Tag Archives: Blogging

I’m Tired Of Arguing With Pricks On The Internet

Recently I’ve found myself arguing on the internet. I usually try not to get drawn into futile debates online (I’d be very surprised if anything I’ve said in these arguments has changed anyone’s views, for instance) but sometimes it is hard to let things pass. Ignorant racist bullshit can certainly rattle my cage and I seem to be stumbling across that all OVER the place.

I gave up on an argument in a forum (for a stupid daytime TV show) because of the sheer number of “we don’t need black presenters, because immigrants are already taking all our houses, jobs, women and oxygen” spouting moronic twats, who ganged up to fight my EVIL “can’t we all just be nice and get along?” stance. It was so depressing, to read their spiteful replies and their mindless prejudice, that (after replying a few times to people) I walked away from that place and never returned.

This morning I looked in on a debate in someone’s blog, to find I’ve been told to “Fuck off” (by some strangely angry bloke), for describing the situation around where I live (as in, I enjoy living in an area with a mixture of races) and because I said the UK wasn’t about to explode. Then some patronising cow weighed in, with a load of crap designed to convince herself (and me) that she is so far above me intellectually that I can’t possibly grasp her arguments. Which is a shame, because she did make the odd good point.

It is all so tiresome and draining  but it is also confusing. I don’t know whether I should just concentrate on writing my own blog and let other people say whatever they like, elsewhere, without challenging them… Or whether I should still bother to get involved, when people post things that I find abhorrent. or consider untrue. Sometimes I feel that by posting my take on things, I give them the excuse to become even more extreme in the views they voice.

On one hand, I don’t have the stomach for being insulted and slapped down by people who I have no chance of influencing anyway. On the other, I’d like to think that other people (say for instance, immigrants) might see my comments and be heartened to know that not everybody in the entire universe is a total c*nt.

How Often Should I Blog?

Since starting Blogmella’s Handbag, I’ve been throwing myself enthusiastically into blogging – coming up with new ideas, raiding my old journal for material, finding awesome new online buddies, reading great new writers and watching my Stats like a hawk (well, more a curious monkey really). It has been fun… But there is one question that keeps bugging me – How often should I blog? And it seems as though plenty of other people are wondering the same thing – A Google search for “How often should I blog?” turned up “About 150,000,000 results (0.26 seconds)”.  Wow.

So what is the answer? Well, there seem to be several answers really:

 Apparently, if I want to “Make Money by Blogging!” (that would be nice), I have to make several blog entries every day (that wouldn’t). Of course,  business blogging is all about the Hit Count and more entries equals more chances for hits. Or something. My blog isn’t a business blog (or a spamfest), so if people visit my blog, I do want to at least think they’re READING my posts. Blogmella’s Handbag is more like a personal diary – combined with being a generous outlet from which I share my vast wisdom. I can’t write about my life faster than I can live it and I don’t want to unleash my wisdom on the World faster than your tiny minds can cope, so beg me all you like… I won’t be blogging several times a day.

Some websites suggest that a person should only blog when the mood strikes and they espouse lazy hippie values, like “quality over quantity” and having “worthwhile content“. Even though it sounds so deep and arty – I don’t like allowing myself to simply follow my moods. My moods are normally rather idle and self-indulgent. I think I need a strategy in place, to inspire me to write. I don’t want to just post rubbish, for the sake of it, but if I restrict myself to only posting deeply worthy things I’ll procrastinate and my posts will get further apart than Admiral Ackbar’s eyes.

So that leaves me with the choice of posting at regular intervals (one, two, or three times a week), or posting daily. “Regular intervals” sounds fair keeping the incentive to write primed and the audience happy (in the knowledge that new content is never far away)…

But NO! No. The self-appointed web “experts” say that posting daily is the way forward, for someone like me (who gets excited about their Stats) and I am listening to those self-appointed experts with my full attention. “Do, or do not. There is no try.” as Yoda would probably say about it. Being able to check on a blog and find new content daily is something that readers find pleasing… And so they come back for more. PLUS new readers can stumble upon the blog more readily if posts are put up every day. Daily posting for the win!

Daily. Hmmmm. Bloody hell, that is quite a challenge though. Will I rise to it?

I can’t tell you – because the same experts say one should never TELL readers how often you’re going to blog. Just do it.

Stats Maniac

When I moved my internet “home” to WordPress, I discovered a new toy – because included in my handsome blog was a Blog Stats page.

Oh. My. God. I am obsessed with my Blog Stats. I am SO excited by any “progress” I make. Did I get more hits than yesterday? Did this week do better than last week? How are my hits this month, compared to last month?

And then there is the list of “Top Posts and Pages”. Oooohhh… What do people WANT? What is my most popular post of ALL TIME? Click, click, click… My fingers are a blur, my brain becomes a computer. I study the Graphs, I hold my breath each time I check the hits so far today…

I need to get out more.

There is even a bit where it lists what people have put into Google search, to find your site (I’ve mentioned this before). One of the most disturbing was “puppies dogs sucking womens tits”… WHAT?! And that led them to me, did it? Let me point out that after two days of breast-feeding my first CHILD I gave up – so puppies have got NO chance.

Anyway, back to the Stats. Well, you are here now, reading this, and that means you’re included in my Stats today. I love you. Seriously. We will share a cigarette together later and I will make you breakfast. Tell other people about my blog and let’s have a threesome! You know you want to.

Dave has suggested that my obsession with Stats and Hits is unhealthy. He has also pointed out that “Page Views” are not the same as “Unique Visitors”, which means (after he applies some kind of weird calculation) that his blog at soylentdave.com is probably more popular than mine. F**k HIM! I may not have the most famous blog on the planet but it is growing in popularity and I like my little Stats game.

