Tag Archives: Weblogs

Blogging Part 5: Viewing

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As I sit here watching my WordPress follower number steadily approach the big four-oh-oh, I’m thinking of things that I’ve done and can’t help but wonder if others do it too.

One of my lazy habits for a long time was to go to the Readers menu and go through all my followers blog posts. If I was feeling guilty, I’d quickly go down the list and hit “Like” on the ones with the titles that impressed me most. (or thumbnails)

Now besides showing a sort of “kack-handed” support, it also showed just how lazy I could get. It also doesn’t show up on the bloggers view count. Now I did not realise this, back when I was doing it. It only became apparent when I paid a bit more attention to the “stats” for my site.

I would get a notification that “so-and-so” and good old (fill in site name here) had “Liked” my latest post.

But…

My views had not increased. It took a little concentration on my part, but, I eventually made the connection. In a moment of serendipitous epiphany-age, I put two and two together and, besides getting four, I realised they’d hit the “Like” button without actually reading the post.

Now, I’ve always had a “thing” about my view counts. I had it on my first blog at Blogger.com and I had it on my second blog on Tumblr.com and I still have it. I’m attached to my view counts and will (throughout the day) keep checking them to see if they’ve gone up. I am, almost, OCD in my feeling about my view counts.

I then made another connection. I was doing that myself! I felt a little bit ashamed. I mean, I read incredibly fast (always have) and it seemed worse than cheating for me to ignore the actual content of the bloggers I was following to not at least look at the damned post!

So I have stopped that heinous habit and started really liking the post versus, liking the idea or the notification of the post. I would like to point out that I didn’t do that all the time, just occasionally when I “felt” strapped for time. Something that, now-a-days, I’m not but old imagined stresses are hard to break.

I’m sure I’m not alone in this preoccupation with viewing figures.

So how about you?

So you have anything that you obsess over? Do you compulsively check your follower numbers or views? Do you even bother to look at your stats at all? Do you succumb to this “lazy liking” and not read posts at all?

Let me know.

My obsession.
My obsession.

Best Moment Award

Best-Moment-Award

I owe a heartfelt thank you to Sandra over at quirkybooks who nominated me based on my blog post – 50,000 Plus! Thanks Guys. This is the first time I’ve received this award and I am, to put it plainly, chuffed to bits (in American English that means damned happy). So  again, Sandra, thanks!

I also owe a gesture of gratitude to the kind folks over at Moment Matters who started this whole thing in the first place. They’ve even made up an award logo for the recipients to paste on their wall. It is the one at the top of this post and it is very impressive looking.

The words and music that accompany this award are below:

Awarding the people who live in the moment,
The noble who write and capture the best in life,
The bold who reminded us what really mattered –
Savoring the experience of quality time.

Pretty nice, I think. As with all awards that are bandied about in the WordPress Blogging community there are rules. These are listed below and since this is my first time winning this award, I hope everyone will forgive me if I muck the process up!

Rules:

Winners repost this completely with their acceptance speech. This speech may be written or video taped (vlogged)

Winners have the privilege of awarding the next recipients. The re-post should have a new set of people/blogs that are worthy of this award and then you have to tell the new folks that you’ve chosen.

Resources:

(I’ve included these as they were in Sandra’s post and any help is good help, if you need it)

  • What makes a good acceptance speech?
    • Gratitude. Thank the people who helped you along the way
    • Humor. Keep us entertained and smiling
    • Inspiration. Make your story touch our lives
  • Get an idea from the great acceptance speeches, compiled in MomentMatters.com/Speech
  • Display the award’s badge on your blog/website, downloadable in MomentMatters.com/Award


Acceptance Speech:

I accept this award with gratitude and heartfelt appreciation.

For any person who takes the time to look at my blog, I am truly grateful.

For every person that likes my blog, I am thankful.

When a person leaves a comment on my blog, I am inspired to continue blogging.

For each person who interacts with me, I am elated.

For any person who Follows me, my face lights up with pleasure.

For every blogger who shares their knowledge, wisdom and thoughtfulness, I am blessed to be in your company.

