Tag Archives: Freshly Pressed

Blirritations & The New Blog

Part One: Blirritations (Blog Irritations…. I’m forever inventing words aka wordventing)

I feel a little sheepish writing this post. I read some blogs every week. Not because I enjoy reading, but because it’s bad Karma to write a blog and hope for support, and not read and give support. So I try to read and give support as often as time will allow. I will say that I’m generally pretty impressed with a lot of the blogs I read, and even if I’m not (after all, who the hell am I?), I try give positive feedback, or at least hit the ‘like’ button to let a fellow blogger know I stopped by. I figure this is the least I can do.

I have certain blog pet peeves though, and the reason I hesitate to share these with you is because some of my favourite bloggers do some of these things. I hope that if you are one of these people, and you are doing one or more of these things, that you’ll ignore my complaining, and stick to your guns. You’re my favourite for a reason. These are just minor irritations from a person who tends to get irritated often enough to have a ‘rant’ blog, so consider the source.

By the way, am I being Canadian enough with all these apologies??? What I’m about to say isn’t really that offensive, unless you have a blog where you do 3 or more of these things. Without further nonsense I present my top 5 Blirritations

1. I like a blog to be between 500-1500 words. Under 500 tells me that you aren’t a writer. If you can’t elaborate on an idea for at least 500 words, then why bother? This is writing. I’m not a writer, but I can at least bullshit you into thinking I am for a minimum of 500 words. I don’t often click on a link when the blogger didn’t think enough of their topic to give me 500. I know it’s hard some days, but how do you expect to get better? On the flip side of that coin, if you’re giving me 1500 or more words, you have exceeded my attention span for a blog. I respect you, but unless your post is fully riveting, or ‘shit-your-pants funny’, I would rather read two or three 500-1000 word blogs in the same amount of time.

2. There is a famous saying that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’. I don’t think whoever said that meant that you could just have a blog and post a bunch of pictures, and not write. I’m struggling with this all the time, and I think that eventually I will bite the bullet and start posting pictures with my blogs. The stats indicate that you get more people reading your stuff if there are pictures posted. On WordPress, if you can get ‘Freshly Pressed’, it seems to lead to about 2000 more followers almost instantly. I really want 2000 more followers, but I need to post pictures and stop swearing in order to make that happen, and unfortunately, the temptation to swear is too strong (because that’s often how I express myself), and I feel it cheapens the blog to post pics (unless it’s a food blog, or travel blog, or something else that requires pics). I’m giving a FREE PASS to bloggers that draw their own pictures. I quite like those. It’s like getting a handmade birthday card instead of store-bought. A picture is worth a thousand words, but I’d rather have a thousand words from a good blogger.

3. There’s this blogging technique where it’s funny to say some crazy shit say what you really mean, and then cross it out and say something more politically correct. This is a deft way of saying some ignorant shit and not taking credit for it making the reader understand how you feel, while not actually including it in the text. It’s the comic strip equivalent of a thought bubble. The character doesn’t say how he/she is feeling to the person she’s talking to, but they let the reader know. Ha ha ha, except this isn’t a fucking comic strip, it’s a blog. I’m not feeling it. If you’re trying to be a better writer, you should try to make your reader feel the exact same way without the shortcuts.

4. There are so many ‘currently popular’ words that come and go. Some get overused, and I’m having a tough time thinking of examples, although I know there are tons of words that I feel this way about. I will focus on ‘Epic’. Not everything is epic. It’s a word that should only be used a fraction of the time that I’m seeing it. Your sandwich isn’t epic. When you tripped over your shoelace, it wasn’t epic. When your girlfriend broke up with you at Starbucks, it wasn’t an epic breakup. When you had too many Jager Bombs, your hangover wasn’t epic. Now if a dinosaur suddenly smashed through your kitchen window with his head, grabbed you, and the contents of the freezer with his teeth, stomped over traffic, and crushed motor vehicles on its way to the beer store, and picked up a case of Lowenbrau tall cans, and flew (with you, freezer contents, and beer in hand) to the nearest park, where he kicked a family of 12 off a barbecue, and started to throw down on some baby back ribs, all while knocking cyclists off the bike path with his tail while the two of you laugh and laugh and laugh, until he eats you for dessert. That would be epic.

5. What on earth is a guest blog?? This isn’t Regis and Kathy Lee, and one of them is sick and needs a replacement! It’s a blog! You’re the writer, so when (and if) I go to your blog, it’s to read YOUR writing. I get that you’re being supportive to a fellow blogger, and want to feature them in some way. I just don’t think that’s the way to do it. Or if you said you would blog every week and you’re sick this week, but honestly, the world will go on if you don’t blog for a few days… god…. how important do you think you are?? It’s not a TV show where ‘the show must go on’, it’s a blog. It shouldn’t go on, if it’s not you doing it.

