The State of the Blog 2018

After (and even during) participating in yesterday’s Reverse Readathon, I started thinking about Blogging, yes, with the big B, not just with my own blog but blogging in general. My thoughts began spiraling about Blogging after I went to the “Linky” on the first post for the readathon to visit other blogs, but when I clicked on a few links, I wasn’t taken to a blog. Instead, I was taken to links for Instagram, Litsy, and Tumblr. While I have nothing against these platforms, it made me realize (continue to realize) that blogging is not the same as it was when I started more than a decade ago. Not only are there more than one or two blogging platforms (Blogger and WordPress were the two kings), there are a variety of other “platforms” from which to choose, from the Big Three of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to “services” and apps like Tumblr and Litsy, just to name a handful of the myriad of choices.

When you only had two platforms, I think it was easier to establish, build and cultivate Community, again with the Big C, but I don’t mean the TV show. There even were ways (openID) to comment on blogs in different platforms. Now, at least to my knowledge, there is no (easy) way to comment across platforms. Plus “back in the day,” you had memes and groups to join that cultivated community or at least attempted to do that. I’m thinking of Weekly Geeks, which was established by Dewey who also began the 24 Hour Readathon, of which this past weekend’s readathon was a spin-off. I’m also thinking of The Sunday Salon, which still exists on Facebook and “has” hundreds of members, at least in name, but is nothing like it was when it first began. And I’m thinking of Humor Blogs, a community of humor bloggers of which I was a part for a few years back when I began blogging.

So yesterday after going to Mr. Linky on that first post, I did visit a few blogs and commented. I then went to Instagram and commented there and also tried to find the blogs of those there, if they have a blog, some only had a link to Goodreads, yet another platform. Not that it was my intention to get comments on my own blog and blog post about the readathon, but later I noticed that only one or two people had commented on my blog post — and they already were regular visitors to my blog. I won’t lie while not my intention, I had hoped to get a few people visiting, but alas, that era of commenting and getting comments back has gone the same way WordPerfect has gone. It’s too much work to find a person’s blog. For example, on my Instagram posts, I mention there is a link in my bio, but really who wants to go through that when our attention span already is so limited to a few seconds of scrolling through photos and hitting the heart button?

I also make it more complicated because the link in my bio is a link to another site that links to multiple blog posts. So even if a person was to find the initial link, then they have to go to yet another link to actually get to my blog post.  Ugh.

All this brings to my own blog, small b, and by the numbers a very small b. I probably should superscript the b that’s how small it is. I do have 50 followers, but only have two or three regular commenters out of those. As for visitors per month, I have about 1,000 or so, depending on the month and much less than that in views of actual blog posts. I am beginning to understand why so many book bloggers just have given up their blogs, but not only in terms of numbers but also in terms of time. Why put the time into a blog no one reads when there is time to do other things, especially beginning with work and spending time with family.

At the beginning of the year, I had the idea of increasing the number of blog posts I did per week from one to four with different themes. I even double downed on the idea in a list of 25 things to do before I turn 50 next year. To date, I’ve probably done all four once or twice. It’s been more like one or two per week, so being realistic, I now only am going to do one per week which yes, I will share on Facebook with The Sunday Salon group, because even though it’s not the community it once was, I still visit a few blogs there and the bloggers reciprocate and visit my blog. I should add that most likely I will continue to do Library Checkout posts at the end of the month and my look back at the last month and look ahead to the next month at the end of each month, but other than that, it will be a post once a week.

Once again, my Sunday post will be eclectic instead of just focusing on reading. As I have done in the past, most weeks it will include what I’m reading, what I’m watching, what I’m listening to, and what I’m doing. I had planned for separate posts on what Kim and I were watching, on what I was listening to and on what I was photographing with a special snapshot each Saturday. That last post now will move to Instagram. The listening part just will be a video or playlist at the end of the post. If Kim wants to do a guest post once in a while, she can do that, but there’s no pressure on her or me to do a post once a week.

I think what I’m saying is that I’m just going to go with the flow across different platforms or maybe I should say I’m just going to go with the (continuing) fracture(s) across different platforms. If you can’t beat them, join them…even if there really isn’t a “them” anymore.

