Bloggers are Lazy


There are so many lazy people in this world that want things handed to them. That is probably why around the middle of the year you will see a ton of blogs go inactive. The fame didn’t come fast enough. They didn’t get Freshly Pressed. They still can’t figure out what the hell SEO means and is good for. Or they aren’t reaching the “audience” they know is there.

I get a lot of emails and I am more than happy to help where I can. I absolutely hate the question “how do I reach a larger audience” because it shows that people are lazy. I have a link RIGHT HERE  and I hope people find these articles useful. The thing that annoys me though is when people ask me for tips, but won’t bother to read the articles I have meticulously written out. If you want to pay me money to teach you that is fine, I could always use the money, but I firmly believe if you read these articles I have already presented they will give you the game plan you need to grow.

I know I have said “email me whenever.” Let me edit that statement, only email me if you are truly serious about blogging and growing your blog WITH work. Otherwise if you are seeking a way to go viral email someone else.

I don’t have a damn clue about that.

-OM

I still feel new here


I still feel new to WordPress and probably feel that way because I am. I have only been blogging for 18 months and that is a very short time compared to many of you. I don’t really know how long I will blog, it was never my intention to actually still be writing this long. But I have found a give/take love with blogging, especially here on WordPress, and it is nice to have “an outlet” as so many have said.

I am not here to “perfect my writing,” but rather to try new things. I think that is the difference in my blog from a “writing blog” where the author or aspiring author is really working hard to create a particular voice. Or they are sticking to one genre and only focusing in on issues related to that subject. See that isn’t how I blog and never will be, so I can’t really claim this as my training ground. I like to think I push myself to write whatever I wish… to show I can. Poetry, infomatic articles, blogging articles, flash fiction, personal posts, parenting, and dare I say I think I write the woman’s point of view remarkably well. There won’t ever be only one type of topic found here and that is how I have kept my audience. I have only a few readers that actually read everything on this website and I am still amazed that people return for a second visit. That was never factored into my business model.

When I first started WordPress I immediately found the reader and Freshly Pressed tabs. I happened upon an article on Matt Walsh and decided to visit his blog. I was amazed at how many shares, comments, and likes his work got and I decided I would like to have that many people “at least” look at my words. I figured out how to do that which I have shared in detail in my blogging/powerblogging articles. Others may have their own theories and models, these are simply one guy’s thoughts on how to successfully build a powerblog. A powerblog is whatever you want it to be, just like a blog is whatever you want it to be. I have visited many blogs and that obviously includes the “larger blogs” out there. Many much larger, successful, and obviously corporate in comparison to my own. I don’t envy other blogs and instead use them as motivation to keep pushing my numbers. I left comments in my early blogging days on many of these large blogs asking questions. Guess what I got in response? … …. nothing…

Shouldn’t surprise me and I am in turn very happy when people ARE surprised at my responses to their comments here. It is much like the twitter purge I did, I believe there has to be a balance. I can’t visit every website that subscribes to me and I never intended to. I have had countless complaints about this and I find it silly, but I suppose some bloggers need a reason to be mad daily. I instead put a portion of my time and energy into writing blogging articles “for free” for those that read my website. I hope people realize I am writing these for you guys… they aren’t for me. They are mainly what I have learned in blogging and they are the answers to the questions certain assholes never responded to me about. It is ok assholes, I am sure you are very interesting people.

To sum up this obviously well thought out blog post, see this is another reason I don’t consider myself a writer really. I edit once and publish and never “plan” things out much. But whatever, the point I was making is that numbers are just numbers. You don’t always know how they got there. I worked for mine, but many get their numbers “handed to them” through corporate relationships, connections to TV stations, and other mass media feeds. Hell I haven’t even been Freshly Pressed and I am certain that staff has my blog labeled with a big X. That is cool I never needed anyone’s help and I certainly won’t start in the virtual world. I know I am offering $50 consulting now, but I ALSO answer countless emails with questions from random bloggers. Some who probably don’t even read my website and want free info, but I still reply. Regardless of what you have heard about me I don’t bite… if you have a question send it and I will respond. It may say “that is easily found in the WordPress forum,” but I will at least answer. Like I said, I do this because there was a time (18 months ago) when I couldn’t beg a response off someone who obviously “knew what they were doing.” I try not to be an asshole at least one day out of the week.

-OM

https://aopinionatedman.com/category/bloggingpowerblogging-articles/

Your Audience is Not Your Friend


You may find that after you gain a certain number of readers you will begin to feel “secure” in your own environment. This is not a bad thing and a writer should feel comfortable in their own “realm.” I get emails asking me how I write on the hard topics without pause. I have an easy answer for this. Only write on highly charged subjects if you are prepared to fight the good fight alone.

The meaning of my title is pretty straight forward. Don’t rely on your audience to defend you or to support your views. Instead, only write on topics that you are willing to defend, possibly debate, or expound on further. If you are unwilling to suffer the criticism that comes from writing an article, don’t write the post.

