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Back to Blogging: Revisiting the Past & Embracing the Future

15/09/2010
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Back to Blogging: What’s Not to Love?

“The heart of blogging is linking…linking and commenting. Connecting and communicating – the purpose of the Internet.” ~ George Siemens
“Your blog is your unedited version of yourself.” ~ Lorelle

Back to Blogging: Finding our way via Twitter Images...

This week, my sistahs at The SITS Girls site have suggested some great ways to get our blogging shoes back on. For the entire week, we are to follow the prompts below, dig deep into our blogmunition and share the results by linking our post with others in our SITS Girls community.

I’ve adapted the assignment to make it into an ongoing updated post so my responses to Monday through Wednesday will be below. Thursday and perhaps Friday will be individualized each day. What do you think about the offerings? What are your memories of your blogging moments as per the prompts? Do Tell.

“The ease and appeal of blogging is inspiring a new group of writers and creators to share their voices with the world.”~ Unknown

Back to Blogging: Making Connections anyway... via beespace

Here are the Topics & my Responses:

Monday, September 13: Re-upload the first post you ever wrote on your blog. If interested, re-write that post, showing us a before and after look at the piece.
Day One

My first post was a tame attempt to get a grasp of a new medium of communication… I took the ubiquitous WordPress “Hello World!” sticky page and wrote something, added no visuals and sent it into the stratosphere… Yeah, many moons later, it is still there as my welcome page. I might add a picture now… I don’t know. 🙂

How has your blog evolved since the beginning?
My first post was: Hello World!
I started blogging in November 2008 and it was a fairly long piece without images. I wrote one post a month until I took Problogger’s 31 Days to Build a Better Blog – 31DBBB course in April of 2009 and then made the commitment to write a weekly post. A lot has transpired since then including my revamping an old Blogger blog; watching the ebb and flow of my blog traffic, and having to remind myself why I do it anyway. I don’t regret doing it though there are things I would change and continue to change…

If you could go back to the beginning of your blog and change something about it would you? What would you change?
If I could go back and change anything on my blog, it would be to give it a full fledged name with the domain bought and solid. WordPress has been phenomenal to me and I have grown with them and love every minute of it. I just know that to explore all the arenas a blog can grow in, I would need to do more with probably a self-hosted WordPress blog. I’m still looking for an expert who has integrated both to help me make the move. Any recommendations would be appreciated.

Tuesday, September 14: Re-upload a post you wish more people had read and explain why it was important to you.
Day Two

Every time we write a post, we believe that others will enjoy the content as much as we did gathering and reflecting on our ideas. There are posts we write that surprisingly draw loads of interest and then there are others that don’t. If I had to choose a post/two posts that I wished more people had read, it would be my Sweet Sensations African Divas I and II posts. I put together some of Africa’s finest female talent and added music from their most successful albums and did a lot of research for each lady. I would love for you to sample the musical talent and get a taste of a special musical genre. You wont be disappointed. Here they are: Posts I wish more had read will have to be my Sweet Sensations I: African Divas Sing and Sweet Sensations II: African Divas Sing

What posts have you debated writing because the topic made you feel vulnerable? Anything health related or deeply family related is a no-go zone for me. I just don’t see the point in letting everything about our lives be fodder for consumption. If others choose to go there then that’s their prerogative. There are topics that benefit us all and we can share them. I can talk about myself but I respect my family’s privacy.

How do you feel when you publish a post that is important to you? Each post is like birthing a child and I agonize over each one; checking and re-checking to make sure I catch all the typos and any other mistakes with content and links. I can chuckle about it now as it’s really my neurosis. I care about my posts but need to ease up on my approach. I can stand to let some of my concerns go.

How long does it take to write a post like that? Almost all my posts take time – several hours because I do some research, look for pictures and review the content. I am obviously aware that a free flowing post would be perfectly fine and that is one of my goals for this year. I have already started posting more than once a week and I am now working on having quick posts. Not there quite yet.

What is stopping you from publishing a post that makes you vulnerable? I do take on some subjects that are close to the sleeve and touch our hearts but I am careful to monitor the way I react to situations. As I said somewhere, Bloggers have an important role to play in the blogosphere and we must remember to wield our words with compassion. We all have the power of the human spirit to heal and to hurt one another. The latter is a dangerous option. With cyber bullying and the level of meanness I’ve seen on the internet, who needs to go there, really … ? Not me.

Wednesday, September 15: Re-upload a post with a title that you are particularly proud of and explain why.
Day Three

Which comes first? The title or the content of the post? I’ve read many opinions on the subject and I know that there isn’t one true answer to that question. For some, the title is first and then the content. For others, it’s the reverse or a blend of both. For me, I need to have a sense of where I am going with a post before I give it a title and then, I rework it a few times. There are posts that have what I consider perfect titles and then others that just don’t quite connect.

