Blog Update

Blogging Is Dead 


Me and blogging are in a relationship — and it’s complicated.

In a time when social media and viral videos are still king, it looks as if blogging — personal blogging at least — is all but dead.

I remember a time when I could write a post and get a reasonable number of interactions/hits/visits coupled with an occasional comment or even a discussion. But then again that was when “blogosphere” was a media buzzword and before Twitter and Facebook were on the radar. I’ve been at this in one form or another since 2004, just months after Facebook was founded, and years before Twitter would arrive. These days it’s much easier to post a blurb on Facebook and wait for the usual suspects to start clicking that reaction button to show their approval, disgust, etc. Or type “Amen” to send prayers up because…never mind.

And this has never been a profitable venture for me. If anything, it costs me to run this dog-and-pony show in the form of domain ownership, mapping and, of course, my own time. While I do have ads here, I’ve yet to reach my $100 threshold to cash out the revenue they generate and they’ve been in place for years. I’m still nowhere near that threshold.

Maybe it’s because I’m not smart enough to do something stupid enough that will drive the traffic and revenue up (look up any “YouTube sensation/star/personality”). Or maybe it’s because personal blogs just aren’t a thing anymore.

So with all that said, you might be glad to know that I’ve once again ponied up my annual fees to keep this here blog alive for at least another year.

Why?

I like owning a domain and having an email associated with it (send one to dave_at_holographicmeatloaf_dot_com and I will reply unless shit gets out of control). I’ve owned it for years and don’t want to lose it. And it looks much more legit having your own address rather than  an unsightly [username_dot_host_dot_com] URL. Even if you have readers, nobody will want to remember all that crap.

I also like telling an occasional story, with pictures, that nobody on Facebook would bother reading if I had posted it there. Anybody can write a blurb about something stupid that happened in the Costco parking lot but not everyone can tell a cohesive story,  and my stories sometimes require more than 140 characters.

Plus, this year marks my 10th year using WordPress as my host having moved from Google’s Blogger platform, which is as ugly as a website built and hosted by Geocities or Tripod. Look those up, kids.

So even with the doom and gloom of not being what it used to be, I’m still keeping the faith.

And if you’re reading this, thanks for being a part of it.

Composed on my iPhone with the WordPress app because I was too lazy to clean off the stuff from my desk 

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Life

 Quality Not Quantity 


As my restraint from posting on Facebook continues, I’m realizing that I’m not missing it a whole lot. That’s mostly because I grew tired of idiotic stories that local media thinks I should be paying attention to, like the woman who took a selfie in what she thought was her daughter’s dorm room — only it wasn’t.

That’s apparently “news” in this day and age. Before social media and the importance of taking a selfies, it would have just been a campfire story handed down from one generation to the next.

“Did I ever tell you what your great-grandmother did when I was in college?”

There’s a lot to be said about having a personal story to tell rather than watch it become a viral sensation that shifts our focus away from more important matters of the day.

You now, like the Running Man Challenge.

But meaningless stories aside, I’ve also come to realize that there’s a good chance that my friends probably don’t really care about what I’m eating or where I am at the moment. Many of us have become so focused on the immediacy of sharing the moment rather than taking the time to live and enjoy it.

That’s the point I’m at now. We no longer need Big Brother because we’ve become him.

For example, yesterday we went for a little road trip to the local beach community of San Clemente. That’s the birthplace of Rainbow Sandals, a high-quality flip-flop that will last you longer than you’d ever imagine. I own about four pairs and ended up bringing home another pair today as did Ann.

After buying our Rainbows, we did some shopping at the new outlets around the corner.

And during that whole time, I didn’t use my phone to take a single picture. That’s because I brought my camera with me.

My reason for doing so was simple: instead of just instinctively (and more often than not, thoughtlessly) taking a picture with my phone, the camera makes me think harder about the composition and in turn keeps me focused on, and honest about, the moment.

I find my subject. Compose the image. Check my shutter speed. Zoom in as I see fit. Grip the camera tight, hold my breath, release the shutter.


The moment, captured, with me in the middle of it.

There’s no “Share” button. No hoping I have a strong signal on my phone. No selfies with cans of chili in the grocery store. Just me and my camera taking the time to enjoy life and, of course, me writing about it hours later.


The moisture on this flower didn’t go unnoticed. It adds detail to the image. Was it hit by morning dew or did the sprinklers do this? Who knows for sure.


The Rainbow Sandals store has natural light beaming throughout which makes for excellent shooting conditions without a flash. Just a picture of footwear? Not really.

In the end, yes, I did share these moments after all. But it was much, much later in the day.

Because to me, being a part of and savoring the moment is much more important than having them posted to your timeline seconds later.

While I’ll still visit Facebook for pages I follow (that I have mostly in my Feedly feed anyhow), it isn’t for an extended period of time. Along with those “news” stories, there’s only Snapchat videos and/or face-swaps I can handle.

Advertising, Blogging 365, Business, Computers, Internet, Social Networking

Blogging 365, Day 62: I Got Praise!


Don’t let this dog-and-pony show of a blog mislead you – I actually do have what it takes to create effective social media buzz that will drive customers to your door.

At least that’s what the people at Pizza Today have said. Here’s why.

Every now and then, I will write Facebook posts for my friend’s pizzeria advertising their current or upcoming specials and for the most part, they are written and forgotten. That’s not to say that they are worth forgetting, no. I collaborate with him, come up with a few ideas, then send him the draft to see if he likes it.

Then the agonizing begins over what sounds best and why, talk pricing if applicable, delivery or take-out, etc. There’s much more to it than what’s going on here at this blog, something I make no money from and pay into by means of annual domain mapping fees and name registration.