Pushing Forward Back June/July 2018

Pushing Forward Back June_July 2018
At top is a photo from my sister of my mom holding a photo of me when I was a baby. At bottom left, I took my dad out for ice cream for Father’s Day. We were joined by my nephew Jonathan. At bottom right, Kim and I got a bathroom selfie before the wedding of her sister Tracey last Saturday. Photobombing us is her sister Debbie.

Back at June

June was a pretty good month on the personal front, especially for three weekends in a row. First, on Saturday, June 9, I celebrated my 49th birthday. Then on Sunday, June 17, I went and visited my dad (and mom), who lives about 60 miles away, for Father’s Day. I also was grateful to be able to see my sister, brother-in-law, 11-year-old nephew, 3-year-old niece, and their new almost 6-month-oldest cockapoo/Shetland sheepdog puppy. Finally on Saturday, June 23, Kim and I (along with family and friends) celebrated with her sister Tracey as she got married near Cleveland, Ohio.

Blogging-wise, it wasn’t a good month, but then again, I was busy with other things. Highlights on the blog this past month were 25 Things I Want To Do Before I Turn 50 and My Library Checkout June 2018. If you look at the list and wonder how I’m doing so far on doing some of those things, not great, but hey, I still have time to turn that around. We also got Hulu again and are enjoying watching especially older shows like ER, CSI, and My Name is Earl.

Musically, the two big albums this month were Kanye West’s ye and Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s Everything is Love — at least for everyone else. Spinning again and again, though, on my virtual turntable was Father John Misty’s God’s Favorite Customer. I just couldn’t, and can’t, get enough of this album:

Forward to July

This month starts off on a high, with three days off for both of us. Kim has her normal three days off: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and I took vacation days for Tuesday and Thursday, having Wednesday already off as a holiday for The Fourth of July. After traveling last weekend, we have no plans of going anywhere, but it will be nice to have the time off together. I have a feeling we’ll be getting together with our neighbors for a cookout on the Fourth too, but we’ll see. If not, I’m sure we’ll still have burgers and hot dogs on the grill.

Other than that, I only can think of one other thing that I have planned: the 24in48 Readathon on Saturday, July 21, and Sunday, July 22, for which I’ve signed up. For more information or to sign up, click on the link.

At the end of the month, I’m looking forward to this movie:

So how was your month of June? Read any good books, seen any good movies and/or TV shows, listened to any good music? What was the highlight of your month? What are you looking forward to in July? Share in the comments.

#AMonthofFaves: The Blogs I Love

I’m joining hosts Girlxoxo, Traveling with T, and Estella’s Revenge for their 4th annual #AMonthofFaves blog event – “a fun way to recap the year that was” – during the month of December. Today’s topic is “The Blogger Love Edition.”

I only follow a handful of blogs, almost all book blogs, and while all of them are good, each in their own way, these are the three I return to again and again:

Tina, Kim, and Michelle, respectively, are book bloggers, but also blog about their families and lives and always look on the bright side of life, even when life might not appear that bright to those on the outside. If you haven’t visited their blogs, I encourage you to do so.

What are some of your favorite blogs? 

#AMonthofFaves: This is How I Blog

I’m joining hosts Girlxoxo, Traveling with T, and Estella’s Revenge for their 4th annual #AMonthofFaves blog event – “a fun way to recap the year that was” – during the month of December. Today’s topic is “This Is How We Blog.”

How I Blog

I was going to say that I blog inconsistently, but really I blog consistently, once a week when I post to The Sunday Salon Facebook group. I do sometimes miss one, but rarely.

Other than that, I don’t really blog. I always have lofty goals in January each year to blog daily or three times a week, especially on different topics, but I never carry through with them. That’s why this January, I’m not making any blogging resolutions. I’ll continue to blog once a week and if I add any posts throughout the week, I’ll just do it.

I only use one blogging app: WordPress, and post from my phone. We haven’t had a desktop in years, and when our laptop bit the dust last year, we never replaced it. It’s not the optimal way to blog, but I work with it, which means usually my posts are short like this one.

How do you blog? What tools do or websites do you use to blog?