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Sunday, November 19, 2017

About blogging


I’ve blogged since 2011. I stumbled across blogs a year before, and thought “I’d like to do this.” I worked out Blogger and began, July, 2011, with a tiny kitten I’d scooped up in a parking lot in Pittsburg, visiting artist friends at the Three River Art Fest. My exhibiting days were retired; I was eight years the fiscal officer of my township.

The first year I spent recording family history, and doing a little more genealogical research. I was in awe of my father, abandoned by parents and relatives and by age eight essentially holding together his little family of five siblings. I learned his history from my mother; my father never spoke of his childhood. I thought my children would be interested, but they weren’t.

I loved my mother, and her mother twice as much. That grandmother was the only grandparent I had, and her history, back at the turn of the previous century, was as difficult as my dad’s. They could have exchanged stories, were they friends. They weren’t.

A few people followed the blog, and the stories of my forbearers. Then in the summer of 2012 my sister and I took on the care of three of my youngest daughter’s four children. The adventures of two teenagers and a ten year old took on a life of its own. Folk came over to see what was happening and many stayed.

I do like to write, and even taught freshman English at the local community college, until I was divorced. Having two children to support, and a house and car to pay for, I opened the Help Wanted section of the paper and saw accountants and engineers seemed well paid.

I applied for both sorts of positions and for a BS at a local college. I held my own well enough to be hired as the controller of a local electronics company, finished an accounting degree a year later. It was Moxie 101; I don’t know if it would work in the new world. I held the job almost fifteen years. The company was sold twice over, the economy was tumbling, my sister and I were fooling around with weaving; it was time to move on.

Jan and I were weavers for twenty years, until she quit to be a quilter and me to get a new hip, and work part time for my township.

Now I have 1,142 posts on my blog, and a hundred or two I’ve deleted. My writing improved over this time. I’ve learned to keep posts to five hundred words, or so. Say it and exit stage left works best for me. If rambles don’t advance the narrative, delete them.

I follow one statistic; view count to comments. I’ve settled on comments of ten percent or more of views as a decent blog, with something of interest. (That’s the statistic on the post page; it’s the one I’ve made sense of. A bit lazy, too.)

My other rule—let every comment stand. I do not delete comments because I may not agree, or moderate and not publish a comment at all. That’s censorship. I like the exchanges that go on, some as long as a string on Facebook. But if it’s spam, no quarter. Report and delete. Take that, blackguard.


42 comments:

  1. I've recently taken to deleting comments I feel are mean spirited, or push an agenda that has nothing to do with my post, otherwise I let a comment stand.

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  2. I am endlessly grateful to have found the blogosphere. I learn from it each and every day. I have laughed with other bloggers and wept with and for them.
    And comments stand, unless they are spam or (very rare) nastiness.

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    1. PS: I have only an old email for you. Today I received a note from Laura. Thank you both.

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    2. She has a lot of round stamps to use. 😉
      She's a great young person.

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  3. It's lovely to have met you in the blosphere. I don't keep track of my stats and my comments are fewer than I would like for the amount of comments I leave for others. I do thank you so much for being a regular comments on my blog as that is the kind of thing that keeps my motivation going. I am always inspired by what you write and the important work you've done to help your grandchildren have a better life. Big hugs. xx

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    1. I think about your mom and the socks, pretty often. :-)

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  4. I love blogging, reading blogs, and getting to know the bloggers. Your blog is special and one I truly appreciate. May you write a long time.

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  5. I count myself very lucky to have found your blog. It is always well written, touching, interesting and just the right length. I look forward to many more stories from you, Joanne.

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  6. You are a wonder. I don't know how I found your blog, but I'm so glad I did. Blog on !

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  7. I can't remember where I found your blog, but now I'm happy to see you show up in my reader. May you write many more posts.