Many new readers and perhaps some of my old followers possibly feel that I sit around and brain storm ideas for articles that will generate debate and contention. While I will agree that my writing style does seem to generate this atmosphere, I can assure each of you that my posts are as random as they can possibly be… and still originate from the same brain. I simply enjoy poking anything I can with a stick and watching the ants run. That doesn’t mean I walk around with a stick though…

As you make connections on WordPress you will encounter people that will become “friends” to an extent. I am still of the habit of always being aware of reality, and that reality is that “friends” are always around when it is sunny. As soon as a few drops of rain come, however, they quickly find greener pastures to settle into. Your audience is not your friend.

-Opinionated Man

Blogging: They Aren’t Coming Back…


I often tell you that I don’t count on return visits from my followers. I want to share with you a stat image that will further highlight this fact.

Capture

You will notice from my graph that there are definite times when my website goes up in views and then trails off to a smaller number. The normal four days or so of heightened views is due in part to my posts, but mainly due to my follower gathering methods.

You see I pick and choose when my website gets viewed heavily and when it becomes dormant. I control this through adjusting my three focus points on blogging and in doing so I adjust the “potential viewers” according to the output. Whether I am currently writing, about to post, or have just posted something I think is of value that is when I pump my numbers towards my blog. When my “weekend comes” and I decide to relax my numbers begin to fall significantly. This is all to show that my website fluctuates, just like many of yours do. It is a normal thing unless you are able to harness corporate traffic.

Most bloggers will tell you that to have a successful website you must have “focus,” a clear goal or blogging subject, and that you must post consistently to get views and new followers. Most bloggers don’t have any clue what they are talking about. They are simply repeating what they have read or what they are told and have NO REAL DATA to even go by. They are just talking. I don’t listen to “most bloggers” and neither should you.

I post when I want, what I want, and even TO whomever I want. What do I mean by “to” whomever I want? Part of gaining attention to a post or article isn’t always looking for those that will agree. I purposefully draw in large numbers of people that will “potentially” hate my work. I do this because you can easily get more views from someone that hates everything they are reading on a site than from someone that totally agrees with everything you have wrote. Most people that find a website “in line with their beliefs” will skim and save that address, but they may never revisit. Why would they? They already agree with everything you wrote so reading your work is much like reading their own thoughts. That quickly becomes boring because people are drawn to controversy and debate these days.

“They aren’t coming back…” I remember saying this to myself in my second month of blogging. It was when I began to fully understand the relationship I was creating with my readers and the potentially “deceitful” value that it had. Sure I found and you will also find bloggers that instantly connect with you. Those connections many times have an expiration date that is never clear, but normally comes around the time you suddenly stop seeing their username anymore as a comment. It happens and will always happen. If you are serious about building an audience they cannot have a face, it must be an ever changing and growing thing. When you begin to “depend” on certain audience members for views you will find yourself waiting by the door. Guess what?

They aren’t coming back…

-OM

WordPress – If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it


Opinionated Man:

I probably could have just reblogged this in the first place. -OM
Note: Comments disabled, please comment on their post.

Originally posted on lindaghill:

It seems every week WordPress is changing something else. I’m still flabbergasted over clicking on my “posts” button and seeing them all in a reader-type list instead of a list where I can easily find twenty of them and edit them quickly in one click.

Then, was it last week? we had to start going into our dashboard to open a full screen with all the options (including being able to preview our post) in order to write something – instead of this “beep beep boop” crap I keep seeing.

Today, it seems, they’ve changed something else. The “Freshly Pressed” button is gone. Not that I often check the page, but where do I find it now?

Is there anyone out there who has found these changes an improvement? Or am I the only one who thinks they’re more of a pain in the ass?

Edit: My notifications box isn’t…

View original 16 more words

Dear WordPress Staff


Dear WP Staff,

I know you are working hard and you are probably still doing changes and modifications. An email to you would get lost, but maybe a post with some re-blogs from like minded people will reach your eyes.

Please put back the old “Posts” button that takes you directly to your “dashboard post settings.” The format was different for the post button, but this new web setup causes a user two extra clicks. To most people that doesn’t matter, but to a website that DOES matter. You should know that and care as a business and it directly affects us that navigate through your website a lot. I realize most users are free members, but I pay for my yearly subscription so here is my opinion. I hope you change that one setting back and as for the rest… we shall see.

-OM

Guest Post – On Popular Music: Feminine Sexual Empowerment?


No Generation X-er could fail to have noticed the thematic changes in popular culture over the last thirty years. Styles of music change, of course, as do styles of movies, books, and other media, but these stylistic differences are not necessarily related to the themes that underlie the expressions of popular culture. A sappy love song is a sappy love song whether it’s done in the style of rock, or country, or disco, and there are plenty of these still being created and popularized every year. However, over the last several decades, American society has become far more permissive in what it will accept on the subject of sexuality. Those who were offended by Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” when it was released must surely suffer nowadays, being only able to find refuge in the ever-dwindling number of oldies radio stations, which, if you have not listened to one lately, now often in fact play music from the eighties. But even Cyndi Lauper’s ode to masturbation “She-Bop” appears tame compared to the expressions of female sexuality prevalent in the popular music of today.

The theme of David Guetta’s recent hit “Turn Me On,” provides an interesting example. The main lyrical premise of the piece, sung by Nicky Minaj, can be adequately summarized by its refrain:

Make me come alive,
Come on and turn me on.
Come on, save my life
Come on and turn me on.
I’m too young to die
Come on and turn me on.
You’ve got my life in the palm of your hands.
Come, save me now, I know you can.