Every moment in life is precious, so make sure you do everything you can to cherish and enjoy it.

*I have used the acceptance speech from Sandra’s post as it is damn near perfect. I would only add that my inspiration comes from within and without and my urge to share comes from your views and “Likes” and comments. This community and all who stop by, rock.*

The winners for the Best Moment Award are:

Serendipity

Films and Things

For Henry

terry1954

And that is that. An incredibly short list I know, I follow a huge amount of blogs. The ones I have chosen have inspired me “outside” my box. In other words they’ve touched a part of me and my thought process a bit more deeply than usual. I feel what they are saying. These are the folks who have affected me one way or another by one or more posts.

I will apologise now if any of you feel left out. I have many wonderful followers and it pains me when I have to choose some over others in these things. But such is life and I’m trying to play by the rules here. (at least I hope I am)

You will also notice that I’ve chosen non-film related blogs for my winners. As much as I love film and can talk/write about it till the cows come home, this award isn’t about film or film related things. It’s about life and living the moment. My winners are doing that.

The last part of this Award process is the instruction to share this with your followers and to tweet your “success” with the hash tagged  #MomentMatters.

Congratulations to all my winners and I want you to know that you’ve all written things that have touched me. Deeply.

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I’m a Versatile Blogger…Again!

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Just when I thought I was through with dodging the award bullets, I got “zinged” with another one from my good friend Marilyn over at Serendipity. She has given me the Versatile Blogger award!

If you haven’t checked out her great blog, stop reading this and head on over via the link above. She has a great site and (like me) she posts a lot! She is a great photographer who shares her work willingly on her site and she asks a lot of pertinent questions. Not to mention that she is one of the most erudite blogs going.

And she and her husband Garry are amongst the few on the net that I consider great pals! Check her out…okay?

Now as with all the other awards that are flying about in the WordPress blogging verse, there are penalties, sorry; rules that must be adhered to, or at least you are supposed to. I tend to vary them a little, just because variety is the spice of life and (in case I’ve not mentioned it lately) because I’m lazy and a bit of a rebel.

I have to mention here that I love getting awards! Ever since I got a Best Supporting Actors Award in 1976 I’ve been hooked on getting any type of “special” recognition. I know, I could change my blog title to Ego’s are Me. It is a tiny personality flaw that I’m aware of and I’m trying to address it.

Okay??

So without further ado, here are the rules involved when you receive the Versatile Blogger Award:

*These have been copied shamelessly from Marilyn’s blog post. See! I told you I was lazy!*

These are the traditional rules for The Versatile Blogger Award:

  • Thank the person who gave you this award.
  • Include a link to their blog.
  • Next, name the bloggers to whom you would like to pass the award and send them a link to tell them you’ve selected them.
  • Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

So! I’ve thanked the person who nominated me! (Thanks again Marilyn!!!). I’ve included a link to their blog. Now I have to name the bloggers I’m nominating.

*Drumroll please*

And the nominees are:

Written in Blood

Hard Ticket to Home Video

Claratsi Movie Review

myfilmviews

RobbinsRealm Blog

It Rains… You Get Wet

Cinematic

I’ve only done 7 nominees (aka winners). The reason? Well, I’m not going to do the 7 “things about me” drill. So at least I’ve made an attempt at the rules by utilising the number seven. (Does anyone else hear the Sesame Street thing in their head saying, “Today is brought to you by the number seven?”)

What I’m going to do instead is post a picture of “moi” holding up my first coffee of the day (and amazingly it’s after I wrote this blog) and toasting not only Marilyn over at Serendipity and the nominees, but, everyone who follows my little blog!

Cheers, all the best!
Cheers, all the best!

I’ll also add a few more pictures from “yesteryear.”

My family. Brother Randy, Dad, Mom, Me, and in the front, my son Donovan. 1980
My family. Brother Randy, Dad, Mom, Me, and in the front, my son Donovan. 1980
Me. 1979.
Me. 1979.
My daughter Megan, 1990 aged 9 months.
My daughter Megan, 1990 aged 9 months.

And that’s me finished!! I’ll also take this time to thank all the folks who stop by, ‘like’ and follow my blog. You guys are the reason I keep forcing myself to sit down in front of my laptop and repeated strike the keys…and to write my blog posts.

