25+ Followers?!! Time for another Post

Part of being a good neighbor on blogs is connecting with other bloggers. The Blogging 101 course I took was extremely helpful in getting me to reach out to the blogging community and establishing a dialogue.

I think one thing I can do is recognize other blogs and share links with my readers from time to time. Part of that answer for me might be giving occasional shout outs to my followers and any posts and I like.

In particular, I gained 7 new followers since Sunday (and I gained another as I began to write this post to make it 8). That’s big for me, especially considering that I started this blog in late-August 2015 on a whim and miraculously still managed a net gain of 7 followers before this month. February was the most productive month I have had as a blogger and must thank the community for that.

Continue reading “25+ Followers?!! Time for another Post”

What’s My Feature? I’m Thinking, Boo…I’m Thinking…

So…the last big assignment for Blogging 101 involves me deciding on establishing a feature for this blog. A feature would be a type of blog post I would be regularly —like once a week, usually on the same day of the week. This is different than a blogging event, which calls for the participation of others from the blogging community.

This would also be different than a series of posts I’m currently working on. So far, I’ve started around two series of posts I would like to finish:

  • Arguments That Give Me Pause: The series was started on another site, but I fully intend to finish it here. I have already published a few posts and need to do quite a bit of research. Stay tuned.
  • Things I Don’t Like about Television: This was also started on the same site, but I have since revised some topics and created new ones. This list is still being evaluated and I am currently pouring more attention to these posts at the moment.

I might also transfer some older posts here that are also part of a series. Some readers gave my excellent feedback for a number of those posts and one poster said they learned quite a lot from reading them. Perhaps I could share them with a larger audience.

Continue reading “What’s My Feature? I’m Thinking, Boo…I’m Thinking…”

Building My Brand (on WordPress)

For Assignment 14 in Blogging 101, we each had to work on building our brand. In order to do this, we were given three choices:

  1. Create a custom icon for our sites. This shows up on the browser tab.
  2. Create a fan page on Facebook to promote our posts.
  3. Create image widgets for a sidebar.

I went with the first option.

As I was working on working on this assignment, my first thought was to create the icon by hand. Either I would draw something traditionally or do it digitally. In any case, an idea would have to be sketched out.

The two ideas I came up with were: drawing part of my face; or using the letters in my screen name artistically. During the sketching phase, I liked how the letters looked. The self-portrait can still be used for another project.

The icon I’m currently using was made in Adobe Illustrator. Here’s a sneak peek:

building my brand

This is still a work in progress and things might be changed later.

Addressing an Error and Choosing Blogging Event

As I type this, I’m getting ready to go to bed. I’m pretty tired. I had a big day today. Anyway, let’s get back on topic.

My Error

Oops! I just realized that I posted Episode 15 of my Things I Don’t Like about Television series a day early. I’ve been quite busy this week, scheduling meetings, and trying to meet deadlines. The days just seem to run together sometimes. This will just give me more time to get other things in order…like my Blogging 101 assignments.

A Blogging Event

From The Daily Post, events page, a few caught my fancy. There probably are a few I should try, like the Sketch-a-Day Project, Sketchbook Saturday, and Creative Questions. For now, I want to stick to just one.

Among all the choices, I was able to find a blogging event I really liked, Write Anything Wednesday. All those who take part in the event have to do is what it says on the tin. We can publish regular blog posts, or a piece of fiction. We can link back to the site, and even post on any deal we feel like. I like this idea because there is no pressure, there are no mandatory prompts, there is just a challenge to be creative and to keep those blogging senses sharp.

Hmm… I can use tomorrow to write an extra post and finish my Blogging 101 assignments. But tomorrow is a big day, as well. Maybe I’ll write about it!

Who Else Responded to the Prompt I Chose?

For Assignment 11 in Blogging 101, I was asked to respond to a prompt from the Daily Post. The next assignment called for me to read at least 6 other responses to the same prompt and respond to at least two.

