HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?

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It took me almost two years to build up a following for Serendipity, but just a week for traffic to drop to fewer than I can count on one hand. If anyone needed a test of what keeps a blog alive and active, the answer is utterly simple. Content, content and more content. Pictures, stories, stuff. New stuff, funny stuff sad stuff. But mostly, stuff.

We got home this afternoon and I’ve been running in place ever since, trying to play catchup with unanswered phone calls. Dogs apparently starving for treats … the poor things were practically FAINT and WEAK from lack of biscuits. Garry was actually insulted when, in the middle of giving some serious love to the furry kids, they heard me walk into the kitchen and abandoned him en masse in the hopes of acquiring a cookie. Or a piece of fallen bread crust.

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“Try not to take it personally,” I said. “They are DOGS.”

“Hrmph,” he said and went back to watching Steve McQueen in a rerun of “Wanted Dead or Alive.”

“We shouldn’t bother with vacations. We should just stay home. We like it better here. Except for the pictures,” I paused. “It was a great photo shoot.”

“Yup. That’s exactly what it was. A week-long photo shoot.”

“Punctuated with baseball and two pair of really cool new shoes.”

“Yup.”

That was when Bonnie jumped back onto the sofa.

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“Oh, NOW you want my attention? I was letting you play with me while wearing one of my good shirts. And you KNOW how I feel about my shirts.” Bonnie was unimpressed and continued to dance around. She loves him, but she loves treats more, at least more immediately. Dogs are not into the whole deferred gratification thing.

So meanwhile, because I couldn’t post or edit anything on this site, I started another blog — Serendipity Redux — on Bloggers and I’m not sure how I’ll divide my time. I do know reclaiming a little piece of my life felt pretty good and maybe I don’t want to be quite such a slave to Serendipity. Maybe unplugging for a little while wasn’t such a bad thing.

We’ll see how it goes. Right now, glad to be home, glad we’ll get to sleep in our own bed tonight. Did I mention (no, I didn’t) we left our wonderful pillows at the hotel? We have to drive back to the Cape tomorrow and get our pillows. I was trying to figure out some way to not have to do that, but I couldn’t. They are special pillows and we need them. Love them.

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We’ll take cameras because the trees are amazing right now. Not so much on the Cape, but here in the Valley, wow! It’s autumn, baby.



Categories: Autumn, Blogging, Photography, Travel, Vacation

Tags: , , , , , , ,

29 replies

  1. Did you choose to use blogger because you ran out of space on wordpress?

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    • Not exactly. We were staying in that crummy resort and their ISP was blocking WordPress … AND their router needed rebooting. They wouldn’t call the ISP and didn’t know how to reboot a router. They didn’t know what a router IS or where it was kept. So, in desperation because I needed a blogging fix, I started another blog. I should have anyhow. I’ve got 1500 posts here and I think it’s a crash waiting to happen. The bigger it gets, the harder it gets to work with and the more difficult it is to find a particular post or picture. I really have no idea what to do. I suppose hope for the best but prepare for Murphy to drop by.

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      • Oh my, sorry to hear your holiday happiness was dented by silly problems like that. Frustrating. 1500 posts is a mega collection! I hope you find something that works for you…

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        • This works … but that IS a lot of posts and even more pictures. It gets more and more unwieldy. I don’t know that there’s anything I can do about it, either. Just wait to see what’ll happen!

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          • I wonder how other long time bloggers do it. No matter if its wordpress or blogger, it is bound to be unwieldy as the number of posts grow, no? Anyway, Good luck!

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            • The problem is there’s no structure to the posts and pictures. Unless you start off in a very organized way and build a database of your own to track your posts and graphics, finding anything gets inreasingly difficult. Even if I remember the title, or enough of it, the internal search mechanism you get from WP or blogger will only find it half the time and if it’s more than a year old, maybe not at all. At a certain point, old posts are lost. It would be good if they were automatically deleted after a certain number of months … but things are all linked to other things, in your blog and externally by people who reblogged or referenced them … so if you delete something, it’s like dominoes and things start coming unglued. I know. I tried. It was disastrous. I have no idea what others do about it … most blogs don’t last that long or get so big.