You guys are the greatest!

50,000 Plus! Thanks Guys!

Unknown

Literally the day after I posted about my 1 year anniversary on WordPress, I passed the 50 thousand mark. To add to the excitement of that landmark, I also got 673 views yesterday which obviously helped to move my view totals up. While still surfing this wave of excitement, I thought I’d do a short post of gratitude…again.

I still haven’t figured out what drove all that extra activity to my site. It certainly wasn’t any of the regular search engines or terms. It is baffling to say the least. But not unappreciated at all. I mentioned to my friend Tyson over at Head In A Vice and he assured me it was not down to the “FACE OFF” that we’re doing at the moment over on his blog. *How’s that for a plug, Tyson?*

Still, wonderment aside, I have to say thanks again for all the folks who take the time to stop by my little blog. Your views are what keep me going. Sure I like the “sound” of my own voice, even if it’s only in my head while I read my ramblings, but it is nice that other folks seem to like it as well.

I don’t want to jump on the “I appreciate you guys so much train” again after just doing it in my Happy Anniversary to Me post I just did, but, doggone it! I am pretty excited to hit two milestones so close together. So you’ll have to excuse me if I get too carried away.

I know that I am still not a “successful” blogger yet (whatever that means) as in I have tens of thousands of followers who hang on my every word, but, I do love all the folks who have obligated themselves to following my words and images. It means a lot, so much in fact that I kind of feel like you guys have been instrumental in my recovery from my heart attack last August.

My writing has helped me keep my mind off the negative connotations of almost dying and your interaction with me through the auspices of my blog posts has given me more ammunition for the old grey cells to ruminate on instead of my own fractured mortality. In other words, you all have given me a new lease on life. And for that I am grateful.

I do follow folks back (at least I try, although it may take me some time to do it) and I try to read as many of your blog posts possible. I just wanted to take another minute or two to thank everyone once again for helping to make my blogging experience a fun one.

On a final note (see I told you this was a short one) I’d like to thank WordPress! You guys so totally rock as a weblog site!

Believe it or not this is my happy face!
Believe it or not this is my happy face!

Happy One Year Anniversary to My WordPress Blog!

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The 1 year anniversary logo.

It has taken me all day to decide on what to write after WordPress told me of my one year anniversary this morning. I will admit a certain amount of astonishment. I thought I’d been with WordPress much longer than a year. But after looking at my old posts and remembering that a goodly number of them had been first posted with Blogspot.com my amazement diminished pretty rapidly.

I have written before about how much I like the WordPress set up and the fact that I have loads more views per post and followers here than I ever managed to get on the old Blogspot site. I’ve been accused of being a “view” junkie and I will admit that I am hooked on my view numbers and also pretty excitable about my follower figures. Aren’t we all, to some degree?

But the nicest thing about having been on WordPress for a year is the great folks I’ve met and interacted with. Folks (aka fellow bloggers) that I never would have met on my old blog site. These are people who I, rightly or wrongly, feel are friends; some more so than others, but friends nonetheless. My daily interaction with them has been a boon, especially since my heart attack last August.

Of course, view counts and followers aside, the very visibility of WordPress is what has made this such a great ride. I actually started blogging in 2010.  A short timid two sentence entry that laid dormant for an entire year. Then in 2011, I began in earnest and tried to pretty much write every day. This wasn’t possible at that time, but as my input (or output) became more frequent and I discovered Tumblr and then WordPress I kept leapfrogging to each site looking for a blogging home.

It did not take me long to discover that here was where I wanted to be. The support from the staff is phenomenal and the themes are fantastic. I guess that the reason that I thought I’d been here longer than a year was twofold. Firstly, I manage to upload two or more posts a day. I have also managed to get 254 followers on this blog alone. I guess in my mind the culmination of blog posts plus followers equals a long time, i.e. much longer than a year.

Still, I’ve had fun here and as I start to reach more people I feel like I’ve been blessed to find so many folks who feel like I do and not just about films and books, but life as well.

