April of 2012

Continuing success for The Bard of Steel; implementing social media into a blogging experience; increasing awareness of a particular blog community issue; being helpful.

This was April of 2012.

It Gets Better and Better

UNICEF

Today, April 30th of 2012, it is not only the National Children’s Day in Mexico (congratulations to my nieces and nephews!); this day marks the second month since the birth of this amazingly fun project. With a grand total of 2,435 views, 99 WordPress followers, 23 Twitter followers, 7 Facebook followers and 29 posts written, it’s safe to say that The Bard of Steel has been adamantly going forward with no signs of stopping.

(EDIT: Congratulations, Whitney Rains! You’re 100!)

I can’t believe I’ve kept up with two months’ worth of weekly content, and I’m delighted to see so many people hanging around these pages, many of them coming back for more. You guys are the best. You’re the reason I’ve done my best to honor that unspoken commitment to deliver content worth returning to. Seriously. It’s been hard just making sure I’m not putting crap here, but every ounce of effort is very much worth it when I see your comments and your appreciation. Thank you!

That Tweetin’, Facebookin’ Bard

“Social media”. Opinions are very polarized when this term is brought to the table. Either you love it or you hate it, it seems.

Until recently, I thought of Facebook as a simple, streamlined way to stay in touch with friends and coworkers, but not much else; now, as a writer doing his possible best to create and maintain a platform, I realize how valuable this tool is, along with Twitter. Sure. There are enough reasons to ignore them, but isn’t that true for any misused tool?

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

I could easily write a dedicated article about this, but if you’ve been blogging long enough, you’ll know many already have. It’s not my intention to try and convince you, for that matter. Do some research. In fact, just give it a go. Try it a month or two, given it’s free after all. Then you can have a more informed opinion and judge for yourselves as to whether or not these tools are useful at all. Just remember that just like your blog, it’s up to you to make your Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Google+ or Reddit accounts work and turn a “profit” (views in this case).

By the way, have you noticed? Besides the often advertised The Bard of Steel Twitter account, there’s a brand new Facebook page! They’re the perfect ways to contact me –outside of good old e-mail–, so feel free to use them in case you have any questions or comments. I’ll be more than delighted to answer.

An Appeal to Certain Bloggers

It’s difficult to write about this. The least I can do is avoid disclosing names. I will not use this post or this blog for personal attacks.

I read somewhere –I’m sure it was WordPress’ help files– that an author here should try to dedicate half of his/her blogging time to creating content and the other half to building an audience by visiting other blogs and leaving comments, as well as likes. Seeing that such a formula has helped this small corner of the internet thrive into a project that exceeded all my expectations, I can tell you it is right on the mark. Or close to it. On the other hand, I’ve seen people abusing the Like button to earn cheap views. No patience. No effort. How?

I noticed just a couple of weeks ago, when I decided to follow new posts under the Writing tag as they were being posted (the real freshly pressed stuff). Imagine my surprise when I see the eight or ten most recent posts were all indiscriminately liked by the same user. Imagine my surprise when one of my posts was liked by this same user literally ten seconds after I posted it! Really? How stupid do you think I am?

The people engaging in these practices skip on the hard work, clicking that damn button without even skimming. Do they have an excuse? No, not when they are in fact quite talented and write really amazing blogs to begin with. But then, I only visited them once. Why should I bother to do it again? The cruel, hard truth is that these people do the worst thing imaginable and insult our intelligence, that of their readers. You don’t have to leave dissertations in our comments sections. Hell. You’re not even required to comment at all, but if you don’t bother to appreciate our material and take at least a couple minutes to actually read it, why should we do the same for you?

If you want to build a readership, don’t start by taking us for idiots. This is a game of favors and you’re direly, miserably coming up short. If you know I’m talking about you, I’m sorry I have to be the one to tell you. If I’m not the first or last… then good riddance, because you’ll be no different from spam bots. Maybe some people will get wise to your game now.

Joe Pineda is Cool and Reliable (?)

Trust me. Whenever I get an e-mail that isn’t spam or work related, it’s like my inbox holds some kind of quantum event, something wholly extraordinary. I’m sure the wonderful Frances Gray Wilde and Daniel Bean didn’t know that when they were kind enough to drop me a line asking for help.

Buddy Christ

"You have a question? I got ya, bro!" - JP as Buddy Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For one reason or another, they thought of coming to me about some writing-related issues, both of which I helped with to the best of my ability. They were quite happy with my contribution, and I was delighted to have that kind of interaction with my readership. I never really considered myself knowledgeable about writing, being self-taught in that respect, but I’m quite certain that I love it. I’m glad that counts for some folks out there.

What’s Next?

You can expect to see some of the following topics every Tuesday and Thursday of May, starting tomorrow:

  • Revision Hell – Editing is a Nightmare
  • The conclusion to MMA Amateur Night
  • Robert E. Howard and Conan the Barbarian
  • More flash fiction (Another Eddie Bates story)
  • Music and the Road to Creativity
  • I’ve Made an Enemy of Cynicism
  • Inspiration from Daily Life
  • The Wordherder

That is all. Thank you again for reading this blog and keeping me company. I’ll be seeing you around.

Eat.Sleep.Write.Conquer.
-JP

8 thoughts on “April of 2012

  1. Oooooo, I’m scared now lol *hangs head in shame*

    I’m guilty of clicking the like button a lot, when I don’t really know what to say :( I tend to think that’s better than doing nothing, because it at least shows the blog owner that I’ve read the post, but, now I’m thinking could it be construed that I’m NOT actually reading the post? Lol

    I dunno, this blogging malarkey lol

    Xx

    • To be honest, I do that in poetry posts a lot. I know I enjoyed them and I know they are good, but I’m somewhat incompetent giving feedback to that so I try not to.

      I don’t think you’re guilty of anything. What I’m mostly complaining about is people who like 10-15 posts in a row without reading a single word, knowing that among those blogs there will be someone kind enough to visit them back. So they invest nothing and it turns a profit. It’s unfair for people who care enough about the community to leave nice comments or actually bother to read.

  2. =O So it really works, visiting other blogs and commenting and reading and everything…Well…yeah, of course it works. Lol, too bad I am too busy all the time. However, I do not abuse the like button. *is glad about that at least* Because although I have a lot of respect for the Like button, I appreciate a comment more than I appreciate a Like…okay, fine…you like, but what exactly is it that you like? xD

    I love your blog xD seriously. <3

    Keep posting please…I am having my third-year, med-school final exams and I /NEED/ something to look forward to other than studying. xD

  3. I like that you credit the Jesus photo back to the source. Something that has concerned me, since I started using Word Press, is the proliferation of un-credited art and photo’s but also, the indiscriminate punching of Like buttons.

    I do not get many of those but I see this is a problem.

    I have tried to hit the Like button a few times, my computer did not respond.

    I Like, the old fashioned way.

    • LOL Well, I can’t take all the credit for that credit. WordPress has this function installed where it allows you to add CC license images with the source included. It allows you to link to various articles all over the internet.

      The Like button isn’t inherently evil, but misused. I admit there have been times where I can’t properly articulate what I want to say, or I just agree with the author, so I hit that button. But I try as hard as I can to offer that like along with a comment.

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