At first listen, this sounds like a bold stroke of female sexual empowerment. The female is the aggressor; she demands sexual attention, perhaps even satisfaction. But listen a little more closely, and it becomes clear that even here, the woman is utterly dependent upon the man, not only for her sexual needs, but for her very life. “My body needs a hero,” she cries; “Don’t let me die young.” She literally cries out to the man for salvation, almost as if her sexuality is a burden, a drag on her very existence.

The issue is similar in Rihanna’s “Where Have You Been?” in which the singer declares:

I’ve been everywhere, man
Looking for someone
Someone who can please me,
Love me all night long…

You can have me all you want
Any way
Any day
Just show me where you are tonight.

Again, it’s the female singer’s sexuality that is at stake here, and not the male’s, yet there remains a sense of dependence on the male. Although Rihanna’s tune does not imply that death is imminent if the singer fails to find the man who will please her, it does suggest that she has been searching rather endlessly (“all my life”) for this magical being that she suspects is hiding from her. The image of a woman who’s “been everywhere” hunting for the right man can hardly be called empowering, and furthermore, her desire for a man who will “love her all night long” is unrealistic and bound to end in disappointment, particularly if this is what is required to please her. Once in a while, okay, but people need to sleep, after all. At bottom this is a song of frustration, not of desire, which actually makes it very similar in theme to “Turn Me On,” if different in form. Finally, there is nothing in the least bit feminist about the singer’s desperate cry of “You can have me all you want!” which rather only implies that she’s willing to strike a bargain, offering sexual complicity in the man’s desires in exchange for fulfillment of her own.

Of course, there’s at least some sense of fairness in that, particularly when contrasted to the odiously pathetic “Brokenhearted” by Kashmir, a nearly fifties-themed anthem of the dependence of feminine happiness on the behavior of men. This seemingly harmless, lighthearted tune features the following reprehensible refrain:

I’ve been waiting all day
For you to call me, baby
Come on, finish what we started
Don’t you leave me brokenhearted tonight.
Honest baby, I’ll do
Anything you want to
Let’s get up, let’s get on it
Don’t you leave me brokenhearted tonight.

Can you picture Jane Fonda sitting around waiting all day for a man to call her, and then blindly agreeing to do whatever he wants? But this point is so vital to Kashmir’s theme that she even repeats it in her spoken-word interlude:

Anything you want to do
I’ll be on it, too.

Which leaves one wondering whether men really like women who bow to their every whim. The women of popular culture certainly seem to think so.

Interestingly, it is Flo Rida – the well-known popularizer of the genre of “stripper” tunes – who, to me, portrays feminine sexuality as most nearly on an equal footing with the sexuality of men in his song “Wild Ones.” The opening chorus is sung by the female, Sia:

Hey, I heard you were a wild one
If I took you home, it’d be a home run
Show me how you’ll do
I wanna shut down the club with you
Hey I heard you like the wild ones…

The male voice then interjects with verses which, for the most part, are not related to the main theme of the song, and then the female chimes in again:

I am a wild one, break me in
Saddle me up, and let’s begin
I am a wild one, tame me now
Runnin’ with wolves, and I’m on the prowl…

Very interesting. Now the song is not about the particular desire of either the man or the woman; rather, it concerns two like-minded people, “wild ones,” who happen to find one another. Both parties are the pursued and the pursuer; neither the man nor the woman is dominant. However, the same theme of submission as an expression of feminine sexuality is also present here: the female singer wishes to be “tamed” and “broken.” If we’re uncertain about this, we only have to listen to the second-to-last line of the male singer in response to the female’s refrain:

Tear up that body; dominate you till you’ve had enough.

The language is harsh, borderline offensive, yet it seems to be along the line of what the woman appears to want; he promises to fulfill her desire (“till you’ve had enough”) by putting himself in control over her body. Think of the similarity to Christina Aguilera’s line in Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger”:

You wanna know how to make me smile
Take control, own me just for the night.

Finally, let’s take a look at Katy Perry’s “E.T.”, which on first hearing seems rife with brazen female sexuality. However, the story changes entirely when we consider the extended version of the song, which features the following vocal interlude by Kanye West, speaking as the extra-terrestrial:

First, I’ma disrobe you,
Then I’ma probe you,
See, I abducted you,
So I tell you what to do, I tell you what to do, what to do. . .

An odd interjection, harshly delivered, and what is most intriguing about it is how it completely alters the character of the song. Without the interlude, the piece arguably centers on feminine desire; the singer perceives the extraterrestrial as a being who is “hypnotizing” and “magnetizing” and whose “kiss is cosmic.” The refrain further reflects her desire: “Kiss me” and “Take me” are its main features. However, the additional verse switches the focus of desire from the female to the male; the alien is not only now in charge, but has proclaimed his right as the kidnapper to subject his victim to his will. In short, we now have a rape story.

But perhaps this was the underlying nature of the “kink” under discussion, after all. Consider the lines “Want to be a victim; ready for abduction,” and “Inject me with your love then fill me with your poison.” Although these words indicate submission rather than aggression, they are nonetheless suggestive of a submission which the performer finds desirable. In other words, it is being subject to the will of the alien that arouses sexual desire in the female; her sexual empowerment is derived from willingly submitting herself to it.