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  8. 1142 posts; that is an achievement. My present blog I started end of 2011 and only have roughly 370 posts on it. I let every comment remain except the spam ones. I comment moderate after 14 days, that's usually when the spam starts showing up. Its a wonderful community of bloggers and I've got to meet a few of them in 'real life". That has been a joy!

    betty

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  9. I also discovered blogs about a year before I started my own blog. I don't remember when I found yours exactly, but I'm so glad I did.

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  10. I started blogging in 2008 and ran a blog for about 4 years and was pleased to receive two comments if I was lucky but mostly I talked to myself. I enjoyed the outlet for my words and sometimes I miss those days of talking to myself. I stopped the blog for about six months, and in fact deleted it all, but then I missed it so started another one, my present one. I don't know how I found yours but I am glad I did, and you found me, ditto. I do delete comments occasionally when they encroach my personal life a step too far when I have taken a big step of revealing something very sensitive, are out of turn, or talk down to me. That is the prerogative of the blogger.

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  11. I only read about six or seven blogs now yours being a firm favourite. I admire you so much. I hardly ever write a blog post these days.

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  12. I started my blog to learn about pottery and have been doing it since 2008 I think, now I often refer back to it for some of my own recipes. Ha.I wish I knew more about my family history but when I was young I didn't care about that so perhaps your children and grandchildren will one day be glad of your research.

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  13. Joanne, I really enjoyed reading this recap. I'm not sure how I found your blog, but am happy I did. Thankfully, I do not have any mean spirited comments that require deleting. I would say that blogging is a big part of my life, both writing my own and reading others'. -Jenn

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  14. And we are all still coming back to see what is going to happen next.

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  15. You’ve had an interesting career, Joanne and a fascinating life. I can’t remember how I found your blog but I’m glad I did.

    I started my blog with family info too. Now the writing and photography are important. I only censor spam.

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  16. You never know where your blog will take you.

    About interest in family ... the only person in my small family who seems interested is Danica, who is ten. But she's been interested even when younger. A long time ago, I put together some info about my paternal grandfather and never got any farther, but she liked looking through that, so I may get off my *** and do more.

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  17. I was very happy to find your blog, and even happier to get comments from you on my own. It is always a bit of a thrill to see your name come up. You are a kind and generous soul. I do have the moderate function turned on mine to discourage trolls and advertisers. But I've only not posted something once, personal reasons for that.

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  18. "Say it and exit stage left" -- that's the most important rule of blogging! People don't hang around to read a loooooooooooong post. Short and sweet is the way to go, you're right!

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  19. Hari OM
    That I got to meet and spend time with you as the result of blogging is one of the great joys in my memory! ... and am so glad you are still here with us in the ether Joanne!!!

    Blogosphere is a wonderful place to stay and play and, just like the playing fields all over the globe, it is good to know where the boundaries are. Like you, I generally only remove spam without a second thought. In all my nearly five years, there have only been two comments made by other bloggers on my page which I felt were completely out of order; I removed the comments so as not to upset other readers and emailed the persons responsible explaining why they were not being given free reign to use the language they did. Having a difference of opinions is fine. Abuse is never acceptable.
    YAM xx

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  20. Joanne, your blogging makes my world a whole lot better. In these shaky times, knowing someone as dependable as you ----with your entertaining stories, your insight, your sense of responsibility ---- helps me retain some faith in humanity.
    As long as you are here, hope survives. Thank you.

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  21. Well, Joanne, I'm a lurker. I rarely comment on any blog or on facebook and keep my thoughts to myself. But since you count these things, I'm coming out of hiding to tell you that your blog is my favorite after Going Gently. You write well, your grit is amazing and you feel like the sister I never had. Keep at it for another couple K posts.

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    Replies
    1. Dear Carol L (and all above and any below):
      This post is a stunner, to me. The response is not what I expected. I was writing about how I write a blog, and where it comes from. An encouragement to new bloggers, though I don't often find a lot of new, young bloggers. I expected to see many of you adding tid bits on going about your own blogs.
      As ever, thanks for the kind words. We've all held each other up over the years, publicly and privately. We've lost more than a few of us to death. I look over my blog list and miss them. Others who fell away, I've gone looking for. This is silly, but in closing I'll say Elaine of Pear Tree Log is still in meadow and woods in Lincolnshire, and all is well with the world.
      Thank you, and love and light to all.

