BLOGGING: DOES IT HAVE VALUE? Part 3
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Having evaluated the worth of blogging in the first two posts on BLOGGING: DOES IT HAVE VALUE? (links http://carolyncholland.wordpress.com/2010/01/09/blogging-does-it-have-value-part-1/ and
http://carolyncholland.wordpress.com/2010/01/17/blogging-does-it-have-value-part-2/ I will review Carolyn’s Compositions.
On January 9, 2010, I published the 300th post on Carolyn’s Compositions, 142 of which were made in 2009. Since its inception, the site has accrued 253 approved comments. A few comments were not approved—they were spam, jibberish, or advertisements—meaningless.
The visitation to Carolyn’s Compositions has grown slowly since its inception in February 2008. A few readers are obviously from nationalities other than English, as confirmed by the fact that the site is translated into sometimes unidentifiable (by me) languages. Some of these may be from readers from other countries, definable by their confidential e-mail addresses. I do know that readers come from Sweden, Italy, Singapore, and possibly Jordan, France and India.
WordPress continues to improve their host site. I appreciate one of their latest improvements, the addition of “Subscriptions,” which offers you, one of my site’s readers, an opportunity to receive notification of posts via e-mail rather than clicking on the site at random. I let you know about by an announcement either at the beginning or the end of most posts made since that time:
RECEIVE E-MAIL NOTIFICATION
OF NEW POSTS ON CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS
(to subscribe see upper right hand post on this site)
Once your e-mail is entered into the Subscription box, wordpress will send you an e-mail asking you to confirm the subscription. (Your e-mail is not published.) NOTE: You can also subscribe to The Beanery Online Literary Magazine by going to their site (www.beanerywriters.worpress.com ) and typing your e-mail address into the Subscription box in the site’s upper right hand corner.
Like the wordpress host site, I try to improve Carolyn’s Compositions. I’ve incorporated subject Index pages (located in the upper right hand corner of my site). This is especially advantageous, since I am an eclectic writer who covers topics on a wide variety of subjects from A (Abraham) to Y (Youghiogheny River in Pennsylvania). I’ll have to post something to file under “Z” so the subjects will be complete, from A to Z!
To show my appreciation to my readers, I’ve started a monthly contest:
Win one of our monthly prizes!
Be the person who makes the most comments.
For further details click on
or visit the page MONTHLY PRIZE FOR COMMENTS
at the top of the column to the right.
Through two years and two blog host sites my blogging/computer skills have improved. My biggest lesson is that the Calibri font makes a smooth-looking post, with little additional work. Previously, I transferred text in the Times New Roman font from a word document to Notepad, hoping the writing would paste into the post neatly—which it sometimes did, but not often. Since changing the font, I’ve had few problems with the appearance of the posts.
Another lesson was that bold type is best done in the posted item itself, rather than before the word document is pasted and copied.
I also learned how to incorporate photographs from the Flickr photo storage site into my text, which allows me to illustrate my writings. Since then, I used my quota of photographs on one Flickr site and opened a second site.
The roughest part of blogging was making the decision to leave our original blogging host site. The Beanery Online Literary Magazine and Carolyn’s Compositions held the top two positions on that site. Today, after more than a year from the date I moved both Carolyn’s Compositions and the Beanery Online Literary Magazine from its original host site, the magazine holds eighth place and the compositions hold ninth place.
The new owner of the former site asked his bloggers what they wanted, and I responded—we especially needed to have a categories list—important for the way these two sites function. After three months of waiting for a response or a return of some of the needed features, it was clear that this format was not forthcoming, Furthermore, the host site began randomly placing the posts on either site—the magazine was receiving the composition posts, and vice versa. I finally had no choice but to change host sites, and after examining different hosts, I moved the blogs to wordpress.
It was technologically challenging for me to learn another site. The transition took a long time. But all three sites I facilitate (including www.laurelmountainboro.wordpress.com, which I am just now bringing back into shape) are now functional on wordpress.
I find the most challenging part of blogging is increasing traffic to my site(s). Some of the ways are technologically beyond my limited comprehension—Technorati, etc. Others are plain work, and take lots of time—reading other blogs, commenting, entering forums, etc.
Yet some traffic-increasing techniques are simple, like the use of tags. It’s also easy to post links to other articles, and interlink posts from Carolyn’s Compositions and the Beanery Online Literary Magazine. The sites are generally clean-looking with well-written posts containing illustrations. The variety of topics on my site draws interest from a wide variety of people, and my “hit” count is rising regularly, if slowly.
I believe, through personal experience, that blogging is valuable as an Internet learning experience, as a way to connect with other people in a way that Twitter cannot, and as a tool in genealogical research. It is also valuable as a tool for writers—including myself—to share their work and publicize their name.
It’s an experience that I will enjoy continuing and meeting its challenges.
I want to thank my readers for visiting Carolyn’s Compositions, the Beanery Online Literary Magazine, the Laurel Mountain Borough Newsletter—and my site at the Ellsworth American Newspaper (Maine), which I will reactivate this month.
I also thank wordpress for hosting a clean site that is mamageable for those who, like me, are computer challenged.
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