Disturbing, isn’t it? This again leaves one wondering whether men really like women who bow to their every whim. Or whether women really wish to be the ones to bow.

In other words, even in popular music of the new century, the sexually desirous woman is still submissive; hopelessly subject to the whims of man, and furthermore, seems to want it that way. The only difference appears to be that now, instead of begging for love, she begs for sex. Not what I would call empowering. Ultimately one must conclude that although the sexual content of popular culture has increased, and the sexuality of women in particular has grown in acceptance, that the songs of today are no more liberating than those of a generation ago. They’re just more graphic.

Lori Schafer
http://lorilschafer.com

To Kill a Light


Would I kill a light to light up a fire? To create a pyre that burns my wishes in the night air, blowing smoke into the face of god so that he knows I am here. A religious man for an hour, when there are twenty four hours in a day. A sad thought is considered upon sips of Russian vodka and American made beer. I stir thoughts and dreams together, they melt like ice cubes in my cup of life. Wishing for a cigarette to calm rivers of thoughts. I say rivers plural because there are too many to count. I pick one like a sailor picks his voyage and upon selection a choice is made. An adventure like a “choose your own adventure book” we once enjoyed as children. What will our story tell?

Jal ja,

-OM

Guest Post – The second file


When March rolled in, five months had passed since I had received my first file from Holt. I was told that there was no definite timeline for the receipt of my Korean documents, but that they would be forwarded to me as soon as the office in Eugene heard back. Debby and Steve, who both work in PAS have been instrumental in putting my mind at ease during the long waiting periods of this process. Continue reading

Guest Post – Dating for dummies (Chapter 2)


What is dating? A word and term with such a broad description of definitions from “to go on a social outing with” -Miriam Webster, or two people meeting socially for companionship, beyond the level of friendship. – Wikipedia.

Both definitions however lack to provide any background to the art of dating or the purpose of dating.

A lot of this has been lost on my generation and a lot of my peers unfortunately claim that they don’t even date.

I ask myself how is this possible? How do you get to know anyone that you are choosing to give any of your time to and how are you spending your time with them? (Inherently we know these answers) but have we devalued ourselves so much men AND women?

Dating should be fun, it should be like hanging out with a friend that you are attracted to and enjoy the company of.
My mother always told me, you date to marry, and not that I always have, but as I get older I totally understand what she meant.

Women don’t care about how much money men make or spend on a date as much as they think (if a woman makes it that way… Your cue to exit stage left) what we care about is loyalty, honesty, someone who will work hard to provide and protect us.

Now back to dates… create a nice atmosphere, take a woman somewhere that she has never been and have drinks. Then grab a small bite n watch a sunset on the beach… Nice conversation and atmosphere will win a woman’s heart faster than your wallet if she truly wants YOU. Dating is truly an art

I had to laugh at one of my “boys” one day for complaining about paying to take a girl out and she was not putting out. My reply was if that was your expectation, that is where you went wrong.

I told him just because you take her out and buy a 2 for $20 at does not mean a woman is supposed to be obliged to have sex with you… A woman can sense that attitude or overconfident ora and it is a huge turn off. Not to mention that he didn’t put forth any effort into creating a special date experience.

Remember 9-10 times you get back what you put in… And the one free pass you may get (nothing is EVER free)

Missjerre.wordpress.com

Guest Post – There’s always a sliver of positivity in the darkest of times if you just look for it.


Getting shoved into lockers and pushed on the ground is not fun at all. After getting told five days on seven that you’re fat, worthless and ugly, you eventually start to believe it. If everyone keeps repeating it, it must be true, right?

For Grachel Patel, being bullied at school and going home to an empty house at the end of the day is a daily occurrence.

The jocks, the cheerleaders, and everyone at school pick on her because she’s different. She wears mostly black because it matches her mood. She wears long sleeves even in the summer to hide her scars on her wrist and avoid drawing more attention to her. She doesn’t talk. No, she’s not mute; she just doesn’t talk because what’s the point in talking if nobody listens to you? She has already tried to tell them to stop, when they first started harassing her, but they wouldn’t stop no matter how much she pleaded. Who knew high schools students could be so cruel, so heartless?

At home, it wasn’t much better. She would come home to a cold, unfriendly house where the only thing she could hear was her own footsteps against the wooden floorboards. After her parents died in a car crash three years ago, she went to live with her aunt. Thing is, her aunt was very close to her mother, so she took it hard as well. She immersed herself deeply into her work; therefore leaving her niece alone in this big house most of the time. She would leave early in the morning and come back very late at night, so they hardly saw each other, much less spoke.

The only good thing about being alone was that Grachel could finally have a moment to sort out her jumbled thoughts without being scared of someone hurting her physically or emotionally.

She didn’t understand why these people liked to hurt her. Was it really because she was too fat? No matter how little she ate and how much weight she lost, they still insulted her with their hurtful words. Was it because she didn’t have friends? She used to have a best friend, but then that so-called best friend ditched her once she became an outcast because of how she dressed. Now the girl that she had once called her sister from another mister was part of the group of people who terrorized her non-stop. What hurt the most was that her ex-friend knew all her weaknesses and used them against her.

