Memo to Sourcerer Contributors


Rebecca, Melissa, Rose, and Natacha, you have an email from me about contributor announcements for Sourcerer. I am getting ready to put those together and am offering you input before I do. Not posting the details, not even here on this old blog that gets zero views per day. Just pinging you because it’s New Year and I don’t know what your schedule is.

sourcerer_image

Also dropping a hint for the folks who still have this blog in their readers 😉

Happy New Year, and thanks so much for contributing to Sourcerer!

 

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It’s been real and it’s been fun. I aim to keep it that way :-)


This is my last regular post from this address. At the end of the week, I’ll replace the front page here with a static page. The blog will still be accessible and all the archives are intact, but the address has been replaced on my other social media by

Photo by Gene'O

Photo by Gene’O, 2014.

justgeneo.wordpress.com

My archives through last weekend have been uploaded to the new blog, so everything that’s here is also over there. This blog isn’t going away. It’s just disconnected from my publicize network and I am no longer updating it with fresh content. From here on out, it’s for experimentation, development, and reblogging. Eventually, the theme will change, but it will sit for awhile once I’m done with the transition.

Thanks to everyone who’s read my work and encouraged me to keep blogging. Thanks, especially to those of you who have followed me to the new site and given me helpful feedback on the design and the art. Your input has greatly reduced my setup time, and time is something I’m short on right now, so I appreciate it. Thanks, also, to everyone who joined in my linkup over the weekend. The response was gratifying, and I was happy to read your posts and share links to them. If my schedule permits, I’ll reblog a few of those posts here this week.

Aside from posts already in the archives, the art at Just Gene’O is entirely my own from here on out, or else verified free to share and use. No exceptions. The new one also has a Creative Commons License – something I should have done from the very beginning. For now, you can expect one good written post there a week, photoblogs, and something fun on Saturdays as often as I can manage it.

I chose the new address with the idea of eventually purchasing the domain in mind. I already have Tumblr and Twitter accounts associated with Just Gene’O. Both are sleeping right now, but they’ll be connected to the new blog soon. I have already changed the Twitter profile to make it consistent with the blog. I disconnected the Tumblr page from the blogs that were posting to it over the weekend and will redesign it soon. Now a few thoughts on things I’ve done correctly and mistakes I’ve made over the last ten months.

Photo by Gene'O,2014.

Photo by Gene’O,2014.

I did a good job setting up the social media architecture, such as it is, but I overestimated the value of being able to publicize links to several networks all at once. I’ve learned from my experience with Twitter, which is thoroughly documented here, that publicizing links doesn’t do much good unless you have a real interactive presence on the networks you’re publicizing to. My Facebook fan pages and my Tumblr account are good examples. I don’t interact publicly very much on Facebook, so people don’t follow me. I only have about 100 Tumblr followers after eight months of updating my Tumblr blog, on average, three to six times per day, because I don’t interact there. Sourcerer’s Twitter account is thriving because I tweet at least four days per week, follow new people often, and am generous with my retweets and favorites.

At some point during the early part of the summer, I lost sight of the fact that the reason Diana and I were blogging at such a frantic pace was to generate a substantial archive as quickly as possible. Posting four times per day at Internet peaks is just plain good for traffic if you can create enough content to sustain the volume for weeks at a time, and we can do that for half the year. I got a little carried away by the numbers in May and June, and  overextended myself in July.

I’m looking at a new way of doing things now. I’ve realized that having a Tumblr page connected to a blog which only updates three times per week might be valuable. Tumblr is something you want  to do during the evenings and on weekends, if I understand it correctly, and I have hundreds of good photos to share. So perhaps if I build my Tumblr into a top-notch photoblogging page, people will be more inclined to take a look at my written posts when they do appear. I have no idea whether I am correct or not, but I do have the photos to try it 🙂

The biggest mistake I made with this blog, aside from the poor choice of URL, was branding it a writing blog. I should have made myself, rather than the interest, the focus to begin with. I could still have published all the writing stuff here, but I could have been doing other things the first few months as well. Branding it specifically as a writing blog limited me in ways that I just did not anticipate, and I was a little surprised at how short a time it took me to feel as though I’d exhausted the blogging about writing to the point that I had nowhere to go but post quotes, review literary works, and repeat myself.

The positive, welcoming response to me moving to a blog with my name in the title has surprised me. I’m picking up lots of followers at the new blog right now as people are wandering by and discovering that I’m moving. I’m interested to see where that number levels off. This blog ends with around 400 followers and I’m curious to know how many are actually paying attention. Using follower counts as a measure of readership is tricky. I know of at least one blog with fewer than 300 followers that’s generated more page views over the last 10 months than Part Time Monster, Sourcerer, and this blog combined. And I know of many with 1000+ followers that aren’t doing much better than this one and rarely generate more than a couple of comments on a thread. So we’ll just see.

Just call me Gene'O

Just call me Gene’O

So, anyway, it’s been fun, but I feel like moving from this blog and trying a different way of doing things is prudent. My writing style isn’t changing, I haven’t REALLY been a writing blogger for months, and my content presentation is only getting better. If you like what I’m doing, you should follow justgeneo.wordpress. And find me on other social media of course 🙂

Have a great week, and if your summer isn’t over yet, make them most of what’s left of it.

One More Thing.


I’m having a pre-kickoff party at the new blog this weekend. A linkup for anyone who would like to write an “If We Were Having Coffee” post and drop me a link. I’ll share the links, and I have lots of ways to share links 😉

I’ve worked out the transition, I think.

  • The last post here goes on Monday.
  • On the following Saturday or Sunday, I will replace the front page with a static page which explains the new role of this blog in my social media.
  • By the time that’s done, my new personal blog will be connected to select bits of my other social media.

