#Blogging Question: Do You Drop Your Blog Links in Your Comments?


Donatella Versace Sunday Morning thoughts

Do You respond to all comments?

The Cherished Blogfest wrapped up last weekend, and I now feel a little lost.

I renewed lots of friendships, and made a few new friends despite not doing such a great job of the challenge myself. Finally wrapped up visiting all blogs on Monday, and who knows, I may have missed a few. I’ll be combing through the linky list again– it shall remain live for the next few months.

I did feel annoyed with something though: a lot of bloggers decided to leave their post links in my Cherished post comment thread.

Bloggers do this often, and I delete the links while making the following exceptions:

1. The link takes me somewhere relevant to my post, or the ensuing discussion (I’m ok with including links to posts the commenter has made on the same topic– but not during a blogfest– everyone’s posting on the same topic.)

2. The bloggers’ gravatars don’t lead to their blogs, and the only way to visit them is to click on the link. This is fine, I think– it lets us connect across blogging platforms.

I look at it this way: if a gravatar links back to a blogger, that second link is not necessary. If everyone has just one link to their blog in my comment thread, why should certain bloggers have more, just because they decided to add another link?

I don’t care if a link takes a reader away from my blog, as long as the link is relevant to the discussion (see pt 1 above). I’m not into blogging for the hits– more of a fan of chats and friendships.

Don’t like the idea of some commenters snagging that extra link to their blogs, that’s it. The link doesn’t offend me, I just delete it as a matter of principle: all visitors to this space shall be treated equal.

Another thing. I’ve spoken about this before: I DO NOT like Blog Awards. Not Versatile, Not Liebster, not Inspirational or Creative or what-have-you. I find them a waste of time: something like chain mail, only on blogs. I still receive 2-3 awards a month, and this despite my No Award Acceptance policy on this blog. I delete all award links.

Do you think my deletion of links too harsh? Should I let them be? I’ve asked for opinions on my blog comments policy ( and now I try to respond to comments, though I don’t always get to all of them) and the no award acceptance policy (which most of my audience seemed to agree with). Now I need to hear your opinion on links in comments.

What do You do on your blog? Do you feel offended if a blogger leaves links in your comments section? Do you delete links– which ones? Do you have commenting tips for me? Do you leave links at blogs you comment on? What do you have in mind when you do so?

 

Want New #Blogging #Friends ? Join the #CHERISHED Blogfest Today!!


Blogging is all about making connections, sharing information, emotions, opinions, memories.

How to make Blogging Friends

Blog Friendships

In the spirit of blog friendships, my good blog friends, Dan Antion , Paul Ruddock, Peter Nena, Sharukh Bamboat and yours truly at Daily (w)rite, invite you to take part in the CHERISHED Blogfest:

Often, objects lead us to memories.

The objects we hold most dear, harbor the most cherished memories.

For the CHERISHED Blogfest, we invite you to talk to us about one of your cherished objects. Tell us what it is, post a picture of it if you like, and tell us why you cherish it.

Keep your post to below 500 words.

Join us on the 24th to 26th of July 2015 in sharing memories, emotions, information: we’ll read and comment on each others’ posts, get to know each other better, and hopefully, make or renew some friendships.

Cherished Blogfest

Cherished Blogfest

For those with new blogs, adding your blog to the linky list below, and posting on the 24th-26th July would help you increase your comment love, and followers. Visit and leave comments to everyone on the list, so we all get loads of comment love!

Place the CHERISHED Badge on your sidebar, and help us spread the word on social media. Tweets, Facebook shares, G+ shares through the month most welcome. More Blogfest signups mean more friends and followers at the end of the blogfest.

Sign up in the CHERISHED Linky List below which would open in a new window for signups. (WordPress blogs don’t allow linky lists.)

 Powered by Linky Tools

CHERISHED LINKY LIST: CLICK HERE to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

If you have any queries, drop me a mail at meringue dot p at gmail dot com.

