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Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

31 Days In A Row; What I’ve Learned…

Today is the final day of 31 straight blog posts in Syracuse Wiki. This time around it’s been a bigger challenge for me than it’s been when I’ve done it on other blogs, and I decided to talk about the process and things I’ve learned overall on the journey.

1. Real life can get in the way… if you let it

January blogging challenge

Real life tried to get in the way as of the 23rd of the month when my mother fell in her house. This led to doing a lot of thinking and changing of options and, eventually, we moved Mom into our house… and she’ll be here as long as we can take care of her properly. I began on the 21st by talking about meeting a social worker who showed me the light and set me on the path just before Mom fell, then a few days later talked about situations and processes which eventually led to our deciding to move her here. Read the rest of this entry »

5 Great Things About Syracuse Blogging Meetups

I ended the last post with the line “maybe it’s time for another local blogging meetup…” and then realized that I never wrote about the last Syracuse blogging meetup we had; ugh! I’m usually better than that, but no sense in crying over spilt milk, right?

blogging get together 01

I love going to things like this, even though in some ways it’s against my nature. I’m not the best networking person in the world. One might not believe it by seeing how much I write but in person I easily withdraw from what might be considered social events… even if they’re related to business.

Yet, I’ve found that there are two types of networking events where I’ve been pretty good at talking to people. One revolves around “tweetups” and the other around blogging.

It’s probably because those are two areas I engage with people most often. Obviously I love blogging, but I also love when I have the time to hang out on Twitter. I even love it more when it involves local people because from my perspective I don’t know a lot of local folks. One would think that after more than 40 years in this area my address book would be filled; nope!

Thus, I decided to write about 5 things I love about blogging get togethers, with a twist. I’m putting the name Syracuse in it for two reasons. One, it’s kind of clickbait; I’m not ashamed. lol The second is that I’ve been to a few of them and written about them (though I missed the last one), so it not only gives me the chance to link back to the others but to share a couple of pictures from the last one. πŸ™‚

1. You meet new people

Our last get together was at Spaghetti Warehouse, and I’m the guy who selected it. My thinking is that its bar area is expansive and it’s a great place to eat dinner afterwards if one is so inclined.

I feel like I got lucky because, though only 10 people showed up, 3 of them were new to the initial group, and it’s always great meeting new people. One had been blogging for a while, whereas the other was thinking about starting up. All of us had a good time interacting with each other and got to share our blog links. Whether anyone other than me checked everyone out I’m not sure, but in my opinion it’s always great meeting other people who either love blogging or are looking to see what others like myself have to say about it.

2. You get to go to new places

blogging get together 2

I have to admit that I’d been to all the places we’ve had the blogging get together’s to this point but not everyone had. The place we went to before Spaghetti Warehouse was at the Syracuse CoWorks location, which most of the people in the room had never even heard of. In my opinion there’s no better way of learning more about Syracuse than in working hard to creatively find new places to meet and hopefully talk about in one’s blog.

As far as I can remember, we’ve also been to Al’s Wine & Spirits and…ugh; I can’t remember the name of the other place near Armory Square. There were a couple while I was in Memphis that I missed but I’m sure those places were new to someone at the time.

3. You get to learn about a lot of new things

At one of the blogging events I met a guy who likes cooking gourmet foods I won’t eat and desserts I might eat but that he doesn’t. At another I met someone who’s beginning to become quite popular across the country by talking about ways to save money and maximize personal finances but was just getting started at that time. There were also a couple of people who were designers which I thought was pretty cool.

Photographers, writers, health nuts… it’s all pretty cool stuff!

4. You get to talk about blogging!

I have to admit that this is one of my favorite things. I write about blogging all the time but it’s not often that I get to talk to people in person about it, and have other people who actually blog to talk back. It’s fun to compare notes about the writing process, the making money process, the research process and the images process… heck, it’s all fun, unless we discover someone is stealing other’s content… luckily we haven’t had to go there yet. lol

5. It’s free!

Well, at least it can be. If you don’t drink it’s definitely free. At our CoWorks tweetup someone brought subs that were cut in many smaller pieces so food was free. All it takes it a bit of initiative to hop in the car, go to the location, get out of the car, go inside, introduce yourself and start talking. In this case, for once, no matter what anyone does everyone in the room has a shared interest. What can be easier and more fun than that?  

Blogging Is A Labor Of Love

This is day 26 of my blogging journey here on Syracuse Wiki, and I have to admit that I almost gave up this challenge after I had to deal with mother issues, which you might have seen in this post about taking responsibility for your parents. It would have been as easy “out” and pretty legitimate also.

blogging get together

Why have I continued writing then?

