My New Blog is Turning into Something Cool!

Just Gene’O has a sweet About page,¬†sharing buttons, and tweaked settings. It’s still not connected to the rest of the social media, but the further along I get with it, the more I like it. Once I get it going, it will be something new and different. I’m liking it, and having my own images to work with is helping immensely.

I'm giving myself an honorary Versatile Blogger award for this one, but not to worry, I'm not nominating anyone today ;-)

I’m giving myself an honorary Versatile Blogger Award for this one, but not to worry, I’m not nominating anyone today ūüėČ

Just Gene’O expresses my personality in a way that’s different from the other blogs I’ve built. I’m eager to see where it goes. I want to connect it to every social media account I own and kick it off already, but I know better ūüôā Patience is required here. If you’re following Sourcerer but ¬†are unaware of my new blog, you might want to check it out. Aside from a Tweeted link, it’s a WordPress-only phenomenon right now.

I’m doing this one right.

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Wonderful Team Member Readership Award

Part Time Monster has nominated me for the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award. She’s passing it along from¬†Half-Eaten Mind, who bestowed it upon her in April. ¬†This one is not very difficult since it just requires a few links and I have upward of 60 of you guys bookmarked ūüėČ So I’m spreading the love today.

wonderful-readership-award2

If you just don’t do awards, no worries. The title suggests it’s just a way¬†of saying “thanks for reading,” anyway. That’s exactly what I’m doing here. Regular visitors who read, like, and comment are what makes blogging worthwhile for me. If not for all of you, I¬†wouldn’t¬†see much point in it.

If you do enjoy passing on awards, here are the rules–

  1. The nominee shall display the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award logo on his/her blog.
  2. The nominee shall nominate 14 bloggers s/he admires, over a period of 7 days, all at once or little by little, by linking to their blogs and informing them about it.

I’m doing this one a little differently than I normally do. I’m going to try my best to nominate 14 bloggers who are neither on Diana’s nomination list, nor on the list of bloggers who I recently nominated for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. I want these to go to bloggers who both read some of our posts and have never received an award from me before. Here are the nominations.

ETinkerbell

My Wild Surmise

The Secret Diary of a PorterGirl

Carving Out a Space

Destino

Green¬†Lizard’s Blog

The Speech Bubble

Extremis Reviews

Music Fan Andrea

World of Harley

Sweating to Mordor

O-Pie-Oneers

Kev’s Blog

Suzie81 Speaks

Have a fabulous week!

 

Blog Traffic and Engagement: Awards, Bloghops, Linkups, etc.

I’ve been fascinated by blogging awards and similar activities for the entire time I’ve been blogging. Today I’ll share my take on them and give a few pointers to bloggers who are thinking about inventing their own. I’m talking about blogging activities that have the following characteristics:

  • A blogger writes a post and nominates other bloggers to participate in the activity by doing a similar post and nominating others.ballotmarkers
  • The nomination post comes with rules, but blogging being what it is, they are a bit like the Pirate Code — more guidelines than actual rules.
  • Nearly always, one of the first two rules is to link back to the person who nominated you.
  • The idea is to keep the activity alive, spread it through the blogosphere, and get bloggers linking to one another.

I like these activities, but not everyone does. To some people they feel like chain letters or like a way of pressuring other bloggers for links. I don’t look at them like that. Well, they are a bit like chain letters, but in a way that I find appealing. The reason I like them is that I enjoy linking to other bloggers, and enjoy posts in which bloggers link to a other blogs that they follow. I discovered most of the blogs that I read often through such posts.

I also think they’re a good way to pay a compliment to other bloggers. I usually add a disclaimer to nomination posts which says, basically, I won’t be offended if you choose to not even acknowledge this award. It’s just my way of saying your work is worth reading. And I try to get some inkling of how a blogger feels about awards before I nominate them. I try not to nominate people who actively dislike them or who have award-free blogs. I think of this as basic good manners.

All that said, these types of posts do have a few drawbacks. How significant the drawbacks are will depend on your blogging style and the amount of time you have to devote to blogging, so your mileage may vary here.

  1. They ask people to write a post, and write it in a particular way.
  2. The more extensive the rules, the greater the investment of time and mental energy required to participate.
  3. The post itself, once it’s done and published, asks other people to write a post, and write it in a particular way.
Dragon's Loyalty Award

Dragon’s Loyalty Award

Even for those of us who thrive on engagement and collaboration, these are not drawbacks to be taken lightly. Diana and I had a long conversation about the pros and cons of award participation when we received our first few. I think of blogging as a subculture, and it’s one that values autonomy and independence. Telling people what to do with their blogs, or straight-up asking for links, is a bit of a taboo.

I don’t think blogging awards rise to that level. If I did, I’d have an award-free blog. But it is important to keep in mind that, when you nominate people for things, you’re at least strongly suggesting that they write something with requirements another person came up with, even if you’re careful to be clear that you aren’t asking them to write it. That’s why we always attach the disclaimer.

I have an idea for a blog hop, but it’s not fully developed yet and I likely won’t have time to think about kicking it off until October at the earliest. Developing it has got me thinking about how to design an award post that has a chance of succeeding and becoming popular. Here are a few thoughts on some things I think you should and shouldn’t do if you’re starting an award.

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P.M. Roundup

I haven’t done a roundup lately, and I’ve seen lots of good stuff today, so I thought: “Why Not?”

Rose Fischer has joined the 2014 Blog For Mental Health project. I haven’t had time to read the project description carefully, but it looks promising. You can find more information about it at A Canvas of the Minds. ¬†And be sure to check out Rose’s interactive series “Redefining Disability.”

Quaint Jeremy’s thoughts has a contributed post today, “Nerdy is the New Cool,” from Candice of Carving out a Space. If you have a second or two, head on over there and chime in on how you feel about the epidemic of nerdery in media and pop culture, and the subculture itself becoming more socially acceptable.

The Leather Library and Taylor Grace, Author both posted¬†Very Inspiring Blogger Award nominations yesterday. If you looking for a big bunch of new blogs to follow, you should check out their posts and check out some¬†of the blogs they’ve nominated. Thanks, Taylor, for nominating me as the proprietor of Just Gene’O.