After being “ill-health” retired from my job at an obscenely early age I had a lot of time on my hands (I still do actually) where the days could have stretched into a depressingly long time period of too much inner reflection and fears about health. The people who I’ve met via my little blog have made my days interesting and (in some cases) challenging.

I am not much of a “joiner” preferring instead to be on the outside of the social circle instead of actually being part of it. For the first time that I can remember, I’ve enjoyed being part of a community. One that shares kudos and publicity and awards with one another.

The other great thing about WordPress’s visibility is the contact that I’ve had with people in the entertainment and literature business that I never had with my other blogs. I have directors, actors, producers and authors who comment on my reviews and I can honestly say that I’m “blown away” each and every time it happens.

As my blog continues to evolve and grow (I’ve just done my first ever interview!) I look at the fruits of my labour and the community that I’m a part of and I think how lucky I am to have discovered this world of blogging and the folks who inhabit it. It is the people who I’ve met and interacted with combined with those  who have paid me the ultimate compliment of following my blog who make this so worthwhile.

So I raise my glass high and I’ll make a toast to you all: “Thanks WordPress for making this a great first year and thanks to you all who stop by and read, like, comment and follow. You guys are great!”

Happy anniversary to me and my blog!

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The Dragon’s Loyalty Award: Mouthwash Not Required

Awarded from Marilyn from Serendipity!
Awarded from Marilyn over at Serendipity!

When I first saw that Marilyn over at Serendipity had graced me with this award, my first thought was, “Dragon’s breath?” But, no, it turns out that this “new” award is an amalgamation of the  Versatile Blogger Award  and the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.

Katrina Perkins came up with this wonderful idea and hence it is she who is ultimately responsible for this new and pretty cool looking award! I have left the links on the names of the site and the lady who started and passed this auspicious award along. Please feel free to click on these links and check these incredible and erudite sites out.

Now!

Just kidding…

But check em out…okay?

And just for information purposes, Katrina was the one who designed the logo for this cool new award. So giving credit to where it is due, I’ve made sure I mentioned it.

Now like every other “award” out there that we bloggers like to bestow willy-nilly to our fellow bloggers in an attempt to show our appreciation to those who follow, inspire, and other-wise move us; there are rules. I know, I know, no-one likes the rules bit, but really; what did you expect? Freebies?

So, on to the rules:

  1. Display the Award Certificate on your website
  2. Announce your win with a post and link to whoever presented your award
  3. Present 15 awards to deserving bloggers
  4. Drop them a comment to tip them off after you’ve linked them in the post
  5. Post 7 interesting things about yourself.

I’ve displayed the Certificate, announced my win (via this post) and linked to the presenter.

Now I just have to present the award 15 times to “deserving” bloggers. I honestly, really, hate this part. I have tried pulling names randomly, picking the last (insert number here) followers, and picking those who comment or like the most on my posts. I think I’ll try a combination of the above and do my usual cry of, “If I missed you out, I’m sorry!”

All the nominees are folks that I follow and appreciate what they bring to the blogging world:

  1. http://vinnieh.wordpress.com
  2. http://lastroadreviews.wordpress.com
  3. http://claratsi.wordpress.com
  4. http://natashaharmeryr1.wordpress.com
  5. http://robbinsrealm.wordpress.com
  6. http://foxxiecinnamon.wordpress.com
  7. http://Www.hagiographic.com
  8. http://table9mutant.wordpress.com
  9. http://imalazyboy.wordpress.com
  10. http://terry1954.wordpress.com
  11. http://jackieeatworld.wordpress.com
  12. http://ckckred.wordpress.com
  13. http://www.filmhipster.com
  14. http://hardtickettohomevideo.com
  15. http://jmountswritteninblood.com

All the above listed folks have great blogs and they interact with the blogging community on a regular basis, check em out. You’ll be glad you did! I will be informing them as soon as I’ve posted this blog.

Now for the last part. I’ve been disclosing X amount of personal facts for quite some time now and I think I’m running out of things to disclose (at least things that won’t get me in trouble) so I’m going to borrow a page from Marilyn’s blog and share some pictures instead. It’s actually been on my blogger’s list of things to try for some time now and her post that nominated me and a slew of other blogger’s just jiggled my old memory box.

