Bloggers, blogs and blogging

Some blogging reasons to be cheerful this week. About bloggers, blogs and blogging...

Bloggers


Let's face it, I'm an old-fashioned blogger. Almost a veteran. But I rarely write about blogging, because there are so many experts out there already. And then the blog awards happened.

That's the new Irish Parenting Blog Awards, and very good they were too. The whole process was well organised and stress-free (no begging for votes required) and the awards night itself was superb. I popped in for an hour as I was nominated for three awards and I hoped to catch up with some of the friends I've made over the past number of years, though I felt a little out of place among the young, glamorous, stylish, talented women (and a few men) who filled the room. I was thrilled to see some of my favourite bloggers become winners, and only sad that there wasn't a teapot for everyone in the room and at home. Yes, you read that correctly, the winners each went home with a fabulous and specially designed teapot from the amazing Colorines Wonderful.





I wasn't surprised or disappointed to go home teapotless, as I always feel that this blog is inconsistent, erratic and niche, though I like it of course. In fact I was relieved in a way as there's a pressure that comes with being a winner, an expectation of quality that I don't need right now. In previous years I would get bloggers block in the run up to the awards and end up with the worst post ever on my home page on awards night. Not a good way to get new readers!

The winning bloggers include great writers, story tellers, special needs parents, entertainers, crafters, cooks and scientists. Go check them out!

All very different, but it was noticeable that the winners had consistently high quality posts, beautiful photography and fewer reviews and linkies than other bloggers.

Blogs


Wooah, blogs have changed so much in the 5 1/2 years since I first pressed publish with fear and trepidation (I needn't have worried as only about 5 people saw my first post). There was very little social media sharing, except on Facebook, and you found new blogs by checking out blogrolls (one reason I still have one) and entertaining comments. Blogging arrived at the perfect time for me: I'd become bored stupid with mainstream magazines that depict a life so different to mine, or interests I have yet to embrace. I found a whole world of special needs blogs that helped me become a better parent, and find others like me. Who knew that was even possible?

Some things about my blog:

Blogroll

I love my blogroll. I know that they're no longer fashionable and apparently I get punished by Google for having it, but for me it's the easiest way to keep tabs on some of my favourite blogs now that Google Reader is no more.

Comments

If someone comments on my blog I try to answer and repay the favour, and explore their blog if it's new to me. But I don't expect others to do that: I regularly leave comments on posts because I have something to say. My blog can be heavy going at times and very much about special needs which is probably not of much interest to the average parent. Yet some bloggers do return the favour and perversely sometimes that discourages me from commenting because I don't want them to feel that they have to!

Photography

No matter how many times it's explained to me, I still get in a knot over the rules about using other people's photos on here. So I don't, unless I have written permission. That's why the standard of images is not great. I wish I had the time and the camera to include lots of stunning photos, but it's not possible right now. I'm especially sorry that I only took one - really rubbish - photo at the blog awards, so I've nothing to put on this post.

Blog Design

I was so proud of the redesign of this blog back in 2012 when I spent a couple of freezing days one New Year putting it all together with lots of help from Google. Now it looks amateur and outdated. Some of the blogs I read look better than glossy magazines. I've been tempted to pay someone to make mine look as pretty, but I'm worried that I'd be too afraid to post on it, because the words and photos would need to be absolutely perfect. No longer would I be able to fling a post together over breakfast, publish and be done with it. Blogging might become less of a hobby and more of a burden, and I don't want that to happen.

Blogging


I may never be an award-winning blogger, but I suspect that I'm in it for the long term. Sometimes I take a break, but I never run out of things to say. You have been warned!

So not winning and being happy with that is my reason to be cheerful for this week. What are yours?


Ojos World





24 comments:

  1. And for me this is what blogging is about - having your very own personal space on the internet that is unique to you. It may not be one that will win awards or looks all singing, all dancing but it's you. Well done for even getting nominated. And in three categories?! Awesome. x

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    1. Thanks Suzanne, and huge congratulations on being shortlisted in the BiBs too x

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  2. Love this post and love that you haven't tried to change yourself on any way to fit, I feel my blog is still changing as I am still figuring out who I am and learning about myself along the way so my blog changes with me but I stay true to myself and I guess that's what's important x

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    1. Oh yes I totally agree that you can change with your blog: I don't feel that I am the same person that I was back in 2009 and I didn't know what kind of blogger I was then either x

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  3. Great post and this is why I always return to your blog.