One of my favorite title posts,Heartbreak Hotel: Scattering Stars Like Dust, is the one I wrote for a very sad occasion; Michael Jackson’s death. I wrote the post the day after Michael and Farrah Fawcett died. I was sad and shocked and picked a song that I loved for years and that brought me good memories. I named part of the post for the favorite MJ song and the other half of the post came from a quote by the mystic poet Rumi. I still hold both dear.

Here it is: Heartbreak Hotel: Scattering Stars Like Dust Three other post titles I loved were Ten Tips For the ardent job-seeker, All aTwitter and The Lady Gaga one below is fun. From Lady Gaga to Storm King- It’s All Art…

What type of blog post titles do you find most engaging?
Witty titles or even funny and whimsical post titles make me smile… They always look easy to write but they are not at all.
Do you have a post title you’d like to go back and change? Why?
I am still thinking about this one because I labor over my titles and once I decide, I stick with it.

Do you optimize for SEO when crafting your title?
When I write my blog posts, I am focused on finding a name that fits the content of the post. I am learning certain things to do/not do if I want my blog optimized but honestly, it is a work in progress for me. I am re-reading the tips given on how to improve our blog seo; I believe it is an important tool for blogging and one that still leaves many of us in eyes-glazed-over mood.

One of the benefits of the week of back2blogging is that there are generous prices given by three sponsors; Standards of Excellence, Westar and Florida Builders, and bloggers can be selected to win them. Check out the SITS Girls site if you wish to join in the fun.

To Follow:
Thursday, September 16: Write a new post about a woman who inspires you. (As an example, you can see Mama Kat’s recent Women Who Inspire post here.)
Day Four

Who is someone you find inspiring? What is it about them?
There are so many who have led the way in my life including my mom, grandmas, aunts and sisters; blood relatives and otherwise. I cherish and honor them daily in my prayers and my heart. There is no time that I ever imagine not having their divine wisdom in my life. Through it all, we also find ways to honor others who have touched our lives.
Today, I chose to honor a friend who took the pain of suicide and channeled it into saving others lives. My post is called : From Anguish to Activism: A Mother’s Journey to Get Your Wellness On!

Friday, September 17: As your last assignment to jump start your return to blogging, write about what blogging means to you. Why do you blog? What purpose does it serve you and how have you benefited from sharing a piece of yourself online this way?
Day Five

Do you feel that blogging changed your life?
Blogging has added another dimension to my life and given me a chance to express myself in a public space, warts and all, and to make new friends… I would say the same for all social media platforms that I have been exposed to. I am still learning a lot about this medium; so much to learn, so little time!
How did your life change or in what ways? Honestly, I would not say my life changed, it’s been enhanced. The rhythm of my life remains the same and I continue to re-frame my blogging purpose and learn new ways of communicating.
Would you advocate that your children blog? Absolutely. My children have varied interests and one of them started blogging for a journalism assignment. The other is a published author and is not interested in blogging… an interesting topic for further discussion. Yes, they are free to explore this medium. The only rule is respect family privacy.
If your children begin to blog, how do you think their lives will be changed? One does and It won’t change her life substantially.
Why? Because our children are growing up in a world that is supremely exposed to multimedia channels, a surfeit of digital media, enough www information overload to make our brains explode, and tremendous access to tools that keep their minds and hands busy as they channel surf and multitask while texting, skyping, gaming, chatting, blogging, Googling, and eating lunch.
The next generation of kids will need microchips in their heads if we don’t find a way to get back to walks in the park…
It’s a generational difference and the breadth and depth of information is a lot for me already! I cherish blogging and their generation says – what’s the next big multi media innovation?

Having said that, I have shared two posts below that give some insights into why blogging matters to me… I am enjoying the process and learning a lot from it; it’s been quite humbling too.
From My WordPress blog: Ten Reasons To Blog
From my Blogger blog: The Genius of Blogging

What has been your experience as a blogger? Are you an expert in a field that our readers can benefit hearing about? Do you have links to share? Please share your feedback with us. Thank You!

PHOTO CREDITS:
Photograph of Back to Blogging Beach Bridge (background) via Twitter Images.com
Photograph of Blogging Poster via Beespace.net

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank

5 Comments leave one →
  1. 16/09/2010 1:04 am

    The journey of the B2B has been a great experience for me as well. The questions that have been asked and the answers given by all of the fellow SITS girls has been an eye opener and has challenged me in different areas.

    • 16/09/2010 6:32 am

      Yes, this has been both a blessing and a bloody hard work experience for me too. Like you, I have no regrets. Still working my way through the prompts. 🙂

    • 19/09/2010 7:00 pm

      It has been an all around positive experience for me too.
      Thank you for stopping by!
      I believe I have returned the goodwill. Will check to be sure. 🙂
      Best,
      E

  2. Bree permalink
    16/09/2010 12:17 pm

    This is insightful and I look forward to the rest.
    I hear it is a good thing to repost or review old ones; keeps the cobwebs away.

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