Category Archives: Blogging

Quickie posting because I’m just so darned tired.

Haven’t blogged in awhile, other than to argue with someone in the comments of an article I wrote about public schools. It’s actually a lot of fun to debate someone, although it’s not like it’s possible to convince a true-believer of the error of their ways.

Anyway, I was checking my stats today, and I came across an interesting search term. Someone made their way to my blog by searching for “marijuana chronic diarrhea”. Now, I realize I’ve written quite a few articles, but I didn’t think any combined those terms. I was wrong, and here it is.

 

Please, don’t bother commenting if you’re a spammer.

I get so annoyed with the idiot spammers coming to my blog. I don’t get a lot of traffic, and not a lot of comments, so I get a little excited when the emails come in telling me I have something new to approve. Then I get the let-down when I find that the waiting comment is some stupid bogus entry that has nothing to do with the article, is completely generic, and adds to value to my site.

When someone comments here, I want them to do one of two things. Either agree with me and add more facts to support what I’ve already said, or disagree with me and present your argument. Anything else is basically pointless noise. Anyone following my blog in an RSS reader doesn’t want to be bothered with a comment that adds nothing.

Because of the relatively low number of comments I get, and because I tend to be very choosy about things like vulgarity, I moderate all comments. GET THAT, SPAMMERS? I MODERATE ALL COMMENTS! You’re not going to somehow trick me into approving you and allowing all future comments from your name to be automatically approved. You’re not going to trick me into giving you free advertising via link on your comment. So don’t bother. Go annoy someone else.

 

Moderation is the key.

One of my oldest and least important articles is also my most commented-on. A few years ago I wrote a short piece about Max and Ruby, a kid’s cartoon that I find particularly annoying. Since then I’ve gotten a slow stream of comments, 39 in total. Two days ago, I had 5 comments submitted, all from the same source, and all in the span of 10 minutes. Normally, I’d be thrilled. Unfortunately, I had to trash all 5 submissions. Apparently the person could not form a thought without a healthy dose of vulgar language.

This is why myself and many other blogs moderate comments. My blog is personal, and I don’t want anything on it that will reflect badly on myself. If I didn’t moderate, there would be 5 comments right now on my Max and Ruby article, describing Ruby’s deviant behavior. I’ve been known to selectively edit out a bad word or two from an otherwise useful comment, but in this case I’d have been removing 75% of the text.

It’s sad that there are people in the world who can’t speak normally without cursing. The lack of normal vocabulary seems to be replaced with F-bombs. If you’re going to comment on my blog, keep the dirty mouth to yourself, please. Otherwise you’re wasting your time as I click on the Trash button.

 

It may be time to scrap my Twitter account.

I’m thinking pretty seriously that it may be time to drop my Twitter account.

I came to Twitter late in the game, when many people were already using it. It took me a long time to sign up, mainly because I just didn’t see any purpose in it. So many people just seemed to be tweeting nonsense, such as what they had for breakfast. Even people like Newt Gingrich were tweeting that they had hamburgers before they went to the show. Who cares?

But, since so much of my job is tied up in the workings of the Internet, I try to make sure I at least experience the various technologies and applications that people use. I think it’s important to understand how people are using the Internet. So, I got a Twitter account and started tweeting.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have a lot of pithy stuff to say. 140 characters is pretty limiting for me, so I didn’t end up saying much at all. I tried going the nonsense route, where I’d tweet that I was tired, or going to bed, or whatever, but that just seemed so goofy that I stopped. I mostly ended up re-tweeting things, which is kinda like saying “me too”.

Then I pretty much stopped doing my own tweets, and just followed others, mainly people in politics. People like Michelle Malkin are professionals, and they spend all their time finding news and analyzing what’s happening in the country, so I could get information by watching articles that they tweeted.

In the meantime, however, I started using Facebook. Again, I was pretty late to the game and didn’t see much use for it. Again, I signed up to see what it was all about. Around the same time, my 20-year high-school reunion was coming up. Facebook ended up being a great way to locate and organize the whole thing. I can only imagine how hard it would have been for our wonderful organizer Sarah to locate everyone without it.

Once I became familiar with Facebook, I started using it instead of Twitter. In fact, it seemed like people were using it almost to accomplish the same thing as Twitter – short posts and links to outside sources. Except unlike Twitter, Facebook wasn’t just a message board, but had all kinds of other features as well. Suddenly Twitter wasn’t nearly as interesting.

So, here I am. I’m a blogger, so I write content for this blog and for a few others. I want my blogging to be seen by my Facebook friends, so I use Facebook to pull in the RSS feed from this blog. I also use Facebook to pull in my tweets. I’d like to automatically tweet my blog articles, but after awhile it’s a mess trying to cross-post content back and forth. Not only that, I have a limited amount of time to come up with new content, and it’s a struggle to keep up with Facebook and Twitter as well.