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  4. Pretty cool R2BCs.... and I agree with all you say. Except the bit when you say you're niche. You are, I guess, but you do have lots to say about lots of things. And you always say it so well :-)
    Blog rolls are out of fashion? I didn't even know that....which is one of the many reasons that I didn't even make one finalist list!! But like you say, I've accepted and am happy with that. Those teapots were seriously cool, weren't they? xx

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  5. Well this is your blog, you should have it the way you want it and I really like it! I use my reading list to follow blogs but I've never thought a blogroll old-fashioned and I think it's weird Google doesn't like it. I hope I'm not one of the bloggers you feel you have to return comments to because mine here are not favours, ever, I love your blog and when I comment it really is because I just want to....and sometimes because I can, my profile seems to be rejected by a lot of blogs when it comes to comments!!!! The photos of yours I've seen are just fab so I don't know what craziness you're talking about there in that section!!!!!!! Anyway, so glad you enjoyed the awards and had such a nice time, by all accounts it was a resounding super-well-organised success. The photos I've seen of the outfits, yours included (via your FB page) back up what your said about the glamour, I couldn't get over the style. This was a really cool Reasons To Be Cheerful, hope you enjoy the bank holiday weekend!

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    1. I comment on your blog posts (and share your poems) because I like them. But in general I think it is good manners to return comments if you can, hope you have a lovely weekend too x

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  6. The fancy photos and designs on blogs are great, but I really think readers appreciate the words - words they can tell come from the heart which is what you have here!

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    1. Thank you..the blog is certainly a dumping ground for what is in my head, maybe sometimes my heart too x

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  7. Funny isn't it, that I'd never think of you as niche? I suppose that might come from the fact that I've been following your blog since he very early days but to me you are one of the best bloggers out there, sincere and super friendly but not afraid to be real and volunterable. I think you do an amazing job and you inspire me. Mich x

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    1. Thanks Michelle! I would say exactly the same about you and your blog too x

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  8. I love your blog! I love that I don't know what you are going to write about from day to day...it is real and so personal. I am so very thankful that I found it so many years ago! The fancy/pretty blogs annoy me-truth be told...to me, the prettiness is an illusion-it's about the look and not the substance. I'd have given you a teapot...or three! :)

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    1. Don't judge a blog by its banner eh? Thank you, and I'm very glad I found yours too x

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  9. A few things..... I think blog rolls are great and I am definitely keeping mine, it's the easiest way to keep up with my favorite people. I always think comments are a sign of appreciation, it's good manners to leave a comment and receive a reply. May be that is old fashioned but too bad. I agree with you re using other people's photos. Thanks for such an interesting post. xx

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    1. I second everything you say, lets be old fashioned together xx

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  10. I like blog rolls. And if Google can't figure out what one is and ignore it, more fool them. (Programmatically, I could. )

    I most often read your blog via email, so I rarely comment, but I think you're the opposite of niche, you're eclectic. All the best blogs are (excepting a couple of book sites I'm rather fond of ;) )

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    1. "Eclectic". I like that very much indeed, thank you.

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  11. I love your blog. It is real, inspirational and always honest. I am sorry to have met you so briefly at the awards, I was all over the place and when I went looking for you again you had gone.
    I'm blogging just over two years and I feel totally at home now in my blog. I too like to answer every comment and if it goes over twenty four hours I feel bad.
    I rarely get the time to check out new followers, but I do try to check out those who comment.

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    1. I wish I could manage a 24 hour comment reply limit...sometimes it can take me days! But I do usually get there eventually, because I appreciate them all.

      Of course after writing this, I'm now looking at pretty new designs!

      Sorry I only met you briefly again too, but what a night for you, it was fantastic xx

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  12. I love your blog, and voted for you! I love the idea of a teapot, for the winners, so unusual. As for your blogroll, I love that I'm in there, it gives me an odd sense of pride. I've been going, almost, 3 years now yet still feel like a newbie. That's why, like you, I tend not to write about blogging and giving advice. Who am I to advise others lol xx

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