She felt numb. She had often wished that she could be invisible. Then the torture would stop. Why couldn’t they just ignore her if she was so ugly to look at? She had never done anything to them, so why were they doing this to her? Did she deserve all this pain because she was such a freak?

Slash.

She welcomed the pain. At least this pain, she could control. It was the only thing in her life she had power over.

Slash.

She missed her parents so much.

Slash.

She missed her best friend, even though she turned out to be a backstabbing b****

Slash.

She missed the days when she felt so alive and carefree.

As she watched all the blood flow down her arm and onto her carpet, she made her way to the bathroom to clean up her mess. That’s going to leave a stain, she thought dully.

Crying herself to sleep, her last thought was ‘Let’s hope I can make it through another day of Hell tomorrow.’

She wasn’t living; she was merely surviving.

School was painful as always. However, today was worse than the other days. Her tormentors were in a bitter mood because they had lost their game last night against a rival school; thus, they took out their anger on a defenseless Grachel. How was it fair? There were at least ten of them and she was alone. They kicked, punched, called her names, spit on her, laughed at her. She stayed silent the entire time, just waiting until this nightmare ended. She tried not to show any pain or emotion for that matter. Her pain just encouraged them; she had learn that the first time.

Where were the teachers when you needed them? On her own, she couldn’t tell any adults because it would only make it worse. She had tried once, but somehow they had known her intentions and made sure she wouldn’t ever think about telling on them again.

During break, she hid herself on the roof of the school. It was her only escape from reality in this hell hole. The only place where she could have peace without all the degrading and condescending stares and whispers that followed her everywhere. From the roof, you could see the school’s lovely garden. It calmed her.

She knew right away that she wasn’t the only one there. She could hear the other person’s footsteps, but she didn’t turn around. She kept her gaze on the garden. She knew it wasn’t any of her regular aggressors because she would have recognized their steps. After three horrible years of constantly being on the lookout to avoid the inevitable bullying, she memorized the sound of their footsteps so that she would know when to expect them. She had given up on running away from them because all that did was make the punishment even worse once they caught her. They always caught her in the end.

When the person was standing beside her, he did something she did not expect. He held his hand out which held a pink post-it and gave it to her. She stared at it for a moment before tentatively reaching out and taking the little paper. Reading it, she couldn’t believe what she was seeing. To say she was shocked would be an understatement.

Smile, you’re beautiful.

Reshan, a new student, had seen this breathtaking girl walking towards the stairs that led to the roof. He wouldn’t have put much thought into it except that this girl had captured his interest. She looked so empty and miserable. Her eyes held so much sadness and loneliness that pierced a hole through his heart. How could one person seem so… so broken? he thought. He didn’t know why, but he really wanted to make her smile. Even with all the dark emotions that emanated from her, she still radiated beauty and gentleness. He didn’t know her, but he could tell that this girl had a big heart.

Racking his brain for a way that could make her darkness go away even for just a little while, he soon had an idea. He wrote what he wanted her to read on a little pink post-it because girls like pink, right? After joining her on the roof, he gave her his message. He had hoped that she wouldn’t find him too cheesy or anything.

When she read it, she froze. He didn’t know if it was a good sign or a bad sign, so he quickly rushed out, “It’s for when you’re feeling down, you can take it out and read it again and again until you smile. I just thought that you should know that you’re beautiful.”

This earned him a small smile from the gorgeous girl beside him. His breath caught in his throat. Her smile, even if it was tiny, was blinding. She was even more magnificent when she smiled. He was extremely happy that he was the reason behind that smile.

Beautiful. The last person who had called her that was her now deceased father. At first, she thought the boy was mocking her. However, after seeing the sincere expression that he wore when he talked to her, she couldn’t help but believe his words. Without her permission, a small smile slipped onto her face. She smiled at the boy. The movement seemed so foreign. She hadn’t smiled in a long time; she hadn’t had any reason to until now.

There was a flutter in her chest. A tingly feeling overcame her. What was the word to describe it? Hope. Hope that not everyone is cruel. Hope for a new beginning. Hope for a better future.

Reshan didn’t know it, but he did way more than just make her smile again. He gave her the strength to fight. He gave her the will to live again.

He hadn’t known it, but when he caught Grachel on the roof just staring out, she wasn’t just admiring the garden. No, she was contemplating whether or not it would matter to anyone if she just jumped. It would be so easy, to just jump and end her suffering. No more pain; just quick death. She would join her parents wherever they were. No one would miss her here; they would actually be happy she was gone.

With his charming smile, and sweet gesture, he showed her that she wasn’t alone.

He saved her.

 

Insecurity is everyone’s weakness.
Cheers! x -Kim

http://uncontrollableserendipity.wordpress.com/

Guest Post – There IS Another Way!


I witnessed a conversation recently that got me thinking, “is our way of life the way it ought to be?”  Or, is there another way?

The conversation, let’s just say for anonymity’s sake, was between person A and person B where they were discussing the travails of raising teenagers.  Person A has children ranging from 25 to 36, so they had already been through the teenage years while person B is now experiencing the glorious teenage years with their kids.

