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!!

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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.

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?”

If We Were Having Coffee 8


If we were having coffee, I’d tell you the modest success we’ve had with Part Time Monster and Sourcerer has driven me to flights of fancy.

I daydream sometimes about the things Diana and I could get up to on the Internet if we had an office, an administrative assistant, a real webmaster, and two years’ worth of overhead to work with.

I also think sometimes about how cool it would be to get a big bunch of bloggers together and have everyone load a single post a week into a new blog, but not publish it, until we had 365 posts piled up, so I could schedule a month’s worth of daily posts to publish at Noon Eastern Time for a whole year. I wonder what the archive and the author grid would look like at the end of that year. Notice I said “load” a post per week. Not “write” a post per week. I’m talking about things from our archives like:coffee

  • First posts
  • Favorite posts
  • Popular posts
  • Images that were used for a Wordless Wednesday months ago.

We’d have to upload the art, but text would take no time at all to copy and tag, and the links would come though. As long as the posts weren’t dated or commenting on specific current events long since forgotten, that could turn into a brilliant blog.

I’d tell you that, these flights of fancy aside, I kicked off a new WordPress project this weekend. It will take only about 10 minutes of my time per day and doesn’t require anyone else to collaborate. I’m not going big with the announcement for a while. Some of you will find out about it through notifications or by stumbling across little breadcrumbs I’ll leave here and there. I want to see what it does for a month without me promoting it.

I hope you’re having a great weekend!

If We Were Having Coffee 5


If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I have the awesomest sister in the whole world. If it weren’t for her, this blog wouldn’t exist and I’d never have gotten to know all the people I’ve met through blogging. She convinced me that if we worked together and found a few people to collaborate with, we could do something I’ve never been able to do in 10 years of trying. That we could be

One of the people in this photo is my awesome sister, but it's hard to tell which one because they are all in disguise.

One of the people in this photo is my awesome sister, but it’s hard to tell which one because they are all in disguise.

successful enough bloggers to not walk away in frustration after six months and go back to scribbling things in personal journals. She was right, and I’m glad I gave it one more try. So if you enjoy chatting with me or reading this blog, or if you’re a Sourcerer fan — even if you just follow one of our many ongoing features — you should stop by Part Time Monster tomorrow and tell her thanks on her coffee thread.

I’d tell you I’ve gotten behind on the networking again for the second week in a row. That happens to bloggers when the content runs low. I didn’t have much time to write last weekend, and I had a couple of pieces to run this week that just couldn’t wait. So I’ve been playing catch-up with the writing since last Sunday. On the plus side, I have nearly everyone who talks to me on the blogs bookmarked in a set of folders so that I can eventually visit about 50 blogs a week to read, comment, and share links on my other social media. It’s just that the writing schedule and the offline life have been a bit demanding of late.

I’d tell you that I’ve decided to go ahead and change the name of this blog to Just Gene’O. Rather than try and change it on all my social media at once, I’ve indicated in the tagline that I’m in the process of a name change. That’ll get me by for a week, and I haven’t finalized a permanent tagline, anyway.

coffee

And I’d tell  you that fall is bearing down on me already. Fall is hectic, and there are long periods during the fall when I don’t  have much blogging time. I have another month and a half at most to blog at the pace I’ve been going at this summer. At some point, I’m going to have to step off the accelerator until January. Then we’ll see how much of the progress we’ve made since March is real, and how much is about hitting news feeds two and three times per day consistently. However that turns out, it will give us valuable information about blogging. I may have discounted the importance of posting frequency when we first started out.

I’d also tell you that I have a couple long-term projects in the works. Neither will require a lot of time or effort. One of them is hidden in plain sight on the sidebar and labeled top secret because it tickles my funnybone to present it that way. The other one actually is top secret, but once it’s ready to roll, you will find out about it in a way that I hope you’ll find entertaining.

Then I’d ask how your week of blogging went.

(I’m taking a real break from blogging next weekend. It’s the 4th of July in the U.S. next Friday, and I’m spending most of that weekend with my family. What time I do have will go into networking and restocking the old content heap, I’m doubling up on the photoblogging next weekend and not publishing a single word after next Thursday. If you’re in the U.S., I’ll wish you a safe and happy Independence Day weekend in advance. But that’s a week away. We’ll have plenty of good blogging in the meantime.)