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Community: Some PostADay Lessons…

01/02/2011
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“A healthy social life is found only, when in the mirror of each soul the whole community finds its reflection, and when in the whole community the virtue of each one is living” Rudolf Steiner

Community: Great ones flow like precious water...

The PostADay Challenge has been a very rewarding effort; even with the time it demands of us. It has given several hundred or perhaps thousands of us a surefire way to build connections in a blogging community.  Above all, it has reminded us about the value of community.

Whatever we do, wherever we are, it’s important to connect with others and find a way to develop a sense of community; be it small or large.  I’ve met many terrific bloggers and formed some special new alliances via DailyPost, my blogging buddies and other social network channels. What I have learned so far:
♥Connecting with all of my new blogging friends and more has been a blessing and filled with graceful moments.
♥Revisiting our blogging style and goals is imperative.
♥Conversing with our blogging friends helps us shed light on common issues and find answers.
♥Using tools like Zemanta, Publicize , Press This, and WP’s many other features that make the process run smoothly, will make our effort shine.
♥The Like button is a wonderful tool for showing appreciation for fellow bloggers; especially when crunched for time.
♥Blogging Daily instead of twice a week is serious business.
♥Revamping my blog has opened my eyes to the value of periodically refreshing our blog themes/designs.
♥Editing and Updating our information is a blessed necessity.
♥Finding new and creative ways/information to post has to be part of the process.
♥Community takes reciprocal effort and even more active/participatory effort.
♥Time has, in all its permutations, been the biggest challenge.

Below are three modified responses from conversations with three of my blogging friends Julie, Viv and Walter. I felt that the information would be helpful to others; especially anyone who is relatively new to the process.  Here are some helpful links to what I’ve written about and more: Zemanta LearnWP DailyPost SignUp page Press This Badges for Participants Thank you WordPress and thank you blogging buddies, new and old friends, visitors and all!

To Julie:
On Time Spent Blogging: I have to say that the time spent depends on the post and what I need to include in it. Some of my posts are more philosophical and those require less links as I use poetry, quotes and an article here and there from our WP Zemanta, (Zemanta Wiki descriptor), which enables posting in visual editor mode on WordPress for our blogs. Other posts take a bit more time and I usually create a folder where I put stuff from newsletters for later reference. I save some in WP drafts and even create notes and reminders too.
Once a post goes up, at least since fall 2010, I do go back and tweak it and update it. I might take just 1 hour to write and upload a post but then, if I factor in prior work, I have put in 2-4 hours gathering information for said post. I am not saying everyone should do same; this is my approach.
On Commenting: Commenting is something to do on an ongoing basis and I find that while it can be time consuming, it takes commitment. I do it because I know it’s a valuable form of showing support; some people appreciate it and some don’t. 🙂
On Blogging: Our blogging life fluctuates, just like anything else. We have highs and lows so go with your own rhythm and write from a place of less stress. Just don’t allow it to stress you out. Take five when you need to. I do! I actually took three weeks off last year when I was posting 4 times a week between my two blogs. so it’s fine…  Lately, I’m pushing myself to be brief and the day I achieve that personal challenge would be a day to celebrate. 🙂
To Viv:
On Commenting: Commenting is important because we can get ideas gleaned from other bloggers posts and then we use the information to help us move forward. Every time I read another blogger’s post, I learn something new whether it’s a subject I can relate to or not. Sometimes, it’s a quick read and at other times it’s a longer visit but we can do it. It takes some effort yet, I do understand it might not be easy for some to do. It’s easier to reciprocate (except for blogs that get 100s’ of comments) and comment on a blog when someone leaves you a comment. 🙂

To Walter:
On Zemanta: Zemanta is a blog editing feature that WordPress provides to all of us on our blog post page. When you log into your account to post a blog, you have two editing options when you click on the add a post: Visual Editor mode and HTML or HTML Editor mode. You will see it on the right hand side , within the actual post page. You can choose either format for writing a post. What Zemanta does is offer relevant links, for certain words you have typed, to add to your page. It also recommends links to articles and even visual media. However, like any good thing, you must check the links offered and decide what to take and what to ignore.
I add my content in HTML mode especially my photos and I make all my written corrections in that mode. Once I’m done and have saved everything, I switch to Zemanta via the Visual mode and take advantage of the things I mentioned above. The text that appears in color, strike-through and more, are part of that function and to get the tool, just click the hidden tools icon on the post page when you are in Visual mode. It’s a lovely tool but like anything else, you must check the links and kitchen sink items you choose, to make sure they are what you expected… 🙂

