An 8 Year Atta Boy!

I have been doing this gig for almost 10 years now……..about 2 years on Blogger…I left because I like the format and the extras I got with WordPress……and 8 years here…….

I got this message from WP today……

 

8 Year Anniversary Achievement
Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!
You registered on WordPress.com 8 years ago!
Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging!
I can say that the best thing I had done for my blog was switching to WP……over at the other site I was getting plenty of hits but it was hollow I seldom got any comments…..I appreciate the comments and the exchanges through them….I much prefer quality over quantity…
I would like to thank everyone who visits IST for a great 8 years and hopefully we will have many more together…..

 

 

Art Of Blogging: Trolls

I begin my relaxing weekend with a few more words of wisdom about blogging…..in this installment it is TROLLS!

Trolls….those individuals that cruise the blogosphere looking for certain words that they can use to attack and rant their misguiding delusions….if you write a blog then you have experienced one or maybe more……they hit an d run……..

Personally, I think they just like being irritating more than informative…..I seem to get more of them when I post on a couple of subjects…..Muslims and guns….then they come out of the woodwork….like termites on a mating cycle…..

Is there any explanation to why these people lurk?

Well, yes there is and I am glad you asked……

We already know Internet trolls are jerks. Now, thanks to a video on YouTube channel AsapScience, we know a little bit more about why, CNET reports. In short, Internet trolls exhibit “dark traits,” such as Machiavellianism, narcissism, and, “very high levels of sadism,” which means they “have fun distressing others by being argumentative and disruptive.” The video is based on a research paper from 2014 that found 5.6% of 1,215 survey respondents self-identified as Internet trolls, or at least fessed up to enjoying trolling activities. CNET notes that it’s safe to assume that some trolls would not self-identify, so the true percentage is likely higher.

Dark traits notwithstanding, AsapScience reassures us that trolls “aren’t necessarily serial killers or bad people.” However, “they get an emotional reward when causing or observing the suffering of others.” According to the research paper, the troll persona reflects both a person’s actual personality and their ideal self, concluding that, “for those with sadistic personalities, that ideal self may be a villain of chaos and mayhem—the online trickster we fear, envy, and love to hate: the cyber-troll.” So how do you vanquish a troll? “Ignore them,” AsapScience says, “and you’re likely to diminish their effort.”

I wish I could ignore them….but if they are pushing lies and misinformation then I must respond….I know….I know…..but it is a sickness with me….LOL

Thoughts?

The Art Of Blogging: Cooperation

Sorry but keeping with my tradition I will offer one post over the weekend per day….I actually have a life away from the keyboard….go figure!

That time again when I give my impressions on blogging.  I wish I could say that I was an expert but that would be very disingenuous of me…….but in my time blogging I have learned a thing or two….at least they mean something to me.

We all want to be popular on-line but that is an ego thing…..if we give the reader something to look forward to then popularity will find you.  Also some bloggers only give props to those sites and people that they agree with the line they are selling…..it is sort of natural to seek out like minded people…..but I find that all opinions should hold equal importance….that is as long as they are respectful……some of my post have been insulting to certain public figures…..but any comments either pro or con hold equal importance to me…

Too many people hit the “Like” button without reading the post…..this is a way that readers try to help their followed bloggers…….that is a shame for most of the people I follow actually have something to say…..I seldom agree with them 100%…..but they do have something to say and I am respectfully enough to read what they have taken the time to write.

Re-blogging…..I do not re-blog very much….it is not that I do not like their stuff enough to re-blog but rather what they have written is usually widely reported and I do not feel that my attempt would just get in the way of their message.  With that said re-blogging is a fine way to help others out that may not be getting to a wide array of readers.

Next is linking to others sites…….I think it is a grand idea if you like or agree with what the other has said….but I see where a blogger gets an idea from someone else but usually will not credit the other blogger….that is unless they agree with the other then they say flowery things about this other site…..that is just wrong.

If someone gives me an idea I try to credit that person as best I can…..

Then there is the blogroll……it is there so others can see some of the sites you visit and perhaps quote……I had an experience with this Right Wing blog….I will not mention it and I will explain why……it seems that we were debating a subject and I wrote something that made him pouty and he ask me to remove the link to his blog….I agree but asked what it was that offended him….I never got an answer so I make up my own…..it was a Right wing one thought rag that In Sane Thought is better off without their visits…..I know a bit of an ego trip there….but since he was cowardly and not do as I requested….I will say whatever I like.

Have you ever encountered such a problem….this person knew that I am extremely progressive and knew how I thought about a wide array of issues and yet he could not handle the answer I gave….whatever that answer was…..

Sorry my friends…..I digress a bit…..but I do that a lot…..