So here we go, just think of this as a Little Photo History of Mike:

My first Easter with my Dad!
My first Easter with my Dad!
Christmas 1965 me and my new brother. The one I took to show-and-tell a year or so later.
Christmas 1965 me and my new brother. The one I took to show-and-tell a year or so later.
Another Christmas, year unknown, smoking an Avon pipe dispenser of aftershave.
Another Christmas, year unknown, smoking an Avon pipe dispenser of aftershave.
My dad's horse, a part Tennessee Walker and huge! Great temperament.
My dad’s horse, a part Tennessee Walker and huge! Great temperament.
The 1975 Fayetteville High School Talent Show, I got honourable mention.
The 1975 Fayetteville High School Talent Show, I got honourable mention.
The 1976 Ice Cream Social I was the villain and wrote my own lines...we all did. Great show and great experience.
The 1976 Ice Cream Social I was the villain and wrote my own lines…we all did. Great show and great experience.
My first cowboy hat that went mysteriously missing a year later. I loved that hat! Circa 1975.
My first cowboy hat that went mysteriously missing a year later. I loved that hat! Circa 1975.
One of my John Robert Powers pictures - 1979.
One of my John Robert Powers pictures – 1979.

So there you have it. A very tiny pictorial history of me. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed digging through the old stack of pictures that I have scattered here and there. I do apologise for the rather random way that the photo’s have been arranged, I’m not really very of-ay with the picture side of these blogs!

Thanks Marilyn for thinking of me for this neat new award!!

Blogging Part 3: Comment Etiquette

Image courtesy of dab-oracle.com
Image courtesy of dab-oracle.com

I find myself hopping back on my soapbox this morning so I can pontificate about blogging and comments. Well, specifically about comments left on blogs and a sort of code of etiquette. A long time ago, in a land far away, I had another blogging site (I actually still do, as apparently you can be inactive on the site for a millennium and still keep the account) and I had a blog I followed quite religiously.

I got in the habit of leaving “semi” long comments. The lovely lady who owned the blog I was commenting on sent me a “sharp” rebuke for being too wordy. My response at receiving this email of displeasure was two-fold.

I was upset that I was breaking some sort of comment etiquette and irritated that she did not want my input after inviting people to comment on her blog. After a bit of thoughtful deliberation and a conference with my daughter (who’d been blogging much longer than I had) I stopped following the lady’s blog and dropped her from my email contact list.

A short while later, I got an email from her (in my spam bin) saying that she was sorry. She told me she was wrong about my comments being too long and she missed my feedback. By then, unfortunately, I’d moved house and was living in another blogging site, WordPress. I never bothered following her blog again, as I don’t ever visit that particular blogging site since my move.

But as time has gone by and my experience grows on blogging and the interaction it requires, I can see her point. I also read a great blog post from Marilyn over at Serendipity a while back where she posted about inconsiderate commenters. By the way, if you have not had the extreme pleasure of reading this fascinating lady’s Blog just click HERE. You will not regret stopping by.

I decided that as a “not-so-regular” commenter on other people’s blogs (I have a hard time fitting in reading and liking them) and the fact that I have a lot of folks who  do leave comments on mine, that perhaps a short list of don’ts might not hurt. It might save you that cringe worthy moment when the blog owner that feels like you are “taking the Mickey” with your comment and  upbraids you on it. *Taking the Mickey is an English phrase for making fun of or being tacky towards someone or taking liberties.*

Comment Etiquette:

1) Don’t leave an entire page worth of  comment. Most blogger don’t appreciate your version of a comment that resembles Gone with the Wind. Keep it short, but if you want to engage more fully, send an email to their contact email address.

2) Don’t link back to your blog site. Nothing is more offensive to a blogger than if you use the comment section to advertise your blog post. Social media is for self promotion, not someone else’s blog comment section.

3) Don’t argue with other commenters on the post. It’s cool to interact (that’s why we blog) but do not get into a protracted war over an issue. I once had two people carry out a full paged campaign on a blog post I’d written. Don’t do it.