The name ‘Cherished’ and the image is courtesy Cheryl KP, who posts brilliant images and writing on her blog. I would also encourage you to check out the blogs of my cohosts: Dan Antion (the designer of the badge), Paul Ruddock, Peter Nena, Sharukh Bamboat, bloggers with genuine and fascinating takes on everything from life, travel, fiction, and the writing rigmarole.

Paul and Peter  are short story writers and novelists, whereas Dan and Sharukh are excellent non-fiction writers. Follow them right away if you haven’t already!

How long have you been blogging? Have you taken part in any blogfests? Organised them? If yes, have blogfests helped your blog? Do you have many blog friends? Do you share stories with them? Are you signing up for the CHERISHED Blogfest?

If you’re reading this, but don’t have a blog, head over to the discussion on Daily (w)rite’s Facebook Page, where we’re talking about online friendships.

EDIT: We’ve changed the dates to 24th-26th July– I was scatterbrained and didn’t notice 25th/26th was a weekend. My apologies.

Are We #Following Each Other? #socialmedia


This week, Daily (w)rite crossed 400,000 hits and 30,000 followers. To mark the occasion, the blog now has a Facebook Page, where I hope to discuss all things Reading, Writing, Travel, and maybe a bit of Social awareness / Culture/ Philosophy.

Why Facebook?

Social media follows

Follow and Be Followed!

Not a fan, but tons of folks are on it, folks who don’t have a blog and never will, but are interested in the same topics as me.

Hoping everyone here, my cherished blog friends, can also join the discussion there. I don’t plan to update more than once or twice a week, so I won’t flood your timelines. Also, having nothing to promote, (hopefully) won’t have annoying “author promotion” posts. For those of you not on Facebook, I’m only too happy to stay connected with you here.

In the spirit of connections, maybe all of us who comment and chat at this space could connect on other social media as well. Some of you I already chat with on Twitter and Facebook, but others, not so much. A lot of us are on G+ too, and on Goodreads.

So without further ado, would like to connect with you on any and all of the following social media profiles:

Facebook: Like I said, this page would be for us folks to get together and chat about stuff of interest to all of us.

Twitter: Active here and I love chatting with tweet buddies. Not a fan of promo posts flooding my timeline though.

Goodreads: Here as D. Biswas. I put up my books from time to time, but it is exhausting to update all the books I read all the time.

Google+ : Super-active here. Not so much on posts– I post very little, but I read a lot, and am a fan of the +1 button. I comment every now and then.

Pinterest : Not really very active here. I use this site mainly to find images for writing prompts.

That’s my sum-total on social media. Each bolded out social media name links to my profiles.

Want to follow all of you on your social media profiles, so please leave yours in the comments. (If your comment with your profiles doesn’t immediately appear, it is only because links go in for moderation– I’ll be deluged with spam otherwise. I’ll approve them as I see them.) And while everyone is putting up their social media links, we can all give each other some social media love by following each other? I sound like a social media orgy or lovefest, I know, but seriously don’t see the harm. Everyone who comments on here is someone we might all like to hear from.

Perfectly fine if you don’t want to take part in this social-media-fest of sorts. And feel free to tell me off, if you don’t. We’re not trying any social media marketing or optimization exercises here. Just want to have some fun, and strengthen a few friendships!

To those interested in the “Follows”: What social media are you on? Am I already following you? If not, won’t you leave me your deets?

#IWSG: What if you need to hibernate?


Blogging tips

Blogging during Hibernation

This new year’s eve, I fell asleep before midnight.

Of course, I’m aging. But more than aging, I’m hibernating.

Since Christmas, I’m doing a complete rewrite of my MS, and I aim to get it done by the 31st January. So I’m not really responding to messages, making  (or receiving) calls. Not blogging (much) either: I click Likes still, when I sometimes read posts during writing breaks, but not many comments.

