Blogging 201: Day 9-10

Yes, I am still trying to finish the Blogging 201 Challenge! I’ve been traveling in Korea and so busy. I don’t want to spend all my time inside on the computer when there are so many interesting things to see and do going on outside my hotel room!

So, I know I’m late but I’m still trying to complete the challenge. The one for Day 9 wasย “to create a page or section on your blog to display links to your online presence elsewhere, and make sure your other presences reflect the brand you’re developing on your blog.”ย 

I’ve been thinking about this challenge for the last couple of days. I don’t really think I want to make a special page for that. At least not right now. I already have links to my Facebook page, page, Twitter feed, and Flickr pictures on my home page.

I am online in a few of other places like Pinterest, Tumblr, Oilpro, Linkedin, Gcaptain, and probably a few others I can’t remember right now. That might tell you one reason why I don’t really see the need to make a special page for them here right now. I really haven’t done much with some of these yet (plus I get a bit scattered sometimes). ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’ve barely started with Pinterest. I only check into Tumblr- (islandgirl37- I can’t get a link to work)-ย every once in a blue moon, tho I do notice my posts here are automatically posted there (which is nice).

I rarely comment on Oilpro, tho I do like a lot of their content. A lot of it is outside my area of interest.

I love Gcaptain and I comment on there fairly often (as JP), tho not as much as I used to. They have a lot of really great back and forth conversations between real mariners (like me) on there in the forum section. Lately, I’ve been following the discussion on the Korean ferry disaster tho I haven’t been commenting.

I’m probably on Linkedin more than a lot of other places. There’s such a wide variety of groups on there. It’s too bad they limit you to only joining 50! I read and comment on a lot of different groups. I thought about linking my blog to it, but I’m still a little leery about doing that since it is really more for business. I’m trying to keep my posting there more professional. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I think the main thing I can take away from the challenge for Day 9 is to go back and make sure I put a link to my blog into each of my profiles on these other sites. ๐Ÿ™‚

OK, so I’ve got Day 9 pretty much in the bag. The assignment for Day 10 is to invest in your community by leaving five comments, adding (or updating) aย blogroll, and introducing a comment policy.”

I’ve been leaving comments all along, I enjoy interacting with other people on the things they’re doing that interest me. I’ve never really been one to keep my opinions to myself. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I already have a blogroll and it updates itself according to who I’m visiting (“more good stuff” in the sidebar). I also have a list on the bottom of my home page, but I haven’t really had time to update it recently so I’m sure it’s missing a lot. I was trying to include links that I’ve written about in posts. To have them all in one convenient place, but I got out of the habit of updating that list and so I know it’s going to take some work to catch up on.

I don’t have a formal comment policy (yet) and don’t really see the need to add one at this point. I do believe in free speech and hopefully won’t come up with any reasons to throw somebody out of here. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I suppose eventually somebody might come up with something that pisses me off enough to get rid of them (online), but so far no one has come close. ๐Ÿ™‚

So, I guess I’ll just wait and see on adding the ‘comment policy’. Hope ya’ll don’t take this as license to start giving me shit now! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Blogging 201: Day Seven- Broadcast Your Brand

The assignment for Day Seven of the Blogging 201 challenge is to “Broadcast Your Brand”. To “pick one social network you’ll use to grow your blog and connect it to your site in at least one way”.

I’m already connected here to Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. I use ‘Publicize’ pretty much every time I post. I did have some issues a while back with my posts not showing up on Facebook, but they look like they’ve been posting on there lately.

I thought about adding Linkedin since I’m on there looking around and commenting quite a bit, but I’m a little concerned (paranoid maybe) about how things I post on here might affect my job. I know companies now are looking at things people have on the internet.

Personally, I don’t like that trend. I think you ought to be able to have a work life and a home life. I know I keep them pretty separated. Maybe in my job it’s easier since I am home for weeks at a time and then at work for weeks. I just don’t think what a person choses to do when NOT on the job should have anything to do with what they do ON the job.

For now, Linkedin is out. Too bad, cause I’ve got tons of connections on there. ย ๐Ÿ™

I’m also connected on Flickr. You can see some of my photos I have posted on there in the widget towards the bottom of the sidebar. I just started a Google+ account but I haven’t done anything with it yet.

I’m also on Pinterest, tho I don’t really know what to do on there yet. I do have a couple of boards started. I just collected some things other people posted that I liked. I have only put a couple of my own things on there so far. Again, I’m not really sure what to do with that one yet. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So, I choose Facebook for the one social network to concentrate on. I like Twitter, but I tend to go overboard with the verbiage. It’s very hard for me to keep what I want to say so short and sweet! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Tomorrows assignment (or Day 8 for those people who complete assignments on time) is supposed to teach us how to “create a strong presence” on our chosen network. I can’t wait! ๐Ÿ™‚


Blogging 201: Day 6- Drive Traffic to Your Archives

The assignment for Day Six of the Blogging 201 challenge is to drive traffic to your archives. They suggest a couple of ways of doing that.