  • From the blog Sacrificial Chain Breaker, the title Pajamas Every Day stood out to me. It consisted of a paragraph detailing how writing can benefit those who want to make limited contact.
  • I went to the blog According to Greta to read a post entitled Making the Right Career Choices. Greta offered some sound advice for pre-career evaluation. She also included a video for aspiring writers.
  • I swung over to Rica Mae Rosales’s blog, Like to Write, and read Juggling like a pro. Even now, she is thinking about having a work/life balance.
  • On the site raffystolemyheart, there was a post entitled When I grow up, I want to be.. and it was about the author’s current job benefits and what she would really like to do.
  • On Shaira Mae’s Blog, her response was named Dream to slay the world! She would like to be a performer. Be warned: when you visit her site, music (currently “Moonshine” by Bruno Mars) will play automatically.

Out of the six posts I read, I left a comment on two. My comment on the “Making the Right Career Choices” can be found here. I left a comment for raffystolemyheart, but it was waiting moderation.

All in all, I will say I rather enjoyed getting to read some other responses and getting to know some of my neighbors a little better.

Things I Don’t Like About Television, Episode 15: ESPN, Often

ESPN

There are some things I absolutely love about ESPN. First, it has a number of shows across it channels that I enjoy watching (even occasionally), like Sportscenter, Around the Horn, Pardon the Interruption, NFL Live, Mike and Mike in the Morning, 30 for 30, Outside the Lines, and E60. The documentaries affiliated with or are entirely made by ESPN are generally good. ESPN of course features games I want to see. And I appreciate some of the coverage for women’s sports with ESPNW, ESPN360, and ESPNU.

However, it seems like there are more things that piss me off about the network overall.

For one thing, I just do not care for some of the programming. While poker games and spelling bees don’t actually deviate from the premise and purview of the channel — as ESPN stands for Entertainment and Sports Programming Network — I still find that stuff to be incredibly boring, especially the poker. Others enjoy that, though. To each his own.

A few things that immediately irk me about ESPN networks are how the reporters and staff can be reactionary, repetitive (much like the cable news networks’ love of covering one news story for a week or more), and sadistic.

Continue reading “Things I Don’t Like About Television, Episode 15: ESPN, Often”

Things I Don’t Like About Television, Episode 14: Cable News

I would like to begin with a little story about Entertainment Tonight.

1997 Set a Bad Precedent for Cable News Networks

For those of you who don’t know what Entertainment Tonight is, it’s a news magazine that first aired in 1980’s. I watched it at one point in my life. Although it was built on gossip surrounding the stars, it was once a pretty decent program for its purpose. There were short segments on various stars but the most important thing was that there was variety. That all changed the day Jimmy Stewart died. The actor best known for the films “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” died in 1997 and there was a marked change in the way the news was reported. Much of the focus had been on Stewart’s death, and this was especially true on “Entertainment Tonight.”

From that day on, most news magazines/programs would focus their time slots more on one story. (Local news networks had been like this for years prior.) This could be seen in the mid-late part of the 2000’s when broads like Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton were given too much attention for their antics. (This could even be seen on 24-hour news networks — and sports networks as well, which I will touch on in the next post.)

Continue reading “Things I Don’t Like About Television, Episode 14: Cable News”

My [Simple] Dream Job

In Response to the Daily Prompt Money for Nothing (February 15, 2016):

If you’re like most of us, you need to earn money by working for a living. Describe your ultimate job. If you’re in your dream job, tell us all about it — what is it that you love? What fulfills you? If you’re not in your dream job, describe for us what your ultimate job would be.

On the surface, I have a fairly simple dream, really. Of course, I would love to do what I love (writing and drawing).  I could achieve this by writing books and creating the illustrations for them. Whenever I talk to published authors or painters, I can sense the excitement they have for they created.

When I really think about it, there are things about my current job that I like and would like to incorporate in the future. On one hand, being a published author would make me my own boss. On the other hand, I need to work with others on a regular basis. I would love the chance to work on a full team while creating artistic works…or designing for an advertising campaign.

I would even like to incorporate a chance at leadership. Moving upward to become an art director would also be a teaching role.