It’s like I need to stay in the world of my MS to bang out about 2 to 2.5 k words a day: and it’s like meditation, if you’ve ever watched a hen incubate an egg with those faraway, lost look in her eyes, you’ll know what I look like these days. Pretty darn unattractive. You’ll find me on Twitter: @damyantig : I’m a sucker for  #wordsprint ever since I started this binge, and #1k1hr .

But this morning my calendar told me today is the 7th Birthday of this Blog. If I ignore that too, I’d be a bit of an asshat.

So I’m peeping up to say HI to everyone, to wish everyone a good new year ahead. And I’d be an even bigger asshat if I didn’t say THANKYOU to all the readers and commenters of my blog. And didn’t say SORRY for disappearing (pretty much) from the blogiverse for the last few weeks.

So Thankyou for being my friends, and Sorry about disappearing.

I also re-added myself to the Insecure Writers Support Group, cos let’s face it, right about now, in this temporary break from my fictive dream, I do feel a little Insecure. What if everyone forgets I exist? What if this blog becomes a forest of *crickets*?

From within the world of my novel, these seem like pretty trivial concerns. (That’s because they are, Damyanti– the world has gone through tragedies too many and too diverse to name in 2014– and you’re worried about your blog? #firstworldproblems #sigh)

But as ever, I need your advice: What do you do when you need to hibernate? Is it terrible that I want to take this month off to finish my MS? I know I can’t, I’ve made commitments, but what if I could? Have you ever taken a hiatus from your blog? Taken a hiatus in January? Thoughts on Hibernation? Hit me with them!

Do You Mark the #Books you #Read ?


The Reading Experience

The Reading Experience

As a child, I’d often seen people reading books with a pen in hand– underlining, making notes, folding pages.

I have a horror of that– I try to keep my books as pristine as possible. I’m not anal about them or anything (right!), but I never take a pen to them, even those that I study for a project. I add sticky notes, in case the need to make a note of something is absolutely dire.

I read this article on books and readers, and it made me sit up and take notice:

There is something predatory, cruel even, about a pen suspended over a text. Like a hawk over a field, it is on the lookout for something vulnerable. Then it is a pleasure to swoop and skewer the victim with the nib’s sharp point. The mere fact of holding the hand poised for action changes our attitude to the text. We are no longer passive consumers of a monologue but active participants in a dialogue. Students would report that their reading slowed down when they had a pen in their hand, but at the same time the text became more dense, more interesting, if only because a certain pleasure could now be taken in their own response to the writing when they didn’t feel it was up to scratch, or worthy only of being scratched.

Looking back over the pages we have already read and marked, or coming back to the novel months, maybe years later, we get a strong sense of our own position in relation to the writer’s position. Where he said this kind of thing, I responded with that, where he touched this nerve, my knee jerked thus. Hence a vehicle for self knowledge is created, for what is the self if not the position one habitually assumes in relation to other selves? These days, going back to reading the books that have remained since university days, I see three or four layers of comments, perhaps in different colored pens. And I sense how my position has changed, how I have changed.

Makes some sense to me, and today when I picked up a book other than one from the library, I thought of trying out this reading with pen in a hand scenario. I didn’t manage to scratch a line. Maybe my habits are too ingrained now. Or perhaps, it reminds me too much of my editing stints, and ruins my reading pleasure.

What about you? Do you mark your books with a pen while reading? Or like me, do you like your books free of marks?

Do #Inspirational #Quotes Work for You?


Blogging tips

Inspirational quotes

If you’re on Social Media, you’ve seen those– Inspirational Quotes meant to lift you up, or your day, if you so choose.

In the internet glut of images and words, some tend to stand out, and yes, I do share them on Twitter or Google+ or  Facebook, and yep, now Pinterest, from time to time.

With apps on phones and tabs, it’s easy to create a collage, edit a picture, slap on a quote and let it loose in the cyber world, leave it to flutter or sink, as it will. I’m guilty of a few of those– yesterday I made one of those quote + picture thingammyjigs on Amlokiblogs. And to the left, you can see a drawing I’d scribbled some time back, and added a quote to.