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  22. I began my blog in 2013. I wanted to record my thoughts and family stories for my offspring. I enjoy doing it but I do at times need a break. I let my readers know when I am on vacation from blogging. When I come back I feel refreshed. Sometimes I have a hard time finding something to write about especially because I try to keep politics and religion out of it. Weather is fair game. I had definite ideas when I began about what I would write about. That has evolved over time but the basic reason for writing has remained the same. The reason I read your blog is because you have stayed true to you basic reason too.

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  23. I think we all blog for different reasons Joanne, but I have always enjoyed reading your exploits and those of your grandchildren - and am full of admiration for the way you have handled them and given them a life when they knew they were loved.

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  24. Blogging brought me back to life after my divorce. I love your blog. I find Laura endlessly fascinating. She reminds me so much of my daughter.

    Love,
    Janie

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  25. I'm very happy to have recently found your blog. I don't mind opposing thoughts on a topic, but when any comment is being delivered more to be mean or nasty in its delivery, it's gone. Constructive criticism, sure. Mean bully-like crap, nope. Life is too short. Take it elsewhere to someone who cares. That's my philosophy for my blog.

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  26. I look forward to your blog heaving over the horizon in my reader. Well written, to the point and always interesting from someone who has a jolly varied life.

    Blogging opens my mind considerably. I listen to music I would not otherwise have heard, learn about something way off my normal interests, and all that because the blogger is someone who engages with the readers, who puts themselve out there tp share something.

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  27. I think it is much harder now to get readers. There was a time when blogs were a bigger thing and the community was bigger. Apparently it was a little bit of a fad. Fads come and go. Now that the readers that were here because of the fad are gone I believe we have better quality readers. I very seldom delete an old post. Even if it was poorly put together it shows me what I was thinking that day. One difference for me today is less postings than in the past.

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  28. I was surprised to realize how long it's been since I found your blog, Joanne - time flies, doesn't it? I'm so glad you are still writing. I've learned a lot, and enjoyed every post. Keep on keepin' on!

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  29. Hi Joanne-it was a great blog post idea to talk about your blogging history. I've gone back in your blog a few times to try and sort out some of your family history (how the grand kids came to live with you) but it's helpful to have a synopsis. I'm not surprised that you had a wonderful grandmother because you are a devoted grandmother.

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  30. somehow I managed to erase the comment I had typed before it got published. hate when that happens. I started in 2009 mainly as an online journal for my descendants because of course they will want to read about my life! I think I was more interesting when I started though I've never attracted a lot of followers or comments. and I have winnowed down the number I read and comment on because it it time consuming. but I do enjoy yours Joanne so I hope you keep it up.

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  31. Well, congratulations on writing such a great blog.

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  32. I'm so glad to have found you ; for the kindness, interest in others and humour you show and your sheer dogged determination.
    But most of all , because you're always interesting !

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  33. I do like your blog! Mine is from 2009, this one, since about a year after my husband died. Surprising your children were not interested in your genealogy....Someday they will be interested, and I hope your blog is still around for them. And may you be around, too!

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  34. Those were interesting informations, Joanne - I follow your blog for long, but didn't know about the ancestors.
    I was a bit silent in blogland because of changes in my life and many travels and lots to do - but as you I love writing and miss blogging sometimes.
    And miss reading them - but at the moment I seldom find the time, though I want to.

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  35. Well, whatever you are doing is working. Your blog is one of my favourites. I agree with keeping things short. My posts are becoming shorter recently, mainly because I am busy with other things but also because I know what makes me stop reading a blog post.

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  36. I'll add my voice to those who don't know how they found your blog but are glad they did. It is good to read what another grandma goes through with her young ones. I only delete the spam comments. Lately that has been quite a few. Thanks for this interesting post today!!

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