I sat down tonight at my computer, and I happened to glance at my Tweetdeck. It’s always running, so I’ve gotten used to it always being on the desktop. It didn’t occur to me until tonight that I haven’t actually read any tweets from it in at least a few weeks. Anyone that I follow on Twitter has a corresponding Facebook account, and I can usually see the same content there.

So, I’m pretty sure I’ll be scrapping my Twitter account in the next few days, if not sooner. I think Twitter “jumped the shark” some time back, and I have better things to do.

You just never know…

It’s always interesting to see what gets the most hits on a blog. I write a lot of political stuff, and once in awhile I get some traffic, but up until lately my big numbers were always to an article I wrote about problems in public schools.

Over the last few days, however, my traffic shot up by somewhere around 900%. In only lasted a few days and then died back down, but it was interesting to note that pretty much all of it was due to people doing searches for Mila Kunis. If you don’t know, Kunis is an actress probably best known for her role as Jackie in That 70’s Show. I wrote an article about my Top 10 Hot Actresses and included Kunis. Apparently she was in the news for a few days because she’s working on a movie called Black Swan in which she kisses Natalie Portman. The spike in traffic was undoubtedly related to the buzz that created in the entertainment world.

Now, if I were smart, I’d figure out how to capitalize on that and write some more articles about Mila Kunis, since she’s in the news. The problem is, I’m just not all the interested in entertainment news in the first place. I can’t bring myself to churn out articles about subjects I don’t care about just to drum up hits.

So, back to writing about stuff that interests me, and hopefully like-minded people will find me interesting!

David Horowitz’s NewsRealBlog

I added a new link just a moment ago to David Horowitz’s NewsRealBlog.  I read his book Hating Whitey: and Other Progressive Causes years ago, and although I’ve seen him on various talk shows and such, today I happened to find his blog site.

I’ve also added a link to FrontPageMag, which is Horowitz’s website where you can find NewsRealBlog and other good conservative information.

No love for Max and Ruby

I tend to jump around a lot when blogging.  Politics, humor, random thoughts…. anything is fair game.  I never know whether an article will bring in readers or not.  So I was a little surprised when a tongue-in-cheek piece about the cartoon called “Max and Ruby” turned into my biggest attraction.  It’s my most-read article and has generated the most comments.  Apparently idiotic cartoons cause a strong reaction in readers.

Facebook – useful tool or no?

I’ve been on Facebook for several months now, giving it a try.  I skipped Myspace when it was all the rage, mainly because it was painful to look at and seemed to be full of teens.  But Facebook seemed to have more structure and less mess, making it at the very least readable.

I wasn’t on Facebook long before I started getting contacted by old classmates from high school.  My 20th reunion is coming up and they are using Facebook as a way to locate and keep in touch between now and then.  It’s actually working pretty well to keep a group of people in touch.  I’m doing the same thing with my family reunion, building a group of “friends” – in this case relatives – by looking for someone I can find and then using their friend list to find other people.

So now I’ve gathered a decent list of “friends”.  I log in once in awhile to check what they have to say.  I automatically pull my posts on my blog sites into Facebook via RSS so I’ve got a running list of entries for my Facebook friends to read.  But guess what?  No one, and I mean no one, comments on my articles.  Not one of my friends writes any type of article themselves or writes anything with any content.  Yes, there are a few things of interest – one girl is using the site as a way to keep all her friends up to date with her pregnancy.  But for the most part, my Wall is filled with STUFF.  “I’m eating X for breakfast”.  “I just took a shower”.  “Blah blah blah Mafia Wars”.  I’ve got to sift through so much junk to see if there’s anything important stuck in there that I missed.

I guess I expected more.  I expected actual conversations about things of importance.  There are significant things happening in our world today, and not one of my 33 Facebook friends has anything to say about them.  The one time one of their friends make an offhand political comment, I responded, and after a few volleys back and forth, they quit right when it was getting fun.

I’ll probably stick with it for awhile, but I’m very tempted to just email out my regular email addresses and abandon Facebook.  If it weren’t for the reunion stuff, I would have ditched it already.  It may be a useful tool for some, but for me it’s just another online persona that I have to keep up.

Twitter – What’s the point?

When I first heard about Twitter, I had 2 questions:

1) What is the point?  Why should I use it?

2) What would I have to say that other people might find interesting?

I’ve been on Twitter for several months now.  I don’t use it much, although I do feed my regular blog posts into Tweets.  I have a handful of followers, mainly people I already knew in real life.  I haven’t caught on yet to using Twitter much, but for what it’s worth, I haven’t got very far with Facebook yet either.

Anyway, Dr. Melissa Clouthier has a good article called The Five “I’s” to Twitter Success that helps to answer #2.  I’m going to try to follow her tips and see how things go.  She’s promised another article on the way to answer #1, and I’m waiting anxiously to see her opinion on that one.