The Missing Element

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Yesterday, I shared four blogs on which I’d placed substantive comments. Today’s Blogging 101 assignment is true. Of the four, one of them stayed with me enough to influence the direction for the STUDIO. But another of the four used the same technique — photography. Deanna’s photos of Clouds and Sunsets underscore the narrative in her posts. They illustrate her appreciation for God’s creation. She has a vast repository of photography from over the years that she continues to expand.

Another self-photographer, Chameleon, uses her own photographs as well. Her posts are written in both English and French — yet use the same photos. This speaks volumes on the power of a photograph and reminds me of the quote:

“A picture is worth a thousand words.”

I’d like to amend that quote and add, “A picture needs no translation.”

The content of these two blogs focuses on completely different subject matters. But they both come across as more personal. And I think it’s the photography that makes the difference.

WP_FI_Photography copyWhile scouting for stock photography is an enjoyable pastime, personal photos seem to add a layer of authenticity to a blog. My only camera is the one in my Galaxy S3, which I understand can deliver quality images. It’s a welcome alternative to my broke-down low-mp Canon that’s held together by a rubber-band after being dropped. I’ve read about how the GS3 takes great pictures and that the various levels can be adjusted to affect different image styles. I think I want to add this layer of authenticity to a Commonplace STUDIO. What this means is that I’ll have to spend less time at the keyboard and get to snappin’.

I can usually tell a stock photo from a personal one. And, along with the stock photography comes the responsibility of attribution.

I’m more into the writing aspect of blogging; so the switch to personal photography will be a slow, methodical one. I know not to expect professional quality; but I do aim for my photos to be above “point and shoot.” So, I’ll continue to use stock photography, and work a suitable attribution style into my posts. And, of course, I’ll announce when one of my own images is featured. Wow. Who knew? “Blogging 101 is just what this STUDIO needed” said Miss Donna as she added yet another stock photo to the STUDIO. 🙂

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Be my Neighbor?

Untitled-1 copyThe creative minds behind Blogging 101 have put together a no-holds-barred program. From day 1, we just jumped in with both feet. But the instructors, Happiness Engineers, and fellow course participants kept us afloat. Even though the course outline is prominently displayed in the Commons, assignments always come with an unexpected twist to help us blog with a purpose.

Yesterday’s assignment: leave comments on at least four blogs that you’ve never commented on before.

Ironically, each assignment is actually a building block for something I’ve already incorporated into my blog. Yesterday was an exceptionally good day for connecting with other WordPressers. Seeking out bloggers with whom I’ve not communicated has been quite rewarding. For instance . . .

  • In her Weekend Mission post, Chameleon talks about her choice to write in both English and French. The topics mentioned in her “About Me” widget are what initially interested me. But the English / French concept is also a draw. Reading French with English narrative close-by is a good way for me to update my sketchy knowledge of a subject I studied for six years.
  • Deanna talks about how things came together as she decided on Clouds and Sunsets as the name for her blog. She shares how the name came with an added bonus. Along with reflections, she will be sharing all the amazing photos of clouds and sunsets she has taken over the years.
  • a hectic life had me on pins and needles all the way to the finish line as I read The Morning Race. She brilliantly uses a (part of speech?) or symbolism — whatever — to describe her daily ritual. Cute, funny, and very creative.

My fourth one is missing. I’ll add it later. Anywho — I don’t know if I’ll be a Hero by the end of the course. But I’ll be far from a Zero

How I Monitor My Followed Blogs

Before I learned about the Lists feature in the Reader in today’s Blogging 101 assignment, I had developed a system to keep track of the many awesome blogs I came across. My Blogs I Follow list was getting longer by the day. And I wasn’t keeping track of which blog was about what. Today’s assignment showed me another way to view blogs by category. I’ll give it a try until I decide which method will be more efficient for my use.

Follow 5 New Topics in the Reader: I had actually begun doing this before the assignment. The only difference is I set up categories in my left navigation panel (described below) to keep up with the blogs I wanted to read regularly. The assignment, however, showed me how to use a similar feature in the Reader. I’m always open to learning new or multiple ways to do things.

Follow 5 New Blogs: As for the new blogs, I had already added four from interacting in the Commons. I’ll surely add more than the one required to complete this assignment. I appreciate the level of instruction in the blogging course. They provide a lot of detail to show us around WordPress. I’ve been looking forward to this so I can quit stumbling around on my own.

I quickly learned that I don’t remember what many of the blogs on my followed list are about. So, rather than continually add to a lengthy list of blogs I think I want to follow, I’ve limited my followed blogs to 12. (I just used 12 as the cut-off to keep it brief and because I wanted to name that section, “The Dirty Dozen”.) Then, after I visit the 12 on a few occasions, I determine whether to promote them to a link category (left nav) or stop following. When unrelated blogs come off, it creates room for more to be explored. This is the only way I could come up with to manage all the blogs I was finding.

I’m just hoping that, even though I’ve removed blogs from my “Blogs I’m Following” aka “Dirty Dozen” (see bottom left menu) list, the bloggers I’ve promoted to my links categories know I’m still following them via links. We’ll see how it works out.

How do you keep up with all of your followed blogs?

Hi. I’m Miss Donna

Shake_Hands copyHello, Reader. I answer to “Miss Donna”. I’m a Gulf Region transplant from the Mid-West who loves to write. I never acted on my desire to major in journalism. But I continue to write every chance I get. My current boss appreciates and relies on my ability to write with clarity. And, after reading a description of my first hurricane experience, my former boss told me he was totally drawn into the experience by my attention to detail and that I should consider writing a novel. a Commonplace STUDIO launched at the beginning of December; so there are not very many posts. I’m still learning my way around. I’ve changed themes — maybe twice. This is actually my second blog. The first filled the book review niche on another platform. I’m happy with my decision to switch to WordPress; and plan to import some of my reviews as well. Learn more about the STUDIO . My primary focus for starting this blog is genealogy. I began researching my family history around the turn of the century; and I’m ready to share my findings with my family and connect with other family history bloggers. I joined a couple of genealogy groups on facebook; but I’m looking for a little more. And think I’ll find it by blogging. Another reason I started this blog is that I have strong religious convictions that I want my children and grandchildren to have written explanations of for future reference. For now, you’ll find my thoughts and experiences with regard to books, genealogy, Christianity (particularly Protestantism), topical Bible studies, cast iron cookware, and the occasional random post. If you share my interest in any of these topics, hopefully we can engage in a digital dialogue or two. In the beginning stages, I will sharpen my writing skills by responding to challenges that inspire me. I’m also hoping to become well-versed in WordPress. Oh, and I’m teaching myself digital graphics. You’ll find some of my creations posted here as well. I know your time is valuable; so my goal is to keep my posts within the 300-500 word range. Welcome to my commonplace.