Two Sides To Every Story

TwoSides
Image Source: frustratedbloggerinpink.wordpress.com

The last few days have been hectic and it’s been difficult for me to find a quiet moment to sit down and collect all my thoughts.

Even when I am busy, I try to take a few moments here and there to keep up to date on all the happenings in-world.

I follow lots of different blogs and websites on my WordPress reader and my Feedly reader.

(I would rather only have one reader to faff with, but WordPress refuses to play nice with a lot of websites and blogspot blogs!)

I started blogging and wrote mostly about dance.

I also wrote about anything and everything that interested me.

I started my LOTD posts as an inventory project, which led me into other directions – photography, Photoshop, etc.

I discovered that I love ‘playing dress up’ and making new looks for myself.

It’s the same thing as dancing, I suppose, only not as much work for me. 😀

I got myself on a few feeds and I applied to a few places as a blogger.

LOTD posts are not all I do, so I have only been applying for blogging jobs I know I would love.

(Like blogging for A Tattered Page, which I am doing for their current round, because I adore the event!)

Fashion Blogs

There are a million SL fashion blogs these days, it seems.

After toying with the idea of making a foray into blogging SL fashions, I decided against it.

It’s not my main interest and frankly, to do it well is a ton of work.

In my LOTD posts, I try to credit everything, but I soon realized (after about 3 posts) that trying to credit every item and provide links to every store was horribly time consuming.

Add in the fact that LM’s/SLURL’s change all the time, and you have a recipe for a migraine. 😦

I have gotten ‘syndicated’ by getting my blog on some feeds, but there are some feeds that I either won’t meet their requirements or I don’t want to.

I blog because I enjoy it, but I know it’s all too easy to get caught up and forget why you started blogging in the first place.

As I was reading through my feeds, I came across a post by Leesee on her blog Time and Lace.

It was a post about her frustrations as a Second Life fashion blogger.

I’ll let you read it, but she brings up several points I’ve often wondered about myself.

Feeds & Flickr

I’m on a few feeds, but I am a bit confused about why being on 3+ feeds (which is a typical requirement) is necessary.

I follow (I think) 5 large SL fashion feeds, and I see the same posts on each one.

Which, as a reader, gets tiresome.

I know that traffic and views are the reason behind the requirement to be on a feed, but I don’t understand why being on 3+ feeds is necessary.

In addition to feeds, many designers require you to have a Flickr account and get a certain number of views and/or favs on your photos.

While I enjoy Flickr, I don’t really understand these requirements either.

I find that it’s too easy to ‘game’ Flickr – put your photo in 600+ groups and it’s pretty easy to get 100+ views on a photo.

I know that a lot of people assume that fashion bloggers are just looking for free items, but I’ve not found that to be the case with any of the bloggers I’ve met.

However, I’ve come to realize that I’m probably naive when it comes to what other people will do.

Blogging Perks

For instance, I belong to a terrific blogging group  – the SL Blogger Support group.

Sometimes the group will get early access to events.

While I can’t always take advantage of these, I am grateful that I am afforded the opportunity.

I was amazed that I was able to access Hair Fair prior to its opening this year.

I’ve never been before and it was nice to be able to actually walk around the sims rather than trying to slog through lag molasses, which is what usually happens when I go to popular events.

As I was perusing the hair offerings, I learned that someone was upset and calling one of the group’s owners hateful names.

I was, frankly, appalled.

People can be such jerks.

While these perks are nice, they are not the reason I joined the group, nor are they the reason I blog.

It is a fact of life, I suppose, that there will always be someone who tries to ruin something for everyone else.

Which leads me to the other side of the story.

Designers

On Leesee’s blog, someone who has been both a blogger and a designer left a comment to try and explain it from both sides.

There was also a great comment left by Micah Kalinakov, who is a blogger manager (I didn’t even know that was a thing!).

She thinks that the requirement to be on feeds is on the way out, possibly due to the ever-growing list of social media networks.

She then goes on to explain the reasoning behind some of the requirements.

Basically, many of them are to help weed out those who are just in it for the swag.

She also mentions some bad experiences she’s had with people – again, I was appalled at what some people will do.

I also saw a discussion on Plurk about designers and bloggers – I’d link to it, but I can’t seem to find it. :/

The point was that bloggers tend to overextend themselves – applying to lots of designers, getting accepted, and then getting overwhelmed at the sheer volume of work.

(It IS work to put a blog post together, even if it’s just a pic and some credits!)

I’m sure it’s nice to be in blogger groups, especially if it’s a group that gives out review copies of items (not all of them do).

But I would agree that bloggers need to consider whether they can meet the requirements they’ve agreed to.

I could have applied to a ton of events and possibly (I can dream, right?) gotten accepted to at least some of them.

I could have, but I didn’t.

I know that I wouldn’t have the time (or possibly the energy/inclination) to crank out tons of blog posts just because I got review copies of items.

