curious stats

I am not a big stats watcher, but I just happened to be looking up something and noticed that today I have one view but seven likes on my One-Liner Wednesday post. I realize it is because some people get my blog posts by email and can like a post through their email without visiting my blog. It is a good reminder, though, that some posts that don’t seem to be getting views may be read more widely than the stats show.

Julie, Julia, and blogging

My first big exposure to personal blogging was the film Julie & Julia.  I knew that blogging existed in some vague way before I saw the movie, but hadn’t read many blogs or heard much about blogs that were written by individual folks.

I have to say that I was not impressed.

Julie, the blogger in the movie, becomes so obsessed with her blog about making all of the recipes in Mastering the Art of French Cooking in a year that she becomes whiny, petulant, and inattentive to her job, her friends, and her spouse. She gains media attention, notoriety, and a book deal, but the costs to everyone around her are high.

On the other hand, I loved the intertwined story of Julia Child in France.  Her question of “What should I do?” and her quest to figure out what that was and to pursue it with passion, persistence, and good humor, all the while staying connected to her spouse and her friends, resonated with me.

My greater affinity with Julia has a lot to do with some similarities.  Julia McWilliams Child was a proud member of the Smith College class of 1934. I am class of 1982.  That women’s college/liberal arts background was evident to me in her ability to tackle new challenges and discern her way forward, especially as an outsider at the very French and very male Le Cordon Bleu, later as part of a circle of women chef-teachers, and finally her decades of teaching people to enjoy cooking and sharing food through her television shows and cookbooks.

I also related to Julia’s age in the film. She was about 49 when Mastering the Art of French Cooking was published, which was my age when I saw Julie & Julia.  I could appreciate the re-invention(s) that women make in their middle years and the ability to keep learning and growing that makes re-invention possible.

Maybe, if Julia’s story were unfolding in the 21st century, there would be a fabulous blog or website to accompany her book and television endeavors.

Maybe not.

Still, despite my initial bad impression of blogging, here I sit, writing a blog post about it.

Julie taught me things that I didn’t want my blog to be:  limited to a narrow topic, time-constrained, high-pressure, all-consuming.

Julia taught me to stay open to change, to accept criticism but to maintain the integrity of my work, to remember to enjoy time with family and friends (and food), to persevere even when it looks like the goal is unattainable.

So, I find myself five years after the film with a blog that is almost a year old that is eclectic and (I hope seen as) thoughtful, that has started to attract a small group of readers and commenters who appreciate some of the topics I write about and the way in which I write about them.  I have also in these years rediscovered poetry and am working to improve my poems and find appropriate journals or publishers with a goal of being published in print.

Unlike Julie and Julia, I am unlikely to ever publish a full-length book. I may eventually be able to publish a chapbook of poetry, but it won’t be as a result of my blog – or my cooking.

And I won’t give up from the discouraging number of rejection notices.

Julia didn’t.

 

 

Discovering my “Great posts worth seeing”

I often use the “Great posts worth seeing” list when other bloggers like or comment on my posts as a way to connect and find out what their blogs are about.  I had wondered what showed up on my list and now – at least for today – I know.

For the record, I did go back to HarsH ReaLiTy and manage to remove the “like” from my own comment. I’ll leave that to other people. 😉

How to suddenly increase followers

I’m having one of my try-to-learn-to-be-a-better-blogger afternoons. I actually managed to get my publicize links connected.

Next, I was doing some work on my widgets and realized that it suddenly said I had 169 followers, when I thought I had 113. Then, I realized that my follower number now included my (tiny) twitter following and my (slightly less tiny) Top of JC”s Mind facebook page followers. I think my small non-Wordpress email followers don’t get included in counts at all, other than in my heart, where I love you all!

I guess if I really want my number to jump, I can connect my personal Facebook page instead of my public page. I have about six times more FB friends than I do followers for my page. LOL

I did decide to finally list the number of followers in my sidebar. I had hesitated to do so because I was afraid that people would not want to follow or comment on a blog they knew was so tiny. If I notice a drop-off in traffic, I can always hide it again!

Just in case anyone wants to expand their ways of following me, the WordPress follow button is near the top of the sidebar to the right. The email follow widget is just below.

My Facebook Page for Top of JC’s Mind is here: https://www.facebook.com/topofjcsmind. I invite you to like my page if you are on Facebook.

I admit that I find twitter a challenge. I have difficulty containing myself to 140 characters! Those who love to follow on twitter can follow me, though. I’m @btmum.

Maybe next time, I will actually work on exciting things like finally adding a photo of myself!

Fifty!

I just reached 50 followers, at least for a few moments! I know this is a tiny number for the number of months I have been blogging, but I wanted to thank my followers, even the people who only follow me to try to sell me something. 😉 If you like something that I have posted, please consider sharing the link with a friend who might like it, too. Thanks – or, as the Hawai’ians say – Mahalo!

Blogging

In my About page and my first post, I admitted that I didn’t really know much about blogging, except that blogs were supposed to have themes and Top of JC’s Mind decidedly didn’t have one. OK – I didn’t literally say that, but reading between the lines….

Since then, I’ve learned that there are other “eclectic” bloggers out there and I follow a few of them. I also realize that a favorite topic for bloggers to write about is blogging – go figure – so I thought, now that I’m a few months into this endeavor, I’d write a blogging post.

I’ve read several people’s thoughts on what they want to accomplish with their blog, which usually involve how many people they can reach and have comment on their posts. My approach so far has been somewhat different, in that I write about what I want when I want, without giving a whole lot of thought to who exactly is reading it. I didn’t want to really get into publicizing my blog until I was more sure of my ability to write it. It also didn’t even really occur to me to look at stats until I started reading about it on HarsH ReaLiTy, a wordpress blog where Opinionated Man writes about many things, including (power)blogging and the way he goes about finding new followers, at which he excels, so much so that he has recently started doing it for hire, which you can find out about here, if you are interested.

I, of course, do not have many followers, and some that I do have only followed me because they are in the business of helping people drive traffic to their blogs and get noticed by search engines and such. There is a name/acronym for that, but it escapes me….

I am only making baby steps in publicizing my blog, such as posting to my twitter and doing public facebook posts. WordPress does have some related publicity tools, which I may try soon. I initially got weirded out because you need to do things like give this other entity the ability to follow new people on your twitter and you have to create a separate public FB page for your blog and I just wasn’t at the point of dealing with it. I do think that I am almost there.

Some of my FB friends gave me some suggestions about my blog, so I changed formats and discovered widgets! I am also going to learn soon about putting in some pictures. As you can tell, I’m not THE most tech savvy blogger ever. I may even be in the running for the least tech savvy!

I realize that one thing most successful bloggers do is post frequently, as in multiple times a day, but that is not in the cards for me, at least for the foreseeable future. I will continue taking baby steps and see where they lead.

I want to thank people who read my posts and/or follow Top of JC’s Mind. I appreciate anyone who visits and hope that my posts are meaningful to you in some way. I will try to keep improving and welcome any feedback that anyone would like to give.

Peace,
JC