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  2. It is good to have you back. I only follow 3 blogs at this point. The others have fallen by the wayside for a number of reasons. I look multiple times each day for changes on your blog but understood that you were on vacation and needed a break.

    My own blog has gone viral in many ways. My followers are now headed toward 600 after staying under 100 the first of my two years of blogging. Half my newest followers don’t speak English and just look at the picture and hit the “Like” button occasionally. I follow every new fan back to their blog site and can’t read their language so I don’t even save they blogsite.

    Since my main topic is photography that keeps me very busy keeping fresh pictures to post. I must force myself to cut down on the number of posts I put up every day. Sometimes I return from a shoot so excited about the day’s activity I just want to share the photographs all at once. I must fight the urge to do that.

    I blog because I need to. Social contact is so blatantly required that I get uptight when I don’t have new material to post. It takes time to drive to location and more time to process the resulting load of captures. Blogging daily is a job at times.

    So It warms my heart to hear of your enjoyable vacation as well as your funny stories of the return to normalcy.

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    • I have the same problem you do with posting all my pictures (and Garry’s) because I’m so excited about them … but I try to control the urge. Winter is coming and photo ops get a bit thin when the weather gets inhospitable. It was a terrible vacation and the best photo shooting in years. Perfect weather … I mean perfect. Warm without being hot. Golden sunshine, full moon, pumpkins, ships at sea, quaint little villages. Garry and I were laughing because all we did was watch baseball and take pictures. I processed photographs during the games. I started a second blog because I absolutely HAD to post some pictures, but Blogger’s formats are not particularly photo friendly.

      Now that I’m home, people are coming back. But it was weird, dropping like a rock in just four days of not posting. I’ve gotten into rhythm of posting at least one photo (usually more) and one piece of writing every day … but it’s too much. I’ve got 1500 posts. Too many. It took me forever to get to 500 followers, but hardly any time at all to get the next 100. About 75% of my followers just come to look at the pictures, the other 25% are the ones who really drive the site. They are the ones who read and comment. I need the feedback. It’s what gives me ideas about what to write, what people like, don’t like. I don’t know what I’m going to do with my other blog.

      If you can take a look, tell me what you think of the format — http://serendipity-redux.blogspot.com/. You don’t have the graphic support or selection of templates available from wordpress, but I got 190 hits the first day I posted. It’s supported by Google and the exposure is much better than WordPress. I wish I liked the format better. There are other formats, but they are gimicky and even less photo friendly, if you can imagine that.

      Good to be home. And it was good to get away and break the routine. Lots of stuff going on … some of it good, I hope. I believe. I trust!!

      I looked at your pictures while we were away. I couldn’t comment, but I could see the pictures … not always the text, though. You deserve a following. You are very good and you were bound to eventually “catch.” Just a matter of time and the word getting out. It took you about the same time it took me … just under two years. Actually, about 18 months. Because you started right after me. It took just 4 days for the bottom to fall out of my stats. Just goes to show ya!

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  3. We are going through the same slump…it was nothing to have 500 visitors @Awakenings in a day. Now I am ecstatic when it makes 50! What is going on????????

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    • We were away. Also, it’s just not a very exciting period on the internet. When there’s a lot going on — like the presidential election — people are more engaged and interested. It took five days for me to drop from nearly 300 hits to 6. Actually, it took four DAYS. You were away quite a while … Alas, but followers are fickle. I stuck with you, see? I’m still here … and so are you. Yay us.

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  4. Welcome back! Great to ‘see’ you again!!! xx

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  5. PS- nice to actually SEE you ! Thanks Gary.

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  6. Glad you are safely home . I find I like the burgeoning friendships as much as the creating the posts. Can’t wait to see what you took.

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    • We took SO many pictures … it’s going to take a long time for me to process all of them. Of course, bunches of them are very similar and in some cases, if I didn’t have them labeled, I wouldn’t know which were mine, and which are Garry’s. Then, there are the ones where he clearly got better stuff than me … and where I got stuff he didn’t think of. It’s interesting shooting with someone else, to see where you both take the same shots and where you differ. I used to go shooting with my granddaughter and we would have half almost identical pictures, the other half entirely different. It was the best photo weather you could imagine!

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  7. HEY ! who took my bread crust ?

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