First, because 10 days ago I talked about this writing a post a day thing on one of my other blogs and most of the people who commented were, dare I say, sissies about it? lol If I’d given up I would have felt like one of them; that wasn’t happening.

Second, I actually got someone else to take on the challenge, which she started yesterday. If she actually writes 7 days a week I’m going to share a link here so others can see it and hopefully be inspired.

Third… Because blogging is a labor love… you’ve got to love blogging while realizing that it’s also laborious. Just because I’m doing this doesn’t mean I think blogging is easy. Blogging is hard for many reasons, which is why so many people are reluctant to do it on a consistent basis.

Yet, there are a lot of hard things people do that others say are tough. Running and jogging; man, that’s physically tough, yet there are a lot of people who do it.

Creating and building things, painting, learning how to play piano… all of those things are hard to learn, even for prodigies. Those people spend hours on it, and sometimes they’re not sure when they’re done or at their peak.

From my perspective, if you don’t love blogging then please don’t do it.

Don’t do it only to make money because you’re going to fail.

Don’t do it because you’re trying to enhance your business presence because you’re going to quit.

Don’t do it because someone like me told you how blogging can help you in so many ways.

Do it because you love it. Pick a topic or multiple topics, or just write because you love writing, and enjoy yourself. Do it for your business because you love what you do and can always think of great topics to write about. Make money from your blog because you encourage people to love the same things you do by writing about them.

Just don’t think it’s easy… because it’s not. I say that as someone who’s about to hit year #12 of blogging in February, when I switched from daily personal blogging which I started in 1999.

Hmmm… maybe it’s time for another local blogging meetup…  

Facts, Better Facts & Commenting On “News” Articles

On another blog of mine, I’ve given tips on how to find topics to write about if you have a niche blog. Those same tips can apply to writing a blog like this, which isn’t as much of a niche blog as it is a blog of love of the area and, well, pretty much anything else I want to write about.

This one’s true πŸ™‚ Shared by For Your Pies Only

One of the tips I’ve given is to find something in your niche on a different blog or website that sparks your interest and then comment on it in your blog. That sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? In actuality it is, but it might take you longer than you’d expect to find the right thing that tickles your fancy.

To test this out, the first place I went was (this isn’t a link to that site; it’s a link to an article I wrote years ago about the site). I figured “what better place to go to find something about the area than that. Sounds solid, right?

Turns out not so much. One of the major problems with local news is that, well, it covers everything. What is there to write about when the news contains stories about criminals that will sound any better than the comments on those stories? Sports? No, if I was going to do that I’d go to Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician, which I did, but couldn’t find anything there that I could turn into a blog post. Frankly, I couldn’t find a single thing there to write about… at least not initially.

Instead, I decided to go to Google & do a search for some interesting things about the city. I found something quite intriguing, this post talking about 37 Things You Never Knew About Syracuse. It was actually kind of intriguing, but my mind kept asking “is this absolutely true?” Something didn’t quite feel right, no matter how cool it looked.

Oddly enough, it was that solved my dilemma by publishing ’38 things you never knew about Syracuse’: True or false?… about 5 days after the original was posted. It’s a great rebuttal to some of the things I’d previously read that just didn’t seem right. Like what you may ask (especially if you’re not in the mood to click on either of those links lol)?

Rod Serling - Twilight Zone - challenge Cheryl Grayum via Compfight

You’d think Tom Cruise and Rod Serling were products of Syracuse as far as their careers were concerned, but you’d be wrong. Being born in a place and learning your “talents” there are two different things. Ask me about being born in Fort Worth, TX and what I learned from there… especially since I left at age 3.

Joe Biden and Syracuse University? He did get his law degree there but he got his original diploma elsewhere. Still, he loves the ‘Cuse, so that’s something.

The first article talks about “Main Street” and how it’s still a happening place. Not only did I not know that there was a Main Street in Syracuse (which is debatable since it’s actually in North Syracuse), but the businesses that were listed in that story have never been on that street.

There are a lot of other things but I think that’s enough to get us to this question about whether or not we can trust news sources, sites that give statistics and background that aren’t true news sources that some people think might be, and, well, news sources that are supposed to be true news sources that don’t quite give us the news we’re expecting to be true… but really isn’t.

I use this point of pride as a reference. Back in December 2000, my dad was the first recipient in New York state to receive the Medal of Merit, and was also awarded the Conspicuous Service Star. It was a proud time for us, and all 3 TV stations were there to capture the moment.

What’s funny is that all 4 sources got at least one thing wrong… and not the same thing in each one of the stories. The newspaper story didn’t realize that it’s New Castle, not Newcastle. It also alluded to Dad playing military games on his video game consoles, which is something he never did, so that was misleading.