Person B shared a recent story about his 16 year old going off to camp, and his mother discovered a condom in his front pocket.  The father (person B) was telling this story and said in one hand he was proud that his son was prepared, but on the other hand, he was horrified.  Yet, with a shrug of shoulders, he brushed it off as just part of growing up. “It is what it is, right?”

Right?

Person A said with a hint of sarcasm “oh our kids never did anything wrong, never drank, never did drugs, had sex, never!”  And of course this was followed by laughter and an unspoken understanding and an acceptance that this is what kids did.

That’s just the way it is, right?

That’s it???  We are just to accept that, as our children reach the teenage years, it is normal and accepted practice that teens will be teens and sex, drinking, and even minor drug use (hopefully only minor use) is part of the growing process, almost a rite of passage if you will.  And this is okay?  Do we not think this behavior carries drastic social and emotional consequences that are really unnecessary?  Being a teen is hard enough, so why do we think adding these other negative elements is just part of the processes?

And I sat there thinking “really? Should we just accept this premise?  Kids are going to do it and we just have to pray they make it out alive or at least not scarred for life by the dumb decisions that come along with being a child who believes they are invincible?”

I mean, I admit, that is how I lived.  So if it was okay for me then it should be for all future generations right?  Well, I am not so sure about that.

As I watched and listed to this conversation, I began recalling my evening before.  My family and I had dinner with a family whom homeschools their children.

I remembered a story the family told my wife and I about a 14 year old that joined their homeschool group and he just did not fit in.  In short, he was a “typical” teen who cursed and watched inappropriate movies among other things.  One day, he began chastising the other boys in the group for not seeing this movie or that movie and one of the boys spoke up and told him they had no interest in movies like that and had more taste in the things they watched and the activities they did!

Good for you dude!

I have met these kids.  I have met other homeschool children.  For the most part they are the same.  They are pious.  They are respectful. They are mature beyond their years while maintaining a certain innocence that, in so many ways, is refreshing and encouraging.  Some may confuse their innocence with naivete.

But I contend they are age appropriate, a renaissance to a time where the innocence of youth was heralded as opposed to mocked.

So as I watched this conversation between person A and B, I began to realize we can do better.  We do not have to accept this disastrous behavior.

Yes, I concurred, there is another way.  We just need the knowledge that it exists, then the courage to pursue it!

FBF

http://www.freebyforty.org

freebyforty13@gmail.com

My blogging articles


I made a folder for my blogging articles. I also put my posts on powerblogging there. You can find that link to the left or below.

http://aopinionatedman.com/category/bloggingpowerblogging-articles/

-OM

Blogging advice – Questions?


Many people have been emailing me questions. Just ask here and I’ll try to answer. If it is something simple I will point you to the WordPress forum though.

I also have this link here http://aopinionatedman.com/qa-for-om/

-OM

Some Powerblogger is going to kill me – Spinning Posts


I share things on this site because I am learning about blogging every day, just like all of you. I also read posts on blogging if that makes any of you feel better. Some powerblogger is going to send me a death threat for this post, but screw em. They never liked me anyways.

This past week I “spun my posts.” Basically I went back and “rescheduled” my old posts for a future date, allowing them to appear as “new posts” in the reader and WordPress feed. It did not spam my followers with emails, which was something I wasn’t positive about until I began. Spinning posts is a great way of “refreshing” old posts you like, gaining some extra views, and allowing your followers to read some of your earlier work. If done in a “moderate fashion” it can be great. If overdone it can be annoying as hell.

I overdid it on purpose the first two days to test some things. The data I gathered I now have and will go over, but the bottom line is this. There is no secret to a million views if that is your goal, but there is a trick that can be used. It is simple, gain around five to ten thousand followers, write a thousand to two thousand posts, and spin them on a continuous loop. That is what “some” powerbloggers do and they easily reach their million views in less than a year. I could do it but I always considered it “dirty.” I have adapted my view of it, but I won’t do a continuous loop. The reason I won’t personally is because I have regular readers and many powerbloggers don’t have that, they simply have visitors. My regular readers would get annoyed and I have actually come to care about keeping that small group.

Static. This website has been static for months actually and has barely grown. I should have been close to 65,000 followers by now. That is the price you pay when you write freely and publish immediately. You won’t gain many friends doing that, you won’t get many subscribers, but you will get the views. There is always the views… if that is what you care about.

(Before I get a flood of comments about “you don’t care about numbers” SAVE IT! I don’t care. I do care about the numbers.)

Note: Any powerblogger offended by me giving away “trade secrets” may email me at Idon’tgiveafuck@gmail.com

-OM

No Book


If you are curious why I reopened some of my blogging/powerblogging articles it is because I decided a powerblogger book is a bad idea at this point. Actually a really bad idea. Maybe sometime in the future, but for now I’ll open some of these up for reading if anyone cares to.

-OM

Blogging – Everyone becomes a Silent Reader… and some always were


It takes a lot to get a response from someone. That person either has to be the “talkative type” or has to connect with the words on your blog… somewhere on your blog. It can either be the article, post, comments, a bio page perhaps, or something that draws the reader to feel the need to respond. You can write wild articles, shooting from the hip like a Wild Westerner, not that we would know ANY bloggers that do that, and possibly generate some responses. You can post great artwork that moves the soul… that will generally pull forth an “awesome!” from someone. But how do you generate meaningful responses on a consistent basis?