On the PostADay Challenge: The PostADay/Week Challenge was started by WordPress at the close of 2010. You can sign up to join and what you write on is up to you. They offer support and daily prompts. You can use what’s offered or do your own thing. Every day, DailyPost showcases different blog posts from the larger group. To be added to the mix, once you’re signed up, don’t forget to use the term postaday2011 or postaweek2011 as one of your post tags. Again, here are the helpful links to what I’ve written about: Zemanta LearnWP SignUp page Press This Badges for participants Hope this helps! 🙂

What lessons have you learned from the PostADay/Week DailyPost effort? What has been the biggest Challenge with the journey for you?
Positive Motivation Tips: Find a community that supports you, get involved, help others, and remember to say thank you often.

PHOTO CREDITS: Autumn Brook by Olegas Kurasovas via National Geographic

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

22 Comments leave one →
  1. Bree permalink
    02/02/2011 8:21 am

    Great advice and the lessons learned are good for anyone. I like that you try out different formats to see what works.
    Also I would suggest you add a line in your posts before you send them off.
    The line should let readers know that what they have received is a work in progress that you update during the course of the day.
    This is richer and highly informative and different from what you emailed.
    Elbow grease!
    B

    • 03/02/2011 1:52 am

      That is a great idea as I do change things; corrections and updates… The format was a variation on the reblog idea.
      I just felt the exchanges needed to be shared. TY 🙂

  2. 02/02/2011 9:05 am

    Eliz…however you slice the bread (or explain your methods, you are still amazing!
    Thank you for your valuable info today, as always…and thanks for putting me in the post. 🙂
    If I could find the time to research your references, I’d probably have more professional.
    Oh, wish me luck…I have my first story/craft program at a local kindergarten tomorrow morning. It’s been a while since I’ve been in the classroom. 🙂

    • 03/02/2011 1:53 am

      Thank you for the feedback that led to that prompt.
      Good luck! I know you will ace it… a breeze! 🙂

  3. 02/02/2011 2:14 pm

    Thanks for an amazing post. I never thought of PostADay as a community, but now that you have mentioned it, I feel like I am part of something big and am filled with pride for not giving up thus far. 🙂

    • 03/02/2011 1:56 am

      Thanks for stopping by Lavinor and your comment is appreciated.
      Yes, we are part of something big… I always hoped they would do this
      You have an amazing blog and I enjoyed visiting it.
      Will visit again… it’s quite Zen. 🙂

  4. 02/02/2011 3:20 pm

    Wow, I hadn’t even thought about making changes regularly to keep my blog looking fresh! I meant to tell you that I liked the changes you made recently… I think I’ll follow in your footsteps!

    • 03/02/2011 2:00 am

      You know, this is the first time I changed my theme after over two years.
      I hesitated because I couldn’t find one that allowed me two side bars in a style I liked.
      This is a breath of fresh air and my web designer made a very good recommendation with this one.
      Glad you like it 🙂

  5. 02/02/2011 6:27 pm

    I fell in love with blogging a few years ago. I thought the excitement would wear off, and I’d quickly lose interest. But here I am, a little over 4 years later, still with WordPress, still excited about writing. Blogging is, indeed, very gratifying.

    • 03/02/2011 2:05 am

      Wow! 4 years… You’ve been at it a great while.
      A savvy friend/cousin set up a blog for me several years back in 2002.
      I never did much with it and I think it might have been a hosted site… 🙂
      So who knows where it is now…
      It is very gratifying 🙂

  6. 02/02/2011 8:39 pm

    Eliz, your posts are always so packed with information! Thank you so much for sharing and helping us all learn more about this wonderful craft!

    • 03/02/2011 2:06 am

      Thank you too Leslee, I learn from everyone and the ideas go back and forth. 🙂

  7. 02/02/2011 8:48 pm

    Well said! By far I think the “Blogging Buddies” was one of the best ideas… getting to meet & know others from all around the world, and growing a virtual social online community. The best motivation to know that your new friends are reading and sharing ideas 🙂

    • 03/02/2011 2:07 am

      I agree that is the best part of it all; the connections and community! 😉

  8. 03/02/2011 12:55 am

    “storms brewing and spreading;
    in nature and man-made…” = great intro ELIZ!

  9. 03/02/2011 12:59 pm

    Thank you … I wasn’t aware of Zemanta, will have to check that out! Community support is so important…Amen to that!
    Thanks again, Debbie 🙂

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