I often wonder, though, whether some of the quotes make any sense. Maybe they’re too glib, facile, and sometimes, overstated, even. I found this sentiment reflected in this article:

Inspirational quotes cross the bounds of class and taste. It’s true they are vented freely on The Apprentice where “the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”. (That’s the candidate Ella Jade Bitton.) But they also colour political discussion. The Scottish yes campaign cited the supposed Gandhi quote, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” You can buy inspirational quotes in the New York Public Library shop, see other people’s favourites on Goodreads. Inspirational quotes were even on billboards at the Frankfurt book fair – “because you can’t buy happiness but you can buy a book”. Congratulations if you make it home tonight without seeing an inspirational quote. You will probably find all the ones you avoided, photographed by your friends and posted on your Facebook wall.

Inspirational quotes operate as currency on social media – not only in terms of the way their wisdom is handled and passed on, but because motivational tweets have become a key indicator of a person worth following. In 2013, Forbes ran a list of the most influential people on social media. (There is no escape: clicking that link will activate a pop-up “Quote of the Day”. Enjoy!) Haydn Shaughnessy compiled the data, and noticed that the most influential people on Twitter offered a stream of motivational content. “When we looked at leading social media influencers in 2012, they were all people who created a lot of content. By 2013,” he says, “it was much more likely that a top influencer would be tweeting inspiration instead of creating separate content. The reason? People probably don’t read content anyway, they just share it.”

I don’t know if I would stop sharing inspirational quotes, or even posting them from time to time. Who doesn’t need a dose of positivity every now and then? But I think I would hold back a little– anything, even goodness, when taken to the extreme, has its disadvantages. Saccharine, asinine, isn’t where I want to go.

What about you? Do you read Inspirational Quotes? Do they inspire you? Or do they annoy you just that little bit sometimes?

 

 

Do Women Dominate #SelfPublishing ?


A to Z Stories of Life and Death

My self-publishing experiment

On Daily (w)rite, the majority of bloggers who comment are women.

In any creative writing workshop, women outnumber men by ten to one.

I recently read an article in the Guardian, that says women dominate Self-Publishing:

Alison Baverstock, an associate professor in publishing at Kingston University, Surrey, said her research showed a clear gender split, with 65% of self-publishers being women and 35% men. Nearly two-thirds of all self-publishers are aged 41 to 60, with a further 27% aged over 61. Half are in full-time employment, 32% have a degree and 44% a higher degree.

Baverstock said there was a widespread misunderstanding about who decides to self-publish a book, and how the genre was changing the publishing industry.

The article goes on to talk about how self-publishing is quite a robust alternative to traditional publishing:

“…there were popular subjects that traditional publishers had ignored, including “respectable soft porn” and “gentle memoirs of everyday disasters, such as losing a child”. Most publishers, she said, were being outpaced by a heady mix of democratisation and digital distribution, because they came from a “very limited gene pool … all agree on what they like … they know each other, and are not necessarily in touch with popular taste. Self-publishing is going on in schools, across institutions, spreading knowledge [of how to publish].”

While I agree with self-publishing having had a much huger impact in the last few years, I’m not so sure of women authors outstripping the contribution of men in this area. I’ve tried self-publishing a book of flash fiction, mostly as an experiment in learning how it’s done. Being less interested in publication and even lesser in making money out of it (both are unarguably good things, just not things I’m terribly interested in so far), I’ve mostly gone the traditional route. I’m trying to learn how to write, and despite the small published portfolio of short fiction I have gathered, I think I have a very very, long way to go.

I’m interested, however, in how the publishing world is shaping up: as a reader, I want to stay in touch with who’s publishing the books I read, and why. So here are a few questions, if you have a minute:

What has been your experience? Have you read more indie books by women than men? If you self-publish, would you drop a comment here, so we can have some real, first-hand accounts? Why do you self-publish? Have you tried the traditional route?