WordPress – You don’t decide who is Popular


How does a person create a popular blog? The normal response one will receive is that you “don’t create a popular blog,” instead popularity finds you through blogging habits, techniques, writing ability, and content. But what if you could directly control how many people view your website daily through hard work? What if you could build your own popularity and viral nature by mass networking and pushing your name to the ever growing public?

WordPress has been a great platform because it has offered every blogger an equal opportunity to be noticed. By offering the same methods of interaction for everyone, WordPress created a fair playing ground for bloggers to grow, network, and promote themselves at their own speed. Unfortunately that culture is changing.

When I began blogging two years ago I found, read, and met some great bloggers. These people had tens of thousands of followers, massive subscription lists, and many of them worked with teams so as to keep their content fresh and continuously populating. WordPress built this platform for the “users,” they created the game and rules, but they do not get to pick who is popular. We as bloggers and readers get to choose that. That is what is so great about blogging, the unpredictable nature of who will be popular and what will garner the most attention.

What happens when the platform begins to pick favorites? Suddenly the rules change, punishment and “moderation” are handed out unfairly, and bloggers who are only copying the early practices of many popular blogs on WordPress are suddenly hit with limitations on the very features that make WP what it is. How is that fair? How is it ever fair when a website, service provider, or host suddenly changes the rules midgame? It is the very example of favoritism.

HarsH ReaLiTy is what it is because I became addicted to blogging. I loved being able to physically pump my blog’s numbers and popularity through increased effort. Unfortunately WordPress is now limiting the number of blogs people can follow daily by limiting the actual account. While I understand the frustration people feel over “fake likes” and “fake follows,” people need to realize there is nothing spammy about pressing a single button. I personally never press the “like” button unless I have read and enjoyed the post. I will, however, press the follow button many times a day. It is one of the many examples that WordPress’s Blogging University offers as an important way to not only network, but also to publicize your blog. Again, by limiting my ability to do so you have sold me a product I never agreed to buy WordPress.

I have spent a lot of time trying to promote other blogs and help people to network. This was when I actually thought WordPress cared about these things… since those methods are what make this platform buzz. Without the bloggers, readers, writers… us, there is no WordPress. As I said WP, you can build the platform, but you don’t get to decide who is popular.

Due to these recent changes I am strongly considering moving off platform. I enjoy the pool of readers and bloggers here, but if I cannot access that “pool” there is no reason to be near it. I also don’t see a need to run Meet and Greet threads when the very community I am promoting doesn’t seem to care about us anymore. Instead WP would love for all bloggers to sit around and pray to be Freshly Pressed as the only way to EVER get noticed. As I have always said a successful blogger doesn’t sit back and wait to be noticed. They go and find their audience. As long as this ability is impaired on my blog, I will not blog publicly on WordPress. As long as this platform plays favorites it will never be as great a platform as it once was. And that is a fucking shame.

-Opinionated Man

Guest Post – Passion


I went to Japan for five minutes and thirty-six seconds. I’m not talking about a virtual trip on the internet. I’m not talking about astral projection. I’m talking about an eleven day trip which included 25 hours of flying time from Toronto to Tokyo and back for the sake of a five minute and thirty-six second long song.

I fell in love with it the first time I heard it. It moved me to tears and I knew deep inside that I HAD to hear it and see it performed live. I was that passionate about it, about the man who wrote it and sings it – about the deep meaning in the lyrics and just the way he sings it and how utterly beautiful it is… So I made it happen. I couldn’t not.

Before you write me off as insane, please consider…

Merriam-Webster’s definition of Passion, ganked off the internet:

pas·sion
noun \ˈpa-shən\

: a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something

: a strong feeling (such as anger) that causes you to act in a dangerous way

: a strong sexual or romantic feeling for someone

Passion is something we humans share. It’s responsible for much of the world’s most beautiful art in all its forms; it is the cause of some of the most heinous crimes. It gives us the ability to love deeply and to hate with seemingly every fibre of our being. It’s something that our children have also. And how scary can that potentially be?

You can say to a ten-year-old, “Son, there are things you will be passionate about when you grow older. You may feel like killing someone one day. Don’t,” but what’s the use? Because in the heat of passion we lose all reason. Logic goes off into the stratosphere and all that is left inside of us is pure emotion.

Passion is one of the things I believe we can only teach our children by example. For instance, if we talk about killing the guy in the car that cut us off, they will learn that passion can turn us against one another. If we follow our passion and turn it into a career, we will teach our children to follow their dreams.

And so I come back to my adventure – my trip to Japan. Aside from personally needing to make the trip, I feel in doing so I showed my children that if they want something badly enough, they can make it happen, no matter how unlikely. And no matter how insignificant it might seem to someone else and no matter how they may be judged for going for it; just do it.

The song? It doesn’t really matter. But here’s another one by the same band. It is appropriately called “Passion.”

The lyrics, in English, can be found by clicking here. But if you read them, don’t do the stuff he sings about – just sayin’ ;)

If you’d like to visit my blog and read about the absolutely incredible experience I had at the concert, click here. The post includes a picture of me, taken by the lead guitarist of the band from the stage during the concert!

Thanks very much for reading,
Linda

Silent Night


Silent night come still this thought. Stop it mid sentence as I seek blissful separation. A pause from regret, worry, doubt… life. How I seek the chain that hangs from the cloud of worry. And make it shift elsewhere.

