Tag Archives: blogging

Dog training, Cesar Millan, and other topics that really rile up readers

As you know, I’m blogging over at Patheos.com about animals, life and faith. (What, you didn’t know? Where have you been?) I’ve had a few posts lately that have riled up readers, and I suspect today’s post may add to the fracas. Just wanted to put them on your radar, in case you’re bored & want to join the discussion:

And just for fun, did you read these? They won’t get you  mad … hopefully …:

TripBase “My 7 Links” Blog Project – My favorite posts and 5 blogs for you to check out

I was “tagged” this week by Carol Bryant at Fido Friendly’s blog to take part in the TripBase “My 7 Links” blog projects, designed “To unite bloggers (from all sectors) in a joint endeavor to share lessons learned and create a bank of long but not forgotten blog posts that deserve to see the light of day again.” Thanks, Carol!

My task: to share with you 7 links from my blog and then 5 blogs you ought to check out. So here goes!

My most popular post – Strictly in terms of page views, this is the post that has gotten the most views all time on the Notes From The Funny Farm blog: Continue reading

Don’t reporters check for errors before they hit “publish”?

There has been some discussion among some of my writing pals this week about the protests in Egypt and journalists, how reporters insert themselves into stories and where the line is between reporting and making the news. Case in point: NBC’s Lester Holt and his camera crew trying to battle an unruly crowd in Egypt to make their way to the apartment of 76 year old Mary Thornberry and save her from certain doom.

It’s not just reporters trying to make news. Another thing that I’ve also noticed is that in the attempt to get the news out before anyone else, online writing has gotten bad. Really bad.

I’m not talking about casual bloggers. I’m taking reporters for actual news organizations who seem to forget that online writing is still writing. Take this story from 13 WHAm TV:

Rochester, N.Y.–Children Awaiting Parents is a locally based non-profit trying to find homes for older children in need of families.
This past Wednesday, the group received a big boost from Hollywood.
Roughly 200 celebrities such as Hilary Swank held raise funds for adoption.
“We’re a national organization. We’ve been talking about this for 38 years, but to have someone
like Hilary Swank and Leigh Anne Tuohy host this event for us, it made all the difference. People are talking about it and that’s the key,” said CAP Executive Director Mark Soule.
Tuohy and her family adopted an African American teenager named Michael Oher and became the inspiration for
the Michael Lewis book, and later movie called “The Blind Side.”
Roughly $10,000 was raised at Wednesday’s gala according to Soule.

That’s the actual story, typos, paragraphs and all, just so you don’t think I’m eliminating anything. What event? Where was it?  How did Hillary Swank become connected to Children Awaiting Parents? Who else was there?

And what about proofing? I know I was in college a million years ago, but after “Children Awaiting Parents” shouldn’t there be (CAP) so that when it’s referenced that way later readers understand? And there’s a quirky typo an edior should have caught: “Hilary Swank held raise funds for adoption”.

Understand that I’m not knocking the reporter. He’s actually a great reporter. And I’m notorious for leaving out words and paragraphs when I write. That’s why I have an editor for my paid writing. On this blog? It’s just me and the cat on the keyboard. If I haven’t had enough tea, I might make the same mistakes.

But we’re not talking about some blogger in her pajamas. This is an actual, legitimate news outlet, one of the top in Rochester, one that in another story said about an accident: “It happened around 8:30 p.m. Firday”.

Firday? I forget. Does that come after Thrusday?

The problem is that news outlets are in such a hurry to get the news out there that they forget about details, clarity, editing, as if the facts matter less than the speed with which those facts go out around the world.

Or in Lester Holt’s case, making sure the cameras are there to record his journalistic heroics – or not.

The 12 Project – 12 adventures in 12 months (with potentially 12 trips to the ER)

I'm preparing for 12 adventures in 12 months, with potentially 12 trips to the emergency room. And you get to help!

As I write this post, it’s 1:00 PM on a Monday afternoon, and I’m lying on the couch watching season 4 of “Psych” on DVD while enjoying a coffee ice cream cone. For me, that’s living on the edge.

Or at least it has been for a while. But, believe it or not, I’m ready for a little adventure. In fact, I’m ready to declare the a whole year of adventure!

I know, I know. I declared 2009 the year of adventure, and then did it again in 2010. And so far this year isn’t looking too adventurous.

But I have a plan, my friends.

Continue reading

How narrow does my writing focus need to be?

One of the things that I always struggle with, creatively anyway, is how varied my interests are and how all over the place my writing seems to be.

I write about Christian music. I write about dogs. I write about chickens and being a writer and current events and anything else that comes to mind.

When I read other blogs, I see that the more successful ones usually have a specific focus, and that’s the same advice I get at writing conferences. My problem is that if I had one blog for every specific area I’m interested in I’d be handling twenty blogs, and doing none of them well.

On my other personal blog, I focused on my life, writing, generally musing about whatever was on my mind. When I started this blog my goal was to focus on my growing interest in organic and sustainably farmed food, the dogs, and being a suburban backyard chicken “farmer”.

But even then – I write about volunteering at the shelter and news items that catch my eye and it makes me wonder if I’m being too broad as I blog.

Then again, I guess I’m not writing for everyone else but myself. So I guess it doesn’t matter. Does it?