Blogging Insights — Stats Rule

Blogging insightsIn her latest edition of Blogging Insights, Dr. Tanya asks us three questions about blogging statistics and traffic.

1. How often, if at all, do you check your blog statistics?

I admit that I check my stats multiple times a day. It’s just another way to get feedback about how many people are visiting my blog and viewing, liking, and commenting on my posts. This kind of feedback enables me to see what people enjoy and what doesn’t resonate all that much.

2. What methods do you use to increase reader engagement, (provided you care about this)?

Honestly, I don’t have any definitive strategy for increasing reader engagement. I do, though, as I said above, look at my stats and I try to use that data to help me make gain insights about my blog and to take small steps so that others will enjoy reading my posts. That said, based upon my declining views each month since August (see the chart below), I should probably consider coming up with a better strategy.0AE90795-9BE8-46E0-B97C-323B14D42398

3. Do you actively promote your blog on social media?

Not at all. I’m don’t have accounts on Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat, or any other social media sites other than Facebook, on which I never post anything and only have an account there because my kids post everything they do day in and day out on Facebook.

Fandango’s Provocative Question #54

FPQWelcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration.

By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

My provocative question last week was about music as the universal language. This week, it’s about verbal and written communications. It was triggered when another blogger — I’m sorry that I can’t remember who — featured this quote from Alan Greenspan, an American economist who served as chairman of the Federal Reserve of the United States from 1987 to 2006.

“I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”

Greenspan’s quote got me thinking about human communications. The purpose of communications is to convey information from one person to another. We use both spoken and written words to communicate ideas, concepts, emotions, thoughts, and opinions.

Communications are effective when the recipient of a thought, whether by listening or reading, understands the meaning intended by the speaker or writer.64A6BA61-8D0B-48BC-AB5E-5529A0753CFBUnfortunately, miscommunication is common, where the listener or reader fails to understand what is said or written.

Scientists say that humans began speaking about 100,000 years ago, and writing began around 4000 B.C. Prior to written language, humans used pictures (e.g., cave drawings) to communicate. These drawings evolved into word symbols. The evolution of language from pictures to words suggests that the old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” is false, since it’s almost impossible to convey conditional, complex, or complicated ideas with a simple image.

And yet these days, people seem to be leveraging emojis more and more on electronic communications to convey ideas, concepts, emotions, thoughts, and opinions.

So, with that background, the provocative question this week is simply this:

Do you believe that, in social media communications, people are going overboard in their use of emojis? Why or why not?

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments. But remember to check to confirm that your pingback or your link shows up in the comments.

Share Your World — About Character and Social Media

Share Your WorldMondays are when Melanie (Sparks From a Combustible Mind) does her Share Your World thing. And today, being a Monday, is no exception. So, away we go….

Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat) a good thing, a bad thing or a mixture of both?

6ECFB9AB-37E3-4807-B3F6-8E14A45D867AThe only “social media” platform I’m active on is WordPress. I don’t have a Twitter or a Snapchat account and while I do have Facebook and Instagram accounts, I don’t post anything on them. I use them only to keep up up with what my adult kids are up to. As to whether I think social media is a good thing or a bad thing, I suppose my answer is that it depends. If used in moderation, I suppose it’s not a bad thing. If one is addicted to it and it is the primary means of communicating with the outside world, then it’s not such a good thing. But I’m dealing from the perspective of a Baby Boomer, and when I was growing up, social media consisted of hanging out with friends in the real world. Perhaps if I grew up having an iPhone as an electronic appendage to my human body, I might feel differently.

Are you camera shy or do you pose for the camera with confidence?

I’m not camera shy, per se, but I prefer to be the person holding the camera and taking pictures or videos of others rather than being the subject of pictures and videos.

Is there anything you’ve kept from younger years for sentimental reasons alone?

Not really. I’ve moved around so much over my lifetime that most of my possessions from my youth are long gone. And when I was away at college, my father threw away my vast comic book and baseball card collections, something for which I never forgave him.

Do you like to decorate for different holidays?

Bah humbug.

Do you feel you’re a strong person character-wise?

I like to think so, but there have been occasions on which my strong character has failed me.

Fandango’s Provocative Question #42

FPQWelcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration. By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

This week I am actually going to borrow from fellow blogger, Melanie, at Sparks from a Combustible Mind. In her Share Your World post from earlier this week, one of the questions she asked was, “When is censorship warranted? Ever?”

There we’re some fascinating responses to that question and, since some of you who read this post may not have read Melanie’s post, I thought I’d ask it again, but not from the prospect of censorship per se, but on the whole notion of freedom of speech.

Freedom of speech is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or a community to articulate and express their opinions and ideas without fear of retaliation, censorship, or legal sanction. This is especially important to us bloggers.

One example of where freedom of speech or expression is under attack is that American border patrol agents, who have the authority to search belongings for contraband, or to determine who is admissible into the U.S., have recently been claiming the right to search travelers’ devices for “general law enforcement purposes.” They claim that they can seize and search your phone, and even make a copy of it so that forensic experts can analyze its contents off-site.

The good news is that, based upon rulings in some recent lawsuits, border agents can’t search travelers’ cellphones without having some reason to believe a particular traveler has committed a crime.

The fact that they thought they had the right to seize and search the electronic devices, including social media postings, of people legally entering the country is, to me, very disconcerting.

So my question is this:

Do you feel that in today’s world — and perhaps in the part of the world in which you live — the freedom to articulate and express opinions and ideas without fear of retaliation, censorship, or legal sanction is being threatened?

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments.

The issue with pingbacks not showing up seems to have been resolved, but you might check to confirm that your pingback is there. If not, please manually add your link in the comments.

Share Your World — About Life, Death, Beauty, Morality, and Perfection

SYWMonday means Melanie’s Share Your World prompt. Today our host has become quite philosophical in her questions. She wants us to talk about the living and the dead, about beauty and morality, about technology and emotions, and about perfection and gratitude. A tall order, indeed!

Anyway, let’s do this!

Why do we seem to respect the dead more than the living?

I don’t respect the dead more than the living. I respect what people accomplish (or accomplished) and the manner in which they live (or lived) their lives, living or dead.10F97ABA-FC27-4699-9CD7-4A7C3A826D3A

Why is beauty associated with morality?  Or not?   (a few weeks back I asked a similar question, but the key word was MORTALITY, not MORALITY).

I hate to be argumentative today, but I don’t associate beauty with morality. Physical beauty has more to do with appearance than with positive actions or good deeds. In fact, so-called “beautiful people” often have advantages in life not available to those whose appearances are less attractive and, therefore, may be less empathetic. So, in my opinion, beauty and morality are unrelated. 

Have gadgets and apps taken away emotions?

Huh? What do gadgets have to do with emotions? As to apps, I think that social media apps, especially Twitter, have intensified emotions, as people who use those apps tend to feel freer to express strong, especially negative, emotions as they hide behind the anonymity and the distance those types of apps provide. These social media apps have also reduced face-to-face human interactions to a great extent.48F6CE61-0B8C-4D5D-8A7E-A5DD7F646B01

Is there a perfect life? What’s your version of a perfect life if you care to share?

For something to be perfect it must be free from flaws or faults. Life doesn’t work that way. No person is perfect; no life is perfect. True perfection is an unrealistic goal and attempting to achieve a perfect life can only set one up for disappointment and frustration.

If you’d like, please share something uplifting or for which you are grateful.

I’m grateful for this perfect life that I am leading. 😏