4) Play nice. This really could be an addendum to 3). If you disagree with someone, just say so and try to make your point as succinctly as possible. Don’t get tacky. It’s not appreciated and can result in getting you blocked.

5) Don’t NAG. This, along with the GWTW type comments are my pet peeve. If you don’t know what constitutes nagging, here’s a clue. If you leave repeated messages (comments) talking about the same things? It is NAGGING. Stop it.

6) Don’t be negative. Constructive criticism is always appreciated.

7) – This is the last one, I promise – DO feel free to express yourself and commit to your comment. Remember, other people are reading what you have left on someone else’s blog post, if you do it “right” they will follow you back to your blog. It is a great way to self-advertise without being offensive.

So that’s it. The MikesFilmTalk’s Comment Etiquette Guide. I would like to point out that this post is not “aimed” at anyone in particular. I had the idea for this post while pondering a response that someone left on another blog site. It made me think of my cringe worthy moment over two years ago, when I got diarrhoea of the keyboard.

We all love to interact with each other in the blogging world, let’s just try to do it politely and positively.

So how about you? What sort of comments can you do without or make you see red? Do you have any commenting etiquette that you think should be followed?

Let me know, but to paraphrase Captain Spaulding in The House of a 1000 Corpses, “Don’t go all Margaret Mitchell on my ass.”

Cover of "Gone with the Wind"
Cover of Gone with the Wind

BLOGGER’S TAG!! “SMACK!” You’re IT…

I’ve never done a bloggers tag before, so I’ve got to thank Kim over at Tranquil Dreams for reaching out and smacking me with a tag. Thanks Kim! She’s got a great blog going over there and just recently put up a recipe for yummy Banana Cake if you haven’t made her acquaintance yet, click on either of the previous links and check her out. She’s great.

Now for the rules. Sit down in the back and stop sighing! You know there’s going to be rules; it’s the nature of the beast. Does everyone have a pen and paper? Right, let us begin. Oh and spit out that gum, unless of course, you have enough for everyone!

The Rules:
1. Post these rules.
2. Post a photo of yourself and eleven random facts about you.
3. Answer the questions given to you in the tagger’s post.
4. Create eleven new questions and tag new people to answer them.
5. Go to their blog/twitter and let them know they have been tagged.

*Self photo (life sized) and 11 factoids about moi.*

A couple of mugs…
  1. After owning this laptop for almost 4 years, I only just discovered that the web camera had a plastic covering over it.
  2. I love, love, love Starbucks coffee.
  3. After stopping smoking on the 30th of August 2012, I’m now addicted to the damn nicotine gum.
  4. On the 30th of August when I had my heart attack, it took me 3 and a half hours to make up my mind to have my daughter call the ambulance.
  5. While I tried to figure out what was happening to me on the 30th of August I drank 3 cups of coffee and had 4 cigarettes.
  6. I was cast in a Peter Fonda film when I was in High School but never got to film the part.
  7. I met Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs, et al) when I was in high school; he was a very nice and patient man.
  8. I once saw Sean Connery without his hair on.
  9. I am incapable of passing items that say touch me or press me without doing as requested.
  10. I was once nearly decapitated by a sheet of flying sheet metal during a sandstorm in New Mexico.
  11. I am in the (very slow) process of writing/finishing a collection of short stories.

Now for Kim’s 11 questions:


1) Cookies or Cakes?

Cookies every time although I do like a bit of Black Forest Gateau.

2) What was your first Blu-ray or DVD you ever purchased?

I honestly don’t remember, I’m pretty sure it was Wrong Turn with Elisa Dishku, but I could be wrong.

3) Whats the most inspiring book/movie you’ve ever read/seen?

      The book that most influenced me was The Stand by Stephen King and movie was Terminator 2.

        4) Cats or Dogs? Or other pets?

Both, I love animals, but I’m too lazy to want to look after them!

5) What type of music do you like?

I like all music! Up to and including Dub-step!

6) Whats your favorite Grimm’s Fairy Tales?

As a fan of horror, it’s got to be Red Riding Hood. That woodsman and his axe! Yeah baby!

