Tuesday, August 22, 2006

gimme, gimme, gimme

According to Business 2.0, I should reelly, realy lern to spell chek this blog before publishig it. Because if I do, I could get people to read it, then sell ad space and earn buckets and buckets and buckets...

pardon me, we now take a break from our regularly scheduled blogging while the Mama goes and drools over her poor, battered budget. We appreciate your readership. Your readership is important to us. Thank you for waiting.

...of cash. Enough to send the kids to the Waldorf (thought I was going to say Montessori, did'ja?) religious school of choice. Hell, enough to fund a school that works according to my philosophies of religious and pedagogical practice. While I go and get a facial. And a massage. While a chef - no, wait - a landscaper - ah, no I kind of like doing those parts. Call me unfeminist, but there it is.

Here, according to the wisdom of Business 2.0, (the September 2006 issue, list by Saheli S.R. Datta) are the 7 habits of highly effective bloggers [sic].

* focus on a narrow niche.
Okay, anyone out there interested in kids, hemophilia and enough allergies to field a cricket team? To humble Jamie Oliver and Alton Brown? Do I hear crickets? Right, then. Moving on to

*set up your own blog, complete with permalinks.
Um, right. I'll just pop out and learn HTML, Dreamweaver and perhaps a wee bit o Java, shall I? (Extremely obscure Douglas Adams reference there, people. Anyone? This would be part of that niche thing, I think.) Or I could set the Eldest loose. He's been singing in his own language lately, perhaps he programs in it, too?

*Think of the blog as a database. Cite authors and publications by name, use tags, keywords, categories.
Tags? What's a tag? I do like me organization, though. Can there be nice, matching containers with pretty lids on?

* Blog frequently and regularly, if possible at least half a dozen posts before lunchtime on weekdays.
Apparently, you lot read things at lunch. Who knew? And who the hell has time to post that much? Read that much? I'm not boing boing, people. Not even one fourth of the boing boing. Of course, if I let the Eldest post, now...but he'd need to learn to spell better first. Or would he?

* Use striking images.
Naugahyde. In 98 degree heat. With dog hair. That do ya? (Again, anyone for the reference?)

*Enable comments and interact with your readers.
Hey, how you doin'? (Anyone? Anyone at all? Sigh.)

*Make friends with other bloggers.
Yup. And then we can all read each other, like one big happy fambily...hey there, jgfellow, how you doin' there, darlin'? Yup, that does seem to work.

And yet the budget is still battered. Well, jg-man, I can hear you pointing out that perhaps, perhaps, were I not to insist on getting the big hunks of broken glass out of the backyard, we'd have a slightly healthier budget.

And nowhere for the kiddo to play with that monstrous kiddie basketball hoop you hauled home, dear. And who the hell decided that a newly gut rehabbed building would be made pretty with landfill? I know it was the seventies, but still. Landfill!!? I've been picking chunks of glass out of the garden for the past two years.

Maybe I should reread that list, then, eh?


magid said...

(a) Following those 'rules for highly effective bloggers' may get you a book deal (like Chocolate&Zucchini), or be useful professionally, but unless those are your goals, blog about whatever the hell you want. If you want a specialized blog, it's easy enough to set one up. I know a number of people who do that, to have a workish one, or an all-about-my-kid one, or, heck, my gaming character one. Someone else's rules may or may not fit. Totally freeform, all the way.

(b) I've picked up the HTML I need as I go (Googling "HTML [whatever]" usually nets a decent tutorial quickly). No need to be too fancy; that has a tendency to lead to unreadability, in my opinion, anyway.

(c) I don't know whether blogspot uses tags or not; I know LJ does. You put keyword(s) on each post as you go, so someone (possibly you :-) can later find all your "aardvark" or "Icelandic cooking" posts by subject.

(d) I would never post half a dozen things for other people to read. I admit to having an informal limit of three readable-by-others posts per day, but it's not a hard rule, just something that seems right for me. (I place no limit on private posts...)

(e) People do get more response with photos. I almost never post them, because I don't have a digital camera yet (yeah, so 20th century), nor the desire to put a lot of photos up. Part of me feels the words should be enough.

(f) From where I sit, yeah, a lot of stuff about blogging is about community. I haven't figured out how that works on blogspot; I know how it works on LJ. Some of it is just the ability to track comments like these, so I can see responses easily, some of it is having threaded comments (I really really really prefer them), some of it is having community blogs set up focused on any of a zillion interests (Davis Square, crocheting, expatriates, advice, whatever). And it does make a difference when people show interest by commenting, in both directions.

mama o' the matrices said...

Hmm. Sound like a challenge, that last one. But it's true: a blog that is a conversation is infinitely more interesting than one which is not.

And sounds like I must try that tagging thing...

joy said...

If'n you want a domain name and some good Wordpress setup, you'll let me know, yes?

dykewife said...

a few years ago, bran got me a huge book, called 'complete html' and i've used it since then. i designed my own web pages using it. my old diary-x blog was totally designed by me. blogspot isn't quite that friendly, but i'm working on figuring it out. i don't worry about the fancy-schmancy stuff.

do you really want to make money off of your blog? perhaps a cookbook for food senstive children would work better. one where people could substitute ingredients that their child is sensitive to. there's a growing market niche...sadly.

i write my blog for a few reasons. one is to mark what i've done. another is to mark how i'm doing, sort of an emotional thermometer. and yes, i talk to the people who read my blog. then again, i only have about 25 regular readers. heh. i'm not going to make any money.

good luck with the budget. empathies and sympathies, i'm on a student budget for 3 people.

mama o' the matrices said...

joy, yes, I promise. I do so adore your work, even when I'm nitpicking at it.

Dykewife, actually, the idea that I could make money off the blog is almost horrifying. I'd prefer community to buckets of cash, and I was a leetle sad to see the Renegade Rebbetzin talking about putting ads on her site. But she's moved a ways beyond community, and is almost iconic at this point.

No, no. The point of this blog is much like your own: it's an emotional barometer, and leads people like the j.i.c. to call and prod me when I'm in denial about a bit of emotional nasty. Or I read my own words, slap myself upside the head and trot off to decompress with the therapist. And I make mental notes, record marvels...why try and commercialize that?

On the other hand, my teeny community of readers are worth pleasing. So tags that let you find things are good, photos are privacy-tricky, but pretty website is also nice.

But having spent a couple of years with HTML and Dreamweaver, I can now tell you all flatly that the dyslexic brain that refused to learn first French, then Latin, is being equally stubborn about programming languages. And I'm too tired to argue with it.

So long as it gets me through the day, the brain and I have a Simpson-esque pact. Without the beer, that is.

Daniel H said...

If you ever have time, take a look at the "top 100" blogs in anyone's list. You'll wind up feeling proud that your blog isn't like theirs.
- Precision Blogger

mama o' the matrices said...

Dan'l, I hope you recognized the nod to your letter to the editor in the first paragraph...and yes, I should peek. I've been working through the RenReb's recommended blogs, and enjoying most of them. Perhaps I should check your link list?

ahhh, just kidding. Getting punchy, here. Time for the mama to go to bed - or to blog!

jgfellow said...


Business 2.0 giving ridiculous business tips? It's continued existance is a tribute to optimism over reality. Silly magazine.

That being said: landfill. Let's get some ads. I'm signing with Nike (gotta be the shoes).