1. Use links. I’ve already been doing that for quite a while. I could probably use more of them, but I get involved with what I’m posting sometimes and forget.

2. Widgets. They suggest using the “Top Posts and Pages Widget, Categories Widget, and Archives Widget”. I already have the Categories and Archive widgets. I also have the “Recent Posts Widget”. Maybe I should trade that one in for the “Top Posts and Pages Widget”? It does seem sort of redundant since it just shows the same posts you can see on my home page. Any comments on that idea?

3. Activate the “Related Posts feature”. I had already done that and liked it. I learned from reading the assignment today that you can change the way this feature looks on your blog. I changed mine today to show more than just the post title. So far I like what I’m seeing. Any comments on the change?

4. Compile a “Best Of Page”. I’ll have to think about this for a bit. I think the Top Posts and Pages Widget would serve the same purpose. Is the idea that more people would look at a separate PAGE than the Widget? I’m not sure how many people look at the widgets I have or even if there’s a way to track that. I know the page views are tracked, so that’s something. ๐Ÿ™‚

All in all another helpful assignment from the bloggers at the Blogging University. I’m glad I signed up!ย ๐Ÿ™‚


Blogging 201: Day 5- Give 'Em What They Want

The assignment for Day 5 in the Blogging 201 challenge is to take a look at your blog statistics and see what they can tell you about how to better manage your blog.

I’m already a stats junkie. I check my stats page every day. I love to see lots of visitors and views. I really like to see where people are visiting from. I think it’s interesting to see people from all over the world looking at my blog and I wonder what brought them to my blog?

From looking at my stats, it seems like I must have a lot of people who like to drink! My most popular posts of all time (other than the home page and about page) are the ones on making your own booze! Peach or apple? Peach has more views, but maybe that’s only because I posted it after I had a few more visitors. What do you think?

After the booze posts, it looks like people are actually pretty interested in the maritime stuff. I wasn’t really sure when I started this if ANYBODY would be interested in that sort of thing, but it looks like there are at least a few. And, to my surprise, they’re not all other mariners! ๐Ÿ™‚

It looks like the photography has a pretty good showing too. People like my travel posts, which is great since I haven’t really put much of my travels up on here yet. The food/drink/recipes get a lot of views too. ๐Ÿ™‚

Even the political posts get a pretty good showing. The Worlds Smallest Political Quiz is right up there at the top! That’s really encouraging. I had hopes to get people at least thinking more about politics with my blog. ๐Ÿ™‚

I can’t really tell much for a pattern as to when I get the most traffic. I seem to remember the weekends being high traffic days, but when I just looked at the most recent weeks it seems I have more traffic on Wed-Thurs-Fridays.

So, what have I learned from looking at my stats? Maybe I should post more home-made booze recipes on Friday to give everybody a head start on the weekend?

I’m already trying to stick to a Creature Feature post on Wednesdays, combining photos (maybe mine, maybe not) with some interesting information about some kind of critter. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’ve been trying to do a post on the Songs of the Sea on the weekend, since that’s normally when I have more time to get online to surf the web to try and find a video. I do love my music, it’s just hard to put the whole thing together into a post sometimes. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Maybe I should try to put more of the quirky stuff, things I just find interesting towards the beginning of the week, tho I normally only post those things on the spur of the moment when I come accross them.

The thing that really stands out to me is the HUGE difference in my stats from when I had the time to work on the blog. When I had time to post every day (or close to it). When I had the time to post even more than once in a day. Those time periods were when I really got a lot of interest.

I can see that made a difference and I would love to be able to do that well all the time, but I just don’t really know how to make that happen. I’m doing about the best I can with working on the blog along with all my other projects (my JOB, looking for work, keeping my household running, taking care of my rental property business, traveling, photography, etc).

I guess I’ll just keep on muddling along and hope for the best. I’m learning more from this challenge, which is good. Looking forward to more in the Day 6 assignment. ๐Ÿ™‚


Blogging 201: Day 4- Get Read All Over

The assignment for Day Four of the Blogging 201 challenge is to make sure your site is ‘mobile-friendly’. I checked and it seems that my ‘theme’ Twenty Eleven is already ‘responsive’. That means it should already be OK for all sorts of mobile devices automatically. ๐Ÿ™‚

That’s a really good thing, since I had no idea it might not show up looking the same way. I just never thought about it before this assignment.