7) Console, Handheld, PC or Arcades?

Console all the way!

8) Favorite flavor of chips?

English crisps – Salt and Vinegar, American Chips – Green Onion.

9) What animal do you visit first at the zoo?

The monkey house every time.

10) What food could you eat every single day?

I could eat Quorn Chilli every day of my life!

11) Who is your favorite superhero?

Superman, I used to watch George Reeves re-runs when I was really little. Although I do love Buffy who is a modern day super hero!

Now it’s time for my 11 questions:

  1. Snow, rain, or Sun?
  2. What is your favourite genre of literature/film?
  3. Do you snore when you sleep?
  4. Who hogs the covers in your house?
  5. If you could be a movie character, who would it be?
  6. Do you watch sub-titled movies?
  7. Who is your favourite movie director?
  8. What is your “guilty pleasure?”
  9. Seaside, mountains, or desert?
  10. Would you crash your car to avoid hitting an animal in the road?
  11. Do you prefer mornings or afternoons?

Now for my “Tag-ees:”

Serendipity

Written in Blood

Mad Ramblings and Assorting Musings

Tim’s Film Reviews

Cinema Schminema

ClaratsiMovieBlog

Robbins Realm Blog

foxxiecinnamon’s Blog

jackie.eat.world

Issac Picture Conclusions

Cinematic

So there you have it! Another fun way for us to spread the word about other blogs out there that are fun to read; click on the links and check these folks out, you won’t be sorry. And as usual I apologise in advance for those deserving blogs I did not get to tag, I really do love you all.

Cheers!

What is so Great about Reddit?

When I first started blogging on WordPress, I found to my delight that they had widgets that allowed you to share things to reddit. I was aware of this website through my daughter’s work on Video Games Blogger.

It is used by quite a few games channels and websites as a means to publicize their articles. I had never used it before and was eager to give it a go. The first ever post I uploaded to reddit was a post about the film Stake Land the referrals I got from reddit alone helped to push my view count up to 1051 views. In one day. For one post.

I was, in a word, ecstatic.

I started sharing all my posts with reddit and I also interacted with the folks who had commented on my upload. Everything went swimmingly for a while, then…zilch, nada, and zero, “zip-ah.”

Now, I don’t have a full understanding of how reddit works. I am not the guru of networking and my rudimentary knowledge of the site could fill a matchbox, maybe. I do know that each category and sub-category is watched over by a sort of “mediator.” This man or woman tries to insure that the submitter abides by the rules of the site.

They also “weed out” the spam.

I’ve got a suspicion that as I used reddit a lot that I’ve been put on the naughty list.

I splurged and bought a “Gold” reddit account and I wished that I’d saved my money. So, okay, maybe I was spamming the site. I did create a little group of accounts so that I could keep submitting to the site. In my defence though, reddit is sort of wacky when it comes to submissions. You can take a day or two break from submitting and when you get back on the site to submit, they tell you, “You’ve been doing that too much lately, wait for 125 minutes and re-submit.”

What?

Due to this “apparent”  banning of my website I had to chuckle when Tyson over at Head In A Vice mentioned it in a blog post. Because he’d mentioned it, I decided to give the reddit another shot.

The end result?

Zilch, nada, zero…zip.

In essence, no change at all; my website is obviously still on the naughty list. I don’t mind (like hell I don’t) but I’ve never gotten one word of why or how I got put on the list; if such a list even exists. It would be nice. I went through a short time period of getting thousands of views per day. I was so excited that it’s a real wonder that I did not have my heart attack sooner.

I am trying, though, to comply with Tyson’s Call to Arms to help publicize other folks’ blog posts, but, reddit is not one avenue that works for me. I have even tried “sharing” other blogs’ posts with the site and again, gotten no response.

So I’ll wait to see if I get taken off the naughty list, it has been about six months, and hopefully I’ll start getting more views again. If not? Well, I’ll continue to write, rant, and ridicule where I see fit. Despite my obvious preoccupation with them, numbers don’t really matter. Only the writing does and I’ll never stop doing that.

So there, reddit; put that in your metaphorical pipe and smoke it.