Part Two:

The New Blog….. http://www.paymevegas.com is up. It will be everything that I just said I hated about blogs probably, but I’m doing it anyways…. Don’t worry (if you were worried), ‘Thoughts and Rants’ is still my baby, and I’ll still be doing this one every Monday. The first post is up on the new one though, so in advance I thank you for checking it out, and potentially following it, if you think it will be of interest to you.

My Bloggiversary

This is my 51st blog. I’m kind of excited because it means ‘Thoughts and Rants in Jogging Pants’ is a year old. This is a big deal for me because I don’t usually have great success following through on these types of commitments with this type of consistency. A year ago I vowed to write a blog every Monday, and with the exception of the week after my father died/son was born (in the same week!!!!!) I have written a blog. It wasn’t always as amazing as I’d hoped, and to be perfectly honest, it wasn’t always on Monday (as recently as last week). Still, it’s been a pretty good experience. I’ve had a lot of great support and feedback (Thank you!), and it’s made me hungry to continue on and perhaps even start a 2nd blog. Maybe I’ll even write a book. More on that later.

At the end of a year it’s normal to take inventory and think about the year past and the year ahead. I’ve written a pretty rant-heavy group of pieces covering topics including but not limited to chain letters, dog imprisonment, record stores, shopping bag frustration, comb-overs, knitting and other hipster antics, crappy wedding songs and public transit encounters. I feel I’ve still yet to scratch the surface. I feel like there’s way more in the way of disgusting human behavior that I’m yet to cast judgement on. I think there is a world of stupidity that is yet to be made fun of. I know I have answers to some of society’s most burning questions, (like why are Starbucks drinks so expensive? I won’t make you wait for this….. the answer is that a cast of idiots think it’s the perfect place to stare at their laptop for 2 hours, and there are only about 12 places to sit in each one, so if they don’t charge enough, they’ll go out of business. This isn’t your living room or a library ya fuckin squatters…get a house!) and I want to share them with you.

What have I learned?

I’ve learned that not a lot of my followers enjoy sports blogs. I’ve learned that if you want to be featured on the WordPress ‘Freshly Pressed’ section, you have to do something different from what I’m doing (which is cursing, and not including pictures….. and let me say this about that….. I’m not a fan of pictures in blogs….. it’s like cheating…… you’re supposed to captivate your audience without pictures….. unless you actually took the pictures yourself, and it really pertains to what you’re doing like a food blog or a travel blog…. I suppose they would require pictures….. I’m just tired of all these blogs that have pictures that were taken off some other website just so you can have a picture….. but I do understand that more people read your blog if there’s a picture….. so maybe I’ll have to start including pictures…. and I’ll try to swear less in the new blog-year…… I didn’t realize until today how many of my Mom’s friends read this). I’ve learned that I need to read other blogs more, and be supportive of other people to even out my blog-karma. I’ve learned that no matter how awesome I think one of my blogs is, it will not get as many views or comments as one that I don’t think is as good which means one of two things…..Either I have no idea what people like, or people have no idea what I like. Or both. Or neither.

What are my goals for this Blog-Year?

I have 102 people who subscribe to my blog, meaning they get a notification their email every time I post. That seems like a lot, but I know there’s a lot of people who just wait for me to post it on Facebook or Twitter. So I could have more. I would like 1000 by the end of next blog-year. If I get up to 1000 subscribers, I will write a book. Only then will I know that I have a shot at selling 20 or 30 of them. If I can’t get 1000 subscribers to a free blog, then I won’t be able to sell a book anyways, so no real point in writing one. I could spend my energy doing something else. So if you wonder what a book by me might be like, then tell a friend or two about my blog. It’s really easy to become a subscriber. There’s a link on the right side of the page, and you just have to click it (actually there might be more to it for non-wordpress users. I suppose you’ll have to fill in your email address, but pretty easy as far as things go, and you can cancel anytime). I will also add a widget that tells you how many subscribers I’m at. I’m not usually a fan of the shameless self promotion, but nobody ever got anywhere without doing it, so tell 2 friends, and they can tell 2 friends, and so on, and so on, and so on (quick…. where was that from??? Was it a TV commercial??? I honestly don’t know, but I think it was an 80s thing.) To summarize, 1000 subscribers, I write a book, less than 1000 subscribers, no book! Then in my 3rd blog-year I want 1 million subscribers!! Anything less than that and we’re just fooling around.

Anywhoooooooooo…. I’d like to thank everyone who has read Thoughts and Rants in Jogging Pants, and provided feedback/encouragement/support. It’s way more fun to write when you know people are reading. I’ve enjoyed all the new blogger friends I’ve made, and I’m glad that my ramblings are serving a purpose (entertainment), rather than just annoying people. I hope that your morning coffee, or commute to work, or lineup at the bank, or late night glass of wine, or whatever situation you’ve been in that’s made you want to read this blog as been better for it. I’m honoured to have you as readers 🙂