The term “fake news” is big these days, although in that case they’re talking about stories that come out with the intention of stirring people up with a bunch of lies. While fake is irritating, what’s almost worse is content that’s unintentionally misleading or incomplete or even stealing.

I wrote a post last March on my other blog where I pretty much lambasted an article I read titled 5 Blogging Tips and Tricks to Make Your Blog Stand Out… only they weren’t. They weren’t even new; others had written on that same topic over and over for years… almost word for word. This was probably the best example of finding something in your niche and either agreeing or disagreeing with it and explaining why.

Unfortunately, we can’t always believe everything we read; rather, we can’t take it at face value. Fortunately, because we can’t take everything at face value, it gives us a lot to write about, whether we want to make it factual or opinionated.

Part of my quest in writing a blog post every day in January this month was to show ways that people could find things to write about when they’re struggling with a topic. This is just another example; if you’ve been following along, have you noticed the other examples I’ve shown so far?  

Post #202; Missed A Couple Of Days…

I guess I didn’t plan this correctly. I usually highlight my milestone posts every 100, but in the midst of writing a post a day in January it seems I just noticed that I had crossed the 200 post mark by a couple of posts. Since I’ve already postdated those other posts, and I’m not in the mood to chase them down and change those dates, I’m going to talk about the previous 200 as if those other two posts don’t exist… at least for this post. πŸ™‚

me & a babynot my baby πŸ™‚

I started this blog on January 22nd of 2011, which means I’m almost at my 6th anniversary here. I hit my first 100 posts in November of 2012. I just hit my 200th post on January 10th of 2017; it’s almost hard to believe it’s taken me more than 4 years to write 100 posts when I’m normally kind of prolific.

I get to add that I was out of town for about 18 months working on a consulting assignment in Memphis… Tennessee, for those of you who know we live close to a village of the same name. lol During that period I wrote only 22 posts here; that just won’t get it done. Still, that means I only wrote 78 posts in the other 28 months. That’s not the worst in the world but it’s not close to the standard I set for myself on my other blogs.

That’s actually one of the reasons I committed to writing a post a day this January, because I felt like I’d been slacking off around here. At the very least I should be writing two posts a month, especially since I gave myself approval to change the focus at the beginning of 2015 from just being about the central New York area to writing about pretty much anything I want to write about. Part of my commitment is to write more, promote more, and work on getting some advertisements or sponsorships for my efforts; that last one might take some time.

No matter; let’s get on with my norm… even if it’s not so normal. I always like to highlight my 5 most popular posts during the 100 article period… which this time is 4 years! lol The proof that I’ve done a pretty bad job of both marketing and keeping up to date with this blog is that every one of the top 5 articles visited in the last 4 years is within the first 100 articles I wrote; that’s pretty sad. Anyway, here they are, with numbers:

Horrible Experience At Village Burger In Liverpool 1,988 Filing A Small Claims Suit In Syracuse 960 5 Things I Don’t Like About Wegmans 715 Season’s Harvest Buffet At Turning Stone Casino 562 Collins, The Best Black Barber Shop In Town 466

Next are the posts that were the most commented on during the same period. This time around I only had 4 posts that had at least 10 comments; once again, my fault:

Creative Blogger Award Challenge 15 Blogging Get Together At Al’s Wine & Spirits 14 β€œWould You Rather” Book Tag Tour – My Version 11 Are We Too Busy For Real Networking? 10

That’s not good at all, is it? Then again, the first 100 only had 5 posts with more than 10 comments… though one of those had 44. Out of the 4 article above, only one of them had any significant comments from local people; I find that pretty interesting… don’t people in central New York like to read and support each other?

Bah; that sounds like whining, and I’m not that type of person (my wife would disagree lol). Instead, we push forward and move onward, which means it’s time to highlight my favorite 5 articles for the last period; this should be pretty easy to do, and for once I’m not going to copy any of the articles showing above:

My Top Ten Favorite Syracuse Basketball Players Of All Time Body Shaming – Why It Needs To End To Share Or Not Share; That Is The Question Of A Diabetic Healthcare Journey Are You Kidding Me IHOP? My Encounter With Pearl

That’s that; 3 concerning central New York, 2 outside of that realm. That’s about right I think; at least it should give me some impetus to write more here, promote more, and hopefully to get more people here, whether they’re local or not. I hope you stick around for what’s coming for the rest of this month and for what I’m hoping to do for the next 100 posts… which I promise won’t take 4 years to write! πŸ˜‰

Meanwhile, I figured I might as well add this… my new office design…  

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