Silent night I dance between my doubts. Upon shattered dreams and broken promises. Upon my life.

-OM

You Can’t Help Them All


I have to remind myself sometimes that I can’t help them all. I don’t see myself as some Joel Osteen and I never want to be. I see people struggling though, trying to figure it all out… and it sticks with me. I may not react that day, but sometimes weeks later I’ll revisit their blog and share one of their posts. No I am not the Korean Santa Claus, I just think it takes such little effort sometimes to help people and why not do it? Why not? Everyone is so focused on their dreams and goals and I am no exception to that. That is why I browse a lot of new blogs every week, to inspire myself and remind me why I love to blog. I am reminded every time I see a new blogger happy with their first post, their first follow, or their first view.

“You can’t help them all.” I can’t help them all; I just don’t have the time or energy. And so I help when and where I can because I remember when I first started last year and the large bloggers wouldn’t give me the time of day. They wouldn’t answer questions or emails and treated me like another peon. No one wants to feel that way, myself included. I treat other bloggers as equals because that is what we are. We are all here pouring our hearts out through our medians and that is blogging. That is why we do it.

Motivation and inspiration are so easy to give. It can come in the form of a random comment or visit to a person’s blog, a kind word of encouragement to someone that is struggling, or just simply recognizing the existence of a person. As much as I network and push my blog, I recognize that the people I push it to ARE real people. That is a difference in outlook by choice and why I don’t refer to those that visit my website as “fans.” You never know who you might be helping even when you don’t actively try. You can’t help them all, but you can easily help someone.

Who will you help today?

-OM

Mixing Races? How I knew I would marry my Color


If you have read any of my previous work you have no doubt begun to garner some idea of who I am, or who you think I might be. You may have been able to piece together, detective that you are, that I am Asian (South Korean actually, we generally HATE to be called Asian), I was adopted and grew up with white parents, had white and black friends growing up, and really did not realize I was Asian Asian till I went to Korea in that long Summer of 2000. That being said, I really didn’t touch on the topic yet, but during this time period I also came to the realization that I would marry someone of similar color. This decision was based solely on race period, so we can go ahead and bypass the suspicion of racism, because that is what made the decision so easy.

Let me explain, I grew up “dating” girls that were mainly black and white growing up, though we use the term “date” loosely here because my father was both a Priest and a Doctor and the iron grip of communism might find a competitor in what I went through as a child. I laugh here, it really was not so bad, because who can really tell how suffocating a bubble truly is when a person has never known the freedoms of the “outside world?” That is why I was perfectly happy in my soft, protected, and comfortable world. A world of structure and organization, of coming home from high school and immediately cooking a whole DiGiorno Pizza and scarfing it all by myself because guess what… I could. The enviable bubble, enviable now that I look back at it and can compare to the hardships that might or might not have been going on beyond the boundaries of my own domain, that had clean and freshly laid sheets by a maid every Wednesday afternoon when I came home from school, which I would uncaringly threw my backpack onto. You never realize what you have had in the past until reflection.

This is the world that exploded in 2000 for me. It was not the Y2K bug, sorry to disappoint, if that was the inevitable word you were waiting for you can do a U-turn at the next stoplight. My world exploded due to internal torment and a new self-awareness that was more powerful than any terrorist attack or global catastrophe. My new ethnic and worldly identity left me broken and hoping to be mended at the same time. And in that moment I knew, I pieced together my past and my past hardships and I knew, I could never marry anyone that was not Asian.

When I journeyed to Korea, wide-eyed and excited, I went with the love and support of my girlfriend, who was black, whom I had been with for my whole senior year of high school. I left thinking that was perfectly normal and I was content with her at the time. She did nothing to change that outlook, far from it; she was not the cause of my ultimate reverse in personal preference. For some odd reasons when I learned of the existence of my birth sister and my birth mother it bred hope with the hate and anger. Something also “clicked,” I realized I was Asian. Perhaps some cheesy self-epiphany occurred here, if so I will spare you the audacity of trying to put it into words, but let us just say at this point I knew I was Asian and not white or black.

Growing up I dealt with so many trials and tribulations of being Asian, with no Asian friends, and being picked on by any and every race that it built a complex inside of me. I did not know who to relate to. I remember some days praying to God to change me, stop the suffering, I would rather be ANY race but Asian. Black, white, even Mexican it did not matter, I just did not want to be yellow with small eyes. Surely God has a sense of humor right? I saw the joke every day. I had the smallest eyes at my school and yet I saw the most pain. The humor only works if the joke saturates for a few… twelve years or so, so don’t be fooled if you just don’t see it.

I made a decision way back then; I would NOT allow my kids to have both the hardships of being Asian and also of being another race at the same time. It was hard enough being Asian, how could I ever want my kids to ALSO have the discomfort and shame of dealing with the mocking and jabs of being two races, not even fully one or the other. Some may look down on this, I am sure someone will even comment about “moving on and the end of racism and how this type of attitude empowers racist,” I don’t care, I simply know what I think, what I have been through, and what I want to save my kids from.

So to conclude, in a less lengthy fashion, yes I knew around that point I would always marry someone of like color. I would not mix races or mix hardships. If you are of mixed races and you dealt with any challenges you may have had and were stronger for it, kudos to you I salute you, I obviously would not have been strong enough for that additional obstacle, and perhaps God knew that.

-OM