There are ways and there are ways. I’ll share some. You will find some bloggers that write well thought out posts. They are generally consistent on their subject matter, but the posts provide references and backstory fit for a CNN.com page. I personally don’t come to WordPress to read that type of article. CNN is a hell of a lot less letters than WordPress so… I would just go to CNN. I come to WP to find unfiltered thought and raw feeling. I look for those articles, even if it comes in some other artistic form.

Blogging is not a new thing. Those of us starting recently, like I am actually, are late to the party. There are already tables being eaten at and the obvious “cool kids” and “not so cool kids” are separated as usual. The great thing about the internet is that there are no borders and we can still stake out our own claim in this place. People that think in “borders” and thoughts of “that has been done” are drawing constraining lines against their own potential. They lack the skill to look outside the need to even think of a “box scenario.” That is their own shortcoming and they have to combat that somehow.

I have spent the better part of this past year breaking down fences and drawing readers out. I have a lot of silent readers and I appreciate all of them. There are only a handful that habitually comment and that is what I mean by my title. They ALL become silent readers eventually, you have to keep working at getting NEW readers. My methods aren’t for everyone, but the point is that if you are looking for comments and “feedback” as so many have expressed then you must seek new readers. How do you do that? How did I find you? Visit other pages, seek out people writing on similar topics, find people from your country, and do all this by tag searching. It is that simple, the work is ON you. That is the thing that drew me to my current business model. With blogging you get as much as you put in, that is the fairest relationship you could ask for.

-Opinionated Man

Why My Blog is No Different from Yours


I don’t work for WordPress. I have seen some comments speculating that I do… which I find amusing since if I did indeed work for WordPress I probably wouldn’t be blogging so much would I? I think it is people trying to find an “excuse” for why other people are successful. I read a long string of reasons why they feel their own website isn’t worth reading so I thought it would be fun to compare and contrast some of the more popular ones.

My website is plain and I don’t even own my domain. No one would want to visit my blog.” The only think I paid for was my domain. I still use a FREE template and all customizations done on this website were done by me. It took time and effort, but it was worth learning “how.” You can use excuses all day to explain why people aren’t visiting your blog, but this is not a valid one. Everyone has a potential audience on WordPress.

No one will want to read what I write especially if it is personal.” Well that is simply not true. People come on WordPress to read personal views and unfiltered thought. If we wanted politically correct articles we would visit CNN.com or some other “crowd pleasing website.” The first step is finding yourself interesting and only you can do that.

“I don’t have a theme… what kind of blog doesn’t have a subject theme or some direction?” HarsH ReaLiTy has no theme. My blog has no direction. People still get onboard for the ride daily… even though we have no clue where the hell we are going! At least I provide alcohol.

“It takes time to grow an audience. Large blogs aren’t grown overnight…” I absolutely hate this saying or any quote like it. People love to think up excuses as to why they are not succeeding or getting where they wish to go. The whole “Rome wasn’t built in a day” view is worn out. In fact Rome might have been built in a day if Koreans had lived there. You can accomplish any goal you really work at in blogging. There are no rules or standards and other bloggers that suggest to you that there are have no clue what they are talking about. They are simply impressing their own limitations on you. Ignore them and do you.

“I will never have a large following because I will never be Freshly Pressed.” When I read sentences like this I want to shoot something. This is such a horrible way of viewing blogging. I have never been Freshly Pressed and will most likely never be in the future. You control your audience size… not Freshly Pressed.

-Opinionated Man

Thank you!!!


I have tried my best to reach out to those I can find that have donated. I can’t really express how overwhelmed I have been by the support already. Even the kind comments are encouraging and I thank you all for understanding why I am breaking from my normal routine.

I understand that a kickstarter is really only an “idea” until you reach the goal and I also know I most likely won’t ever reach that goal. I appreciate the people donating directly to me through my Paypal button and that is definitely an ok method as well.

Thanks again bloggers,

-OM

Guest Post – My Digital Eye Queue Photography – 4


Welcome back :)  This time it is fun with filters.  These two shots were done via a cell phone camera during a road trip with my daughter, using a polarization filter.  I think they are fun!  It is amazing, in the ‘cloud surfer’ photo, what you don’t see with the eye, that the camera can pick up in a filtered mode.

OM JUst your average cloud surfer

And this one, is from my side view mirror, and yes, that’s a U-Haul 55 MPH speed limit warning on the bumper :)

OM Objects in mirror may be more cool

No, I’ve never gotten a ticket for snapping while driving either (so far…)  More at My Digital Eye Queue

My other blogs on Poetic Work - The Impetuarian , and my primary writing blog - Sunflower Solace Farm are also found here on WordPress.

Now you  know whom to yell at on the interstate next time!

Thanks for viewing!

~SE

Guest Post – My Digital Eye Queue Photography – 2


Hi, it’s me again, and this time our airborne creatures are a variety of butterflies. Some are in flight, caught at just a lucky shutter click, others are feasting cross-species.  And the blue pair, well, they are simply my favorites!