I’ve already said I need to get out more, haven’t I?

Time Saving Strategies

Last Thursday, I went to help clean the Church (yes I WILL now be going to Heaven, when I die) and was very inspired by the priest. It wasn’t by anything he said, it was by his “off duty”  T-shirt, which read ” To save time, let’s just assume I know everything”.  It got me thinking about things that actually save time – which led to this post:

Time Saving Strategies

1) Get Up Early: If you want to get things done quickly, getting up early is an excellent strategy. I can get more done in the hour between 6:00 am and 7:00 am than I can in two or three hours, later in the day. Admittedly I have to feed the bloody cats first, but then it is plain sailing all the way. No phone calls, everyone else in the house asleep, no cool stuff on TV to distract me… Early is good. Unless you have a small child, in which case you may need to adapt this idea accordingly.  

2) Adopt A Positive Attitude: If you want to do something quickly, you must have a positive attitude. Quite often you see people doing something unpleasant (like unblocking a smelly toilet, or taking on a heap of filing) and they almost quadruple the time it takes by their sheer negativity. Creating a huge pantomime, where you keep pulling faces, complaining, gagging, walking away, shaking your head, looking at the clock and saying things like “I hate doing this!” just wastes time and undermines your morale. Roll up your sleeves, focus your energy on getting the task done and ignore everything else – that way it’ll soon be over.

3) Stop Trying To Be Perfect: Before I worked as a Care Assistant, it took me hours to clean just one room of my house. I’d start out enthusiastically but then slow down to almost a halt, pondering each task and carrying it out in microscopic detail. When I was a Care Assistant, however, a “cleaning call” meant being expected to call on a client and clean their entire home, in one hour. And you know what? I did it. I stripped the bed, remade it, put the used bedding on to wash, vacuumed through, mopped all the tiled floors, washed the dishes, tidied/cleaned the kitchen surfaces, wiped down the bathroom etc. all in the space of one hour. How? I just stopped fussing and accepted that what I was doing (and the way I was doing it) was good enough. There was no time to be a perfectionist. Nobody ever complained about my work either, because it WAS good enough.

4) Make Lists: I’ve put this tip off for a bit, because it is so boring and you already know it… But make lists. Don’t keep kidding yourself that you can “play it by ear”, or “find everything when you get there”. A list saves so much time, because it not only reminds you about important things, it also keeps you on task.

5) Choose Quickly: Call me a Communist but frankly, when it comes to consumer goods, the choices we have are largely cosmetic. Most types of washing powder, moisturiser, pasta, toilet paper and so forth are much the same. By all means have your favourites but don’t waste hours bothering to read all the blurb, or worrying because you can’t get a particular brand. Just think, if you grab something new, it may turn out to be better than the brand you’ve been wedded to. Now take this new decisive attitude and apply it to other areas of your life.

6) Don’t Offer Other People Choices: This is hard for people like me, who like to “please”  but by not offering choices to everyone you have to deal with, you’ll save hours of your own time. If I ask my family what they’d like for dinner, we end up having a long debate, which ends in me making three different things. If I just make dinner and then call them to eat it – they eat what they are given. Or go hungry, but that is a choice they rarely make. Being decisive on behalf of others is a gift to them too, because most people enjoy being lazy and being told what to do.

7) Avoid Starting A Blog: Having a “blog” or “online journal” is a huge drain on your time. Important tasks will be left undone, as you sit tapping nonsense into your PC – just so that a few, lonely geeks, deranged Americans, sexual perverts and creepy spam bots can find out that you exist. A post can take ages to write and you don’t even get paid for writing it. In fact, the most you can hope for is going to be a comment like “LOL, I almost shot Coke out of my nose reading that”. Think of other ways to use your time and do them. You know it makes sense.

What Are You “About”?

I absolutely LOVE searching around WordPress (and other blogs), looking for new things to enjoy. There are so many gifted and talented people out there (plus a few amusing nutters) putting such fascinating content into the public domain, free of charge and at the click of a button. Awesome.

Lots of people, however, have very disappointing “About” pages. I like reading “About” people. It doesn’t have to be a vast essay (mine isn’t) but when you read somebody’s blog, it is nice to know something about where they are coming from. Screw Barthes and his stupid “Death of the Author” theory, I need to “know” you. Even if you have a passion about a single subject, and focus an entire blog exclusively on that subject, it is pleasing to understand the origins of your love-affair. Or at least have an inkling.

If I come to your blog, taste a little sample of your genius, crave to explore your essence and click on “About”… There is no greater smack in the face than seeing:

This is an example of a WordPress page, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many pages like this one or sub-pages as you like and manage all of your content inside of WordPress..

What are you THINKING? You can’t even be bothered to write anything about yourself? Maybe that in itself says something about you… But it isn’t enough for me.

I know that sometimes people adopt alternative personas online. I think this is perfectly valid and I don’t need to have people explain to me that they are not all they seem. BUT, if somebody is going to construct an online identity, they should at least be consistent. One “About” I came across said this: “I don’t plan on going out of my way to specify which stories are fact, or which are fiction. That will be up to you to figure out – or not.” Well thanks for the warning, I suppose. I don’t want to have to engage with someone and then pick out the random lies, thanks. Even though I sometimes tweak reality a tiny bit, to make better reading… Either I get to know Real You, or Fake You – I don’t have the energy for both.

So that’s it really. If you haven’t written “About” yourself, do it NOW. I’m waiting.