Thanks very much for following, for reading my work, and especially for your feedback. This is not the end by any means. More like the beginning of a new chapter.

The New Blog Has an About Page!


Still not the final post here. I’ve got a rockin’ About page at the new Just Gene’O.

© 2014.

© 2014.

Also, sharing buttons and deep comment threads.

And posted my first music video over there today.

Would love it if you check the blog out and tell me what you think about it.

That’s all. Have a fabulous day!!

Reorg Note 2


I’ve registered justgeneo.wordpress.com. It’s just an empty shell right now, but I’m planning to upload all the archives from this blog to it and use it as my personal blog. I need that URL because it matches my Tumblr address and my personal twitter handle. Here’s how the transition will go:

  1. I’ll pick a theme, upload the archives from this blog, and tweak everything until I’m satisfied that it’s functional.
  2. Once I’ve moved, I will replace the front page here with a static page which says I’ve moved.
  3. I’m leaving this blog intact because I don’t want to kill links on other peoples’ blogs, but once I’ve moved, I won’t be updating this one any more.

I’m going to proceed very slowly and put a lot of thought into this. What we’re doing with our Facebook fanpages and on Tumblr is not working. I’m hoping to figure out a way to start making a little progress on those networks by changing my network architecture a little.

I’m also reviving my Google Plus account soon. Thanks to everyone who’s stuck with me over there despite my complete and total absence for almost 4 months. I have a mobile now, and G+ is very mobile-friendly. So you can look for me to set up real circles and start giving some +1s over there by the middle of September.

Re-imagining


What I’ve been doing here since May just isn’t working. It’s not a bad blog, but it’s one piece of a byzantine maze of social media accounts that Diana, Jeremy, and myself are using with specific goals in mind. The approach I adopted here in the beginning was based on the idea that Sourcerer would take a year to get off the ground, and this blog would need to post frequently for a few months until contributors came on board and Part Time Monster was thoroughly established.

I chose to make it a writing blog because we already had two with much wider spectrums of content. I felt like I needed a narrow focus here. Since writing is the thing I’m most qualified to focus on, and since I love to talk to writers about writing, it seemed like a no-brainer. In general, the larger project has developed as I expected it to. Both Sourcerer and Part Time Monster have evolved distinctive characters and attracted regular readers more quickly than I dared imagine they would, and I realized at some point that the focus I chose for this blog is too narrow.

The consequences of all this are two-fold.

  1. There’s nothing I can do from this blog to help the others, and pretty much everyone who reads the others is aware this blog exists and has made their decision about following it by now, so they can’t really help me here, either.
  2. Since PTM and Sourcerer have developed in very interesting and unanticipated directions, this blog as it exists doesn’t fit into the overall scheme as well as it did in the beginning. It’s out of synch. I’m amazed that it’s still, inexplicably, picking up at least one follower on most days.

This means that unless I want to shutter it and hope the people who like Just Gene’O best will follow along at Sourcerer, I need to take three steps if I want to help this blog:

  1. Revamp it so that it looks and feels as good as the other two,
  2. Adopt a realistic posting schedule, and
  3. Make sure that when I do post, the content is of the highest quality, including a significant amount of the blogging focused on reading, writing, and literature.

So, here’s my to-do list to get Just Gene’O back on its feet.

  • Change the theme to be more reflective of my personality, incorporate real menus and make it easier to navigate the “Collected Works” pages.
  • Look at my content – particularly what I posted here in June and the early part of this month – and develop a more coherent and appealing content plan.
  • Figure out how often I can post and get myself prepared to stick to it. If that means once a week, that’s what I can do. This blog can survive until spring with once-a-week posting, especially if I get a little more savvy about sharing links to appropriate places.
  • Change all references to The Writing Catalog to Just Gene’O on my social media. This should have already been done.

In short, I need to re-imagine this blog the way you re-imagine a story that isn’t working. I need to keep the best parts but turn it into something different.

Here are a few ideas I’m toying with.

  • Setting it up to display a static front page rather than the most recent posts.
  • Making it solely a weekend blog for awhile, and arranging my schedule to post here on either Saturday or Sunday, or
  • Since it’s somewhat-focused on reading, writing, and books, moving the Top Ten Tuesday feature over here and letting that be the weekly post, aside from occasional personal things and writing chatter.

That last idea makes sense for several reasons:

  1. Sourcerer rarely has a shortage of content on Tuesdays.
  2. Tuesday, organically, seems to be the best day of the week to post.
  3. The Top Ten Tuesdays allow me to list a link at the Broke and the Bookish. This is helpful to Sourcerer, but I’m wondering if it might be even more helpful, long-term, here.

Just thinking on these things. I figured since I had to write all this down to get it straight in my head, I might as well do it here instead of in a notebook. That way, anyone who cares about the nuts-and-bolts of blogging can follow along with this process.

Reorg Note


Not a real post. More an organizational note. It’s not publicized or tagged. I’m just putting it here for safekeeping. I stumbled upon this in a post from Sourcerer from April, when I was struggling with the A to Z Challenge and spending most of my time supporting some local activism:

Thanks to friends Natacha, Ali, and CompGeeks for nominating me for Very Inspiring Blogger, Wonderful Team Member Readership, and Versatile Blogger  awards.

I posted it over there because this blog was occupied with A to Z and I didn’t want to disturb the content, but I did want to thank them. The nominations were specifically for this blog.

I’m leaning toward re-imagining this blog before I bring it back up to full speed. Thinking I might announce the reboot with a few awards posts. If I decide that’s the best way to go, these are the first three awards I’ll start with.