As to the three species photo, a little background.  You will only find multiple species groupings usually at a prime food source.  You can accomplish this yourself by placing fruit rinds (cantaloupe and watermelon are favorites) on a patio table and waiting. Do be warned that often you will have another guest – the praying mantis.  I have a complete series of a butterfly buffet, in more ways than one.  Once I locate it, I’ll be posting it at my photoblog site.

The two other places you will often find cross-species feeding, you probably don’t want to try and set up :)  Butterflies are also carrion feeders and dung feeders. The two feeding photos were taken near a couple day old deer carcass my Great Pyrenees delightfully dragged home (cough, cough)

OM RS CR DSC_3686 OM CR RS Butterfly Pair OM RS CR Feeding DSC_2328

 

My other blogs on Poetic Work - The Impetuarian , and my primary writing blog - Sunflower Solace Farm are also found here on WordPress.

Thanks for taking another peek, and as always, a pleasure to meet new bloggers!

~SE

Disabling comments is Weak


I don’t understand bloggers that write highly charged articles and then disable the comments section. Are you that weak in the backbone that you won’t allow anyone to make a comment that might not agree with you? How sad must your world be where you only wish to spout your views and not allow anyone to disagree. I am as stubborn as they come and don’t “change my views” just because people or society tells me to, but I still allow people to call me an idiot in my comment section. It doesn’t faze me because I hold onto my beliefs. I need no help from moderation to do that.

If you feel so scared that you need to disable your comment section you should probably stop writing on social media. In fact I would suggest buying a notebook instead. You are obviously not cut out for this.

Yes, this rant is because I tried to comment on someone’s article and there was no option to. So freaking lame. And YES I do read blog posts daily…

-OM

Just a Blogger


I am just a blogger. Just like you all. I am no different than any of you actually and have no more power than anyone else that uses WordPress. I do not own a company. I am not a publisher. I am not an editor. I am not a rich man nor do I have the funds to invest in your product. I do what I can to give back to the bloggers here on WordPress, but I am only a single individual. I run this blog alone and do not have a team like some larger blogs do. I hate teams actually… because I generally dislike people.

I welcome all the new bloggers that have visited and are coming by recently to give my writing a read. Thank you for taking the time to check out my small corner of WordPress. I offer whatever support I can to you all, but just keep in mind what I have said above.

I am just another blogger.

-Opinionated Man

You Need “Thicker Skin”


We hear this often when we enter into social media, but the reality of it doesn’t always register for most. That is because most people don’t encounter that much abuse online. Oh sure, you will get the occasional troll or “outrageous” comment directed to you on your blog or in the comment section of a website. These encounters though are usually mild or “as dramatic as you wish them to be.” Some people actually like drama.

In 32 years I have never had this amount of attention focused on me or my writing. It can be exciting, daunting, frustrating, and an adventure all rolled into one. I have found that I sympathize with celebrities and public personalities more and more. I place no lofty airs around my persona, but I have also read more hateful words directed towards me in 15 months than most of the previous years of my life. This is not a complaint, simply a reflection of fact, but it shows why I can understand how celebrities get fed up easily. I brought that attention on myself when I decided to write my thoughts in an unfiltered manner.

You need “thicker skin” if you wish to truly place yourself out on social media. When I mean “yourself” I really mean all of you, documenting your life and thoughts on issues is not something to take lightly. The world looks for the next person to persecute and who better for any angry mob to pick than one that actually speaks their mind freely? That is the REAL danger of social media and why people must be careful about what they say or at the very least they should have the balls to back it up. If you aren’t prepared to defend your view don’t put it out on the internet.

-OM

Guest Post – Entertainers – Love, Loathing and Overcoming Foolishness


Call it a sin but this Okie does not like Toby Keith. You heard me right and it is unfortunate. He has some (some = not a lot) pretty good songs but when one comes on the radio, with a quick flip of the wrist, I divert the dial. For some reason his antics from the 90’s and his, seemingly, arrogant nature leaves me feeling as though the chip on his shoulder will never get lighter. Neither will I ever patronize his restaurant again.  Instead of “I Love This Bar and Grill” it should have been called “An Ode To TK” because of the enormous, and I mean enormous, wall art of his likeness. (He kinda likes to make himself out to be a bigger deal than he actually is…putting him in my loathe category).

Thank you for sticking with me through that. I do not often just come out on here and share my loathing about an individual or situation. However, it was a nice way to transition into my favorite entertainer who had me questioning him previously in his career but redeemed himself back to the top of my faves list.

Enter Robert Downey Jr..

Although he has been acting since he was a young child he did not find true career success until 2008. This is was due to rampant drug use and alcohol up to 2001 .  After stints in jail and rehab RDJ came to the realization that he truly wants to want help to succeed in sobriety. His whole ordeal puts him in my love category. Not only is he a phenomenal actor but a poster actor for those nit wit young adult actors who need to get their crap together. Justin Beiber, Lindsay Lohan, Miley Cyrus and the like could learn a few things from this man. They need to learn that their careers are not over because of young adult mistakes. If they can turn it around and find a friend and confidant, as Robert Downey Jr. did in Mel Gibson, then there is a chance we can see them as the extraordinary entertainers they can be and not the ne’er do well pinheads they are portraying themselves as.

Is there a particular entertainer you love or loathe? Share with me. I love to hear from you.

There is more where this came from at alifeingeneral.com