With that taken care of, I would also like to work in a fun, positive environment. For all the complaints many — including myself — have about Google, it really seems like a fun place to work. It’s like a playground, with great health plans and stock options. Its customer service needs work, to make an understatement. Some also state the pressure to work and stay on campus, but they say the experience is an overwhelmingly positive one.

Additionally, I would like to know that I’m making a positive impact on clients, customers, and the world. So that would be different than Google.

Basically, I would want a mixture of what I stated above:

  • a workplace where I get to work with others,
  • A place where I get to write and design things
  • A career with health, dental, a good vacation package and leave, and a good retirement plan.

If I could have the above while making a positive impact, that would be great.

Hello, Followers (February 21, 2016)!

In building on my last post for Blogging 101, I’d thought I’d take the time to say hello to all my followers. This is also something I should do, anyway. I see that some good users of social media love to keep their followers involved by giving them shout outs.

Now, when I started the Blogging 101 course, I only had 7 followers since I started on WordPress (in late August 2015). In two weeks, I’ve nearly tripled my following (and I’m one short of twenty). It’s exciting to get new followers and know that what I write may speak to others.

My followers are:

  • Kosmogonic: On this site, you will find a collection of socially-conscious poetry.
  • Marc-André: He is part owner to Katzenworld, a whimsical site about cats. The offerings on this site include musings, news, and product reviews. If one is so inclined, they may even sign up for a newsletter.
  • Ana Spoke: Originally started as a way to finish a novel, AnaSpoke.com serves as medium for the self-published author to write about the publishing process. She’s also made some humorous videos to promote one of her books.
  • Stuart M. Perkins: He runs Storyshucker, where he shares daily observations and insights from his life. Many of his posts read like pages of a novel.
  • robintournadre: He runs Robin T. Photo, where he shows off some breathtaking images he shoots from his travels. He also offers tips for photographers and full-on tutorials.
  • ProjectJournal.co.uk: I was rather surprised to get this follow. Project Journal is an online publication aimed at professionals in the United Kingdom.
  • shandraeats: Written by one of my “classmates” in Blogging 101, Shandra Eats has quick food reviews and shares links to recipes.
  • Claudia Sava: She’s a teenager who takes an introspective look with each of her posts. I was never that thoughtful or articulate when I was her age.
  • Jason Bucky Roberts: He’s the main contributor to Nerdy Life of Mine and he has his own podcast.
  • Timm: Hailing from Thailand, Timm runs Sketchb.in, where he talks about his interests and adventures from his life. Here’s another Blogging 101 classmate!
  • willjwrightblog: I also came across Write Words via Blogging 101. Will Wright writes (see what I did there?) about current events and pop culture, and personal stories. He has a gentle way of addressing things.
  • Selka: This blogger co-runs a blog entitled PermacultureGrin, dedicated to talking about experiences on building a home and garden in Nova Scotia.
  • usfman: This fellow classmate runs Snippets of a Traveling Mind, a blog dedicated to finding internal serenity and celebrating the spirit of travel.
  • ryanbonnduadua: Ryan Bonn hails from the Philippines. He runs Real Estate Property Investments, which is a blog use to advertise real estate property and show his expertise in the industry.
  • che: This is a private blog, but I’m grateful for the follow!
  • Audrey: This wife/mother/stepmother/sister/daughter/friend’s blog features her aggressive, organic writing style. Give her a minute, and she’ll pull you in.

Once again, thanks to all for following me and I would of course welcome more!

Blogroll Assignment

Assignment 10 for my Blogging 101 course was really simple. All I had to do was one of three things:

  • Add a “Blogs I Follow” widget.
  • Add a “Links” Widget.
  • Use the Text widget to list and describe links to any blog or site I wanted.

I chose the first option and placed it on my sidebar. One thing to note is that the blogs being mentioned could be shown as part of a list or via images (the avatars the authors use). I tried both, and felt that the use of images was make for a more dynamic viewing.

Currently, I am following 14 blogs. (Yes, I need to branch out more and find more blogs.) However, the widget could be set to show only a certain number of those blogs. For now, four blogs will only be shown on my sidebar. Not all the authors of blogs I follow use custom avatars, but the four at the top do. As I find more and more blogs I want to follow, there will be more featured via the widget.