I did take a look at it in the appearance menu on wordpressย to see whatย my blogย would look like on mobile phones and tablets. I think it looks pretty good on both. I only saw a couple of things I’d like to change, but I don’t know how. ๐Ÿ™

The first thing is that all the ‘widgets’ show up at the very end. I’d like to have my ‘follow me’ widget up closer to the top so that people might be more likely to see it (and hopefully click on it!). ๐Ÿ™‚

The other thing is that for some reason, the post’s I’ve done with a slideshow (the Bike and Blues Fest for example) don’t show up inside the screenshot on the phone preview. I’m not sure if that’s something going on with this computer when I look at it, or if it really looks like that when someone looks at my blog from a cel phone. ๐Ÿ™

I also took a look at my blog on that another blogger on the Blogging 201 Commons mentioned. Those posts with the slideshows show up the same way there, like they’re way off-center for some reason.

Can anybody out there check it out and let me know? If it IS a problem, does anybody know what I need to do to fix it?

Has anyone else had this issue? I’m trying to look through the Commons but haven’t seen anything yet. I admit, I haven’t had a lot of time to spend on thisย project so far, but trying to catch up. ๐Ÿ™‚

Songs of the Sea: The Downeaster ‘Alexa’- Billy Joel


I’ve been in Korea for the last week or so. Seems I still can’t get away from the ocean. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’ve spent a lot of time going to the local markets. They have a LOT of seafood in their markets here!

Yesterday I went to Gijang. They were supposed to be having a festival yesterday. The Gijang Anchovy Festival. It said on the internet that it was cancelled. I went anyway since it also said the Lotus Lantern Festival was cancelled and it was still on. ๐Ÿ™‚

I figured it would be an interesting day out anyway. Yes, the festival was actually cancelled. Yes, it was still an interesting trip. ๐Ÿ™‚

I took the metro up to Haeundae Station and then the local bus (181) from there to the harbor where the festival was supposed to be. The town was obviously set up as a place for people to come and buy and eat fish, (more kinds than just anchovys), but I saw no signs of any kind of festival. I guess it really was cancelled (due to the ferry accident).

I wandered around for a while and took a bunch of pictures. I’ll have to take a look at them later and will put some in a later post. I’m trying to stick to my goals for the Blogging 201 Challenge, one of which was to get back on track with my “editorial calendar”.

So I am posting today another Song of the Sea. All that wandering around the fish market and the fishing boats made me think of this song by Billy Joel. It’s about the fishermen in the USA (NE Coast), but fishermen around the world are all the same. ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s always hard work and the pay is never enough, but of course it’s still totally worth it!

I hope you like the song as much as I do. Enjoy. ๐Ÿ™‚


The Downeaster ‘Alexa’

Well I’m on the Downeaster Alexa
And I’m cruising through Block Island Sound
I have charted a course to the Vineyard
But tonight I am Nantucket bound

We took on diesel back in Montauk yesterday
And left this morning from the bell in Gardiner’s Bay
Like all the locals here I’ve had to sell my home
Too proud to leave I’ve worked my fingers to the bone

So I could own my Downeaster Alexa
And I go where the ocean is deep
There are giants out there in the canyons
And a good captain can’t fall asleep

I’ve got bills to pay and children who need clothes
I know there’s fish out there but where God only knows
They say these waters aren’t what they used to be
But I’ve got people back on land who count on me

So if you see my Downeaster Alexa
And if you work with the rod and the reel
Tell my wife I am trawling Atlantis
And I still have my hands on the wheel

Yeah yoย [x4]

Now I drive my Downeaster Alexa
More and more miles from shore every year
Since they tell me I can’t sell no stripers
And there’s no luck in swordfishing here

I was a bayman like my father was before
Can’t make a living as a bayman anymore
There ain’t much future for a man who works the sea
But there ain’t no island left for islanders like me

Yea yea yea ohย [x4]


Blogging 201: Day Three- You’ve Got the Look

The assignment for day 3 of the Blogging 201 challenge is to continue refining your ‘brand’. I’ve already done quite a bit of that when I was first getting started and then again during the original Zero to Hero challenge.

I also took a critical look at my blog for yesterdays assignment (Audit Your Brand). I think there are a few small things I’d like to play with, but since I’m actually traveling in Korea at the moment I’m not going to do that right now.

I hate to spend my time here playing on the computer for hours on end when I should be out exploring Korea!

All in all, I’m pretty happy with the look of my blog. My brand. I’d be happy to hear any comments or suggestions from anyone as to how to improve it. ๐Ÿ™‚