice recognition nonetheless. One of my favourite blogs in the entire world is Kerri Smith’s Wish Jar, which has been nominated in the same category. I have been reading her on and off for many years and I respect her widely, deeply and immensely. She deserves to win.
A lot of other local bloggers made the final rounds in their respective categories too. Do check out their sites. They’re all great.
- Kids in the Capital
- Apartment 613
- Hello Ottawa
- Greater Ottawa
- Postcards from the Mothership
- Ex pat Muddy Boots
- Coffee with Julie
- PhD in Parenting
- Spydergrrl on the Web
- The Mindful Merchant
(Please let me know if I missed anyone!)
Blogging has become a part-time job for me. And here is how I know I’ve chosen the RIGHT kind of job… Show and Tell was my favourite subject in kindergarten. (Blogging is sort of the same, right??)
But behold Exhibit A, my career-planning printout from eight grade (click here for enlarged version):
Isn’t that hilarious? The description comes pretty close to blogging, doesn’t it?
Have you ever wondered how I’m able to crank out a post every day? It’s because I love blogging and I have a lot to say.
I took down the Twitter and FB share buttons on each blog post yesterday. I decided they weren’t very helpful and were just cluttering up my space and it was causing me some stress, not to mention subtly reinforcing the concept of Blogging As Popularity Contest.
This is neither why I started writing here, nor why I keep writing here.
We bloggers need to remember what we love to do. And keep doing it. I enjoy:
- Taking photos
- Sharing our Ottawa-area adventures with you
- The outdoors
- Writing about issues I care about
- Food, health and healthy living
- Arts and culture, reading
The first question in blogging always has to be WHY. Why are you blogging? For what reason? Is it:
- for catharsis
- to make money
- to keep a digital record of your life
- to position yourself as an expert in your field, whatever it may be
- to flex your creative muscle
- to get free stuff
I think if we bloggers can figure out WHY it will go a long way to answering a lot of questions that pop up along the way. My dilemma here is that my personal blog, which I started because I needed a space to be creative and get stuff out of my head … started to earn money. I need to keep my readership up, and so I worry about things like stats and I check them often. I worry about comments too, even though the rational side of me knows that comments are not a measure of a successful blog. I know it to be true from my own perspective. I read a lot of blogs and have very little time to sit and tap out a pithy comment.
At this point I’m trying to think of some blogging guidelines, not just for myself, but for other personal bloggers to keep in mind as we go along and to help keep the enjoyment factor high. Here we go, in no particular order:
- 1. Write in a way that satifies you first, and makes you and your creative side happy. Popeye said it best: “I YAM WHO I YAM.”
- 2. Don’t rush. And don’t post if you have nothing to say.
- 3. If you are writing for yourself first, comments are not a measure of success.
- 4. Be inspired by others, but don’t copy or steal. (Not that I ever would!!)
- 4. Build your community ever day. Take time to read and comment (even briefly) on other blogs.
- 6. It’s hard, but don’t let the trolls get you down. They’re just jealous, and they obviously have their own problems to deal with. Their problems cannot be your problems.
- 7. Be proud of your work. (This one is hard for me and I tend to undervalue my work. And I find it tough to toot my own horn because I don’t like braggy people and never want to come across as a braggart. There’s a line in there somewhere …hmmm. )
- 8. Be nice.
Got any to add?
Number 8 is a biggie. It comes up in many conversations I have with people, whether they’re bloggers or not. The Power of Nice is huge. And it is grossly underestimated. Many of the jobs and projects that have come my way are a result of The Power of Nice. :) I think I’ll write more about that later.
I’m just going to go ahead and press PUBLISH on this one. I might edit and correct and tweak. So if you see updated text, that’s why.