But I create the Facebook posts free of charge because I simply like to do them and love getting down and dirty with the details of what can’t be said and why. The blog? Oh, anything goes here as you can probably tell.

And apparently, it’s that kind of attention to detail that caught the eye of the people over at Pizza Today.

On Friday, I got a text from my buddy to let me know what he saw in the latest issue:

IMG_20130301_165436.jpeg

It’s a little hard to see so here’s a clip from their website:

ciceros

We created this post to promote their 12/12/12 special, something that they also did on 10/10/10 but with results that were…well, they were beyond what we both expected. Let’s just say ovens are limited to their capacity and when you advertise a $10 pizza with no limits on quantity or size restrictions, things will get ugly.

But this was a good thing and something we both thought about for the 12/12/12 promotion (there was no 11/11/11 special). We got together and brainstormed to come up with an idea that would prove both beneficial to he as the owner and the customers as well.

The Facebook post you see about was the result and from what I know, it was not a bad day for his business.

It may be long gone and down at the bottom of their Facebook page now but according to Pizza Today, this post hit the marketing nail on the head in terms of everything – and I’m glad to have been a part of it.

Geek Stuff, Internet, Social Networking

My First Celeb Retweet: @pennjillette


I’m pretty jazzed about this.

I’d been following Penn Jillette on Twitter for a few months because I think he’s an interesting guy: magician, outspoken atheist, musician, and a great storyteller. And after listening to his Penn’s Sunday School podcasts today at work I came to the conclusion that the man knows everyone.

Shortly after being enthralled by the second podcast, I had to tweet about it to let the world know what a great show it was. It’s funny (especially if you like monkeys and Clay Aiken), thought-provoking and a little crazy at times. This is especially true when listening on an iPod at 2x the speed, a speed at which the Monkey Tuesday theme sounds even better.

It was a simple tweet:

Enjoying @pennjillette Penn’s Sunday School podcast. He’s an interesting guy. Check it: http://bit.ly/yK82rS

With the show still in its infancy, Penn is still trying to get more listeners (of which I will continue to be as I have subscribed on iTunes). Of course, the best way to get the word out these days is via Twitter – and that’s exactly what he did with my tweet:pennRT

That’s pretty sweet. With the Twitter being so popular, a simple RT by a celebrity is the equivalent of an autograph in this day and age. It’s your confirmation that they saw what you said, thought it was worthy of telling their followers, and sent it out to all of them. From this tweet I gained quite a few followers, too: the man does have 1.7 million of his own.

So thanks, Penn Jillette, for the RT and making my day. I’m a fan of the show and can’t wait for more episodes, even if I have to grab the podcast following the day of the live show.

The Pato Lucas discussion was hysterical, by the way.

News

Earthquake Virgins


dc-earthquake

Hey, in case you hadn’t heard, there was a reasonably sized earthquake yesterday centered somewhere in Virginia. And how did I find out about it?

Twitter, of course.

During my regular perusing of Twitter via my TweetCaster app, I came across several tweets from a friend of mine who lives on DC and my first impression was, “Really? An earthquake? Out there? Huh.”

My second thought was to find out if all of my peeps on the east coast were doing fine and the confirmed via Twitter that everything was hunky-dory. One said the following:

@aeromat Safe and sound in Southern Jersey. If we’re going to get CA #earthquakes I demand getting SoCal weather, too. And palm trees.

Fortunately, they were all okay with nothing major to report.

Now I know those of you on the east coast are catching Hell from us over here in California because, well, that’s the fun of living out here: the element of surprise by the sudden shifting of tectonic plates. Earthquakes can and do happen at any time and we are always at the ready in case one happens to hit.

With all that said, I don’t think it’s fair to go on criticizing them for their reactions which, from what I’d read on Facebook and Twitter, were definitely not recommended during an earthquake. Those ranged from running outside, calling 911 (since there’s absolutely nothing they can do about it), or just general panicking.

It’s just not fair because, to be quite honest, us Californians wouldn’t know what to do during a tornado should a bigger one hit over here. I say “bigger” because we did have a small one run through the neighborhood years ago.

And just in case you’re wondering, here’s a brief breakdown of what goes through the mind of a native Californian during an earthquake.

The Shaking Begins. You’re not really sure if it’s an earthquake. It could be the chair you’re sitting on, a passing truck, whatever. Maybe you farted. Maybe the cat’s running through the house with a brick in his mouth. Whatever the case, you never at first think it’s an earthquake.

The Shaking Gets Stronger. Yeah, it’s an earthquake alright. At this point you start to determine the magnitude, what kind it was (and there are differences, believe me), where it was centered, and how long it will last. And in this day and age, you grab your nearest mobile device and start posting on social networks or, in my case, even blog about it.

The Shaking Gets Even Stronger. A few seconds into it, you begin to realize that it’s stronger than you had originally thought and you should probably get off the sofa and stand in the doorway but the sofa is so comfortable and the nearest doorway is maybe 10 feet away. Too much effort. You resume current activities – on the sofa.

You’re Over It. As the shaking begins to subside, you begin to rate the earthquake on your own personal scale of “Meh” to “Yeah, that was a good one, alright.” Then it’s time to tour your estate and check for any damage, like you know, how much water the birdbath lost.

And that’s pretty much how we handle them.

So to all of you out there on the east coast who managed to get your proverbial earthquake you-know-whats, you-know-whatted yesterday, I’ll go easy on you and just ask a few questions.

How was it? What did you think? What was going through your mind when all that weird shaking started? Did you panic like a sissy girl?

Feel free to leave your comments. I won’t pick on you too much 🙂