Back to the main jest of this post…….Cooperation…….I think that if you add someone to your reader then you should do the right thing and read their posts….I know many of us have lives away from the keyboard….but it is the respectful thing to do……

Cooperation is how we all get to be more successful with our blogs and our thoughts….

I do not understand those people that mark their blogs “private”….I mean if you are that paranoid why write a blog….or if you only want people that will do nothing more than agree with everything you….why blog?  join a chat room…a private one…..

Then there are the people that comment on blogs…..do not get me wrong I love it that so many people feel comfortable to comment on IST….but in the past I have noticed that some look for keys and then write a comment that has nothing to do with the meat of the post…..the title is all they see…..personally, I enjoy comments and the exchanges they bring forth….that is what I feel my blog is all about….an exchange of ideas….not just my ideas…..

These are just my thoughts on the different aspects of blogging…….I am by NO means an expert…if I were then I would be in the top 10 blogs of all times…..but unfortunately I am not…..but that matters not since I love what I am doing on my blog…..

Art Of Blogging–Style

Just another in the continuing series that I write to pass on to my readers what little I have learned while writing a blog.  Please do not misunderstand….I am by no means an expert….if I were I would be getting more attention and popularity…….but I have learned a bit in 9 years of blogging.

After many years of rigorous study and application I found my calling…..analysis.  It was a shame that I refused to work for think tanks for they are nothing more than extensions of of one industry or another……

I have always been a writer…..that causes a few problems with a blog nowadays…..people want instant gratification with videos, steaming this or that, etc…..but I am an old fart and I like words so I will continue to write.  My grandfather gave me some advice in my younger days…..he said..”Why write a novel when a paragraph will do?”

I have found he was right….most people lose interest after about 500 words…so my style is to try and keep my post between 350-500 words….I am not always successful and gone over my prescribed limit.

If I would buckle down and learn to do more with vids and such I could probably get more people especially younger people to come and stick with my blog…..but I cannot let a vid do my work for me….I will post links for people to check out what I am writing about but I refuse to let that be the total extent to my posts.

I use to flit around writing about everything and anything that struck my fancy……but I found that if I stick with one field of interest there is a better chance of readers coming and deciding to stay…..it is not written in stone….just something that I have found with my blog.

I feel like my regular visitors like my style that is why they continue to come and most important comment….it also helps if you can have a field of “expertise”, if lack of a better word, that way readers know pretty much what will be written on any given day.

Blogging for me is an amazingly rewarding endeavor…..and I thank all my readers and regulars for their good taste in choosing my blog….(sorry had to throw a little ego in there)…..

Onward and upward…..always vocal.

Art Of Blogging: EGO!

This will be my 6th post on blogging……damn!  I did not know I was so opinionated on this subject.  But I am truthful in my ‘about’ section……I said from the start that I was an opinionated SOB…..and I prove it daily, huh?

Originally I started a blog as a way to store info…..at the time I did not have a printer and wanted to save stuff that I read that I could use at a later time….there was no intention of this to become a daily all consuming passion…..but as they say …..sh*t happens.

My tagline is not just a tagline….it is my code…..”It is the duty of every man, as far as his ability extends, to expose delusion and error”  I try to do this daily for there is so much misinformation out there and I feel someone has to challenge the bullsh*t.

I have always enjoyed research….looking for clarification of things I was not sure of…..I have been writing for many years mostly to help people understand the complexities of this world…..nothing is as clear as we want to believe.

To be truthful all of us bloggers are a bit egotistical……most of us like to see our name up there in lights.

The problem is that some of us bloggers are always searching for the magic bullet that will make their blogs will be the most popular thing since sliced bread or in today’s world, Kale.  We switch platforms time and time again…….we searching themes and fonts and yada yada…….we just know that we could find that perfect look and feel for a blog and we will be bombarded by so many new visits that we will have to make it a 24 hour job…….and then when little positive happens disappointment sets in……some of us decide that if we cannot be popular then we must just stop and re-think what we are doing.

All in all it is ego……not the compulsion to give readers truth and balanced writings……we want to strut around showing off our accomplishments.  And we seldom speak of any failures…..and believe me there are more failures than victories.

We need to put ego aside for awhile……we want those people to visit then we must go out and work for those visits…..there is no magic magnet that will ‘force’ people to visit your blog…..pick a few blogs that peak your interests and visit often….even a comment or two and like their stuff…….most will do the same as a favor for your loyalty.

You could pay some service that will promise you thousands of new visitors everyday….but at what price and will they continue to visit?  Or you could buckle down and help a fellow blogger who in turn will do the same and in the mean time you will gain a new friend that will help promote your blog.

None of this is rocket science……it has worked for me….and no I am not the most popular blog out there….but I do have good people that are loyal and repeat ‘customers’ for my writings and thoughts……..