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Taking Stock

121712_2256_BlamingViol2.jpgI started blogging on WordPress on the 21st of March 2012. I had been blogging on two other sites the previous year and felt I needed a change. WordPress had a lot to offer a novice like me, easy access to images that could be related to my blog and the ability to do “pingbacks” to other articles that were related by content. It also offered an increased readership, although I did not know that when I started out.

I’ve passed the 40,000 hit mark today and I’ve reached the 200 mark on followers (except when you back out the publicize numbers it’s still just under 200). To say that my blogging is exceeding my humble expectations is the understatement of the century. My goals, when I started blogging way back at the tail end of 2010 were two-fold. I wanted to get in the habit of writing daily and I wanted this writing to be a springboard of sorts. A springboard that might just propel me back on the track of writing fiction.

So far those goals have been met. I’ve written two pieces of “flash fiction” and finished a short story that I did the first draft of over ten years ago. I’ve uploaded these onto my blog for perusal from the community and as a signpost for myself. Just writing and uploading those three bits of work has proved to me that I can still do it and that my dream of publishing my first ever book, a collection of short stories, could be a very real possibility.

Of course I am working on the “no news is bad news” philosophy here. No one commented on my three fictional offerings in an actively negative way nor in a passive one; might I add. And I don’t think it has been because of a lack of input, my little blog has gotten over 2,200 comments on my 481 blog posts. Not too bad for a blog that has only really existed for ten months. Of course quite a few of my initial blog posts were re-hashes from my other sites. But it did not take long to get into the swing of doing multiple posts on any given day.

Blogging has really been a lifesaver for me. My last three years have been quite eventful and even traumatic at times and once was actually a life or death event. Despite taking more pain medication than “Carter’s got little pills” I’ve managed to get a post out every day; sometimes more. Blogging has allowed me to trot out a rusty seldom used vocabulary and writing skills that I had thought lost forever. My confidence grows with each post and I now look at the folder that’s labelled ‘Mike’s Writing’ with excitement and not a depressed sort of dread.

When I look back to my early years of attempting to write “grown-up” fiction and the first ever typewriter I used, I chuckle. I had a borrowed Underwood that required you to have Arnold Schwarzenegger fingers and it had a lazy t. I then saved up my pennies and bought the cheapest electric typewriter you could find, a Brother. The funny thing was as my equipment got upgraded, my input went down. I can recall my excitement when I got a Brother word processor. I wrote part of three short stories (one was almost a ‘novella) and that was it. I did not write anything else on it.

Life and it’s every day challenges (along with a marriage that required a lot more effort than it should have) was slowly killing anything resembling creativity in me. The short story The Haunted Pub Tour, I actually wrote the entire first draft at work and saved it on a floppy disc (a big one) that followed me on two successive moves. When we got our first home computer, the disc was too big and I had to hunt around for the printed copy so I could write a second draft.

I then put that particular story in my folder along with a screenplay and a myriad of short stories none of which had ever gone beyond the second draft stage. It was when my daughter Meg went to university and had to “blog” as part of the curriculum that I learned of this interesting medium. She used to complain bitterly about having to do them and that was the only reason I took notice. I thought to myself that these blog things must be terribly difficult for her to hate them so much. I did eventually learn that it was not the difficulty of the blog that she hated it was the very fact of it that irritated.

I investigated and decided that this blog thing might just be what I needed. For the record, my first blog post (posted in October 2010) consisted of  just two sentences; written after consuming a huge amount of beer. For posterity here it is:

I’m still coming to grips with all these internet phenomenon call social network sites.  Now I’m trying to learn about these Blog thingies…Why do I bother?? Cos it’s nice to learn new things!

As you can no doubt tell from the two (or three now I look at it a bit closer) sentences I was also trying to get to grips with social networking; a project that I am still working on.

So I’m going to raise my metaphorical glass high and toast firstly my followers and all those lovely people who have stopped by, pulled up a chair and had a look around. (I appreciate it more than you could possibly know) I’m also going to toast myself and my daughter; myself because without me, the blog would never be written and my daughter because she’s never stopped supporting me in my writing quest.

Cheers!

toast