EVERGREEN OR TOPICAL? IS IT REALLY A CHOICE?

Blogging Insights # 54 — Evergreen vs Topical


Evergreen or topical content, which do you prefer writing?

Until the advent of Trumpty Dumpty, I probably wrote an equal amount of both, depending on my mood and the state of my life. Then along came 45 and politics made it to center-stage. I didn’t write about it every day or every week, but it was thematically there. I wrote about things that were happening to me or people I knew. Real life definitely intruded on the softer stuff. I still write about history — but I try to put it into a  modern context. I take pictures of birds, the seasons, humor, books, movies, and life. Even during this past, nerve-wracking month, it’s been no more than one post out of every three or four. Not even — maybe especially –during the last month has it been primarily political at least partially because I thought everyone had enough politics and we all knew where we stood. Nothing I said was going to change anything. I did add comments to other posts, but tried not to make political stuff the guts of the post.

Since I couldn’t really go anywhere, there were even more birds than usual. What would I do without birds?

Baby Orange Cardinal

Which do you write most often?

Most of what I write is topical insofar as it’s written in the now, though a lot of it has turned out to have years of evergreen life anyway. it’s not always easy to draw a line between evergreen and topical. What is true today may very well be true tomorrow and next year. Topical can turn out to be a really long time.

Which of these adds more value or engagement to your blog?

Birds. Overall? Birds are the winners. They are always evergreen regardless of feather color. I think people find them relaxing. I know I do. Actually, everyone in my house does. We stand at windows, just watching them flutter around, commenting on how many nuthatches we have this year and whatever happened to the bluebirds?



Categories: #Birds, #Birds, #Blogging, #gallery, #Photography, #Writing, Anecdote

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21 replies

  1. I immediately assumed that politics was topical, but I think a lot of it is evergreen, too. Something like whether it is appropriate for a cop to stand on somebody’s neck to subdue them. All Floyd did was to give that question some context. Or whether you lock migrants up in cages. Those questions will still be relevant long after you’ve forgotten who Trump was.

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  2. I write mostly topical posts, but the evergreen posts get the most visitors.
    Last week I watched an interview with a political commentator. He said for the past four years he hasn’t needed any evergreen material for his show. He’s thinking that will change.

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    • Trumps period in office has tilted bloggers, but that definitely WILL change. Three or four of every five posts of mine are “evergreen” and some of my older evergreen posts periodically go into overdrive — without my posting them again — and I get hundreds of hits on them. And of course pictures are by definition evergreen.

      A lot of my most “pointed” posts were reblogs. When someone else has written it better than I could, I figure it’s a good time to let them tell the story.

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  3. This is so true and sums up the whole debate so well :

    “it’s not always easy to draw a line between evergreen and topical. What is true today may very well be true tomorrow and next year. Topical can turn out to be a really long time.”

    I love your pictures of birds !

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    • Birds are my ALL time evergreen 😀 So are autumn leaves, flowers, history, explanation of what the electoral college IS and why we have it at all. Other historical things like “American history for non-Americans” and what happened in the Blackstone Valley and why slavery was definitely a serious error in judgement. And that really, the Civil War WAS about slavery. And a couple of things I wrote like “The Meaning of Everything” which is a favorite piece even though it’s very silly.

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  4. I only know, that topical or evergreen, your photography has saved me from overwhelming depression on more than one occasion. A squirrel, a chipmunk (that miniature chipmunk was so cute!) and all those glorious birds, not to mention the amazing landscapes and water shots and architecture that you and Garry capture for the rest of us are all awe inspiring! Thank you!!

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    • The photography cheers US up too which is why even when i don’t feel like it, I do it anyway. It has been a hard year and we need something pretty that isn’t political or feel like it’s pointing at our heads. This week I’ve got doctor appointments almost every day and much more to come. Making up for all those canceled appointment due to COVID.

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  5. You’ve inspired me Marilyn, I’m about to start painting a Grossbeak.
    Leslie

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  6. The birds posts and photos are great.

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    • I’ve always been a bit of a secret bird watcher since my first sister-in-law introduced me to it when I was 19. I got more serious about it in Israel because it is the land passage of raptors flying up from Africa to Europe and Asia for the summer — raptors can’t fly at night (no thermals). Around the first week in April more than a million raptors — including some insanely huge eagles — came through Israel and spent at least a couple of days in Jerusalem and they were EVERYWHERE. It’s also the first place I ever saw a Golden Eagle. Now THAT is a bird.

      Then I came here and we moved into a woods and it was cold and snowy and I thought those cold little birds needed food. I bought a feeder, then another feeder, then another camera and then a special lens and a few more books … and we all fell in love with those terribly messy birds. We all stand sort of pixelated watching them and figuring out which new birds have arrived, and oh look, there’s a baby. ALL of the birds nested this year and we had lots and lots of little tiny miniature birds.

      Also, with this pandemic, it was something to do that was outside but close. It has given me something to do during the long days and months of quarantine. I think everyone should feed them, but they are awfully messy, so I understand why some people just don’t want to.

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  7. I love that last photo.. Great colors.

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    • They are really very pretty birds and when they show up (as they did) in a flock, it’s like seeing a garden landing on your feeders. Really lovely.

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      • I have almost no birds anymore. And they ignore my feeders. My neighbors have dozens.. can’t figure out why. It can’t be the cats, because they can’t come into the back yard because of the dogs and the dogs leave birds alone.. One of the mysteries of nature.

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        • Maybe they don’t like your food? I know that birds can be really picky. There’s a lot of information online about what foods really attract them. Some are outrageously expensive, but most are heavily into black sunflower seeds and very little grain — like milo and millet. Also, it helps to know which birds you want to attract. They don’t all eat the same foods. Right now, we have tons of nuthatches, cardinals, and woodpeckers and the pretty songbirds — bluebirds, wrens, etc. — are missing. It may be the time of year, but I think it’s the food. You can order 40 lbs of black sunflower seeds from any number of places on Amazon for short money and if all else fails, they ALL love those seeds. i think they are the dessert of seed eaters. Oh, and they all like other nuts — chopped up peanuts and cashews and fruit like cranberries and other dried fruits. When I was buying that fancy food (it was on sale) we had a huge number of birds I’ve never seen since.

          So, my guess is the dogs chase them away and they don’t need to bark. The birds don’t like having them nearby, even if they are quiet — just like they don’t like having ME around. It could be too much human foot traffic too — but my best guess? They don’t like the food or more to the point, they like the food your neighbors are using better. Why don’t you ask them what they are using for food? Every area has different birds and the best food for my part of the country might not be what YOUR birds like.

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          • this is all sunflower seeds. And the dogs totally ignore them..and I’ve put it several places the dogs never go.. still no takers. The hummingbird would chase other birds away from the hummingbird feeder and when I first put it out, it attracted orioles, but no more..
            Ah well. There are flowers the hummers come to.

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  8. Your birds and picture posts are always wonderful.

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