What Have I Learned?

Although I love doing my LOTD posts, I will never be a Second Life fashion blogger.

I know my limits, and I couldn’t (and wouldn’t) agree to some of the requirements some designers have.

Some designers just aren’t my style, and I’m sure that the reverse is true as well.

It’s interesting to see both sides of the story and learn why some designers have the requirements they do, as well as learning about some of the frustrations of other bloggers.

It’s always nice to know it’s not just you, right?

The idea of some sort of blogger meet/greet was also bandied about in the comments on Leesee’s blog – it would be awesome if it actually happened!

I’d love the opportunity to meet some fellow bloggers and have the chance to pick their brains, erm . . . get to know them better. 😀

Is Anyone Listening?

Black HoleIn previous posts, I’ve asked for information about feeds and readers.

I’ve talked about stats before and how I try not to look at them too often.

However, after reading a post by Nalates Urriah today, I’m wondering how much longer I will be able to view my stats.

Everyone knows that stats are important when it comes to the internet.

As a blogger, you have stats that tell you many things – the number of followers, how many times a post was viewed, how many times someone visited your site, the country of origin for your readers, etc.

If people find your blog via a search engine, there is a place for you to see what search terms brought them to your blog.

Lately, when I look at that stat for my blog, it says ‘unknown search terms.’

WordPress tells you ‘some search engines don’t reveal search terms for privacy reasons.  That’s why we don’t always know which search terms were used by visitors who arrived at your site from a search engine.  When we don’t know the search terms, we show them as “Unknown search terms”.’

Since Google is now encrypting more and more searches, it’s that much harder for WP to tell me how people are finding my blog.

According to Nalates’ post, there is a possibility of finding out more information using Google’s Webmaster tools.

However, using these tools is confusing (at least to me), if you are not a techy person (which I am not).

So I rely on WP to provide my stats (because they employ very techy people).

I also came across another issue that concerns bloggers when it comes to feeds/readers.

I set up a Feedly account so that I could keep up with all the blogs I follow.

In doing research on different readers, I saw a question about views.

It seems that if you view a blog post in a reader, it does not count as a view for that blog – unless you actually click through to that website (to ‘like’ or perhaps post a comment).

That’s frustrating, since views and followers are essential for successful blogging.

Often blogging can feel like you are screaming into a giant black hole.

You wonder if anyone is listening.

Syndication and Feeds

Image Source:  www.globesign.com
This diagram makes my head hurt. 😦 Image Source: http://www.globesign.com

As I work to increase the reach of my blog, I’ve found myself wondering how other bloggers do things.

One of the recommended ways to increase blog traffic is to be syndicated.

The definition of syndication, according to Dictionary.com, is “to publish simultaneously, or supply for simultaneous publication, in a number of newspapers or other periodicals in different places.”

As I have become more active in the blogging world, I’ve noticed that most vendors who are looking for bloggers want to know what ‘feeds’ your blog is on in the application.

Now, as I’m sure you’re aware, there are MILLION blogs about SL.

Probably 95% of them are fashion blogs.

My blog is not a fashion blog, although I do LOTD posts.

Following links on other blogs, I’ve found a couple of blogs that are ‘feeds.’

However, the process for getting a blog on a feed is a mystery to me.

I am clueless as to how you locate a ‘feed’ (especially if you are not a fashion blogger) and what the requirements are for getting on a feed.

I would love to get my blog on a ‘feed/s’ and be able to claim syndication, but alas, I am a (mostly) dance blog lost in a sea of clothing. 😦

In addition to syndication/feeds, I wonder how other bloggers manage to stay up to date with the overwhelming amount of info that is published each day on the interwebs.

I use the WordPress reader to follow blogs, but if the blog I want to follow is not also a WordPress blog (if, for example, it’s a Blogger blog or even a self-hosted blog), the updates on the Reader feed are hit and miss.

I might get the latest post from Tales of the Blue Moon, or I might not.

I never know.

I don’t want to have to visit every website to check for updates (that’s the whole point of a feed reader, right?), so I’ve been very frustrated.

I’ve tried to see if there is something I need to change in the settings for my WP Reader, but haven’t had any luck locating any information.

I will continue to use WP for my blog, because I love it, but I’m considering buying a domain and going self-hosted.

I’m also wondering if I should use a different feed reader (like Feedly) instead of relying on the built-in WP reader.

Are there options out there that would also help with cross-posting in the various social media platforms?

Trying to keep up every day with blogs, Twitter, Google+, emails, Flickr, and other social media is taking way more time than I’d like it to.

I don’t have a Google Page (is that worth doing?), I’m on Ello (does anyone use Ello?), and I’m wondering if I’m already on too many platforms, or if I’m not on enough.

So, fellow bloggers/readers/social media experts – help a girl out here!

What do you do or recommend in regards to feeds/readers/syndication/social media?

Any and all information is appreciated.

Happy Friday, everyone!