Yes……blogging can be an ego boost……but I feel that it should not be a driving force…..helping people understand complex situation and the spreading of truth should be the main concern……any one can spout hate and misinformation……I try to do better.

I am not the most popular blog but I do love what I do and I enjoy the people that visit my site daily….that is what it is all about….at least for me.

The Art Of Blogging: Consistency

An observation from the taxing mind of Chuq

It is the weekend and I would like to pass on my thoughts about blogging……..This will be my 5th post on my thoughts on blogging.

These posts are just my small attempt to explain what I have learned after about 8 years of blogging

All of us bloggers want our stats to be through the roof….but unfortunately unless you have a much recognized name then you are wishing down a dry well.

To me the amount of readers is not as important as the quality of my readers…….I am not breaking any number of hits records by any means but I do draw a continuing amount of readers that turn to me because they like what I have to say or they are interested in my subject matter…..I think that my readers continue to come day after day is …..consistency.

I find that too many of my fellow bloggers are concerned with their stats and yer they do not help other bloggers with theirs……..I make it a habit to try and visit every site on my reader……..to me the key is the old saying….”you scratch my back and I will scratch yours”……..

My regular readers know that I write mostly on International situations, the Middle east to be more exact, and delve into political stuff, especially during an election.  For those that are concerned with the world situation that is a good thing for they know that I will write about what I see and read and do all I can to help them understand a complex situation……..

When I began my blogging experience I was on another site, will not mention the name for I did not like their format, my blog was entitled “Studies and Observations” and after about 3 months I went to another site that was popular at the time, now not so much, but after a couple of months there it just was not working out and I went back to the original site…..then I came upon WordPress and switched over and have never looked back.

My problem back in the early days was that people that liked my stuff (not many in those days) were having a hard time finding me for a visit…..it was then that I settled down and decided to choose one and stick with it…..and here I am about 7 years later.

That decision of consistency has paid off…….I now have a great bunch of regulars that have NO problem finding me and reading what I have to say and for that I am very grateful.

I also wish that more bloggers were interested in truth and justice…….instead many excellent writers are worried about their popularity standing.  To me they are waswting their minds by worrying about popularity where they should be concerned is let their readers know what is out there and why justice is elusive…….and why truth is so important.

I am NO expert by any stretch of the imagination…….I am just letting you know what I found that works for me in this experience.  Blogging like so much else in life needs consistency……without it the blogger is just spin his/her wheels in search of the ultimate ego boost……..

Blogging Is A Process

This will be my 4th post in a series on blogging……these are my thoughts and not a template for anyone else…..I just see the whole blogging experience as  a labor of love.

Most of us bloggers begin our process with checking the news to see what is happening while we were otherwise distracted…..with stuff like…..SLEEP.  once we have digested our information and have found something that appeals to our sensibilities then we begin to write our posts…..whether we agree or not we have an opinion and that opinion needs to be voiced.

The beauty of the internet and most specifically, is that it is a place where everyone has a voice and we can use it……sometimes it hits a nerve and other times it is just a thought we want to pass on……whatever the reason does not matter…..what matters is that we can begin a conversation and others may join …..for the exchange of ideas and thoughts is what it is all about.

Like I said previously…..we all have a process or if you will the madness of our infliction……a method to our posts.  Mine is a bit extreme more so than most….I begin my day at 0100 hrs (1am)…..I start so early because my interests are in the Middle East and in war zones….so in my time is about 0900 hrs Baghdad time, depending on whether it is real time or that fake time……I begin with check with sources in Iraq and Syria to see what has happened while I snoozed….then I check around the region for news that could be a game changer and then I begin my writing process once I have decided what the subject will be of my post……I also mark stories that I think would help my readers to understand what is happening in the region……..believe me when I say what we hear in the US is not necessarily what is important in the region.  These marked articles will become presses for my readers education.  Of course during my process lots of mind soothing coffee is consumed.

I also as part of my process try to visit daily the sites that visit my site……I feel that it is my effort to help support their attempts to make their blogs more popular.  Some bloggers want it to be magic that everyone reads their stuff……I try to assert myself into their world by commenting as much as possible…….

After I finish my posts I save them in draft of which I have any where from 5 to 20 being held to be used as needed…..after all that I sit down and make one more trip through my news sources before I shut down the process go eat and then try to sleep.

I am by no means telling my readers this should be their process……..but I am serious about my statements of concern for the education of my readers and a little work and lack of sleep is a small price to pay for a better understanding in the world.

I truly enjoy writing my blog….In Saner Thought is a true labor of love for me…….plus it helps me deal with retirement, forced retirement and it expands my knowledge and that is a great thing in my mind.