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.

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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!!

Not the last post, but the last one is written


If you’ve enjoyed this blog for the last few months, you should know that I’m moving. I’m afraid I waited too long to do this, and probably have to start over at the new blog, but I don’t care. What it comes down to, really, is that if you look at the address of this blog and take the “wordpress” out of it, there is no reason I should pay to have my own domain with this address.

The simplest solution was just to set up a new one with a better address, redesign, and move the archives, so that’s what I am doing. I am moving toward setting up several domains, all at once, and working from there. Anyways, if you are still paying attention to this blog, you want to follow the new one.

justgeneo.wordpress.com

Here’s my social media strategy through the end of the year. It’s an ambitious plan written with realistic goals in mind. Some of it will get done, some of it won’t. That is just the nature of the game.

At some point in the next month-to-six weeks, I’ll do a farewell post here and the transition will be complete.

This blog will then sleep for awhile, but it will not go away entirely. I’ve put too much into it to abandon it. It will still function, just in a different way.

I’m looking at the followers here, and I am really interested to see how many jump to the other blog before the switchover is complete. It’s an experiment.

Image from Life as Lee Ann Knows It

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.

A Bit of a Hiatus


Not a hiatus from blogging altogether, just from blogging here. My content has slipped here lately. That’s because I’m closing in on the busiest time of year for me professionally, and I’ve been spending a lot of time preparing for it. That, and I have so many blogging friends now, I just have to make an effort to keep up, and I have to consider guest blogging opportunities when they’re offered. So, here’s what I’m going to do:

  • Take a whole week off from blogging here.
  • Continue as much of my other blogging as I can. This means the Saturday coffee feature will run at Sourcerer this week. It’s time to see how it plays over there anyway.
  • Decide, when I see how this week goes, what to do next. That may mean another week off, twice-a-week blogging for a while, or any number of other options.

Given the unique character of this blog, I don’t see a week or two off doing any long term harm. I think  it would be worse to get to the point where I’m phoning stuff in just to say I posted every day. The audience here is small, but I get comments when I prompt people or manage to be interesting. It makes more sense to put up the Gone Fishin’ sign and take a breather than to allow the content to become uninteresting. So that’s what I’m doing.

GoneFishinThis may even have some positive creative benefits. I’ve been thinking for months that this blog needs an overhaul and a two-or-three post per week schedule. Perhaps this will help me figure out what I want to do with it. Sometimes when you’re stuck thinking about a project, it helps to put it away for a bit and look at it later with fresh eyes.

Happy weekend, all, and thanks for reading!

If We Were Having Coffee 8


If we were having coffee . . .

I’d tell you I was crazy-busy this week, but I got tons of things done. I had to adjust my writing schedule a bit to work in 2,000 words that I realized on Sunday I had to publish this week. I had to let a few things go to take care of that, but in the end I got it done.coffee

I’d tell you I have three guest blogging commitments to write for in the next month. One’s a social media post, one’s about comics, and one’s about fantasy fiction. I have the first one drafted and the introduction to the second one written. I’ll let you know where they’re being published once I get them finished and figure out when they’re running. I’m thrilled about all this. I’d planned to be doing guest blogging already. I think it’s a good way to reach readers who would never hear of you otherwise, and it’s good for the blogger you give the post to because it gives them content from a fresh perspective.

I’d tell you my friend Jeremy, who’s a regular Sourcerer contributor, has made some real progress with his own blog, Quaint Jeremy’s Thoughts, recently. He’s posted contributions from three other bloggers this week, and I could not be happier for him. Jeremy’s consistently Sourcerer’s most-read writer, and that blog would have an entirely different character without his input and his contributions.

And I’d tell you we had another post from Part Time Monster autoblogged this week. It was one of mine this time, and I’m not even going to link to it or say very much about it. Nothing to be done, really, but it rankles me.

I’d tell you that as you are reading this, I’m probably at Chuck E Cheese with my grandson. I’m not the biggest fan of Chuck E. It’s as loud as a casino and as chaotic as a crowded swimming pool. But we do what we must for the people we love 🙂 And I’d tell you that I’m proud of the progress we’ve made getting the grandson interested in reading. We’re into chapter 4 of The Hobbit now, and I’m beginning to think we might actually make it through.

He had a trip to the library this week, and as he was browsing for his own books, he spied a Star Wars graphic novel and demanded to bring it home for me. Because, as he said, I am “the best reader in the world and Star Wars fan zero.” It tickled me that he chose Star Wars for me, and I’m proud of the consideration for others that shows. Once I get the guest blogging squared away, I’m planning to write a post about my experience teaching him to value reading.

Then I’d ask “what’s up with you?”